The VPMA inaugurates new president

Renay Rickard VPMA President 2016 The Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA) entered its 23rd year as a society with the inauguration of a new president. Renay Rickard, Practice Manager at Kernow Vet Group in Cornwall, took over the reins from past president Howard Brown during the SPVS-VPMA Joint Congress at the Celtic Manor Resort on the 30th January.

Renay has been a long-standing member of VPMA and has served on the VPMA Board for 3 years. Much of her time on the board has been spent overseeing the regional VPMA groups, which directly support the members with CPD and networking.

The focus on the association’s grass roots will continue during Renay’s presidential year. She commented, “Part of my mission this year is to help our members to be more resilient and proactive in their roles in practice, as there are challenging times ahead. We’ll do this through providing support and information directly at a regional level but also nationally through our webinars, and our joint CPD programme and Congress with SPVS.

“I also want to promote the idea of practice management as a career choice, particularly amongst the Veterinary Nursing profession, which is obviously close to my heart. The VPMA is supporting the College of Animal Welfare’s Head Nurse congress this year and I’m looking forward to presenting to the delegates there on just this subject.

“My aim is also to promote the concept of the management of the practice being the responsibility of every team member in some form or other and to encourage them to get involved. After all, running a veterinary practice is a team sport… not an individual event! The benefit isn’t just to the practice; the team can become be more involved in decisions that affect them, which can relieve anxiety. And of course, it helps the mental wellbeing of the practice manager and other senior members of the management team to know they are not alone, there is a team behind them!”

Renay’s insights into the veterinary profession and the role of the practice manager reflect her journey into practice management at Kernow Veterinary Group. After joining Pelyn Veterinary Practice in 1985 directly from school as a Youth Training Scheme trainee, she went on to become the first veterinary nurse to be trained by the clinic. She progressed to the role of Head Nurse in 1989 before becoming Practice Manager of Pelyn Veterinary Group in 2004. In 2014 the group merged with two other practices to form Kernow Veterinary Group, the largest independent practice in Cornwall.  Renay is now the group’s overall practice manager, managing 90 staff members over 4 sites.

Her employer, Nicky Paull, herself a past president of the British Veterinary Association, under whose watchful eye Renay developed her management and business skills, was delighted to witness Renay’s inauguration. She commented, “Renay is a fantastic role model for showing that, with drive and determination, just how much you can achieve. The whole team at Kernow Vet Group is very proud of seeing Renay take on this fresh challenge and look forward to watching VPMA continue to thrive under her leadership.”

More information on the VPMA can be found at