About Debbie Boone, CVPM
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
At a Glance
What I Bring to the Table
- Professional Speaker and Trainer on communication, team development, client service, and change implementation
- Extensive knowledge of Veterinary Practice Operations, Marketing, and Brand development
- Over 35 years of business experience in the veterinary industry, including P & L responsibility
- I have repeatedly proven my ability to connect and engage with the most generationally diverse veterinary industry ever in our history
- Experience in marketing, public relations, and planning for new and established businesses
- Extensive network of veterinary business professionals in all aspects of veterinary business and medicine
My first dog was a stray Collie mix my brother and I spotted sitting on the side of the road one hot North Carolina summer day. We had been begging our parents for a dog to no avail. When we saw this pup sitting quietly in the tall weeds on the corner, looking lost and as if she was waiting for someone, we started pleading. My mom, thinking it a safe bet said,” If she is still here when we come back we will stop.” Three hours later, much to her chagrin, the pup was still there, waiting just for us! Mom stopped – a woman of her word – and we brought Sandy home, sitting in the back seat gleefully bouncing between two very excited children. We were in love immediately as she began to enthusiastically lick us and wag her entire body with joy of finding her “people.”
Several hours later when my Dad arrived home he saw the dog and shook his head in disbelief. Not only was she an unspayed female, but she also had a huge umbilical hernia. The very next morning off we went to see Dr. Bill Pinson. Our “free dog” had a major surgery three days into ownership.
Thanks to Dr. Pinson’s great care and my Mom who’s philosophy always was, “ if you get an animal you take good care of it,”, we were blessed with this wonderful dog for many, many years. She is a delightful memory in all my childhood adventures as we roamed pastures, creek bottoms and woods together.
From the moment Sandy came home, veterinarians became my heroes and I began my love affair with the veterinary profession.
I decided at an early age to become a veterinarian. I even volunteered with Dr. Pinson’s practice to learn all I could about my future career. My determination led me to NC State University and their Animal Science (PreVet) curriculum. But a handsome and charming young man named Mike distracted and later married me and I voluntarily ended my education with my Bachelor of Science degree. After college, I began managing the dining room team at one of my family’s restaurants. Since I had grown up in the hospitality business this was a simple transition.
In 1985, I found an opportunity to enter veterinary medicine when my husband and I relocated to Greensboro, NC. I would like to say I got my part time receptionist job because of my background, but in truth it was because the office manager used to eat ribs at our BBQ restaurant and she remembered them fondly.
My part time job lasted 6 months when I was offered a full-time job in retail, managing a fabric shop. Later I moved on to managing a jewelry department where, as fate would have it, I sold one of the associate veterinarians a watch. He returned to the office and mentioned me to the owner who promptly called me and offered me a job as the hospital administrator for his practice. I held that position for 19 years, growing the practice from two doctors to five. We added satellite practices, one which I had the fun project of overseeing and decorating from the ground up.
When my practice owner headed to retirement, I accepted a new challenge as the Chief Operating Officer of an 11-doctor mixed animal hospital with large and small animal specialists on staff. The practice was open 24/7 for Emergency care and we also ran the county shelter
My veterinary management experience broadened tremendously in this job. I was extremely proud to have helped moved the shelter euthanasia rate from 98% to 75% and pushed the county to build a larger facility with some help from our practice fundraising. It was at this practice group that I oversaw the design and build of a second veterinary hospital. Later I helped design and plan a 10,000 sq.ft. building in preparation for a move by the main hospital.
In 2008 it was time to share my many years of veterinary practice management knowledge and experience with other veterinary teams. I launched, Debbie Boone – 2 Manage Vets Consulting, LLC and thanks to numerous supportive people who respected my experience as a manager and a leader, it has been a thriving business from its inception. I have traveled to Canada, Puerto Rico, every state in the US except Alaska and Wyoming, and remotely to Australia and England as a consultant, trainer and speaker.
I have been thrilled to work with many wonderful veterinary practice owners and their teams. Together we improved practice culture, owner and team work-life balance, customer service, patient experience and the profitability of their practice. I also appreciate the confidence of the many pharma and distribution reps who hired me to help their customers.
Every veterinary practice is different and unique and so is every veterinary practice consultation. I customize an action plan based on practice need – no cookie-cutter workbook – but a plan built just for you. Does it make my work more challenging – sure- but my clients win because the work we do together is made to order.
My goal is to teach and coach practice leaders to learn smart business practices so they can fly solo. It always makes me proud to see my clients grow to self-reliant leaders.
I guess you can say that in some way I am trying to pay back veterinarians for all they have given me…even back to healing a yellow and white mixed Collie puppy named Sandy.
I am a well-recognized expert on team communication, client service, and culture building. I co-authored the book, “The Veterinarian’s Guide to Healthy Pet Plans“ a tutorial on how to build monthly paid wellness plans and am currently writing my new book on hospitality.
You can find my peer-reviewed articles in the Vet Team Brief archives on the Clinicians Brief site for my column “Culture Coach”. I routinely write for Today’s Veterinary Business, Veterinary Practice News and you can see me frequently quoted in AAHA’s TRENDS magazine. I was a member of the Author Task Force charged with writing the Veterinary Practice Management Essentials which is downloadable for free thanks to an educational grant from Partners for Healthy Pets.
I present on communication and business practices at all major conferences and was the primary instructor for Patterson Veterinary University’s Communication and Customer Service class for over 11 years. I am proud to be a member of the Fear Free Advisory Board and Speaker’s Bureau.
I host a podcast and vodcast called The Bend and can be seen as a frequent visitor on a multitude of other veterinary podcasts.
Hear me talk about my career on Piedmont live!