A Yorkshire farmer’s daughter, Alison qualified from Liverpool University in 1989. She worked in practice for several years before pursuing a career with Hills Pet Nutrition and MARS, discovering the customer experience passion that her award-winning company, Onswitch, is renowned for today. Established in 2001, Onswitch promotes customer-centred practice so pets, horses and livestock receive better care; providing research, marketing, CPD and business consultancy with an effective, innovative, straight-talking and client-led approach.
Alison is Honorary Associate Professor at Nottingham University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. She is published widely, regularly speaks at key international veterinary congresses and events, and was given the AVA’s Veterinary Business Thought Leader award in 2019.
Brian graduated from Edinburgh Vet School in 1995 and worked in mixed practice before studying for an MBA at Nottingham Business School in 2001. He has set up and developed 5 veterinary practices from start-ups during the last 20 years and currently leads and works as a clinician in his current practice Aldeburgh Vets. Brian completed a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, as well as General Practice certificates in Business and Professional Studies and Small Animal Medicine. He was The UK’s Petplan Vet of the Year in 2008. He is Honorary Associate Professor in Veterinary Business at Nottingham University Vet School and in July 2020 he was awarded the title Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) in recognition of outstanding contributions to the veterinary profession.
Avril McGinn graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2012. She completed a Junior Clinical Training Scholarship with the Dick Vet Small Animal Practice which involved teaching final year students’ day one competencies. She has since completed certificates in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Small Animal Medicine and Veterinary Dermatology with the University of Liverpool.
She joined Village Vets in 2015 and is the Clinical Lead for the Village Vets Clinical Support Team. She has developed multiple in-house programmes, including a new graduate interactive programme using problem-based clinical reasoning. The Clinical Support Team mentors new graduate vets in both group case-based sessions and one to one clinical support. In 2021, to continue her development as an educator, Avril enrolled on the Clinical Educator Programme run by the University of Edinburgh and the NHS. Her key interest is supporting and educating new graduates in their first year of practice.
Dr Gavin McCoubrey brings with him over 23 years of veterinary industry and worldwide animal welfare experience.
Following 2 years as Clinical Director for the RSPCA, he founded his first clinic aged 29. He conceived the business and brand. He dealt with location, procurement, design, and project managed the renovations of the initial and subsequent premises.
Initially himself and one other member of staff he helped grow the company to a four-centre practice, with over 40 employees and a multi-million-pound turnover. He was involved, on a daily basis with Marketing, Human Resources, and all internal and external contract negotiations, aided by obtaining his certificate in Veterinary Business Management from the University of Liverpool.
Jack is a Veterinary IT Expert and Certified Ethical Hacker, who has worked alongside the veterinary sector since he set up his first business aged 16. He knows how busy it gets in veterinary practices, which means that the majority of vets don’t have the time to keep up to date with IT infrastructure or cyber security, which is where he comes in!
Jack has made it his mission to help veterinary practices across the UK and Ireland utilise their technology so that they can function in a secure, professional and efficient manner, leaving vets to focus on patient care.
Nicole is a registered member of Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), a professional association supporting qualified Nutritional Therapists in Ireland.
Nicole is a certified Yoga instructor, health & fitness coach, and personal trainer.
Tommy qualified from UCD with a degree in veterinary medicine in 2002. He worked in and ran a large 6 vet practice in Co Wicklow for 16 years. He completed a grad cert in dairy herd health in 2014 from UCD. He is also a master cowsignals trainer. Since 2017 he set up a consultancy business working with farmers, vets, and now the wider animal health industry.
He also spent 16 months in 2019 as an animal health specialist for The Irish Farmers Journal. He completed an international Nuffield farming scholarship in 2018. His report discussed his concept of “A cow-centered approach to the modern dairy industry”.
His interests are how we can maximize immunity in farming systems by optimizing the biological needs of our farm animals. He is also involved in research around the microbiome and the reduction of antibiotic usage.
His main consultation work is now around microbiome-related solutions for the animal health industry.
His passions in the veterinary industry include personal development, coaching, and mentoring.
He openly admits it’s about progress, not perfection! Life that is….
Since qualifying from the UCD Vet School in 1993, Colette has enjoyed a varied working life; 20 years in small animal practice, Kilkenny Clinical Society committee member, tutoring in animal care and teaching mindfulness, yoga and wellbeing.
She has a masters in mindfulness (UCD School of Psychology) and teaches the Mindfulness for Health elective module to students (including vet and vet nurses). Colette is part of the senior teaching team on the mindfulness masters programme and is involved in the research of mindfulness for people experiencing chronic pain.
She is an ambassador for Vetlife (the UK veterinary charity). Vetlife Helpline provides free, confidential 24/7 peer listening support (by phone and email) to vets, vet nurses, students, non-clinical staff and their families.
Since 2021, supported by the Irish Veterinary Benevolent Fund, Vetlife Helpline support is freely available to the veterinary community in Ireland.
Having experienced anxiety as a student and new graduate, Colette has a particular interest in promoting mental health and wellbeing, and diversity, equity and inclusion. She is looking forward to studying Mental Health Promotion in NUI Galway later this year.
https://www.ivbf.ie/ Vetlife Helpline 1800 145 145