I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and am a certified Human Resources professional (CHRL) with 10+ years of management experience in the veterinary field, including 8 years as the Operations Manager at a large, multi-location equine practice in the Greater Toronto Area. During my time in an applied practice management role, I was fortunate to be allowed to develop and test many of the HR and offerings Oculus now provides.
As a Partner at Oculus Insights since 2018, I am most energized when I’m able to help staff, managers and owners find their paths to greater work satisfaction and engagement through self-awareness and humility. I believe that open, honest and respectful communication between colleagues along with a clear mutual understanding of what peoples’ roles and expectations are could be considered the two basic building blocks for any successful business.
Areas of Expertise & Interest
Guiding management and staff to greater levels of self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Performance Management and Crucial Conversations
Intentional strategies to improve employee engagement
Businesses exist to serve their employees, not vice versa, and everyone at every level in an organization can flourish given the right balance of support and autonomy.
More About Katie
Describe your background in veterinary medicine:
I was the operations manager at McKee-Pownall Equine Services in Toronto, Ontario for 8 years, playing a well-rounded variety of roles from pure operations management and planning to HR management to client service.
Why are you interested in your areas of expertise?
I love to see people flourish and grow in their roles, and I believe HR has a unique role to play in positioning people for success, even if their journey involves some ‘hard stuff’ and lessons in self-awareness.
Why are you involved in Oculus?
While veterinarians are exceptional people and are very dedicated to the animals and people they serve, they often don’t have the motivation, knowledge or time to work on their internal business process, including HR. I am happy to bring some of the programs and initiatives that we have developed and tested over the years to a wider audience of veterinary clients across the globe.
What has been your most satisfying day or event working with a client?
I can’t think of one particular moment, however, what is most satisfying for me is working with a client over some time and seeing the progression of the team and the people, seeing skills we have taught them in action. Delivering training that goes overtime because there is so much input from the staff is incredibly rewarding.
What do you wish most veterinary practices would start doing?
Asking their employees for input, and being more transparent in their communication, as well as providing support and continuing education for all levels of clinic staff. Veterinary medicine by nature encourages a traditional, top-down style of management, and we need to evaluate as to whether this model is what is going to keep us successful as the competition for talent at all levels continues to intensify.
What do you wish most veterinary practices would stop doing?
I wish veterinary practices would take a more strategy-driven, intentional view towards their businesses, moving toward greater proactivity instead of being reactive.
What do you do to relax?
Running long distances on very remote trails, birdwatching, listening to non-business audiobooks, and horseback riding.
What is a secret skill you have?
I play the tenor saxophone and flute. I am a huge jazz fan!