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Phone: 919.513.6421
Fax: 919.513.6689
1060 William Moore Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607

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Veterinary Business Management Association

Wolfpack Leadership Conference

Relational Leadership for Your Practice

VBMA logo

February 20 - 22, 2015

What and Why?

Although there are many styles of leadership, relationally based Servant Leadership may be the most appropriate model for veterinary practice. Today’s veterinarian is not only a CEO, a community role model, and a tireless physician. Clients, and the public also expect the DVM to be an ever-compassionate and selfless healer. This servant orientation manifests itself in the oath taken by veterinarians to ensure that patients’, clients’, and the publics’ needs are being met to a high degree of excellence. In an increasingly complex profession and industry, we’re learning we cannot meet these needs individually. This level of expectation and care must be supported and manifested by our veterinary medical teams, as well as ourselves. Leading our teams to this next level requires a very different skill set from what most of us learned in the pursuit of our DVM. It requires us to motivate and inspire our staff and teach them to do the same for our clients and patients.

So How Do We Get from Here to There?

Servant leadership only works if an entire team is pulling in the same direction, together. Unfortunately, leadership in veterinary medicine often has been equated with “herding cats.” How does today’s leader rally a complex group of multi-talented employees into a motivated, visionary medical team? One distinguishing quality between those who succeed and those who struggle with this challenge is our level of emotional intelligence (E.I.) and how we leverage
these skills to be effective servant leaders in our practices, in our communities, and in our homes. To lead your practice… you need a plan (vision) and a mission (how you are going to reach that vision) and a set of goals that benchmark the way to completing that mission. In this comprehensive, interactive weekend, the team that created the Veterinary Leadership Experience will take you and your team through a series of exercises designed to send you home with an action plan which could bring a new professional vision and a fresh practice perspective to your work life. The highly acclaimed Wolfpack Leadership Conference strengthens the intrinsic leadership potential of participants through a multi-day, interactive curriculum designed to encourage a positive personal transformation. NCSU-CVM and the VBMA are delighted to present a two-day version of the Wolfpack Leadership Conference developed by the Veterinary Leadership Team from the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. We appreciate their willingness to share their insights, vision, and hearts with us.


Registration for this course is $99 for Veterinarians, Technicians and Office Staff. Registration will close Friday February 13th at 5pm. If option to pay by check is chosen, check must be received no later that 2 weeks prior to beginning of program unless other arrangement have been made. Please include name of attendee with check so that payment can be properly applied.

Make Check Payable to NCSU VBMA

Mailed to: 
NC State College of Veterinary Medicine 
Office of Continuing Education 
1060 William Moore Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607

Online registration is now closed. Limited on-site registration will be available.


Continuing Education

This course offers ten and one-half (10.5) hours of CVME for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. *denotes topic acceptable for CVME credit.


This course will be held at the McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman St, Raleigh, NC 27606 .


Wear loose-fitting clothes and comfortable shoes—it’s a retreat with lots of interactive exercises. Be relaxed and comfortable.

Who Should Attend?

Every member of the veterinary practice can benefit from the team-focused learning at the Wolfpack Leadership Conference. The more team members that are committed to elevating their performance, the greater the rewards will be.

Cancellation Policy

Full refunds will be granted for notices received in writing by seven days prior to the course. After that time, there will be a 25% cancellation fee. No refunds will be granted after the course has begun.


Friday, February 20, 2015 - Part 1: How do we lead as veterinary professionals?

Time Event
5:30pm - 6:00pm Registration
6:00 - 8:00pm*


Introduction- Leadership as Influence

Large Group Activity

Open-Ended Questions

Small Group Activity: Importance in various veterinary relationships

How do we develop skills?

Saturday, February 21, 2015 - Part 2: Practicing the Skills of Leadership

Time Event
8:00 - 9:00am Breakfast
9:00 - 10:30am* Qualities of a leader
10:30 - 10:45am


10:45am - Noon*

Self and Social Awareness Through MBTI and Strengthsfinder

Colleague Interactions

Employer/Employee Interactions

                                                Client Interactions
12:00 - 1:00pm Lunch
1:00 - 2:30pm*

Conflict Management Overview

                                    Large Group Activity
2:30 - 2:45pm Break
2:45 - 3:45pm* Application of concepts to Employer-Employee Interactions
3:45 - 4:00pm Break
4:00 - 5:00pm* Application of concepts to Veterinarian-Client Interactions

Sunday, February 22, 2015 - Part 3: The Healthy Leader

Time Event
8:00 - 9:00am Breakfast
9:00 - 9:30am

What did you learn yesterday?

9:30 - 10:45am* Can we achieve work-life balance in the veterinary profession?
10:45 - 11:00am Break
11:00 - 12:00pm*

Concluding Remarks - Tying it all together

Snacks and drinks available all day throughout the weekend.

*denotes topic acceptable for CVME credit.


Speakers / Facilitators

Drake Charles

Drake Charles graduated from Washington State University with a BS in nursing and a BA in fine arts in 1996.  He spent the next seven years in the private sector working for Northwest Basketball Camps (NBC), an international sports ministry serving over 10,000 athletes every summer throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.  Drake functioned in a variety of director level roles which eventually coalesced into a vice president position with oversight of marketing, expansion and leadership development for camps in the U.S. and Canada. 

In 2003, with his wife’s move to California to pursue post-graduate training in equine veterinary medicine, Drake resigned from NBC Camps and was hired by the physician owners of Rancho Family Medical Group to design, develop and launch

Rancho Sports Center (RSC).  This project began with the conversion of a 40,000 square foot abandoned warehouse into a multi-court basketball, volleyball, and fitness club with the aim of serving the medical community, their patients, and youth sports throughout the greater Temecula-Murrieta area. During this time Drake also earned a Master’s degree in Organization Leadership from Biola University and was introduced to Linfield Christian School through the student-athletes at RSC.

In 2007, Drake was hired as the Athletic Director for Linfield Christian School where he developed the school’s “triple crown” approach to high school athletics. He was recently promoted to Vice President for development at Linfield where he will over see several areas of development including athletics, fine arts, technology, and student life.

Drake has been involved with the Veterinary Leadership Experience since 2009, providing insight into various aspects of leadership development and emotional intelligence as well as facilitating small group learning.  His enthusiasm for people and understanding of organization development make him a popular speaker and facilitator.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Charles

Elizabeth “Betsy” Charles, DVM, MA combines a wide variety of professional experiences with her love of veterinary medicine in order to help others be the best they can be. After graduating from Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003 and completing an internship with an equine referral hospital, she joined a performance horse practice as an associate veterinarian and then, after 3 years, served as their Imaging Center Director for another 3 years. In addition to her responsibilities within the imaging center, she developed the practice’s extern program that included students from all over the country as well as formal involvement with the 3rd and 4th year veterinary students from Western University of Health Sciences. She is also an adjunct professor at Washington State University.

Dr. Charles completed a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership in May 2009 where her thesis dealt with implementation of change efforts within organizations, specifically veterinary practice. To that end, she loves helping veterinary professionals understand how the principles of emotional intelligence can help facilitate implementation of change initiatives in practice using a servant-leadership model. One of her main areas of interest is generational diversity as it applies to veterinary medicine and she has spoken on this topic at veterinary colleges around the country, various state veterinary medical associations, the AAEP national convention and the North American Veterinary Conference as well as helped team members in private practice implement these communication strategies. She has been involved with the Veterinary Leadership Experience as a speaker and facilitator for 7 years and is currently the new Director of The Veterinary Leadership Experience Foundation, the organization now responsible for putting on the annual VLE event. She served on the AVMA’s Council on Communication, recently completed a term on the Student Relations Committee for the American Association of Equine Practitioners and is just beginning a term on the AAEP’s Leadership Development Committee. Currently, Dr. Charles is pursuing advanced training in diagnostic imaging through a combined alternative residency program with Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine and Southern California Veterinary Imaging. Her hope is to continue to combine her passion for veterinary medicine, leadership development, teaching, and communication into one role so she can be a difference maker in the veterinary profession.