Foundations of Veterinary Business Program

Foundations of Veterinary Business Program Speakers


Robin Brogdon  Topics Covered: In Person Marketing

Robin Brogdon

Robin Brogdon received her Bachelor of Arts degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan and her Master of Arts degree in organizational communication and marketing from Eastern Michigan University. For the past 25-plus years, she has applied that knowledge through her work in business administration and marketing for a Big Ten university athletic department, a professional sports franchise, and a fast-growing media company, as well as a variety of management consulting engagements and leadership roles in specialty veterinary practices.

Brogdon has successfully taken companies through start-up, acquisition, and divestiture, with oversight and management of all aspects of the process. She has coordinated many building and relocation projects spanning multiple offices and cities, including the construction and opening of City of Angels Veterinary Specialty Center, a 30,000-square-foot comprehensive specialty hospital in Los Angeles where she served as the Executive Director.

In 2007, Brogdon launched BluePrints Veterinary Marketing Group, Inc., a full-service marketing agency exclusively devoted to serving specialty, emergency and referral practices and other businesses within the animal healthcare space. BluePrints’ primary purpose is to help more companion animals and their families by advancing the reach of veterinary specialty medicine and encouraging the partnership between primary care veterinarians and specialists. To further this goal, in 2012 Brogdon launched the Veterinary Specialists Outreach & Awareness Project (VetSOAP), a non-profit initiative aimed at demonstrating the benefits of collaborative care to all members of the profession.

A frequent lecturer, Brogdon has presented at ACVIM, VSIPP, AAHA, NAVC, and AVMA. She regularly contributes to industry trade publications and published 101 Veterinary Marketing Questions Answered, available through AAHA Press. Active in the profession, Robin is a member of VetPartners, previously serving as Chair of the Communications Committee, is a member of the Practice Management Committee for IVECCS. Robin also served six years on the Board of Directors of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Foundation and in 2016 was presented with the Distinguished Service Award. She was the first non-veterinarian to hold this position and earn this distinction.

Raised in suburban Baltimore, Brogdon relocated to southern California more than 25 years ago. She and her husband reside in Huntington Beach with their rescued, mixed-breed dogs. In her free time, you can usually find them at the beach or hiking the red rock canyons of southern Utah.

Jim Clark – Project Lead and Faculty Director, Economic Overview of Vet Industry

Dr. Jim Clark

Dr. Jim Clark is an entrepreneur, multi-practice owner, consultant, and professor with more than 30 years of experience in veterinary practice.  He received his veterinary degree from U.C. Davis in 1988, earning the Hill’s Small Animal Clinical Competency award as a Senior.  During his first five years in practice, Clark worked in several large, multi-doctor general practices in Napa and San Diego.  He developed a passion for emergency and critical medicine and practiced exclusively in this area for 20 years.   

In 1993, Clark co-founded the Pet Emergency & Specialty Center in San Diego.  While growing this practice, he also worked as an adjunct professor at San Diego Mesa College for five years, teaching in an RVT training program.  In 1998, Clark co-founded his second practice, the Pet Emergency & Specialty Center of Marin in San Rafael.  In 2002, he completed a two-year MBA program at the San Diego State College of Business Administration, graduating as valedictorian. 

After relocating his family to the Bay Area in 2002, Clark completed a one-year fellowship in emergency and critical care medicine at U.C. Davis.  He and his partners acquired two additional emergency/specialty practices, the PETS Referral Center in Berkeley and the Solano-Napa Pet Emergency Clinic in Fairfield.  These three practices currently employ more than 150 team members, including doctors specializing in internal medicine, surgery, oncology, ophthalmology, and dermatology.

Clark is a national speaker on veterinary practice management and served as Editor-in-Chief of the national peer-reviewed journal Veterinary Team Brief.  Clark is active in local and state professional associations as well as volunteer organizations assisting pets and people.  He is a past President of the Marin County Veterinary Medical Association and has served on numerous boards, including the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society, Marin Humane Society, and VIN Foundation.  He also served as Chairperson of CVMA’s Economic Issues Committee, helping develop the first comprehensive economic survey of California veterinarians.    

In 2010, Clark joined the faculty of the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine as a part-time faculty professor overseeing the professional skills curriculum, including instruction in leadership, professionalism, communication, mental health, critical thinking, and business management.  As leader of the “Doctoring” course, he greatly enjoys working with and learning from his students.  Clark also enjoys working with many skilled colleagues at Davis and in private clinical practice.  Under his direction, the Doctoring course has undergone numerous revisions is now a highly-rated part of the school’s curriculum.  Clark received the 2016 Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award at UC Davis and the 2017 national SAVMA Teaching Excellence Award.  His personal interests include volunteer work, travel, hiking, backpacking, skiing, wake surfing, target shooting, and kayaking.

Jim DeLano – Topics Covered: In Person Financial Analysis

Jim DeLano

Dr. Jim DeLano is a veterinarian and entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in veterinary practice leadership and management.  He currently owns and serves as active manager at seven thriving companies in the “pet space”, collectively generating 21M in annual revenue. At the same time, he works with three startups in the pet space, two involving AI, where he serves advisory and investment roles.

His practice ownership career was launched with a de novo in 1989. The 30-year run of this practice has seen two relocations, a merger and an acquisition, and it currently employs 110 staff caring for over 12,000 families and their pets annually. Developing and growing engaged staff is one of his passions.

Based on his leadership in the profession and the larger business community, Dr. DeLano was recently asked to join the AVMA Trust (a merger of AVMA LIFE and AVMA PLIT), where he and his colleagues are tasked with charting the next four decades of services for the AVMA membership. He serves as the Vice Chair of the AVMA Trust as well as the Chair of the Finance Committee, overseeing finance, audits and investments. Dr. DeLano has also served as a director on several nonprofit and for-profit boards for over a decade.

His national speaking career launched in 2017 following presentation of Organized Onboarding™ and Mentoring Communications of Veterinary Associates™ to 700 practice owners and managers at the biennial VSG Veterinary Congress. Associates trained with Organized Onboarding™ have generated 46% higher annual revenues than previous associates, allowing them to earn an average of $35,000 more in gross wages in their first year. His data driven approach to sharing the challenges and successes of a 30-year practice-owner career lend validity to his presentations.

In addition to his work in practice and at a national level in the profession, Dr. DeLano has served as an adjunct instructor in communication and business at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.  For the past eight years he has assisted in the development of a robust communication skills training program for veterinary students. Annually, he oversees a Salary Negotiation Lab for the VM III’s where students practice negotiating contract terms. Measurable outcomes detail higher starting wages as well as a narrowing of the gender pay gap for graduates of UC Davis’ College of Veterinary Medicine.

Gina Dokko – Topics Covered: Online Strategy and Human Resources

Gina Dokko 1

Associate Professor Gina Dokko’s research focuses on organizational theory and behavior, careers, social networks, and technology and innovation. Recently she’s been examining the consequences of job mobility, especially in light of today’s high unemployment rates. She studies how portable experience is, and how peoples’ job mobility and career histories enable and constrain learning, innovation, performance and social capital for both themselves and their employers. For example, although firms hire people based on related experience, Dokko’s research finds that having a diverse career helps an employee’s innovative performance.

Dokko’s current projects include an investigation of how corporate venture capital managers’ work backgrounds affect investment strategies in the IT sector, and how the range of jobs an entrepreneur has had affects their ability to secure venture capital funding as well as the performance of their ventures.

Dokko has published in the journals Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Studies and Research Policy. She has presented her research internationally at the Academy of Management Meetings; the Strategic Management Society Meetings; the Wharton Organizational Behavior Conference; the Organization Science Winter Conference; the Israel Strategy Conference; and the European Group on Organization Studies.

Before starting her doctoral studies Dokko worked in strategy and marketing at American Express and 3M.

Dokko received her Ph.D. in management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a M.S. in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University and earned a B.S. in economics, also from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a former assistant professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Whitney Hischier – Topics Covered: In Person Strategy and HR

Whitney Hischier

Whitney Hischier is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business, as well as an international executive education consultant and business coach. Her career spans 20 years of business turn-arounds, entrepreneurship, management consulting, and executive education, including a decade as Assistant Dean of Executive Education for UC Berkeley. At Haas, Hischier teaches experiential and consulting-based courses, including Startup Lab, International Business Development, Natural Leadership (equine guided education), Managing and Motivating People, and Problem Finding Problem Solving.

Gregory Perelman – Topics Covered: Online Finance

Gregory Perelman

Visiting Faculty Gregory Perelman has worked in the U.S. banking industry since 1990. For the last 15 years he has been employed by Wells Fargo Bank in various finance and management positions. He is based in San Francisco, where he conducts analysis of small business credit markets in the U.S. and internationally.

Perelman has been an adjunct professor at California State University since 2001 and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in corporate finance, economics, bank management, financial institutions and business statistics. He has also lectured internationally at various graduate programs in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Lithuania.

He holds a Ph.D. in business history from the Russian State University of Humanities in Moscow, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and B.A. in economics from UC Los Angeles.

Jeff Sanford – Lead for Capstone Project

Jeff Sanford

Mr. Sanford teaches Practice Management at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and consults with veterinarians in Georgia and across the country. He teaches specialized business education programs for veterinarians and has developed industry assessment tools including the Practice Mapping Growth Tool, Practice Performance Health Check, Strategic Marketing Assessment for Veterinary Practices, Activity Based Costing Analysis for Understanding Fees Structures and the Practice Valuation Assessment.

In 2007, Sanford piloted practice management rotations at the UGA CVM and has expanded the program to University of Florida, Auburn, North Carolina State, Michigan State, and Washington State.  Today over 300 students and 200 practices have participated in the rotations.  Many participating practices have had recorded revenue growth in excess of 30% a year and profits above 30% of gross. Overall he has evaluated over 500 practices. 

His accomplishments include assisting over 150 veterinarians to start or buy practices with a capital formation of over $370 million in loans. Sanford was the 2014 recipient of the Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award which is UGA’s highest award for teaching and contributions to improving the quality of life in Georgia or elsewhere. He is currently working on his PhD in Adult Education.Sanford has been named the 2014 recipient of the Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award presented annually by the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. The Hill Fellow Award is UGA’s highest award in public service and outreach, recognizing sustained, distinguished achievement and contributions to improving the quality of life in Georgia or elsewhere.

Dean H. Rao Unnava – Topics Covered: Online Marketing

Dean H. Rao Unnava

Dean and Professor H. Rao Unnava’s research focuses on issues related to brand loyalty, consumer response to advertising and sales promotions and consumer memory. His work has appeared in the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Marketing Letters, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of International Consumer Marketing and Advances in Consumer Research. He is on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Unnava’s teaching experience includes courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including marketing management and strategy, marketing research, consumer behavior, promotional strategy, human memory processes and international marketing. He was named Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher by the student chapter of American Marketing Association seven times, won the Westerbeck Undergraduate teaching award twice, and was awarded the Bostic-Georges service award in 2014.

Unnava joined the Graduate School of Management in June 2016 following 32 years at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, where he earned his Ph.D. and most recently served as the W. Arthur Cullman professor of marketing. At the Fisher College of Business, Unnava also served as the associate dean of undergraduate programs, associate dean of executive education, and director of doctoral programs in business.

Unnava is also one of the founders of Angie’s List. He is on the board of directors of the American Marketing Association, and serves on the board of the Bay Area Council, the largest business-centric public policy organization in the San Francisco region

Unnava earned his Ph.D. in business administration from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, his Post Graduate Diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, and his B.Tech. in electronics engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.