10 finalists competing for Practice Manager of the Year


Final winner to be picked by panel of four expert judges and announced at CVC Kansas City.

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Many were nominated, dozens entered and now we've narrowed down the list to the top 10 finalists for the Veterinary Economics' Practice Manager of the Year award, sponsored by Veterinary Pet Insurance.

They've been praised as great leaders, quick and collaborative decision-makers, lifelong learners and managers who keep cool in a crisis.

Click through the pages that follow to get to know each of the nominees better.


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Shannon Alarcon

Bannock Animal Medical Center

Chubbuck, Idaho.

“Shannon goes above and beyond to make sure her staff and clients are happy and that problems are solved, not just pushed aside.” -nomination

Adapting to change

“When our practice owner decided he no longer wanted to practice veterinary medicine, his partner (another vet) was due to deliver her second child and my only other vet was a new graduate 6 months out of school. I had to adjust the doctor schedule from two part-time and one full time vet to just one full-time vet. I had to retrain my receptionists not to double-book our only doctor. I had to retrain my clients that we couldn't get them right in like we had in the past. And I had to ensure that my new graduate didn't burn out. I did this with the help of my team members. Without them, it would not have been possible.”

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Sandra Bertholf

Animal Medical of New City

New City, New York

Team motivation and management

“I try to remind everyone how their actions are reflective of our mission, because too often I think we fail to make the connection. So when I see one of my nurses spending time talking softly and reassuringly to a hospitalized patient, when I see my coworkers weeping with clients over the loss of a beloved pet, when I see one of my team members looking out for the well being of another, I point it out. I think it's important that someone be around to remind all of us that we really are trying, every day, to make pets, their owners and each other better.”

Adapting to change

“I became a manager because the practice required it of me. I'd like to take a stand for all the client care representatives, assistants, technicians and owners' husbands and wives who've stepped into the lonely, difficult world of practice management because they were asked to. Because they were needed. It is a journey that has made us better women and men, has healed tens of thousands of pets and hearts, and is an unshakable keystone in our veterinary industry.”

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Karen Cabaniss

Cleveland Park East Animal Hospital

Simpsonville, South Carolina

“Karen brings a superior level of patience to her job. She is quietly outgoing and exudes warmth. Working around her makes her coworkers want to be better.” -nomination

Lifelong learning

“The financial portion of [my CE] was eye opening. When I returned, we began a new accounting system for all three of our hospitals. Partners and managers were enthusiastic about being able to see where our hospitals were financially and excited to see our growth. I believe that after attending these programs I gained the confidence I needed to get things done by simply asking, ‘What's going on?' and taking the ‘Let's fix it' initiative.”

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