For the third year, dvm360 is recognizing industry professionals who are advancing the field and improving the lives of patients, clients, and staff with our Client Service Representative winner, Roberta Trollinger
dvm360 is pleased to present the 2023 class of Veterinary Heroes. Nominated by their peers and selected for the recognition by a committee of esteemed veterinary professionals, 15 award recipients were chosen in various veterinary industry roles and specialties in this third annual program.
The Veterinary Heroes recognition program—sponsored by PetSmart (corporate sponsor) as well as Blue Buffalo Natural, Nocita, TruCan and Trufel, Think Anesthesia, MedVet, Mount Laurel Animal Hospital, Nextmune, and Thrive Pet Healthcare (category sponsors)—celebrates the achievements of outstanding veterinary professionals who are advancing the field and making a difference in animal care. These winners will be honored on Thursday, August 24, 2023, in conjunction with a Fetch dvm360 conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
Make sure to register for Fetch Kansas City if you have not already!
Roberta Trollinger, a client service representative (CSR) with Boca Midtowne Animal Hospital in Boca Raton, Florida, doesn’t feel like a hero. “I’m just doing my job,” she humbly said. With more than 35 years of experience in the veterinary field, Trollinger started out in a kennel job and worked her way up to veterinary assistant and, ultimately, a hospital manager. These days, she sits at the front desk as a CSR greeting clients, which is where she said she belongs.
“I connect better with our clients face-to-face. We have a better relationship,” Trollinger said. “I like to have fun with them, and joke around with them, and make them feel comfortable when they come in here because sometimes they have really sick animals…and I calm them down and make them a little bit more comfortable.”
Her favorite part of being a CSR is talking with older people because they have incredible life stories to share. “They make me laugh,” Trollinger said. “I tell my son that you need to talk to older people. You can learn a lot from them.” She added that her son is her whole world and her most fulfilling personal accomplishment. “I’m just so proud of that boy,” she said. “He drives a BMW, and his mom drives a Hyundai.”
Trollinger noted that she has learned some valuable lessons being a CSR, a major one being to not take anything personally. “People react in different ways for different reasons,” she said. “They have a sick pet. They can’t pay their bill. They’re having a bad day. I have broad shoulders. I let it all roll off my shoulders.” She said she’s also learned the importance of separating your work life from your home life so you don’t “make yourself crazy.”
Along with being a CSR, Trollinger is a soon-to-be credentialed veterinary technician. She was inspired to pursue this credential because—despite her extensive experience in veterinary medicine—she said she felt like she was missing the book knowledge. “Plus, I want to prove to myself even though I’m 61 years old that I can do this, and I can get a degree in this field,” she said.
Trollinger said her mom served as a source of inspiration for her while growing up. Her mom raised 7 kids while working, and Trollinger was the youngest child. “She was very independent, which I find myself just like her,” Trollinger said. “She was a very good person, and she instilled that into me. You treat people the way you want to be treated, and it comes back to you. And she was so right.”
Trollinger thanked Boaz Man, DVM, owner and medical director of Boca Midtowne Animal Hospital, for nominating her for Veterinary Heroes. “If it [weren’t] for Dr Man, we would not be having this conversation,” Trollinger said. She also thanked the other anonymous colleagues who nominated her.
When Trollinger isn’t busy providing excellent customer service or completing homework assignments, her guilty pleasure is watching QVC, specifically In the Kitchen with David, featuring her favorite host, David Venable.
Both of Trollinger’s award nominators described her as “hardworking” and “loyal” and noted additional attributes. “Roberta is always involved in the community by helping her neighbors through pet sitting or giving neighborhood pet parents advice when they call. A community organizer brings people together, and that is exactly what Roberta does for us at our practice,” wrote one of her nominators.