Second Ireland Leaders’ Forum 2023

The second Ireland Leaders’ Forum took place earlier this month, giving over 100 colleagues the chance to network, attend workshops and breakout sessions, listen to incredible speakers and celebrate some Brilliant People from across our network.

Taking place at the Killashee Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildareon, it was another wonderful opportunity for colleagues to catch up and recognise milestones reached in 2023.

The event started off with a welcome from UK CEO Duncan Phillips, where he introduced the agenda for the day as well as running over the future direction of the group, strategic priorities and initiatives as well as the evolving support structure that colleagues could expect to see in the near future.

After running through support and clinical focuses, attendees were then treated to a talk from keynote speaker

Jim Gavin, who previously coached the Dublin Men’s Senior Gaelic Football Team, was the Chief Operations Officer at the Irish Aviation Authority and holds the title of Doctor of Philosophy from Dublin City University.

Jim spoke mainly about leadership and motivation, drawing on his diverse career path, as well as experiences in the military, to elaborate on the different ways that you can achieve optimal performance on a personal level, and as part of a functional team.

Other highlights in the agenda included Finnbarr Heslin (Ireland’s Country Medical Director) speaking about career development, Alex Kearsley-Fleet (Group Commercial Development Director) introducing Wellness Screenings and two separate breakout sessions covering a variety of relevant topics.

Brilliant People shine on night of celebration

After the day’s activities had concluded, attendees were treated to a full gala dinner including drinks reception, before the Brilliant People Awards commenced. This year there were finalists for ten awards, all nominated by colleagues and celebrated for their achievements and dedication.

The following is the full list of winners on the night:
•    We Care (Clinical) – Danielle Heekes, Ark Vets
•    We Care (Non-Clinical) – Fiona Ryan, Brittas Veterinary Hospital
•    We Dare (Clinical) – Zoe O’Hagan, O’Dowd Veterinary
•    We Dare (Non-Clinical) – Roisin Johnson, City Vets
•    We Share (Clinical) – Amy Phillips Wood, Shenick Veterinary Centre
•    We Share (Non-Clinical) – Delia Daly, Sunbeam Veterinary Hospital
•    Client Hero – Kayleigh Richardson, Allpets Veterinary Hospital
•    Care Fund – Natasha Lange, Brittas Veterinary Hospital
•    Sustainability – Seamus Tubridy – Lakeside Veterinary Centre
•    Team of the Year – O’Shea, Bramley and Breen Veterinary Hospital

In addition, the event was also generously sponsored by 15 partners listed below, who also exhibited at the event:
•    Boehringer Ingelheim
•    MSD Animal Health
•    Zoetis
•    Chanelle
•    Virbac
•    Purina Proplan
•    Elanco
•    Norbrook
•    IDEXX
•    Hill’s Transforming Lives
•    Covetrus
•    iM3
•    Duggan Veterinary
•    Veterinary Pathology Group
•    Futurform

There was plenty of positive feedback from the event itself as well, with a few anonymous extracts featured below:

“An excellent event, well organised. Looking forward to next year!”

“Good flow to the event, relaxed atmosphere and well organised. Interesting speakers and topics, thought provoking and will bring plenty of suggestions/actions back to practice.”

“Really enjoyed the event and coming back to my practice highly motivated to improve the practice in 2024.”