The predecessor of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG) was the Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA) that was established in 1993. The secretariat was originally undertaken by the Council of the time, and for the first few years after inception. Once the membership started to grow help was sourced from an external company to give admin support to the Council and this was originally provided by Malcolm McCoy Administration Services. Christine McCoy was the face of the secretariat and sub contracted the work to others including Linda Marshall and Maria Barratt who, having provided the admin support for a number of years already, were asked to take over and run the secretariat in 2002.
Linda and Maria stayed with the VPMA through the following decades, assisting numerous Councils and Presidents by providing administrative support and insightful advice gathered in their pivotal role through the growth and development of the Association. In autumn 2017 Linda Marshall moved onto pastures new after nearly 20 years of service and Maria was joined in the newly-branded VMG Office by Cath Grimsey.
Maria lives in Northamptonshire and her spare time (when she gets some) is spent with her family. She likes a challenge and took the opportunity to start dance lessons and performed on stage for the first time in her 40s!
Having amassed almost 20 years of service with VPMA Maria is now looking forward to the years ahead continuing to provide that same quality service for VMG. She is the backbone of the administration provided working on the membership services and processing all the finances. She enjoys speaking to members and then getting to meet them and put faces to names at Congress!
Cath lives in Lincolnshire and is a keen horse rider, dog walker (and fairy!). Her experience of practice management in both small animal and equine practice helps her to understand the unique pressures experienced by the VMG members.
Her passion is for supporting and developing the VMG regional meeting network as she truly believes that only the VMG can provide the opportunity for people with management responsibilities in veterinary business, and from all of the different models of veterinary industry including independent, group and corporate practices, to meet and share ideas and learn from some CPD in a safe environment over a cup of tea!
From my time in the charity sector and on a personal note I’ve seen first-hand the benefits pet ownership can bring to people and the loyalty provided in return. Over my time on the VMG board I hope to raise awareness of the social and economic issues facing pet owners today and the ways in which we as a profession can support those who are facing difficult times.