Rebekka Fiorani joined Clent Hills Veterinary Group in 1996 as a kennel hand, working after school and on Saturdays. Rebekka loved being around animals and this job gave her the perfect opportunity for that. In 2004, after working her way up through various roles, Rebekka was asked to become Practice Manager. In 2009, just 5 years later she was invited to join the company as one of the Directors. Now, after 20 years at Clent Hills Vets, Rebekka explains what keeps her motivated.
“When I joined Clent Hills all those years ago, I had no idea I’d be where I am today, leading a team of 60 over 3 branches and being so heavily involved in the vet industry that I was fortunate enough to be president of the VPMA (Veterinary Practice Managers Association) from 2010 – 2012.
As a kennel hand in 1996, my typical day involved cleaning – lots and lots of cleaning – looking after the patients before and after their procedures, assisting the vets in their consults, putting up medication and generally doing what was required.
At 18, I left school and was working full-time at an agricultural merchants and then working evenings and weekends at the practice, but I was keen to get more involved in the administration and client side of the Clent Hills business.
From kennel hand I progressed to receptionist and enjoyed getting to know our clients, supporting them day to day and feeling that I was really making a difference. I continued to learn about the business and progressed to branch manager in 2001 when I was 22, which came with a lot more responsibility and challenges.
In 2004, Pam Hampson who was the current practice manager retired and I was asked to become the practice manager for the Group.
Over the years we have developed a fantastic team and that has always been a huge part of why I love Clent Hills Vets. Some people are still here from the very beginning, and we’ve picked up some real gems along the way.
Even after just a few years Clent Hills Vets really felt like my home, my company, a place that I truly cared about, so I was delighted when in 2009, Rod and Alun asked me to become a director in the business. Without question, but with a large bank loan, I happily accepted my new role and haven’t looked back since.
As a business, I feel we are extremely fortunate to have 3 directors who are keen to grow the practice and are happy to try new treatments, procedures, equipment, anything that will enable us to provide an even better service to our clients and their pets.
I’ve been a key driver for the expansion into Rubery from the very start, the first conversations we had deciding if we were ready to expand, which location would work best, finding a suitable property, and I’ve been there in my scruffs on many occasions helping the builders get the new practice ready to open!
Outside of our practice, I’ve always felt it was important to be involved with the veterinary industry, to keep us sharp as a business and also give something back to my fellow veterinary workers.
In 2010 I became president of the VPMA, Veterinary Practice Management Association, which enabled me to keep up with veterinary trends, network with key players in the industry and share and learn new ideas that helped to shape our business.
My role at Clent Hills Vets has also enabled me to have a great work-life-balance, as I’m there to drop my daughter off at nursery in the morning and pick her up most days, and living just a stone’s throw away from the practice is ideal for me as a working mum, and for the practice as I can be there very quickly to cover our reception if someone is off sick. Yes, something a director is still happy to do!
All in all, I believe the way to a happy life is to do something you love day-to-day and ensure you have the right work-life-balance for you. Clent Hills Vets has helped me to achieve so much over the years and I wouldn’t want to work or manage anywhere else.”