was successfully added to your cart.

#VLE2018 Save the Date

June 4-9th, 2018


Become a VLI Sustainer

Join others who are making a direct contribution to our profession.


Welcome to The Veterinary Leadership Institute (VLI), a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of healthy and resilient leaders who can make a positive difference for the profession.

Click Here for a Note From Our Director

Our Team

Dr. Betsy Charles

Executive Director

In addition to her role as the Executive Director of the VLI, Dr. Charles is also an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Western University of Health Sciences.

Dr. Karen Cornell

Board of Directors

Dr. Cornell is a professor and the Associate Dean for Professional Programs at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Lauren Olavessen

Board of Directors

Dr. Olavessen is a Senior Manager for the Medical Outreach Programs at Idexx.

Dr. Kenita Rogers

Board of Directors

Dr. Rogers is the Executive Associate Dean and Professor at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Darcy Shaw

Board of Directors

Dr. Shaw is a recently retired and adjunct professor of small animal internal medicine in the Dept. of Companion Animals, Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

What's New

Home Improvement Using Myers Briggs Preference

By | Emotional Intelligence | No Comments

One dreary winter in North America during some of the most frigid temperatures the Polar Vortex blew our way, we chose to maintain our constantly running toilet as a (likely misguided) attempt at keeping our pipes from freezing. A constantly running toilet = a faucet on drip?! SURE!?


Once we were defrosted and on the more sunny side of the seasons, and in a fit of active procrastination (I most certainly should be studying for boards), I decided it’s high time to fix our toilet.


A few things you should know before this story unfolds. I’m an ENFP. My spouse is an ISTJ. I’ll also have you know I have a background in drafting, was raised by a carpenter, and feel strongly that, for better or worse, I have a knack for “seeing how things ought to go together.” (The latter most clearly asserting my iNtuition preference with a sprinkle of Feeling.)


With this ill-advised and free-form confidence in minor home repairs, I often make claims about the “ease of a project” and can usually be found stating something along the lines of, “should be no big deal.”


I examined the inter-workings of the tank assembly, looked up a YouTube video (honestly only watched about ⅓ of it before determining this was most definitely no big deal), and headed out to Ace Hardware with every intention of fixing our toilet.


If you’ve ever done a project of any magnitude, there is never just one trip to the home improvement store. This project was no exception. Two trips in, I’ve completely replaced every aspect of the inner workings of the tank as well as the water line. Let’s be real, I was feeling great at this point! Unfortunately, though, there was a persistent and pesky leak. From taking it all apart and putting it back together a minimum of 17 times, I was certain it was a big gasket that connects the tank to the bowl that was the problem.


At this point, I had been at it for around 2-ish hours and was definitely ready for a break as I felt myself bordering on hangry. I call Jason into the bathroom to proudly display my progress and expertly proclaim my near certainty of the part necessary to fix the leak complete with prop demonstrations. We decided leaving the house to get dinner was best, plus we can stop on the way home to get the final part to literally seal the deal.


At this point, I sat down and examined the directions. (Yes, for the first time.) In doing so, I note a small area of text that mentions if you have a Gerber toilet, you will have to buy a special oversized Gerber tank-to-bowl gasket. I look and confirm that we, in fact, have a Gerber toilet!! A rush of righteous joy washed over me and I walked out to share this awesome news with Jason. Wide eyed and still holding the directions I start, “I was just reading the directions…”


He cut me off. “You were just now reading the directions?”


We had a good long laugh about it. A situation that so perfectly epitomizes my approach to many of life’s tasks, that demonstrates the reason he and I are a good pair, how we all need balance, and that without a doubt screams my preference for iNtuition.


In what ways do you find yourself living up to your MBTI preference(s)?


You are Only Confined by the Walls You Build Yourself

By | Emotional Intelligence, Inspiration | No Comments
I have mixed emotions when I think about attending Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE), hosted by the Veterinary Leadership Institute, again.

As a first-year DVM student at the University of Sydney, I was lucky enough to be selected to attend VLE 2016. I had no idea what to expect from this week-long camp, which helps people “learn the skills necessary to be healthy and resilient so they can become people of positive influence”, but I do know that it was life changing, in the ‘how do I even put that into words’ kind of way. There are some things in life that we don’t know how much we need them until we find them – that’s exactly how I felt about VLE 2016.

Read More

Jump in with a Smile

By | In Practice, Inspiration | No Comments

If you had a few hours to engage with experienced, high-achieving veterinarians reflecting on their career and providing advice, what would you ask? If you were given challenging advice, would you take it?

I was recently afforded this scenario as part of my state veterinary medical association’s Power of 10 Program. This program, designed to develop young veterinary leaders on the state level, provided me with a golden ticket to the Past-President’s luncheon for the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association.

As we mingled with colleagues and mentors from across the state, it became clear that the roughly twenty previous KVMA Presidents we were dining with were going to leave a lasting impression. Read More