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ASHLEY FORRESTER

The Full Story

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I am a wife to my incredibly supportive husband Dustin and mother to our wonderfully talented 8-year-old son, Gauge. We live north of Atlanta, Georgia, and are proud to be from the Peach State.

Baseball is our passion; our son has played with the same travel team for two and a half years. But, we live for Georgia football, Go Dawgs! Watching the Braves win a World Series and the University of Georgia winning the National Championship has been the highlight of the century for our house!

We have one dog named Georgia; she is a 5-year-old mixed breed that is spoiled. We are owned by one cat, Julian, a 15ish-year-old domestic shorthair who is spunky for an older man! He has a heart condition and IBS; as a result, he is on several medications daily and takes them like a champ as long as he is rewarded with treats!


Professionally, I started working in the veterinary profession in 2004. I have worked in every position within a practice, except for DVM. In 2017, I became a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM). I have been a VHMA and Georgia Veterinary Managers Association member since 2015. I have spent the last four years obtaining my Associate's degree in Frontline Leadership and Bachelors's degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Charleston, West Virginia (UCWV).

I have been dedicated to the veterinary profession since the day I started. I remember being amazed at the entire process. I started as a Customer Service Representative (CSR) and quickly requested a transfer to the kennel; I wanted to work more hands-on with the pets. I became a veterinary assistant and eventually worked as a non-certified veterinary technician in the coming years. I spent a few years managing a boarding-only facility and another few years managing a feline-only practice. In 2015, I was hired for my first official practice manager position at a three doctor practice. I left that position in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. I have spent the last year and a half continuing my education and being a stay-at-home mom.

Throughout my classes at UCWV, I have studied the "gold standard" for organizational leadership; I have analyzed my past positions and my leadership during that time. I have reflected on things that I did well and things that I wish I could go back and change. I have considered changing career paths but always come back to the veterinary profession. My heart is to take my experiences and knowledge and share as much as possible with the veterinary profession.

Leadership is different than management, and it should be treated as such. "You manage thing; You Lead People, "Grace Murray Hopper. I plan to add blogs and information regarding leadership that will benefit any veterinary practice. The goal is to grow Practice Leaders, not just practice managers.

The functionality side of VetCrate was created to help veterinary managers and owners with daily issues within the veterinary practice. My main goal is the employees; how we interact with them, take care of them, attract them, and ultimately retain them. I want to help others fall in love with one of my first loves, veterinary medicine. Practice culture is a top priority when dealing with employees, and it is directly related to the employee's engagement with the practice.

My strength in organization helps with day-to-day issues dealing with the business side of the practice, presenting solutions to common problems such as inventory, and giving the tools to tackle the less common. From common forms to meeting schedules and templates, I have tried my best to compile my years of knowledge into one place.

My hope and desire are that you find these programs valuable and stress-free; the point is to eliminate some of the stress that plagues you as a manager or owner. The opportunity for growth on the leadership side of the veterinary profession is exponential. This is continued work in progress and will be added to and updated regularly.