Making a Difference in the Community as a Community

community teamwork with hands together
Dec 8, 2020 at 12:44 pm
Jeff Thoren, DVM, PCC, BCC

The idea of community has been an integral part of VetPartners since the very beginning. The VetPartners mission is all about building a collaborative community that ultimately benefits the veterinary profession. And community is also one of our core values.

In their new book, Humanocracy, authors Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini define community as “a network of trust relationships among people who are breaking new ground and have a shared passion for making a difference.”

I think their definition aptly describes the culture we aspire to create and sustain within VetPartners.

VetPartners members: Riding together (yet apart) to make a difference

The desire to “make a difference” is definitely something VetPartners members share, and there are many opportunities for us to have a positive impact within the profession. If we get creative, though, we can discover other opportunities to make a difference that are outside our normal focus within the veterinary field.

For example, in October of this year a group of six avid cyclists—including VetPartners members Clint Latham, Jim Remillard, and myself—rallied together to participate in the Canyon Ride Santa Barbara 100. The event, which is normally a century (100-mile) ride in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, went virtual this year. It involved a 100-mile challenge (ride 100 miles, or more, within a 9-day period) as well as a team challenge (complete the most miles as a team in 9 days).

man cycling on open road

A portion of each of our registration fees went to support the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, which has seen the need for food assistance double since March. Specifically, each registration fee was estimated to provide 100 meals for individuals and families in need!

Clint had this to say about the experience: “I loved how a group of us who loves biking came together to participate in something outside our normal business realm, and that we made a difference in the community by doing something together!”

I believe all six of us—including our non-VetPartners colleagues Darcy Shaw, Jason Wood, and Robbie Robins—would agree with that statement.

On a personal note, the virtual event also provided an incentive for us to log some additional miles in the saddle. As proof of that, four of us finished in the top 20 (out of more than 150 riders) in total miles, and our team, Pet Cycology, finished second in miles ridden with a total of 1,290! Yes, some us are a bit competitive! 😊

Making a difference by doing something we love with others in our community! That’s VetPartners, and the possibilities are endless!

Share your VetPartners story

How has VetPartners changed your life or your business?  We want to hear your story! If VetPartners has had a profound impact on you, and you’d like to share your story on the VetPartners blog, contact Sarah Rumple at for details!

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Jeff is an enlightened rebel who seeks a creative destruction of the status quo. He is inspired by an idealistic vision of a better workplace experience and is determined and creative in his pursuit of it. The majority of organizations today still rely on industrial age management practices and paternalistic forms of leadership. Jeff's personal mission is to increase awareness around these outdated behaviors and point the way to innovative new solutions. Jeff is talented at seeing things in unique and though-provoking ways and challenges others to think outside the box. He is compelled to rouse people from conformity and to inspire them to see how they can act to make a difference. In his life and work, Jeff values uniqueness (the need to express personal gifts and creativity), wholeness (the need to feel sufficient as an individual and connected to others as part of something larger), lightheartedness (the need for joyful experience), and justice (the need to live by shared human values and to shift from "power over" to "power with"). Jeff encourages you to be part of a cultural rebellion that leads to positive change, reform, and renewal. Together, we can accelerate the shift to a more humane workplace and world!

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