Scroll To Top

Meet Our Team

25715
Bob
Bob van der Heijden, DVM
Coaching
Read More
Bob van der Heijden graduated from the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University in 1998. After two years of working as an employed equine practitioner, he became a co-owner of a horse clinic. Five years later, he started a second horse clinic in the south of the Netherlands.

After having worked as a horse vet for 16 years, he shifted his activities from the horse to the professional who performs medical treatments. Training as an NLP coach, conflict coach, NLP trainer and hike & survival instructor helped him make this transition.

Bob is now a coach and trainer with seven years of experience in assisting medical professionals with personal or work-related issues. “Working in a clinic or hospital is often working under high voltage. Not infrequently the attention for the person behind the professional falls short which can result in decreasing involvement and motivation”.

His mission as a coach is to guide these driven people in the development of more self-awareness about what they do, why they do it and why it is so important to them. As a trainer, he helps to translate these new insights to their work environment and the team.

Areas of Expertise & Interest

  • Offering coaching and training tailored to the individual or team.
  • Always looking for a different perspective, a new way of approach.
  • Helping people in their development by challenging them in outdoor activities.

Purpose statement

Support people with change; if you keep doing what you already did, you get what you already had.

More About Bob

Describe your background in veterinary medicine
Graduated in 1998 in the field of farm animals. Always worked in horse clinics with a special interest in orthopedics, or lameness.

Why are you interested in your areas of expertise?
Every person or team is different, and I must always present a tailor-made process or solution to meet the needs of the client as much as possible. Since all kinds of things have already happened, the client is not looking for a repeat of what has been done, but for something totally new. Helping people in this manner gives me satisfaction.

Why are you involved in Oculus?
Oculus offers management services in a market that is searching. Business management within veterinary medicine is changing rapidly, Oculus pays attention to the people who are going through this change. I am happy to contribute to that.

What has been your most satisfying day or event working with a client?
There are many, but every time it is fantastic to experience the moment when people start to see opportunities to go further and take new steps.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would start doing?
That they get more attention for what the people within the practice really think is important. This will only increase involvement.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would stop doing?
Stop judging employees on what they do wrong but offer support in developing what they do well.

What do you do to relax?
I love to grab my backpack and go to the forest or into the mountains. Intense wilderness experiences where your knowledge and skills are challenged gives the greatest relaxation.

What is a secret skill you have?
I can literally make fire in five different ways. Figuratively speaking, I like to light a fire to get people moving.

25701
Glenn
Glenn Armstrong DVM, MBA
Strategy
Read More
After 20 years of mixed animal practice as a veterinarian and owner, the downturn in veterinary practice in 2010 had me looking for solutions. I was frustrated with the lack of control over business outcomes and the lack of tools available to plan and organize. I was uncomfortable being at the whim of the economy. I wanted the ability to have a proactive impact on my practice. I was looking for further education and a challenge. I decided on an MBA at the Ivey Business School, Western.

The program opened a whole new world of opportunities and tools that could be taken from other businesses and applied to veterinary medicine. Yes, we can actually use business knowledge and theories to run a veterinary practice, create a strategy, formulate plans and create responsive human resources systems. The end goal of my plans was to have a practice that reflected the additive, sustainable impact of multiple initiatives and be able to leave my practice for short periods and have it run smoothly without me.

My original attraction to the industry was being able to combine medicine, science and economics all in the same career. The joy of practice ended up being able to help producers lead more rewarding careers and my ability to have a real positive impact on animal health and welfare. As it turns out, people were the key to all my goals. We all start to be animal well-being advocates. To pursue that end we also need to be people well-being advocates. My passion now lies in helping people help people.

Areas of Expertise & Interest

  • Strategy development
  • Long term planning, goal setting and execution
  • Employee engagement
  • Opportunity identification and business planning for economic improvement
  • Ownership negotiations and mediation

Purpose statement

To help make veterinary medicine a desired career people are proud to be a part of.

More About Glenn

Why are you interested in your areas of expertise?
I want to empower veterinarians and managers, provide tools and help people implement plans that will increase the enjoyment of their work both financially and personally.

Why are you involved in Oculus?
To further visions and goals, it helps to have momentum from other like-minded people that share your values. I chose to align myself with Oculus due to their proven track record, their commitment to the industry and their independent, out of the box thinking.

What has been your most satisfying day or event working with a client?
Being able to help create a practical exit strategy and creating a plan to help the practitioner move towards her career and personal goals. Her response of “thankyou, thankyou, thankyou” was truly rewarding.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would start doing?
Start a planning process with a consultation to utilize staff expertise. Decide what you stand for, what you want and where you want to go. This would provide a starting point for a plan.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would stop doing?
Stop ignoring economic and human resources issues because they may require work to solve.

What do you do to relax?
I enjoy playing squash as it requires the complete focus of the task at hand. I enjoy spending time outside in nature with my family.

What is a secret skill you have?
Through an atmosphere of humour, I help people address their business concerns by removing any fear they might have.

25698
Joop
Joop Loomans DVM, PhD, MBA
Europe Manager & Strategy
Read More

Joop Loomans graduated at the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University the Netherlands in 1988. The first thirteen years of his career he was an associate and later partner in an eight-vet mixed practice in the east of the Netherlands. His main field of interest was in equine and large animal practice with a special focus on management.

In 2001 Joop was asked to join the Department of Equine Sciences at Utrecht University to lead and grow the Equine Clinic.

Another mission was to perform scientific research on the social and economic situation of equine veterinarians, including market research in the field of (semi) professional horse owners. This resulted in many submitted scientific articles in international peer-reviewed veterinary journals, lectures all around the world and a doctoral thesis entitled: “The equine veterinarian: past present and prospects of a profession”.

With Bob Magnus, Joop organized the “Equine Business Management Strategies International” in Europe, Australia and the United States. In 2010 Joop was asked by the management of the Department of Equine Sciences, Utrecht University to perform a fact-finding mission at Heilan International Equestrian Club in China. This resulted in a long-time relationship. Until September 2019, Joop was designer and Chief Veterinarian of the newly build first western equine clinic in mainland China and team veterinarian for the Jiangsu province eventing, show-jumping and dressage teams.

In April 2020, Joop will finish a two-year Executive Medical Business Education program (EMBA).

Areas of Expertise & Interest

  • Leadership and Change Management
  • Practice Strategy Development
  • Veterinary Business Development
  • Creating Business Education and Leadership Programs
  • Networking

Purpose statement

My purpose is to help veterinary practices thrive and be the place of preference for young and bright veterinarians.

More About Joop

Describe your background in veterinary medicine:

I have been working in and on veterinary practices all over the world. In the beginning all species and later more focussed on equine sport horses. Apart from the veterinary professional skills, from the start of my career education and management have been incorporated in my daily work and life.

Why are you interested in your areas of expertise?

When possible, I still work on my son’s sport horses. However, recently my focus is on developing business education and leadership programs for veterinary practices, coaching leaders and practice owners and developing new business plans.

Why are you involved in Oculus?

Oculus provides us with a framework and an international network of people who share my purpose. This group of people has a lot of experience and developed skills and tools that can be used to grow veterinary practices and veterinarians.

What has been your most satisfying day or event working with a client?

I am very proud and grateful to have been in a position to create and lead a team that builds, educated and staffed the first western equine clinic in China. It has become a high-level sport horse clinic that would fit anywhere in the world.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would start doing?

Develop a strategy for the future of your practice and our profession!

What do you wish most veterinary practices would stop doing?

Stop being only firefighters.

What do you do to relax?

Read, make long hikes or bike rides with my wife and enjoy culture (people, landscapes, buildings, art, drinks and food!) in my own country or abroad.

What is a secret skill you have?

I connect people from different backgrounds, disciplines, professions, countries and continents.

25702
Katie
Katie Ardeline BA, CHRL
Human Resources
Read More
I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and am a certified Human Resources professional (CHRL) with 10+ years of management experience in the veterinary field, including 8 years as the Operations Manager at a large, multi-location equine practice in the Greater Toronto Area. During my time in an applied practice management role, I was fortunate to be allowed to develop and test many of the HR and offerings Oculus now provides. As a Partner at Oculus Insights since 2018, I am most energized when I’m able to help staff, managers and owners find their paths to greater work satisfaction and engagement through self-awareness and humility. I believe that open, honest and respectful communication between colleagues along with a clear mutual understanding of what peoples’ roles and expectations are could be considered the two basic building blocks for any successful business.

Areas of Expertise & Interest

  • Guiding management and staff to greater levels of self-awareness and emotional intelligence
  • Performance Management and Crucial Conversations
  • Intentional strategies to improve employee engagement

Purpose statement

Businesses exist to serve their employees, not vice versa, and everyone at every level in an organization can flourish given the right balance of support and autonomy.

More About Katie:

Describe your background in veterinary medicine:

I was the operations manager at McKee-Pownall Equine Services in Toronto, Ontario for 8 years, playing a well-rounded variety of roles from pure operations management and planning to HR management to client service.

Why are you interested in your areas of expertise?

I love to see people flourish and grow in their roles, and I believe HR has a unique role to play in positioning people for success, even if their journey involves some ‘hard stuff’ and lessons in self-awareness.

Why are you involved in Oculus?

While veterinarians are exceptional people and are very dedicated to the animals and people they serve, they often don’t have the motivation, knowledge or time to work on their internal business process, including HR.

I am happy to bring some of the programs and initiatives that we have developed and tested over the years to a wider audience of veterinary clients across the globe.

What has been your most satisfying day or event working with a client?

I can’t think of one particular moment, however, what is most satisfying for me is working with a client over some time and seeing the progression of the team and the people, seeing skills we have taught them in action. Delivering training that goes overtime because there is so much input from the staff is incredibly rewarding.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would start doing?

Asking their employees for input, and being more transparent in their communication, as well as providing support and continuing education for all levels of clinic staff. Veterinary medicine by nature encourages a traditional, top-down style of management, and we need to evaluate as to whether this model is what is going to keep us successful as the competition for talent at all levels continues to intensify.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would stop doing?

I wish veterinary practices would take a more strategy-driven, intentional view towards their businesses, moving toward greater proactivity instead of being reactive.

What do you do to relax?

Running long distances on very remote trails, birdwatching, listening to non-business audiobooks, and horseback riding.

What is a secret skill you have?

I play the tenor saxophone and flute. I am a huge jazz fan!

25699
Dr. Pownall
Mike Pownall, DVM, MBA
Canada Manager, Marketing & Strategy
Read More
Prior to becoming a veterinarian, Dr. Mike Pownall worked as a farrier for seven years. His interest in equine lameness led him to attend the Ontario Veterinary College, graduating in 2001. In 2002 he and his wife, Dr. Melissa McKee, started McKee-Pownall Equine Services.

Their organization is represented by 3 equine veterinary clinics with 13 vets and 35 support staff spread across the Greater Toronto Area and one practice in Wellington, Florida. He is also a partner with Oculus Insights offering business management and education to veterinarians throughout the world.

Dr. Pownall received his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, and was the class valedictorian. He presents internationally on business strategy, human resources, pricing, and marketing for veterinarians. He also contributes to numerous journals on business management topics.

Dr. Pownall has a blog and podcast on veterinary business management at www.veterinarybusinessmatters.com.

Areas of Expertise & Interest

  • Strategy development
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • Developing new business ideas
  • Public speaking

Purpose statement

My purpose in operating my own veterinary business or helping others in the profession is to make the veterinary workplace and profession somewhere that people are eager to go to every day. I want people to be excited to go to work and share that enthusiasm with their clients and patients.

More About Mike

Describe your background in veterinary medicine:

I was a full-time equine veterinarian for 10 years, but the allure of managing the business kept at me until I transitioned into full-time management. I think of making my business better while taking care of my employees as being similar to diagnosing the illness of a sick animal and recommending the appropriate treatments.

Why are you interested in your areas of expertise?

Veterinary medicine is a very challenging business on its own, and the challenges of managing a business make it even tougher. I want to help veterinary team members achieve professional and personal satisfaction so that they remain in the profession for as long as they can.

Why are you involved in Oculus?

When I was studying for my MBA I saw so many opportunities to help veterinary businesses. When I joined Oculus, it was just Joop and Bob and I valued their focus on helping veterinarians and their staff be the best that they can be. That still remains even though we have grown so much. We want to make the profession be something that we all can be proud of.

What has been your most satisfying day or event working with a client?

I remember the first time that a practice owner realized that with a few little changes they could create the business and profession they always wanted. It’s happened several times since then and the feeling of satisfaction never gets old.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would start doing?

I wish veterinary practices would start being proactive and plan their future by creating a strategy to where they want to go. I would also like them to appreciate their staff as assets that make the business better, not as expenses to be minimized. Our people are what makes our business great.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would stop doing?

I really wish veterinary practices would stop being fearful of the future of our profession. There are so many opportunities!

What do you do to relax?

My wife and I love to travel, read, exercise, and go to the theatre. I get my best business ideas when I’m doing something totally different.

What is a secret skill you have?

I’m a bit of a news fanatic. I read so many online sources and magazines every day from all over the world. If you want to know what is going on somewhere I might know a little bit about it.

25697
Robert
Robert P. Magnus DVM, MBA
USA Manager, Finances & On-site Management
Read More
An entrepreneur with unique skill sets and interests; strategic planning, leadership, and a love for the details that support the plan. My passion is learning and teaching new skills in business, leading with a customer focus to enhance building successful and sustainable enterprises

Areas of Expertise and Interest:

  • Reporting and Dashboards
  • Negotiation at many levels
  • Proactive management approaches to operations
  • Building solutions for the independent practitioner
  • Playing a role in developing managers within a business

Purpose Statement

I enjoy bridging the gap between great ideas and the implementation necessary to help our clients realize positive outcomes

More About Bob

Describe your background in veterinary medicine:
I grew up as a horse trainer and have had a passion to medically care for horses all my life. In 1992, I started my own practice out of my house and built a large referral and ambulatory practice. As an equine practitioner, I focused on sports medicine and lameness.

Why are you interested in your areas of expertise?
I like Identifying business challenges and charting a course to implement the changes need to develop sustainable solutions.

Why are you involved in Oculus?
We are a group of like-minded veterinarians that care first for the patient and then for the independent doctors. It is fun and fulfilling to see our colleagues/clients grow and succeed!

What has been your most satisfying day or event working with a client?
Being able to sit back and watch a young manager truly engage and empower the employees for everyone’s benefit was a day I won’t forget.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would start doing?
I wish most veterinary practices would recognize the value of the supporting staff and help them grow within their business. Success is more than numbers, it is also the culture and workplace environment they create.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would stop doing?
Using time as an excuse to not do something and micromanage the employees.

What do you do to relax?
I enjoy a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, kayaking, as well as hanging out with family and friends.

What is a secret skill you have?
I am still trying to find out myself!

25700
Sue
Sue Armstrong BA, CPCC, AC
Coaching
Read More
My greatest achievement to date is my marriage and family. I have been married to Dr. Glenn Armstrong for 27 years and in a relationship with him for 38. Many of those years have been blissfully easy. I am most proud of the ones where we struggled, stayed committed loved and grew our way through the challenges.

We have two amazing bright, self-aware sons. These men keep me centered and grounded.

I spent the bulk of my professional life as a career salesperson in the Consumer-Packaged Goods Industry. I was always in the perishable food sector. It was fast-paced, high-pressure and a constant crisis…I thrived there. I am unashamed to say I was damn good. After 20 years, I was depleted. I left the industry burnt out. I struggled with my identity, my worth and my value. What was next?
After a lot of soul searching and personal “work” I decided that my next chapter of career life needed to be in service of something bigger than “She sold a lot of cheese.” I took a Coaching course, it resonated. This is how I wanted to show up in this world. I completed my Coaching Certification with the Coaches Training Institute and started Personal Innovations Coaching. Five years later, I joined Oculus Insights. I work with bright talented amazing people including executives, doctors, and business owners. I help clients uncover what is holding them back from living fully into their lives (all aspects, family, relationships, and careers) by helping them live on “purpose” and staying true to their values. I believe in Authentic Leadership and help to create these leaders in a world where authenticity struggles.

I have been described as
kind/compassionate/loving/strong/dynamic/intuitive/real/authentic/integral/grateful

Areas of Expertise & Interest

  • Communication
  • Self-awareness
  • Leadership development

<h3?Purpose Statement

To create ripples in the world with everyone I encounter.

More About Sue

Describe your background in veterinary medicine:
My background in Veterinary Medicine is purely personal. I have experienced the application of then boyfriend into OVC, acceptance/graduation, first position, first partnership, exiting partnership, and now new business venture. I have been a business and life partner throughout. Our oldest son has applied to the Ontario Veterinary College. My coaching is almost exclusively with veterinarians, practice managers and support staff. The 25 plus years in the industry has provided me with unique insight into the highs and lows the profession offers and working with Oculus has allowed me to help veterinary professionals navigate their lives, careers and businesses to a more fulfilling place.

What has been your most satisfying day or event working with a client?
I have had so many satisfying days working as a coach in this industry. It is so deeply rewarding when clients have the realization that they have a choice. When Clients realize they are not spectators in their lives and choose to live fully as a person and a professional. It is freeing.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would start doing?
I really wish they would start communicating authentically with one another. Cohesive teams are made with honest dialogue working in the best interests of the client and the business.

What do you wish most veterinary practices would stop doing?
I wish they would stop thinking that being profitable and successful is bad or dishonourable.

What do you do to relax?
I love to play golf and garden. Maybe South Western Ontario weather is not conducive to my relaxation!

What is a secret skill you have?
It has been said that I make people feel very at ease. I create trust and relationships easily.