June was the lynchpin of the WSAVA for many years, running our secretariat single-handed. She is currently reducing her workload but is still serving as our Financial Officer until her retirement in January 2019... Her contribution to the WSAVA is immeasurable so we asked her to tell us more about herself and to reflect on her years working with our members:
Could you introduce yourself to our members?
Many know me simply as June. I live in Dundas, Ontario, Canada with my husband Walt Ingwersen, our two labs Milo and Fei and our cat, Simon.
How and when did you first get involved with the WSAVA?
When Walt was elected Honorary Secretary in 2008, his position allowed for the hiring of some part- time administrative support. I was hired to fill that role and it started out simply enough!
How did your role evolve over the years?
As is often the case, the job quickly grew to be a full-time position which included providing day to day assistance to the board, committees and members while meeting, planning and preparing for the annual congress. Handling the WSAVA’s finances was later added to the role.
What did you most enjoy?
Working with amazing volunteers from all over the world, who give so much of themselves, and are so passionate about their profession has been my greatest pleasure. It has been a lot of hard work but we have all also shared a lot of laughs, travelled to many amazing places following the congress, and enjoyed great food together.
What was most challenging?
As the sole employee of WSAVA for a number of years, trying to keep pace with the enormous growth of the association and the highly motivated personalities on the executive board, as it planned and implemented its many new projects was, at times, daunting. I am so pleased and relieved that the board and assembly has fully committed to the expansion of the office to allow this hard-working group to focus on the many important projects it takes on. The association now employs an excellent team lead by Arpita Bhose as CEO, recently complemented by the hiring of an executive assistant Emma van Rooijen. This has enabled me to focus on the finances. I am currently involved in the training of my replacement, with a goal that my retirement and handover will be completed by the end of this year.
Looking back, what are you most proud of?
I am so proud to have been a part of the WSAVA, helping to support its tremendous growth and success without it ever losing its heart and soul. I have really enjoyed providing background support to all of you wonderful people who care for and about our furry, feathered and scaly family members. I know that I am leaving my responsibilities in the hands of a very committed team.
What are you planning to do more of once you fully relinquish your WSAVA responsibilities?
My focus will return to family as it grows, with the recent marriages of our two children and the birth of our first granddaughter. I plan to cuddle sweet, wee Charlie whenever I get a chance and am also itching to spend more time working in my garden while returning to my more creative pursuits.