Cindy Barnes, DVM, CVSMT
Dr. Barnes is the founder and CEO of Shepherd Software, Inc. After spending over two decades working in the veterinary field, Dr. Barnes knows what truly drives the industry, and it’s not mastering the practice’s internal problem of the week. It’s how well you connect with and are able to improve the lives of pets and their people, your team members and the veterinarians who have all dedicated their lives to the human-animal bond.
Before graduating as a veterinarian from Colorado State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Barnes was a Veterinary Nurse for 15 years. In her free time, she volunteered for organizations that provided veterinary care to remote and economically disadvantaged areas. During veterinary school, she traveled to Poland to meet with veterinary students from all over the world, with the goal of improving veterinary medicine globally. Since graduating, Dr. Barnes has continued her goal to improve veterinary medicine by leading the charge.
Dr. Barnes believes that a strong team is key to any successful business. She believes it is created through a supportive and positive work culture. After buying a start-up emergency animal hospital in Arizona, Dr. Barnes successfully increased revenue by 250%, within two years. This is virtually unheard of in the veterinary industry. This incredible feat was accomplished through superior client service, extensive team education, and practicing best medicine at all times. The practice continues to experience growth over two times the industry norm, and has recently been acquired by a leading veterinary group, Pathway Partners.
A great source of motivation for Dr. Barnes is the high emotional toll veterinarians pay to pursue their passion. As an example, veterinarians have been marked as having one of the highest suicide rates as compared to any other profession. Veterinarians are being lost to unsurmountable debt, depression and disproportionate work-life balance. As a busy veterinarian, she realized a huge stressor in the veterinary industry was the poor quality of the practice management software available. In fact, the veterinary industry is at least 20 years behind today’s technology. The majority of PMS programs are still server-based, and anything but intuitive. Dr. Barnes saw the problem and decided to fix it herself. In January of 2016, she founded Shepherd Software, a cloud-based SaaS company. Today, Shepherd is in multiple practices and has interest from several large veterinary groups around the world.
She is a modern day renaissance woman who has pushed aside what the veterinary industry has allowed to be status quo. Today, through her SaaS company, many of the contributors to the high suicide rate of veterinarians, i.e. income, time management, quality medicine, etc., are being addressed. Dr. Barnes’ goal in life, business, and in veterinary practice, is to improve the lives of pets and their owners, staff members, and veterinarians. She is truly leading the charge!
Joy Fuhrman, DVM, MBA, CPA
Originally from South Africa, Dr. Fuhrman has more than a decade of experience in financial consulting and corporate accounting. A graduate of Colorado State University’s combined MBA/DVM program, she brings with her a combination of veterinary practice management, financial analysis, business valuation, professional development and leadership training skills.
Her veterinary experience includes small animal general and emergency practice, small and large animal anesthesia and pain management, and small animal dentistry. She also has experience working with exotic pets, including birds and reptiles, as well as zoo animals and wildlife. Joy serves on the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association Board of Directors and helped develop their Power of Ten Leadership Academy.
In her current role as Director of Finance and Operations for Shepherd Software, Inc., Dr. Fuhrman is responsible for managing the business operations for this start-up practice management software development company. She also provides financial and practice management consulting services to its clients.