background + practice
With 17 years of experience in the veterinary industry, Suzanne Cross has worked her way up from a kennel assistant to a receptionist, to a Licensed Veterinary Technician, and finally to Practice Manager at the Brighton-Eggert Animal Clinic in Tonawanda, NY. Cross, who graduated from Medaille College and plans to work toward certification as a Veterinary Practice Manage, focuses on improving customer service, maintaining a high standard of care, and growing the hospital’s culture.
Originally founded in 1979, in 2001 Brighton-Eggert Animal Clinic became the first animal hospital in New York state to offer totally separate hospitals for dogs and cats, which helps to reduce the stress pets endure when presented for veterinary care. At Brighton-Eggert, a large team of 12 doctors, 8 vet techs, 15 veterinary assistants and 15 receptionists work together to offer a broad spectrum of diagnostic procedures through in-house testing and the use of external laboratories.
When she’s not working or leading the clinic’s community volunteer efforts, Cross enjoys spending time with her family, including her daughter and dogs Lennon and Forte.
why her nomination stood out
Suzanne’s nomination was short and sweet, but it came from someone who had special insight into her personality and professional style – a colleague at the clinic. The nomination described exactly the type of practice manager any animal hospital would love to have – and one that any pet parent would be glad to have on her side: “Suzanne puts the best of herself into everything she does. Her passion and compassion are the fuel that we all use to make our clinic the best it can be. The staff, the clients and the animals here are all very lucky to have her.” – Beth B., Amherst, NY
in her words
Describe your biggest accomplishment and how it has positively impacted your practice:
"My biggest accomplishment has been changing the overall culture of the staff. Before I started, employees were not that happy coming to work every day, they had a hard time trusting management and were very resistant to change. By bringing my compassion and passion to the table, giving ownership, embracing change as a good thing and leading them by example, I have seen a huge change in our culture. Not only have I noticed, but also our customers have noticed and that is huge. Our numbers show it too…my first year in this position, we grew 6.5%!"
How would you describe your relationship with your clients?
"I adore my clients! They are the reason we are here in the first place. My office is located in close proximity to our reception area, so I am often helping the team out up front and on the phones. I love to educate, and know that every client leaving has the knowledge necessary to properly care for his or her pet. I ensure that all of their needs have been met and questions answered by our staff. We send out satisfaction surveys daily to our clients, and it is great to get the feedback. I address any issues right away to make sure that we meet our clients’ needs."
What do you love about your job?
"I can honestly say that there is not a day that I wake up and ever say, “I don’t want to go in today.” I truly do LOVE my job! I feel privileged to work with such a group of talented and dedicated professionals that are like family. Again, we have the best clients ever. They are very supportive and appreciative. Then I get to be surrounded by amazing creatures every day. Whether they are sick or healthy, knowing that we are saving lives one day at a time and making a difference keeps me motivated and ready for whatever comes my way."
a bit of fun
Favorite breed of best friend?
Funniest pet name you’ve heard?
Evinrude (purrs a lot!)
Favorite famous four-legger?
The Dogue de Bordeaux from “Turner and Hooch”