The Vancouver Business Journal kicked off our 2020 Boardroom Breakfast Series this morning with WellHaven Pet Health CEO and Founder John Bork. Bork talked with VBJ Co-Publisher and Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce President John McDonagh and answered a series of questions about his work with WellHaven and how he got started working in the veterinary business.
Here are 10 things we learned about John Bork and WellHaven Pet Health:
- Back before he become involved in the pet health industry, he opened 60 laundromats in 17 months for a company called Spin Cycle.
- In 1999, Bork joined a small startup business called VetSmart. He became a leader for the company by leading their business, international development, real estate and construction. For 18 years Bork helped grow VetSmart (now Banfield Pet Hospital) into the largest veterinary group in the world.
- Bork tells a story about the day he realized his “calling” to give veterinarians the help they need to focus on their patients and their own lives. After a particularly long night at a VetSmart hospital, a veterinarian that Bork worked with stood in front of her car and cried as they were leaving the clinic at 10 p.m. When he asked what was wrong, she told me it was the fourth night in a row that she had had to stay until 10 p.m. and she hadn’t been able to put her baby to bed.
“It was that moment I realized I could never be a veterinarian, but I could be a really great lead technician,” Bork said. “I could take some of that burden that running the business gave her so she could focus on being a good vet, teammate and mom.”
- Before leaving Banfield in 2017, Bork was the vice president of Operations and was responsible for more than 1,000 veterinary hospitals and nearly $1.5 billion in revenue.
- WellHaven purchased its first veterinarian hospital in October of 2017 in Aspen, Colo. They now have 42 locations in Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Denver and Montana.
- Bork said the pet industry is projected to be a $100 billion industry by 2021.
- Over the next two years, WellHaven is expected to grow its hospital network to include over 150 veterinary practices.
- Bork is a founder and president of a nonprofit youth basketball program, the Pacific Northwest Sixers, which serves middle school and high school girls and boys in Southwest Washington.
- Some of WellHaven’s recent innovations include a pet triage product, some wearable products that would help with diagnostics, especially for cats, and more.
- WellHaven’s downtown Vancouver location includes a veterinary hospital with their corporate office right above in the same building.