Veterinary Medicine and Entrepreneurship: The Perfect Combination for Rarebreed
Rarebreed is proud to announce that our own co-founders, Dan Espinal and Sean Miller, have been recognized as finalists in the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 New England Awards program.
It’s nice to be recognized, but hey, we’d keep doing what we’re doing even if no one was looking—reimagining the veterinary experience.

 

The story unfolds with a thinker.

Soon after graduating from MIT business school, Dan Espinal began to think about entrepreneurship, amazed at what people around him were accomplishing. He thought about pet care, a growing field as animal companions were playing an increasingly vital role in people’s lives.

Enter Sean Miller.

In 2015, Dan went to work for IDEXX, a veterinary diagnostics leader, where he met a like-minded, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy and creative colleague named Sean Miller. In the years that followed, Dan and Sean worked closely together, gaining unique perspectives on the veterinary profession. They recognized that the veterinary practice market was changing. Consolidation companies were buying practices, rebranding them, and taking over operations. With a view on short-term profitability, these companies were destroying cultures and replacing them with overworked and undervalued employees.

Knowing they had the passion, grit and determination to flip the veterinary profession on its head, Dan left his job in 2018, and Sean in 2019, to reimagine the veterinary experience. Rarebreed Veterinary Partners was born to create a network of modern and tech-enabled practices that would value healthcare teams, provide excellent and compassionate patient care, and offer hospitals the tools needed to thrive. It was a big risk, but they were fortunate to find investors who believed in their vision— If we build exceptional practice cultures, we will drive better outcomes for everyone. By the end of 2019, they had partnered with seven hospitals. Their aim was sure, their wit was quick, and they stayed true to the journey ahead.

In 2020, Rarebreed partnered with its first specialty hospital, Maine Veterinary Medical Center in Portland. As the COVID pandemic worsened and the debt capital markets dried up, they returned to the equity markets, raised more capital, and hired people to fill key positions. With just two years of experience, their young team underwent intense financial scrutiny and emerged victorious.

During this time, with people afraid to work as frontline essential workers, Dan and Sean saw an opportunity to exemplify two of Rarebreed’s core values – love and respect. They gave hazardous duty pay, continued to invest in their practices, and didn’t cut back on people. They gave back a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The impact on their teams was powerful, so they doubled down and introduced staff bonuses, a unique innovation in veterinary medicine. Those actions helped them earn the trust of the teams.

Rarebreed would be honored to achieve this award. But when it comes down to it, it wouldn’t change anything. Dan would still be the CEO you’d like to have as your best friend, and Sean would continue to be the COO who makes you laugh until your sides hurt. They will continue to lead with common purpose and uncommon passion.

This is the Rarebreed Way.

Shishira Adiga

Quality Assurance Manager

Fun Fact: Shishira can play the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument.

Shishira earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Texas Tech University and has since been working in various engineering roles related to hardware and software, such as test lead, development manager, and scrum master in chip fabrication. He has experience working in the insurance, banking, and veterinary fields.

Shishira enjoys spending his free time with his children, learning the ancient languages Sanskrit and Tulu, and reading about new technologies such as Blockchain.

Bernetta Gethers

Clinical Training Manager

Fun Fact:  Bernetta was a director of a dance school where ballet, tap, ethnic, and lyrical dance were taught.

Bernetta began her veterinary care as a veterinary assistant in general practice. After graduating from tech school, her eyes were opened to the emergency, specialty, and critical care world of veterinary medicine. This proved to be the excitement that she had been missing. She quickly navigated a path into a management/leadership position where she trained, mentored, and cultivated veterinary technicians and assistants. Bernetta thrives on making connections with people and facilitating difficult conversations and direct communication. She has an associate degree in applied science from Camden County College and a BS in management from DeVry University. She lives in Pennsylvania with her three children and four fur children.

Jennifer Shaw

Area Manager

Fun Fact: Jennifer went to culinary school.

Jennifer has been in the veterinary field for 20 years, starting as a technician in emergency/ specialty services on Long Island, New York, before moving to general practice. Advancing in her career, she became a practice manager with multi-site responsibility.

Jennifer was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and currently lives in Staten Island with her partner, Cindy, two amazing boys, Matt and Tim, and her crazy dog, Theo. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, camping, and bike riding.

Andrew Rockwood

Technical Operations Network Manager

Fun Fact:  As a Dell driving technician, Andrew was consistently ranked one of the top five techs in the country based on speed, technical skill, and customer satisfaction.

Andrew attended York County Community College and has been working in the technology field for over 15 years. Starting from a modest beginning as a Staples Easy Tech, Andrew has worked with technology in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, government, and MSP environments. All of this has led to a breadth of lessons learned through experience in the field.

He has always been a geek and has been fascinated with technology since he was seven years old. Andrew has always been motivated to be the change he wanted to see in the world and strives to make tech support a team effort custom-tailored to each user.

When he is not working you can find Andrew working on projects around the house or spending time with his wife and three young children. Beach days are always great, and summer is by far his favorite season in Maine.

Test Name

Business Transformation Specialist

Fun Fact: Adria dove with sharks in Yap, located in the Micronesian Islands next to Guam.

Pet in Photo: Khaleesi

Adria’s passion for animals has always been a big part of who she is. Her many years of experience working in animal care began in a Maine animal shelter. Later, after moving to Florida, Adria flourished as a veterinary technician, surgery technician, inventory manager, and trainer. Most recently she lived in Guam where she worked as practice manager for an animal hospital. Now back in Maine, she is excited to continue her career with Rarebreed and complete her undergraduate certificate in veterinary practice management. In her free time, Adria enjoys horseback riding, painting and dancing.