Paragon Veterinary Group has appointed Jen Hewitt as Business Operations Lead.
The position is a new role designed to help support the practice which has been expanding.
Jen, who was previously Executive Assistant at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, joined Paragon in January.
“I’m delighted to have taken up this new role with Paragon,” said Jen. “It is a highly respected business. I have followed their success over the years, and they have a strong reputation both as an employer and for their service to clients.”
Jen will be working alongside Jacqui Dodds, Practice Personnel and Client Care Lead and Suzanne McCamish, Business Finance Lead.
“I’m joining what is already a very successful team in its own right, and I will be supporting them,” she said.
Paragon has small animal, farm, advanced breeding and equine divisions and four centres at Dalston, Newbiggin near Penrith and Wetheral. It recently completed a merger with Tarn Farm Vets at Shap – creating a farm vet team covering an area from Carlisle to Kendal. In 2019, Paragon invested in the design and building of a new bespoke hospital wing at its Dalston centre.
“I will be looking at things from an operational perspective and reviewing things like IT management systems, stock management and marketing and business strategy,” said Jen.
She has a track record of moving into newly created roles.
“I have predominantly come into businesses in brand-new roles formed as the organisation moves forward,” she says.
“It’s being proactive about business support. We are about clients and their animals, but a lot goes on in the background to run a successful business. It’s about futureproofing so you can be proactive about change and new opportunities.”
Jen worked at Cumbria LEP for four years where she was Executive Assistant to CEO Jo Lappin.
“We worked nonstop during Covid helping businesses with furlough, grants, support and guidance,” said Jen.
“It taught resilience and coping under pressure. I’m quite good at tackling situations where you need to think on your feet.”
Jen was previously Business Support Manager for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for six years and was also a call handler for Cumbria Health on Call.
She has previously had administrative roles with Saint Gobain Ltd and William Howard School in Brampton.
“I fell into admin at a young age,” she says. “My dad was a landscape gardener and I used to spend my summer holidays doing his paperwork and estimates and answering the phone for customers.
“I like the organisational side of roles, and I really enjoy helping people whether that is in or out of work.”
Bruce Richards, Business Director at Paragon Veterinary Group, said: “As our practice continues to grow our directors and management team have a growing need for operational and business support. So when the opportunity to employ Jen came along it made complete sense and we look forward to her support, contribution and experience in our business leadership team ”
Jen lives near Wigton with her husband Chris, their family and several pets.