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2019 Power of Ten Leadership Academy Participant Spotlight – Kristen Rivers, DVM

The 2019 Power of Ten Leadership Academy concluded during the 2020 Oklahoma Veterinary Conference. The Power of Ten Leadership Academy is a seven-session program that provides an in-depth leadership opportunity and 20 hours of continuing education credit at no cost to the participant. It is designed for veterinarians who have been in practice for 10 years or less since graduation and are OVMA members.

We will be featuring individual “spotlights” on each 2019 participant over the weeks ahead. Our fourth individual is Kristen Rivers, DVM.

Dr. Rivers is a 2018 Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine Graduate.


Where do you currently live?


Where are you originally from?

Ponce de Leon, Florida

What made you decide to apply to participate in the Power of Ten?

I wanted to hone in on leadership and communication skills! I hoped being a part of this academy would allow me to take the skills learned, apply those to my clinic and community, and grow as a person and veterinarian.

What did you enjoy most about the Power of Ten?

Spending time with my colleagues! It was nice to sit through these sessions, talking about the profession (the good, the bad, the ugly) and realizing we ALL have “stuff”. When you have a solid understanding of that “stuff” and the emotional intelligence/tools to sift through, well, that’s just gold.

What is one thing you would want to change about the Power of Ten?

The location – it would have been nice to have some of the sessions closer to Tulsa/Broken Arrow. 

How do you define success?

Success is am attitude. As the last Coach John Wooden said: “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

Who inspires you?

My parents! They are two of the most selfless individuals I have ever met! The sacrifices they have made for me (and my siblings) go beyond the scope of anything imaginable. They are a HUGE reason I am where I am today! I could not be more thankful and blessed that God chose them to be my parents!

If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would you choose?

I have a lot of people I look up to and admire; choosing a mentor out of a sea of folks I admire is challenging because each one mentors/inspires in a different way. I am lucky enough to have found a mentor in my current boss – Dr. Larry Hamilton. I started working with Dr. H in 2018 – shortly after graduation. He took me under his wings from Day 1 and poured into me in the most selfless ways! He is one of the most kind, supportive, and genuine people I have ever had the privilege to not only working alongside, but to know.

What is one thing – either industry-related or not – that you learned in the last month?

Recently, I went to an avian and small mammal conference and learned to spay a bearded dragon!

What is something about you that not many people know?

I have a Clydesdale named Rock!

What is something you enjoy outside of veterinary medicine?

Riding my horses! 

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Taco Salad

What advice would you give some who is interested in participating in the Power of Ten?

DO IT! Jump in! Be open to all this it offers because it. Is. Worth. It!

What is your biggest take away from the Power of Ten?

Be adjustable in your leadership style! Know what kind of leader you are and don’t be afraid to shake things up! We are all different and respond differently to stress/worries/work/life/etc. – being able to adjust to each situation AND person (staff/colleagues/family/friends ….) is everything!