Most Valuable Player of the Month for October 2016 – Kate Van Eck

KEV picKate Van Eck, Assistant Client Care Manager, has been awarded the Family Pet Animal Hospital Most Valuable Player (FPAH MVP) award for October 2016 by last month’s winner, Jim Dinan.  Congratulations, Kate!

Kate joined the Family Pet team as a Client Care Coordinator early in 2013 after working as a technician at Dupage County Animal Control for four years.  For her ongoing commitment to our patients, clients, and team, in a few short years, she’s received multiple promotions – Trainer, Shift Supervisor, and most recently, Assistant Client Care Manager.  Her energy, humor, sparkling personality, diligence, and tireless advocacy for the well-being of all animals make her such an appreciated part of our team.

QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH KATE

Do you have pets?  If so, tell us about him/her/them.

I have a small dog, Franklin, who I adopted from DuPage Co. Animal Care & Control where I worked prior to Family Pet. He and I are celebrating 8 years together this October! When I decided that I wanted to adopt him (after fostering him a few weeks) my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, said we have to make it official. So we went on a walk and picked out the name Franklin (after FDR) and then went and bought him a red, white and blue sweater and collar.

What is your favorite thing about working at Family Pet?

My favorite thing about Family Pet is the people I get to work with. I can’t even begin to explain the amazingly kind, open and appreciative environment that exists here.

What is the moment at FPAH of which you are the most proud?

I do a lot of the training of the new CCC’s and it is such a proud feeling when you see new staff members being able to make sound decisions on their own and establishing friendships with clients.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love spending time with Franklin and my husband, Bill, no matter what we’re doing. I go to a lot of Cubs games and keep score by hand. I volunteer with Big Brother Big Sister and spend time with my “little” making crafts and exploring Chicago together. I love singing (especially made up songs about Franklin), playing the piano, watching Jeopardy and spending time with my family.

If you could communicate with our patients, what would you most want them to know?

Not to be afraid or weirded out when I squish their faces and give them hugs and kisses because it’s too hard to resist sometimes.

How would you spend one million dollars?

I would use it to fund the sanctuary farm that my husband and I are planning on opening in the next 5 years.

What’s the strangest job you’ve had?

I used to be a performer at Six Flags Great America and would dress up as the Looney Toons characters. The worst costume was Taz. It was 65lbs sitting on your shoulders and you could barely move your arms, but in one show Taz had to play the drums. It was hilarious.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

A family friend wrote in a wedding card, “Remember every day to share a 10 second hug and a 5 second kiss.” It sounds simple, but sometimes the day slips away from us and we forget. We’ve made an effort to share those two things each day, no matter what is going on around us, and it has really helped strengthen our marriage.

If you could host a talk show, who would your first guest be and why?

I would invite Gilda Radner. She really paved the way for women to be perceived as funny, which is my favorite thing to be.

Tell us something about yourself people would be surprised to know.

I was in an a cappella group in college, The University of IL Rip Chords, and we were pretty much *celebs on campus.

*that’s a lie

Congratulations, Kate!  (Kate gets to pick next month’s FPAH MVP, so stay tuned…)