Dr. Molly Ramsey-Durham’s passion for animals led to the launch of her own veterinary clinic, which turned a profit after just six months.
Ramsey-Durham, who previously worked as associate veterinarian at Galloway Village Veterinary Hospital in southern Springfield, launched the 1,900-square-foot Nixa Animal Hospital in July 2011, after her plans to buy a Springfield practice fell through.
Ramsey-Durham considers obtaining low-interest financing for her practice a significant accomplishment.
“At that time, I was five months pregnant, 28 years old, female and asking for a $250,000 loan for a startup business,” Ramsey-Durham says. “I am sure many bankers secretly thought I was a test in antidiscrimination lending.”
She eventually secured a loan through BancorpSouth, backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and with another loan of $50,000 obtained through the Missouri Small Business Loan Program, Ramsey-Durham was ready to go.
She says she expected her practice to turn a profit in about two years, but within six months, the business was able to support a salary for her, one part-time and two full-time employees, as well as debt repayment.
As an employer, Ramsey-Durham requires her staff to share her commitment to the profession and passion for animals.
“Leadership for my hospital starts with setting high standards for myself and requiring it for my employees,” she says. “Leading by example with a positive attitude, love of my profession and a goal of success are needed each day.”
Beyond her practice, Ramsey-Durham – who says she is passionate about decreasing pet overpopulation, encouraging adoption and eliminating bad breeding habits – is active in several rescue groups including the Killuminati Foundation, which raises money for dogs’ medical care.
“Dr. Molly Ramsey-Durham is a true professional with integrity, high standards of excellence and compassion for her patients and clients,” says Jeanna Callahan, president and founder of the Killuminati Foundation, for which Ramsey-Durham is the exclusive veterinarian.
Ramsey-Durham also has opened up Nixa Animal Hospital to educational opportunities for high school and college students who want to learn about veterinary medicine. Students routinely visit her clinic, and she also talks to fifth-graders in Nixa through a Nixa Chamber of Commerce partnership.
“I want students to understand it requires more than loving animals to be a successful veterinarian. It is especially important for them to understand this prior to spending more than $100,000 on an education,” she says.Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.