About Evolve

You struggle with finding more time.

You want to feel confident in your leadership abilities, your ability to inspire people, and  your skills to dive into difficult conversations.

You want to get clarity about the path forward.

I get it. Keeping pace with change and staying flexible in veterinary medicine is exhausting and sometimes downright scary.

What if I told you coaching is a powerful tool to manage the uncertainty and ambiguity you face everyday in veterinary medicine?

I believe veterinary professionals can align their professional and personal lives and build a life that is rewarding and sustainable. You have the answers hidden within.

I can help you:

  • Find a path forward through uncertainty 
  • Build your confidence and resilience 
  • Manage your time and create healthy boundaries
  • Grow your leadership skills
  • Create a life that both inspires and sustains you

I work with veterinarians and their teams to create collaborative cultures that connect passion, purpose and people and contribute to human flourishing. Supporting leaders at all levels to build healthier, happier teams.

My Story

I’m a veterinarian and, like many of you, my professional journey has taken many twists and turns.

I was one of those kids who knew they wanted to be a vet from the time they could walk (okay, that’s an exaggeration. It was probably from the first time I watched a vet dramatically “deflate” a bloated steer on our family farm and thought – WOW that is so cool. I’m gonna learn to do THAT!).

Following graduation from veterinary college, I married my best friend (also a vet) and started working in rural, mixed animal practice eventually becoming a partner in a multi-doctor practice.

I figured my path was set. Time to grow some roots and settle into my childhood dream of becoming a “modern day James Herriot”.

Not so fast, Doc

Four years into our partnership, it’s shaky foundation began to crumble. Pregnant and in debt, it was time to let go of the “James Herriot” version of what I thought life as a veterinarian should look like and start writing my own story.

We moved to a little mountain town, bought a small animal practice, had a baby (and then another) and started the hard work of building a family, a practice and a life.

Elaine Klemmensen laughing with her head thrown back
Group of veterinarians standing in front of a building holding a fabric banner with a large black paw print and text that reads'Canadian Animal Assistance Team'

Embracing change

In 2017 I knew it was time to make a big change. Time to walk away from the security of veterinary practice ownership, to challenge myself and start a new chapter. It was both terrifying and exciting to hand over the keys to our veterinary hospital and step into the uncertainty of life after practice ownership. Little did I know that this decision would be a catalyst to rediscovering my love of veterinary medicine and ultimately a new career path.

I put on a backpack and spent two years working with volunteer projects around the world. It gave me the chance to study leadership and team dynamics in real world, challenging conditions. I watched, intrigued, as a group of strangers became a team, able to deliver veterinary services with enthusiasm and camaraderie. I started to pay attention.

What was the “secret sauce” that made these teams successful? I wanted to find it, bottle it and bring it to veterinary practices everywhere.

During this time I had the privilege to hear the stories of my colleagues from around the world. As I listened, I discovered some common themes and started to wonder, why do some thrive while others just survive?

Covid-19 brought a temporary end to our travels and a return to university to study leadership and coaching. I am a Certified Barrett Values Consultant, hold a Certificate in Values-Based Leadership and am a Certified Executive Coach. I am passionate about changing the culture of our hospitals and ultimately our profession.

I believe PEOPLE are our biggest asset.

Investing in your team contributes to wellbeing, increases employee engagement, reduces employee turnover and leads to higher productivity and increased customer satisfaction.

“Companies with high levels of employee engagement have been shown to be 21% more productive, 22% more profitable and outperform other organizations by up to 202%.”

Gallup Employee Engagement Study
3 circle graphics. First reads: 21% more productive; second reads: 22% more profitable; third reads: 202% more likely to outperform other organizations

Evolve’s values

I have a broad range of experience in veterinary medicine and proven success building a hospital culture based on shared vision, purpose and values.

I combine my leadership experience with an evidence based approach using current research from the fields of organizational development, positive psychology, leadership and coaching studies.

Courage

Courage is the value that guides us to embracing change, face failure, engage in challenging conversations, explore our limiting mindset and ultimately live a life that aligns with our most deeply held values.

Curiosity

Curiosity allows us to see beyond our current reality, explore opportunities, discover new perspectives and find creative solutions to complex problems.

Enthusiasm and Fun

The saying “take what we do seriously but don’t take ourselves too seriously” encompasses the philosophy at Evolve. Life is short, let’s focus on the positive and make it fun!

Compassion

At the end of the day we all want to be seen, heard and understood. Be brave, be curious, be bold but above all be kind.

Life as a vet and international volunteer has provided an endless source of stories.

Elaine is sitting on a log at a beach in front of a fire
Elaine and partner are standing over an anaesthesized dog, Elaine is holding up a sign that says "Will spay 4 food"
Two children, one holding a baby, are watching Elaine do surgery in her scrubs and gloves.

As a young vet, I was once the love interest of a camel and discovered I can outrun an ostrich when my life depends on it!

Since selling our practice, my husband and I decided to combine three passions, bicycles, travel and volunteering. This has led to amazing experiences, some unforgettable (meeting the host of the Amazing Race in a remote backcountry hut in New Zealand) and some regrettable (can you say bed bugs?). 

What stands out are the interesting people I’ve met and the lessons they’ve shared. Here’s to embracing the world with an open heart, staying curious and finding new friends along the way.

 

What's your story? Let's connect.