Owning and operating your own business is a dream for many, but owning and operating a successful business with your spouse can be even more rewarding.
Working side by side for the last 15 years, Jim Ack and Lynn McCarron have provided quality animal care in Salt Lake City with University Veterinary Hospital and Diagnostic Center.
Both Ohio natives, Jim and Lynn met while studying veterinary science at Ohio State University. Not long after graduation, Jim found employment with a research team stationed in Utah, and they have lived here ever since, raising two children along the way.
Being veterinarians has always seemed in the cards for them: Lynn discovered her love for animals early on, and Jim spent time training horses in Colorado.
“We have been very fortunate to have sufficient differences in background, style and perspective to complement each other well, but not so dissimilar to have differing goals or an inability to effectively make important decisions,” says Jim. He currently acts as the COO over the staff of 28, and Lynn wears many hats: hospital director, chief medical officer, and clinical team leader.
Lynn set up shop at their 9th and 9th location. “I love the uniqueness and vibrancy of the area and the density of local businesses,” said Jim. “The district is almost entirely made up of locally grown businesses. There are lots of business nodes in Salt Lake and elsewhere that could easily be mistaken for any other city in the U.S. Ninth and Ninth isn’t one of them.”
Being a veterinarian is about interacting with people as much as it is animals, says Lynn. “Client relations is one of the biggest joys I have,” she explains, sitting next to a large bouquet of flowers from a thankful customer. Many of their clients come from outside the state to have their animals cared for by the office.
University Vet has won the “Best of State” award for four years in a row, and their office is one of only two in Utah to offer a pet CT scanner. Lynn is one of the few vets in the state to be certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.
The couple own several pets of their own: two Australian Shepherds and two house cats. One of her cats is a cancer survivor and went through three months of chemotherapy—one of University Vet’s specializations.
Jim says, “Honestly, we work very, very hard every single day to deliver the highest quality care and customer service that we possibly can and to continuously improve on those fronts. As a service business, that’s the only way to succeed, let alone excel.”