Tom Butera is our CEO of Volition Veterinary, he is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and has more than 40 years of experience in equine and small animal health in private practice. He has also worked extensively in both business development and management of veterinary companies. We asked Tom 10 questions, to find out more about him and his journey before joining Volition and his time with the company so far.
1. What inspired you to get into the field of Veterinary Medicine?
I had tremendous love and interest in horses during my earlier childhood. Unfortunately, my original quarter horse had serious foot problems with navicular disease, and I spent a fair amount of time under the horse instead of riding him. A lot of veterinary visits were needed and since my dad was a dentist it seemed appropriate to consider veterinary medicine as a career. A marriage of medicine and love.
2. What are the values that drive you?
Passion for what you do in life and can you make a difference! I have a great deal of humble admiration for effective leadership and the skill sets involved in helping to influence, motivate and guide a team to succeed beyond their expectations. They always must know you “care” and you will receive great commitment and performance in return. Team empowerment goes a long way to achieving success!
3. What is your background and what led you to join Volition?
Interestingly enough I have an English major and Philosophy minor degrees from college and eventually went on to become a veterinarian. I was involved in academia for a few years as an associate professor at Tuft’s University Veterinary School leading the large animal Anesthesia department. Following this I accumulated a vast amount of experience in both business development and management of veterinary companies. I have been following Volition as an investor for the last 10 years and found their Nu.Q® platform very interesting and was eventually pleased to see their affiliation with Texas A&M Vet School in 2018 in confirming the effectiveness of Volition’s platform in animals. I joined the Volition Veterinary Board as a Director in 2020 and then assumed the CEO position of the Volition Veterinary Division in May 2021.
4. What has been the most exciting part of the Volition journey for you so far?
Watching the entire Volition Team talent collaboratively work together on the scientific and commercial side in bringing our first Nu.Q® Vet Cancer Test to market. Also humbled and excited by the tremendous interest on the part of my veterinary colleagues in providing them an affordable screening and monitoring tool to help save more pets' lives, and earlier.
5. What part of your position at Volition do you enjoy doing the most?
Developing talent and watching a team grow and succeed with purpose and enjoyment!
6. What is it that motivates you to continue doing the work that you do?
Saving more pets’ lives and contributing to early cancer detection which I feel will revolutionize how we treat pets with more effective therapeutics. Predominantly because with early detection we are treating pets who appear to be healthy and not immunocompromised. As opposed to our current therapies that treat sick pets which have less success of long-term positive outcomes.
7. What’s the next big milestone that you hope to see as a product of the work that you do?
Worldwide adoption of our early cancer detection Nu.Q® platform which we anticipate will help save more pet’s lives.
8. What are your main hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy the outdoors, golf, and traveling with my family.
9. When you think of your career, what do you consider your greatest achievement?
Team Development and Empowerment while helping to mentor a significant number of talented people in achieving goals and success they didn’t think were possible.
10. What would be your main advice to anyone reading who would be interested in pursuing or have just started a career in veterinary medicine?
Never lose the passion for what you do in trying to make a difference because it provides you a directional compass and amazing strength to push you forward… Onward!!!