1967 was the year our esteemed Germinder20 Power of Pink Honoree Dr. Mary Beth Leininger graduated from Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. It was the year that began her more than five decades of service in veterinary medicine. It was also the year that:
- Christian Bernard performed the first human to human heart transplant.
- Dr. James Bedford became the first cryoically preserved person.
- The Beatles released St. Pepper’s Lonely Heartsl Club Band Album.
- Rolling Stone released its first magazine.
- Vietname protests reached their height.
- Yearly inflation was 2.78 %.
- Average monthly rent was $125.00.
- The federal minimum wage was increased to $1.40 per hour.
As for women in the news, Priscilla married Elvis Pressley, Twiggy was on the scene, and in the leadership department — Indira Gandi was prime minister of India. I was old enough to remember that year, but I had a bit of catching up to do with my mentor and friend. I had yet to begin my journey as a career woman. My mom was a homemaker along with all the other moms. My dad was on the commuter train with all the other dads at 7:00 a.m. every day to New York City to work in a tall building. It was my dream to live and work in New York City one day, but it would take me many years to fulfill that dream. I could not even say today what it was I thought I was going to do, just that it seemed important to go to the city and do important things.
Dr. Mary Beth Leininger was already hard at work treating her first pet patients. Fast forward a little over five decades later and while I have had a passion for nearing forty decades — twenty at Germinder + Associates – about telling stories about what others do — Dr. Leininger has remained focused as a veterinarian helping people and pets. And, once she achieved that goal, she went on to lead in every aspect — from a successful practitioner to a leader in organized veterinary medicine to a successful industry executive. She’s taken a keen interest in the economics of veterinary medicine from the very beginning and intends to focus on the issue of student debt as she moves to the next phase of her veterinary journey.
Dr. Mary Beth is not only the epitome of the kind of woman leader you want to be, but she’s the kind of person you want to be. Kind and generous but decisive and determined. When queried about why she thought she could get into veterinary school when most women weren’t even applying, her reply was classic, ““I just never thought I couldn’t.” That women thing has never gotten in her way, nor should it. Kudos to you Mary Beth. Kudos to you. For an incredible more than five decades and the leadership you’ve shown – to both men and women. Wow!
Now that’s cause for celebration!