The spirit of an entrepreneur remains no matter where you go after you’ve owned a business. That’s something that can’t be taught in any business or veterinary school – that passion and commitment to succeed at what you do on a personal level no matter where you work and where you dedicate your volunteer time. When I launched Germinder + Associates twenty years ago, I was thrilled to find the support of a kindred entrepreneurial spirit in Dr. Arne Zislin, the final Germinder20 PowerofPink Honoree announced for this year. He had already joined the ranks of industry veterinarians, but he still knew what it was like to be an entrepreneur. He had owned a practice in Hammonton, New Jersey in the not too distant past.
Every time I would see him he would provide the needed technical information I was seeking, but he would also kindly ask me how the business was going. In short, he cared about me as a person. Little by little I got to know him as a person and how he and his wife were hosting exchange students, his dreams turned to reality of building an academic liaison program for his employer to help veterinary students and his other successful business initiatives. His entrpreneurial spirit was evident in each endeavor. We collaborated and we commisserated as we worked together. A friendship was born.
I admit I gravitated toward him for the brilliant veterinary advice, but continued to seek the empathy for what I was going through as a new business owner. I was still a novice and yet I had to be strong as business owner. Like him, I was transplanted to a city where I had not grown up, unlike him I had that New York directness that didn’t always go over so well. He was more patient than I. There were friendly debates which I welcomed as I always wanted to hear his point of view, especially with issues in veterinary medicine. What did he think?
Today I’m no longer a novice at business but I certainly am committed to succeeding and to giving back. We continue to share an entrepreneurial spirit in our respective endeavors – a what if? I continue to seek his counsel when I can get it and admire his commitment to volunteerism and giving back. Dr. Zislin is engaged with several new and different organizations, lending his sage advice and counsel to industry and organizations alike. We may say ‘Tis the season but for him that season is forever year round.