BVA Board

The Board is responsible for corporate and financial governance, setting the strategic direction and overseeing the performance of BVA.

Chief Executive David Calpin makes management decisions for the Association and reports to the Board on a regular basis. 

Company Secretary is Derek Thorpe.

Election and terms of office

The Board consist of 9 members - 3 BVA Officers, 4 directors elected by Council and up to 2 non-veterinary directors appointed by the Board.

Non-veterinary directors are approved at the annual general meeting.

The Chairman is elected by the other members of the Board and is responsible for monitoring implementation of the Board's plans and decisions.

With the exception of the BVA Officers, the directors serve for a 3 year period, renewable once.

Board members

Derek Williams, Board ChairmanDerek Williams


Derek has spent his entire career in the private sector as a contractor to ‘not for profit’ organisations. He has been associated with BVA for approximately 30 years, initially through his own publishing company, and more recently as a Board member. Derek became Chairman of the Board in 2011.

Sean Wensley

Sean WensleyPresident

Sean is based in Northern Ireland and works for the PDSA as Senior Veterinary Surgeon for Communication and Education. He previously served as a member of the Overseas Group after receiving a BVA travel grant to assist with the Uganda Owl Conservation Project. Sean has also worked on projects in China, India, Europe and the Caribbean. Sean became BVA President in September 2015.

John Blackwell

John BlackwellSenior Vice President

John is one of three directors of a mixed practice in Shropshire and he primarily works with farm and equine clients. John was also President of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) and is a member of the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association, sitting on the newly formed education committee.

Gudrun Ravetz

Gudrun ravetz head shot - board member

Junior Vice President

Currently Gudrun works as a Veterinary Consultant to Pet Health Plans from Denplan and as an external interviewer for prospective veterinary students at University of Liverpool. Alongside practicing as a small animal veterinary surgeon on graduating in 2002, Gudrun furthered her interest in the business side of the veterinary profession by studying for the post graduate certificate in business. Gudrun became Junior Vice President at the BVA Member’s Day and AGM on 24 September 2015.

Andrew Praill

Andrew Praill, Board memberDeputy Chairman, Council elected

Andrew was in practice for nearly 40 years in Herefordshire. He is a past-president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA), chairs the Pensions Trustees of a veterinary wholesale company, sits on the Veterinary Products Committee at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), and was previously involved in a number of representative roles at BVA before joining the Board.

Zara Boland

Zara Boland, Board memberCouncil elected

Zara is a clinical vet with 7 years of small, large and exotic animal practice. After a move into the pet food industry, she founded her own company Vet Voice in 2011 to fill a gap in the veterinary communications market. Zara is a regular speaker at international veterinary conferences and also engages widely across the media with pet owners. She has most recently embarked on a full-time global communications role with an international pet food manufacturer.

Judith Collings

Judith CollingsNon-Veterinary Director

Judith is a chartered accountant and spent 15 years as Finance Director for Vaillant, a multinational heating technology group. Prior to this she had roles in various companies ranging from a small sports management group to a newly established subsidiary of Granada PLC. Judith also has experience in IT, HR, contracts and facilities management. She currently runs a small business advice practice and is a non-executive director of a housing association.

Bill Reilly

Bill Reilly, Board member Council elected

Bill graduated from Glasgow in 1970 and has had a varied career in academia, practice, and government service. He currently sits on the Preliminary Investigation Committee of the RCVS and chairs the Veterinary Products Committee. He has been President of the West of Scotland Division, Scottish Branch and Veterinary Public Health Association, and served as BVA President in 2009/2010.

Philip Lowndes

Philip Lowndes, Board memberCouncil elected

Philip graduated from Bristol and spent 7 years in mixed practice before embarking on a career in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry. He has held national and international commercial roles in general management and global marketing leadership.