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.

Gudrun Ravetz

Gudrun ravetz head shot - board member


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 President at the BVA Member’s Day and AGM on 22 September 2016.

Sean Wensley

Sean WensleySenior Vice President

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 Fishwick

Junior Vice President

John Fishwick head shot - board member

John has worked at RVC since 2003 as Senior Lecturer in Dairy Herd Medicine and was appointed as head of the newly formed Department of Production and Population Health in 2012. He holds the RCVS Diploma in Cattle Health and Production and is a Diplomate of the European College of Bovine Health Management.

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.

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. 

Kerstin Alford

Kerstin Alford, BVA Board memberCouncil elected

Kerstin has been working at director and senior leadership level for the past 14 years, most recently for Blue Cross as Director of Service Delivery. A ‘big picture’ person, with a track record of successful delivery, she has strong strategic planning and development skills and demonstrable ability in creating, articulating, and achieving delivery against organisational vision. 

Adi Nell

Adi Nell, BVA Board memberCouncil elected

Adi's business training and experience have given him a broad, deep and very practical understanding of the challenges of running a large organisation, managing the conflicting demands of diverse stakeholders, and delivering value. Adi's been a sole trader, a small business owner and, more recently, senior partner in one of the UK’s largest veterinary businesses. His particular interests are in strategic planning, business development, marketing and engagement.

Ruth Lysons

Ruth Lysons, BVA Board member

Council elected

Ruth worked in private practice before joining the Veterinary Laboratories Agency then Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where she managed policy and expenditure on veterinary surveillance, endemic and zoonotic diseases. Ruth is currently Senior Independent Director at Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and is a Trustee of the Charity ‘My Cancer, My Choices’. A BVA member since 1982, Ruth was on the Veterinary Policy Group prior to election to its Board.