Leadership Team

Our Leadership Team

At Willows we pride ourselves on providing the best possible care and service for our patients, owners and referring Vets alike. It wouldn’t be possible to maintain our excellent standards without an outstanding team of individuals who are committed to excellence.
Be it manning our busy reception desk, helping you with insurance claims or overseeing the smooth running of the Hospital our friendly, dedicated and caring team constantly strive deliver gold standard experience, looking after pets as if they were their own.

Toby Gemmill


Managing Director

RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics)
European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Toby graduated from the University of Bristol and following a number of years in mixed and small animal practice, he undertook a Residency in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Glasgow. Toby holds the RCVS Diploma in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics) and the ECVS Diploma in Small Animal Surgery, and was also awarded an MVM for research into canine elbow dysplasia.

Toby was a member of the RCVS Small Animal Surgery Board for several years and has been an RCVS examiner in Small Animal Surgery at both Certificate and Diploma levels. Toby has authored or co-authored numerous scientific papers and conference abstracts, presented internationally on a wide variety of topics relating to small animal orthopaedics and spinal surgery, and has regularly contributed to local CPD meetings. He is the co-editor of the 2nd edition of the BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Fracture Repair and Management. Toby has been involved with AOVET for several years, a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving outcomes for orthopaedic patients, and has sat on the AOVET European board, the Education commission, the International board and the AO Board of Trustees. Having worked at Willows Referral Service since 2005 he became Clinical Director in 2016, and was appointed as Managing Director of Willows and Kentdale Referrals in 2020.

"Having worked at Willows for many years and been with Linnaeus since the company was founded, I am looking forward to helping lead both Kentdale and Willows forward, maintaining our commitment to providing the best possible levels of care to our patients, pet owners, and referring vets."

Outside of work, Toby enjoys CrossFit, mountain sports, and spending time with his family. He has a boisterous Labrador retriever who approaches life with excessive enthusiasm to compensate for any deficiencies in her training.
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Tony Avery

Hospital Director

Before joining Willows Tony work in the Private Healthcare sector for eighteen years in various leadership roles. After establishing a nationwide private medical practice Tony moved into hospital management operating private hospitals across England, for some of the UK's leading healthcare providers such as, Nuffield Health and BMI Healthcare. Tony's most recent role was as Executive Director of The Priory Hospital in Birmingham.

Away from work Tony lives in Birmingham with his wife, three grown up children and two rescue cats Alfie and Charlie. Tony loves nothing more than going on a long walk with his wife and friends followed by a relaxed pub meal and a nice glass of Pinot.

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Tom Reilly


Head of Clinical Support Services

After leaving school, Tom started working at his local RSPCA branch, spending four years helping rehabilitate cruelty cases until they were fit to be rehomed. On leaving the RSPCA Tom had his first insight into the veterinary world as an animal care assistant at the PDSA. Having enjoyed working within the veterinary industry Tom joined a local mixed practice as a student veterinary nurse where he qualified in 2010. Tom joined Willows in 2011 as an RVN and was promoted to Deputy Nurse Manager in 2017.

Tom has a broad nursing interest but has a specific passions for medical nursing, emergency medicine, infectious diseases and evidence based practice. Tom gained his veterinary nursing certificate in emergency critical care in 2013 and completed his qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management in 2014. He is also currently working towards his advanced veterinary nursing diploma.

In 2014 Tom joined his local British Small Animal Veterinary Association regional committee and has organised lectures and courses for veterinary nurses in the local area on an array of topics ever since. Since 2015, Tom has been a member of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association congress committee assisting with the organising of congress and just as importantly the social events.
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Nic Mills

BSc (Hons) RVN

Head of Client Experience

Nic studied Genetics and Molecular Biology at university and after graduating in 2010 decided to take some time out to decide if a career in genetics was right for him. He then went on to work as a Pet Health Advisor at a local small animal practice and immediately knew that working within the veterinary industry was the right place for him. Since then Nic has gone on to qualify as a Registered Veterinary Nurse and in 2017 made the move into industry where he worked as a territory manager for a global veterinary pharmaceutical company.

Nic understands the importance of building lasting relationships with practices and brings with him the dedication and experience necessary to develop and strengthen the relationships Willows has with both referring veterinary practices and pet owners.

Outside of work, Nic has a very noisy six-year-old Siamese called Eli who he hand-reared after he was abandoned at his old practice and the pair have been inseparable ever since.
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David Hindley


Facilities Manager

David has worked at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service since 2002, initially joining us as an animal care assistant obtaining valuable experience working alongside general practice clinicians and specialist vets in a progressive small animal practice.  Going from strength to strength, his level of commitment to the practice, his colleagues and, most importantly, the patients in his care, David was promoted to Animal Care Manager in 2007.

As the practice has grown and the facilities within have developed, David realised his skills and knowledge would be well suited to a facilities role and he became Facilities Manager in December 2016. David is IWFM and IOSH qualified and is working towards his Nebosh qualification.

David has a busy home life shared with his wife and young son, two dogs, two rabbits, two birds, a cat and finally a horse! When he does have a rare moment to spare, he will sneak in a game of football or rugby!
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Tinderjit Khatkar

BA(Hons) Associate CIPD

HR Business Partner

Tinderjit joined Willows in February 2018 as an HR Business Partner, having previously worked in various HR roles mainly in education.

Working at Willows has been a great opportunity to learn about the veterinary sector and Tinderjit has been truly blown away by the dedication and commitment of team members and the amazing service they provide to clients and patients.

With 198 staff, there is always something to do and no two days are the same! This adds to the variety and excitement of working at Willows. Her passion is to make a difference to team members and to ensure that all team members have the best employee experience possible.

Away from Willows, Tinderjit enjoys gardening, going for long walks and going on holiday and has been fortunate to have been on some great adventures. Tinderjit promised her family that they could have a dog when she started at Willows and she hopes to fulfil this wish very soon.
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Samantha MacDonald

BA (Hons)

Marketing Manager

Sam joined Willows from the world of Private Healthcare having worked for a number of the UKs largest private Healthcare providers for over ten years in the London, the South East and most recently the Midlands.

It had always been Sam’s childhood dream to become a Vet, having grown up watching every episode of ‘Animal Hospital’, she even spent a short stint experiencing life within a veterinary practice as part of high school work experience. However, the creative aspect of marketing called leading Sam on to roles within Private Healthcare and most recently Veterinary Medicine across which there are increasing similarities.

Having previously been the proud owner of a rather hairy Bearded Collie named Chloe, Sam would love to get another dog in the near future. For the meantime she fulfils her longing for puppy cuddles by offering up her pup sitting skills to help her Dad who breeds working Labradors.
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Felicity Lynes


Commercial Business Partner

Felicity joined Willows in January 2020 overseeing all things finance related from monthly reporting, implementing cost controls and setting up procedures.

Felicity began her accountancy career in accountancy practices where she qualified with the ACCA and gained a broad knowledge of the accountancy world before moving into commercial finance in the Woodwork Machinery industry.

Felicity certainly likes to keep herself busy and is in the final year of studying for her MBA qualification. She is also a regular at the gym and is currently training for Edinburgh marathon.
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Cathy Bowen

Business Relationship Manager


Cathy qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2000 and went on to spend 11 years as a RVN in small animal first opinion practice. During her Nursing career Cathy primarily focused on nurse-led consults running successful nurse clinics.

In 2010, Cathy made the move into industry. Over the next 10 years she took on roles within pet nutrition and small animal diagnostics providing her with the opportunity develop skills in business development as well learning and development.

In 2018, Cathy made the decision to go back to her first love and looked to return to Veterinary Practices in roles that enabled her to directly support Veterinary teams.

Cathy joined Willows as Business Relationship Manager in January 2021. As an advocate for our general practice veterinary colleagues Cathy works to support our referring practices ensuring the highest possible levels of shared patient care and treatment.

Outside of work Cathy enjoys running and generally spending time outdoors. Cathy has no furry pets at the moment, however, does have a large natural pond filled with a number of ornamental fish!
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