Danielle Pfaff is a people person, and it’s the enthusiasm and dedication of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine community that excites her the most about her new role as the veterinary hospital’s administrator.
“I want to be a leader that helps others in our community to feel that they can make a positive difference,” said Pfaff.
Growing up, Pfaff’s father was in the U.S. Air Force, so she lived in many places across the United States and Europe, fueling her love of meeting new people and learning about different cultures and ideas. Before joining NC State, Pfaff spent 21 years in Ithaca, N.Y., most recently at Cornell University.
What is your background?
My background is well-rounded in finance and accounting. I worked in the automotive and hospitality industries for many years before transitioning to academia.
For 14 years, I was a senior financial analyst with BorgWarner Morse TEC, an auto parts manufacturer based in Ithaca, N.Y. Then in 2007, I joined the Cornell University staff as a financial planning and analysis manager with the school’s facilities administration before becoming the assistant controller of the School of Hotel Administration.
I became the director of finance and administration for the Cornell University Hospital for Animals in 2013, where I was responsible for operations of six Cornell-affiliated veterinary hospitals.
I also hold a bachelor’s in international business and international relations from Brigham Young University and an MBA with a technology management concentration from the University of Phoenix.
What made you want to work in the field of veterinary medicine?
I’m always looking for new opportunities and to expand my knowledge. I was intrigued to take my business and hospitality background and apply it to the veterinary industry at Cornell University. I’m looking forward to continuing that work at NC State.
What will you be doing in your new role?
The hospital administrator role is multifaceted, involving developing and implementing hospital practices and policies, ensuring safety and coordinating budget and operations plans. My key focus right now will be to look at current processes with a fresh perspective. I enjoy identifying and implementing opportunities for efficiency while leveraging technology. I will have an integral role in the implementation of ezyVet, a more modern and accessible electronic medical record and hospital information system that will go live across the hospital in 2020.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
Looking to the future and working with the dedicated and dynamic staff and faculty at the CVM. As we continue to grow as an organization, I’ll be looking for more ways to be creative and innovative. It’s an exciting time.
What’s something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I know how to harvest bananas. As a summer job in college, I worked at a kibbutz on the coast of Israel. I was responsible for cutting the bananas off the banana tree with a machete and clearing them of spiders. I’m good with a machete.
I also love chocolate, chips, salsa and Diet Coke. You can usually find me with a Diet Coke in my hand.
When you’re not on campus, where could we find you?
You could find me out exploring and hiking trails in the area with my dog, Trigger, a 9-year-old beagle mix.
Visit the NC State Veterinary Hospital page for more information about our services for companion animals.