NORTH ADAMS — When John Reynolds decided to sell his veterinary hospital on Curran Highway he didn't have to look far for a buyer.
The perfect candidate was already on his staff.
Veterinarian Lindsay Cermak, who had worked for Reynolds the last five years, recently purchased the North County Veterinary Hospital, a business that the Pittsfield-based Reynolds had started from scratch eight years ago.
A Pittsfield native and Williams College graduate, Cermak had worked at Reynolds's North Adams facility since 2012, and had managed the veterinary hospital for the last year.
Cermak had been thinking about owning her own veterinary hospital sometime in the future, so when Reynolds approached her with the idea, she seized the opportunity.
"We started talking about him looking into the possibility of selling it," Cermak said. "It seemed like a good opportunity for me. It's a place that I know and the people have been working with me for awhile."
Reynolds, who runs the Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital and Shaker Hill Pet Resort in Pittsfield, thought Cermak was the right fit.
"I was sort of looking at the future of the practice and if someone was working for me that was interested that would be a natural progression and there would be more opportunity for the both of us," said Reynolds, who also chairs Pittsfield's seven-member Animal Control Commission. "It's not so much me trying to get rid of it. It was more of an opportunity to see it grow and for someone like her letting it grow.
"She had worked up there for quite a bit, so I wanted to see as a young vet for awhile if she would be interested in taking it on," he said. "I thought it would be a good opportunity for her.
"It's a small practice that's grown so you have a lot of potential," he said. "There's only one other veterinary hospital in the Northern Berkshire area so there's definitely a place for another hospital that's bigger than a one-person practice."
Cermak, 34, became interested in veterinary medicine after graduating from college. The salutatorian of the Pittsfield High School class of 2000, Cermak graduated from Williams in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in biology and psychology.
"After I graduated from college I started working for Dr. Reynolds as a tech and receptionist in the Pittsfield office," Cermak said. "That's when I decided to go to vet school."
Cermak attended the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, graduating in 2010.
"I got to see more of what happens," said Cermak, recalling her experiences at Tufts. "I did a lot of kennel work in high school, but didn't see the medicine side so much."
After interning with Reynolds for a year, she became a full-time employee of his veterinary business four years ago.
Cermak, who took over the North Adams Veterinary Hospital earlier this month, is hoping to expand the facility's hours of operation which would allow her to possibly add another veterinarian. She is the only vet on staff among the hospital's five total employees.
The North Adams Veterinary Hospital is currently open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
"We're only open one evening during the week," said Cermak, who would also like to add weekend hours.
She would also like to expand the hospital's services by adding ultrasound and other functions, which would give her "the ability to do a little more."
"In the immediate future I'd like to add more hours and get clients in in a more timely manner," she said
Reynolds sees similarities in Cermak taking over in North Adams to his own practice.
"She is sort of in the position I was in when I took over in Pittsfield," he said. "I took over a small practice and grew it into a bigger place. I can see her as a young doctor getting to do that."
Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413 496-6224.