Oakes left school at the age of 16 and went straight into the workplace as a trainee veterinary nurse in a mixed practice on the North East coast of Yorkshire.
Here she qualified as a Veterinary Nurse, following studies at Rodbaston College of Agriculture in Penkridge.
She then took the position of sales and marketing director at National Veterinary Services before moving to Vetoquinol in 2011 to take a sales and marketing manager position.
Oakes has been in the position of managing director since 2013, and now leads an organisation of 76 people across the UK and Ireland.
She joined the NOAH board in June 2013 and was elected vice-chair in June 2018.
Oakes joined NOAH’s communications committee in August 2013 and became its chair in March 2015. She was also a member of the ‘Membership Working Group’ in 2019 and the business and trade sub-committee in 2020.
Oakes said: “As well as representing around 97% of the animal medicines industry, our current members also already have a diverse product spread, including feed additives and nutraceuticals and an increasing interest in diagnostics and digital technologies. This is something we can celebrate, and work towards an even broader representation”.
She added: “As the future changes fast, catalysed by the pandemic, NOAH will change with the times to serve our modern and changing sector”.