September 01, 2011

Convention Coverage

 AVMA announces participants in Future Leaders Program

Posted Aug. 17, 2011 

The AVMA officially launched the Future Leaders Program on July 16 at the AVMA Annual Convention by announcing the 10 early-career veterinarians who will be the inaugural participants.

The AVMA established the yearlong pilot program with support from Pfizer Animal Health to develop future leaders for the AVMA and other veterinary associations. Working with a professional facilitator, participants will develop leadership and problem-solving skills relevant to organized veterinary medicine.

"Today the veterinary profession is experiencing a time of change and uncertainty, which can be a challenging combination that requires capable and confident leadership," said Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, then AVMA president, during the program launch. 

Dr. Todd
Dr. Libby Todd reflects on becoming a participant in the
AVMA Future Leaders Program. (Photo by Matt Alexandre/ 
Robb Cohen Photography)

Participants in the Future Leaders Program will collaborate on a project to provide the AVMA with strategies to help increase the leadership skills of veterinarians across the country.

One of the participants spoke during the program launch. Dr. Libby Todd, a companion animal practitioner from Birmingham, Ala., said she is passionate about servant leadership—the philosophy that leaders exist to serve others.

"So the Future Leaders Program immediately appealed to me because of the opportunity to work together on one focused project impacting organized veterinary medicine," Dr. Todd said. "I have seen the benefits that can be attained when individuals work together to achieve common goals."

The Future Leaders Program received nominations for more than 70 AVMA members who had graduated from veterinary school within the past 15 years.

The 10 participants in the 2011-2012 Future Leaders Program are as follows:

  • Dr. Melissa Austin-Gundel, Kansas City, Mo., companion animal practice.
  • Dr. Abigail Bowers, Eldridge, Iowa, mixed animal practice.
  • Dr. Dustin M. Brown, Midwest City, Okla., companion animal practice.
  • Dr. Erin Casey, Washington, D.C., companion animal practice.
  • Dr. John T. Feutz, Princeton, Ind., mixed animal practice.
  • Dr. Christopher Gargamelli, Durham, Conn., companion animal emergency practice.
  • Dr. Micah Kohles, Lincoln, Neb., industry.
  • Dr. Shannon Mesenhowski, Minneapolis, companion animal practice.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Nunamaker, Chicago, laboratory animal medicine.
  • Dr. Libby Todd, Birmingham, Ala., companion animal practice.