Posted Oct. 1, 2014
Linda Walker of Arlington, Texas, was installed as president of the Auxiliary to the AVMA on July 28 during the AVMA Annual Convention in Denver. Former president Ginger Morton, Athens, Texas, installed Walker and the other board members during the Auxiliary’s annual membership meeting.
As Auxiliary president for 2014-2015, Walker is chair of the Auxiliary board of directors. Serving on the board with her are Mary Louise Dixon, Rome, Georgia, secretary; Meagan Allegra Waldron, Mount Gilead, Ohio; Judy DeWitt, Birmingham, Alabama; Leslie Montgomery, Dacula, Georgia; and Greg Mooney, Mount Gilead, Ohio, immediate past president. Mary Ellen Bowgren, Schaumburg, Illinois, continues as liaison between the AVMA staff, the Auxiliary, and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
||Linda Walker, president of the Auxiliary to the AVMA (Photo by Dr. Richard Dixon)
Walker’s husband is Dr. T.J. Walker, owner of a small animal practice in Arlington, Texas, since 1975. College sweethearts, the couple married in 1969, and T.J. received his DVM degree from Texas A&M University in 1972. During her husband’s veterinary college years, Linda was an officer in the TAMU student auxiliary.
After his graduation, they moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though there was no state auxiliary as such, Linda helped with logistics for an annual no-cost vaccination clinic hosted by Albuquerque veterinarians. In 1975, the Walkers moved to Texas, where Linda became involved in the state auxiliary. She served as Tarrant County president for two years and as Texas auxiliary president from 2011-2013. In the national Auxiliary, she has been a board member since 2011.
“I’ve always enjoyed being involved in organizations, especially the Auxiliary because it benefited the veterinary students so much on all levels,” she said. “We needed to apply for a (student) loan at one point and found out my husband qualified for a scholarship instead. This has been my way of paying forward.”
Walker told attendees at the membership meeting her presidential theme will be “Looking Forward to the Future.” She said the Auxiliary looks forward to continuing its relationship with the AVMA and AVMF. An update was given on the Auxiliary Legacy Endowed Scholarship Program, which was created at the 2013 AVMA convention when the Auxiliary presented the AVMF with a $2 million check to start the fund. The AVMF will begin awarding a $1,000 scholarship to one student at each U.S. veterinary college next spring.
“I’ve always enjoyed being involved in organizations, especially the Auxiliary because it benefited the veterinary students so much on all levels.”
Linda Walker, president, Auxiliary to the AVMA
The Kritters Korner Gift Store is the Auxiliary’s “big moneymaker,” Walker noted. At the AVMA convention, it did well, and the next venue is the Western Veterinary Conference next February in Las Vegas. The profits go to the Auxiliary’s general fund to maintain the Auxiliary as an organization so it can raise funds for the legacy scholarship program.
Winners of the 2015 National Pet Week poster and writing contests were chosen by the board. The winning entries and creators will be announced in JAVMA next March in advance of pet week in May. The Auxiliary luncheon July 28 drew about 40 people, including one veterinarian each from Japan, China, and Singapore.
Walker said the Auxiliary “ironed out a whole lot of issues” during Greg Mooney’s administration, so she doesn’t foresee anything “jumping up.”
Dues-paying members currently number 230 and include 11 men. There are also more than 630 life members.
“We are trying hard to make everyone realize you don’t have to wear a skirt to be a member,” Walker said.
And not everyone is a spouse. Board member Meagan Allegra Waldron, for example, is the daughter of a veterinarian.
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