(DENVER, Colorado) July 27, 2014—This week, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) awards Ralph Johnson, executive director of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society, the 2014 AVMA Humane Award.
During the AVMA’s Annual Convention in Denver, July 25-29, the AVMA honors some of the nation’s top veterinarians, individuals and organizations during several events and ceremonies. Each recipient has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of both animals and people across the country and around the globe. These recipients represent the very best in all areas of veterinary medicine, from education and public service to research and private practice.
The AVMA Humane Award recognizes a non-veterinarian’s achievements in advancing the welfare of animals via leadership, public service, education, research/product development and/or advocacy. Johnson receives the award during the American Veterinary Medical Foundation Partners & Impact breakfast at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, July 27, in the Centennial Ballroom, GH in the Hyatt Regency Denver.
Raised on a family farm in North Dakota, Johnson became familiar first hand with animal husbandry practices and attendant chores. After studying music and environmental studies at the University of Northern Iowa, he landed in association management and has been happy to stay there for the past 35 years.
His career as an association professional began in Monterey, Calif., at Bostrom Corporation; later, as senior vice president of the company, he launched and developed its Washington, D.C., office and served as chief staff executive for a range of client organizations. Johnson was subsequently recruited to serve as executive director of the 6,500-member Society for American Archaeology at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Since 2000, Johnson has served as the executive director of the CVMA and the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society. In 2002, he was instrumental in creating CVMA’s charitable foundation, PetAid Colorado. As its executive director, he leads efforts to fulfill PetAid’s mission of providing the healthcare safety net for pets.
Johnson considers it a privilege to energize the complementary vision of these three organizations and, in concert with a staff of more than 30 association and veterinary healthcare professionals, to foster collaborative efforts that enhance the health and well-being of both animals and veterinarians.
He has served on a number of AVMA councils, committees and task forces, most recently as chair of the Task Force on Governance and Member Participation. As a past president of the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives (ASVMAE), Johnson is deeply involved in the organization, especially in strategic relations and the Power of Ten leadership development program for young veterinary professionals.
He presently serves on the boards of the CATalyst Council, Partners for Healthy Pets, the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund, Coloradans Protecting Animal Welfare and the Legislative Committee for the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies.
Johnson has previously received the Distinguished Service Award and the Executive of the Year Award from ASVMAE, the Association Professional of the Year Award from the Colorado Society of Association Executives and the Distinguished Service Award and the President’s Award from CVMA.