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Michael San Filippo
Phone: 847-285-6687
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 AVMA announces 2013-2014 class of Future Leaders at 150th annual convention

​​(CHICAGO, Illinois) July 21, 2013 –During its annual convention in Chicago, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) officially launched the AVMA Future Leaders Program’s third class by announcing the 10 veterinarians who will be taking part in the program over the next year.

The year-long program was created by the AVMA to develop volunteer leaders for the AVMA and other organized veterinary groups. Funding for this program was generously provided by Zoetis. The goal is to help participants enhance their individual leadership skills and create useable tools for the wider veterinary profession to benefit from and utilize.

The 10 participants were selected from approximately 60 AVMA member nominees who had graduated from veterinary schools within the last 15 years.

“Selecting only 10 Future Leaders from the nominations received was exceedingly difficult, as it was last year. The hardest part of picking each class over the past three years has been narrowing down the list of nominees to just 10 participants, because of the qualifications and diverse interests and energy of all the outstanding nominees,” said Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. “Many of these Future Leaders are already leaders, taking leadership roles at the state and local levels, so we’re excited by not only what we can teach them but how much they’ll be able to teach us.”

Participants will have an opportunity to work with professional facilitator Dr. Ken Andrews of High Impact Facilitation, who will provide project management and leadership training. As the year progresses, these young leaders will not only learn new skills, but they will, as a group, develop and collaborate on a project that will provide the AVMA with a valuable new tool or service that will benefit all members. The first class of Future Leaders focused on creating a web-based Future Leaders Toolkit that uses videos, instructional materials, and other tools to help all AVMA members improve their leadership skills on the job or within the profession. The second class of Future Leaders planned and hosted a half-day symposium at the AVMA Annual Convention designed to help equip AVMA members with tools and skills to practice culturally competent veterinary medicine for optimal patient outcomes. The class also assessed whether or not there is a correlation between professional successes and cultural competence.

The following veterinarians were selected for the AVMA’s 2013-2014 Future Leaders Program:

o Dr. Heather Fowler, St. Paul, Minn.  

o Dr. Suzanne Young Dougherty, Madison, Ala.

o Dr. Stic Harris, Gaithersburg, Md.

o Dr. Nina Kieves, Ames, Iowa

o Dr. Kristy Pabilonia, Fort Collins, Colo.

o Dr. Sarah Reuss, Gainesville, Fla.

o Dr. Shanna Siegel, Raleigh, N.C.

o Dr. Christina Tran, North Plains, Ore.

o Dr. Callie Willingham, Chandler, Ariz.

o Dr. Eric Willingham, Rogers, Ark.

For more information on the AVMA’s Future Leaders Program, or to arrange interviews with any of the participants, contact Tom McPheron at 847-285-6781 or at

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