AVMA Treasurer 2023-2029
Dr. Jon Pennell grew up in southern Idaho and is a second-generation veterinarian (his father was a mixed animal practitioner). He received his Master of Science degree in veterinary science from the University of Idaho. His focus of study was immunology, and his research on Haemophilus somnus complex was published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. Following graduation from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, he and his family moved to Las Vegas, where he was an associate veterinarian in a very busy small animal practice. Three years after graduation, Dr. Pennell followed his dream to own his own veterinary hospital. He managed, operated, and grew this practice for 18 years before moving to another hospital in an associate role.
In 1997, Dr. Pennell was appointed to the Nevada Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and served for nine years, the last two as president.
Following the September 11 attacks, Dr. Pennell pursued avenues to volunteer and was chosen to take part in Iowa State University's Train the Trainer program for zoonotic diseases and disaster preparedness. He delivered short courses and hands-on training exercises throughout Nevada. He also became a member of VMAT 4 and NVRT. Dr. Pennell volunteered at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Ward One following Hurricane Katrina and responded to Hurricane Rita with NVRT 4. He was the first veterinarian to join the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) of Southern Nevada and was one of the speakers at a national MRC convention in Providence, Rhode Island.
Dr. Pennell also became an emergency medical technician (EMT), enabling him to volunteer as a veterinarian or an EMT. To hone his skills as an EMT, he worked part-time for seven years with a local ambulance company and was a member of its emergency response team. He maintains his National Registry Advanced Emergency Technician certification.
Dr. Pennell served on the board of directors of the Nevada Veterinary Medical Association and in 2009 became Nevada's alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD). He later served as Nevada delegate to the HOD, and as chair of the HOD Working Group on Allied Representation, liaison to the Task Force on Veterinary Technician Utilization, and member and chair of the House Advisory Committee.
Dr. Pennell has been active with the Western Veterinary Conference/Viticus and is a past member of its board of directors and a past president. During his service to the WVC, he also was chair of its expansion committee, which led to the addition of a second campus. In 2021, Dr. Pennell was honored to have the 93rd Annual WVC Conference dedicated in his name.
An active member of his community and state, Dr. Pennell was appointed to the Nevada State Board of Health in 2013 and also has served as its chair. He worked with a nonprofit organization created to support the North Las Vegas Police Department's Canine Teams and was its vice president from 2003-2012. He also was a member of the College of Southern Nevada's Veterinary Technology Advisory Board from 2005-2014, and served his last year as chair.
In 2022, Dr. Pennell was presented the Distinguished Veterinary Alumni Award, Excellence in Practice, by the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Pennell is happily married to his wonderful wife, Kathy. They are blessed to have two children and four grandchildren.