Dr. Jack O. Walther
The AVMA House of Delegates July 13 elected Dr. Jack Walther of Lamoille, Nev., as AVMA vice president for 2001-2002.
Dr. Walther called the post "the greatest honor I've ever received, and one that, frankly, I've thought about all my life. To be here and have this happen today is an unforgettable [experience.]"
Dr. Walther will serve for one year, and has the option of running for a second term in 2002. He replaces Dr. Joe Kinnarney, who served two years as vice president. The vice president holds a seat on the Executive Board and is the AVMA's official liaison to the Student AVMA.
Dr. Walther said that in the upcoming year, he would concentrate on helping veterinary students understand all the issues facing veterinary medicine today, including economic concerns. He also plans to get young people more involved in organized veterinary medicine.
"If we're going to be successful as a relatively small profession, we need everybody to be part of it—it may just be a small part, but we have to be all working together toward our goals," he said.
Dr. Walther already has extensive experience with veterinary students—he has served as an adjunct professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Nevada at Reno for almost 30 years, and has hosted many preveterinary students in his practice. For the past year, he has served as the SAVMA second adviser in the House of Delegates.
Dr. Walther's supporters, speaking to the House of Delegates, described the new vice president as an inspirational veterinarian with an impressive service record.
"Jack reminds me of the Energizer Bunny—he always keeps working on our behalf, and he always does it with a smile," said Dr. Fred Tierney, delegate from New York, in seconding the nomination.
Dr. Walther, a 1963 graduate of the University of California-Davis, has served as the Nevada delegate to the AVMA for the past 10 years and just wrapped up a term on the AVMA PAC Policy Board. In his state, he has been the president and legislative chair of the Nevada VMA, and has spent 10 years on the state veterinary board. He recently sold his two practices in Reno, but still practices part time in Elko.
The other candidate for the position was Dr. Tom Kendall of Sacramento, Calif.