Balloting for Executive Board election commences

Howe declared District VII winner, District IX undecided
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Dr. Howe
Dr. John A. Howe

Three candidates have been nominated for two open seats on the AVMA Executive Board.

Dr. John A. Howe of Grand Rapids, Minn., was the sole nominee for District VII board representative, while the District IX seat is in contention between Drs. Billy R. Clay of Stillwater, Okla., and Michael L. Whitehair of Abilene, Kan.

Facing no challengers, Dr. Howe was declared elected to a six-year term on the Executive Board following the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. He will succeed Dr. Clark K. Fobian this August as board representative for AVMA members residing in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Dr. Howe started, developed, and now manages a four-doctor mixed animal practice in Grand Rapids and is a former president of the Minnesota VMA, which nominated him to the AVMA board. He has served on several MVMA committees and currently holds the vice chair seat on both the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service and Governance Performance Review Committee.

A 1977 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Howe is a state-certified fish health inspector. He was appointed twice by the governor to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, for which he served a term as president, and he was a member of the Minnesota Veterinary Reserve Corps Advisory Committee.

Dr. Howe says the challenges facing the veterinary profession are considerable, and he looks forward to using his Executive Board office to identify and implement solutions. "My lifetime experiences give me a perspective to face the challenges ahead and help shape the future of our profession," he said.

Areas of interest to Dr. Howe include scope-of-practice issues, animal welfare issues, changing philosophies of veterinary education, and national and state legislative issues affecting veterinary medicine and small business.

"Helping the general practitioner realize the value of AVMA membership and the importance of involvement in organized veterinary medicine is also important to me," he said.

District IX candidates

Balloting for the District IX race is in progress. AVMA members living in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah will elect either Dr. Clay or Dr. Whitehair to succeed Dr. Ted Cohn as their new Executive Board representative this August.

Completed ballots must be received by the AVMA no later than April 1. The election winner will be announced that month.

Dr. Clay is a board-certified veterinary toxicologist who has worked for more than four decades as a private consultant. He also is an adjunct professor at the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he graduated in 1970.

Dr. Clay's Executive Board nomination was submitted by the Oklahoma VMA. He is a past president of the OVMA and has served on many of the association's committees, including the Animal Welfare Committee, which he currently chairs.

At the national level, Dr. Clay has been a member of the AVMA Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee and Environmental Issues Committee as well as the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine. He has also represented the AVMA on a delegation to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and on the Environmental Protection Agency's Farm Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee.

The Kansas VMA nominated Dr. Whitehair to the AVMA Executive Board. Currently, he is a partner in a mixed animal practice in Abilene. His clinical interests include beef cattle, feedlot, and equine medicine.

The 1974 Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine graduate has been active in organized veterinary medicine for many years. In addition to serving as president of the KVMA and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, Dr. Whitehair represented his home state in the AVMA House of Delegates from 1997-2011. During that time, he was a House Advisory Committee member and spent a year as chair.

Dr. Whitehair served on the committee that selected the AVMA executive vice president in 2007. More recently, he participated on the AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission and American Veterinary Medical Foundation Scholarship Committee for Rural Recent Graduates.