Dr. John de Jong, 2018-19 AVMA president, named the 2019 recipients of the AVMA President's Award at AVMA Convention 2019 this August in Washington, D.C. This award recognizes individuals or groups for making a positive impact on health, veterinary organizations, or the profession.
This year's recipients are Dr. Mark Lutschaunig (Pennsylvania '88), director of the AVMA Government Relations Division; Dr. Joseph H. Kinnarney (Cornell '80), an AVMA past president and current chair of the AVMA Trust; and Isham R. Jones III, AVMA general counsel. Below, Dr. de Jong describes why he chose the recipients.
Dr. Mark Lutschaunig
AVMA members have long indicated that perhaps the most important function of their Association is to advocate for them. When it comes to the federal legislative arena, we have been blessed to have the steadfast leadership of Dr. Mark Lutschaunig in our Government Relations Division office in Washington, D.C. Despite the periodic turnover of staff and volunteers, he has provided stability and consistency in the office while simultaneously building strong relationships for us on Capitol Hill. His organizational skills in guiding the AVMA Political Action Committee and Legislative Advisory Committee are invaluable and have helped the AVMA earn the respect it has in our federal government today.
Dr. Joseph H. Kinnarney
There are few individuals who have had an involvement during most of their veterinary career in serving their Association and colleagues like Dr. Joe Kinnarney. However, his service to the AVMA actually started even before that as the national Student AVMA president. He then went on to serve in the House of Delegates as our vice president, on the Board of Directors, and then as our national president. His unselfish dedication and love of the profession has never wavered, and he has always been a gracious servant leader. Not ready to end his service to our members, Dr. Kinnarney answered the call of trust and faith in his leadership to chair the transition of our two trusts into a single new trust entity that provides some of our greatest member benefits and more.
Isham R. Jones III
For almost a decade, Isham Jones has been one of the most important individuals on staff at the AVMA. Prior to his joining the Association, the AVMA relied on legal advice and support on an as-needed basis from external sources. As in-house legal counsel, he has been invaluable in guiding the AVMA through all sorts of legal issues—both internal and external—covering contractual, litigious, parliamentary, and other matters. He has always been available to answer a wide breadth of legal questions and has also been known to assist individual volunteers and staff with personal legal matters as an act of goodwill.