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November 01, 2021

South Dakota VMA

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130th annual meeting, Sioux Falls, Aug. 15-18


Continuing education was offered to the more than 200 veterinarians and veterinary technicians in attendance. The 2020 meeting was held virtually because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so the in-person 2021 meeting included award presentations to 2020 winners. The SDVMA Foundation held an auction, raising more than $11,000. The money raised will be used for scholarships benefiting veterinary students and veterinary technology students.


2020 Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Julie Ann Williams (Iowa State ’82), was posthumously recognized with this award, given to an individual who has brought distinction to the veterinary profession through devotion to the care and well-being of animals, support for the profession, and contributions to the community. Dr. Williams owned Mid River Veterinary Clinic in Chamberlain prior to retirement. She previously worked at Chamberlain Veterinary Supply. Dr. Williams was a member of the South Dakota Animal Industry Board for more than 25 years, serving as president for three years. She was also a member of the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.

Dr. Daly
Dr. Russ Daly

2021 Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Russ Daly (Iowa State ’90), Columbia. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Dr. Daly is an extension veterinarian and a professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department at South Dakota State University in Brookings. He also serves as state public health veterinarian with the South Dakota Department of Health. Earlier in his career, Dr. Daly practiced mixed animal medicine in Montrose for 15 years. He has served as chair of the SDVMA Continuing Education Committee for more than a decade.

Dr. Hanson
Dr. Heidi Hanson

2020 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Heidi Hanson (Iowa State ’99), Sioux Falls. A small animal veterinarian, Dr. Hanson practices at All City Pet Care Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Sioux Falls. She has established a blood donation program for dogs and cats at the hospital.

Dr. Heath
Dr. Eric Heath

2021 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Eric Heath (Oklahoma State ’92), Winner. A mixed animal veterinarian, Dr. Heath is a partner at Animal Clinic in Winner. He previously worked in Canistota and Miller. Dr. Heath serves on the Merck Large Animal Advisory Board.

Dr. Brown
Dr. Kayla Brown

2020 Emerging Leader Award
Dr. Kayla Brown (Colorado State ’13), Hot Springs, won this award, given to a veterinarian who graduated from veterinary school in the past 10 years and has displayed outstanding accomplishments in veterinary research, private practice, regulatory services, civic activities, or organized veterinary medicine. Dr. Brown co-owns Fall River Veterinary Clinic in Hot Springs. She has a special interest in bison medicine. Dr. Brown has conducted applied research on the prevalence of canine brucellosis.

Dr. Handcock
Dr. Laura Handcock

2021 Emerging Leader Award
Dr. Laura Handcock, Winner. Dr. Handcock received her veterinary degree in 2009 from Murdoch University in Australia. A mixed animal veterinarian, she is a partner at Animal Clinic in Winner. Earlier in her career, Dr. Handcock practiced predominately large animal medicine in Geraldton, Australia.

Tonya Jark
Tonya Jark

2020 Outstanding Veterinary Technician
Tonya Jark, Aberdeen, in recognition of her support of veterinary medicine through dedicated care and professional knowledge of the animals in her care. Jark works at Tim’s Veterinary Service in Aberdeen. She is known for her caring personality, extensive knowledge, and years of experience.

Sherri Mayes
Sherri Mayes

2021 Outstanding Veterinary Technician
Sherri Mayes, Winner. Mayes has worked at Animal Clinic in Winner for more than 20 years. As a large animal veterinary technician, she assists with pregnancy checking, bull testing, and working calves. She is known for her dedication in helping her clients improve the health and welfare of their animals.

John Rehmeier
John Rehmeier

2020 Bill Davis Memorial Award
John Rehmeier, St. Onge, won this award, given to a sales representative of a veterinary supply company who has demonstrated an unusual degree of service and assistance to veterinarians and to the veterinary profession in South Dakota. Rehmeier works for Boehringer Ingelheim. He is known for excellent customer service and for his efforts in ensuring that veterinarians and practice staff members have the information, products, and competitive pricing they need.

Rich Konechne
Rich Konechne

2021 Bill Davis Memorial Award
Rich Konechne, Hartford. Konechne works for Animal Health International. He is known for his knowledge on current industry trends and his individualized approach to helping veterinarians succeed. During the supply chain issues this past year, Konechne ensured his customers had what they needed at the right time.

2020 Life Members
Drs. Dave Barz, Parkston; James Beaty, Mitchell; Ronald Ford, Lemmon; Roy Peters, Sioux Falls; Mark Rieb, Watertown; John Voegeli, Piedmont; and David Zeman, Brookings

2021 Life Members
Drs. Jay Alberda, Platte; John Allan, Hermosa; Christopher Chase, Brookings; Darrel Kraayenbrink, Platte; Sharon Leiferman, White; Mei-Yao Louis, Watertown; Kenneth Odde, Pollock; Frank Robison, Scappoose, Oregon; Ladd Siebert, Eureka; Gary Straight, Gregory; Christine Teets, Rapid City; Theodore Warkenthien, Clark; and Vicky Wilkey, Blunt


Dr. Geis
Dr. Carolyn Geis

Drs. Carolyn Geis, Pierre, president; Matt Stork, Sioux Falls, president-elect; Heather Lerseth, Groton, vice president; Lisa Stanley, Fort Pierre, secretary-treasurer; Chanda Nilsson, Groton, immediate past president; Anna Braunschmidt, Garretson, District 1 representative; Heidi Sorensen, Watertown, District 2 representative; Sandra Wahlert, Hot Springs, District 3 representative, and AVMA delegate and alternate delegate—Drs. Chris Chase, Brookings, and Cindy Franklin, Yankton