Minnesota VMA – Feb. 2-4, 2023


Annual meeting, Feb. 2-4, Minneapolis


Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. Roger Madison (Minnesota ’66), Zumbrota. Prior to retirement, Dr. Madison practiced at Anderson Veterinary Service in Zumbrota, where he still assists part time with large animal emergencies. He has served as Minnesota’s alternate delegate and delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. Dr. Madison was a member of the board of directors that established the Minnesota State Fair's CHS Miracle of Birth Center.

President’s Award

Dr. Connie Sillerud (Minnesota ’83), Golden Valley. Dr. Sillerud owns Companion Animal Eye Center Ltd. in Golden Valley. A past president of the Minnesota VMA and the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation, she has served on the board of directors of the Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service.

Outstanding Faculty Award

Dr. Lindsay Merkel (Minnesota ’93), St. Paul. Dr. Merkel is an associate professor and head of the section of small animal internal medicine at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She is actively involved with projects and initiatives focusing on the well-being and mental health of veterinary health care teams.

Outstanding Industry Representative

Maria O’Connor Vetscher, Grand Rapids. Vetscher works as a representative and veterinary practice consultant for Veterinary Hospitals Association. Earlier, she was a zookeeper in Fargo, North Dakota; served as a veterinary technician in the Twin Cities; and worked as a territory representative for Ivesco.

Distinguished Veterinary Service Award

Kim Horne, Apple Valley. Horne recently retired from the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, where she served as assistant manager for the receiving and treatment room for small animal surgery and was staff development coordinator. She is a co-founder and served as charter president of the Academy of Dermatology Veterinary Technicians, now serving as the academy’s secretary and chair of its examination committee.

Emerging Leader Award

Dr. Marjorie Schleper (Minnesota ’19), Sleepy Eye. Known for her expertise in swine medicine, Dr. Schleper is a staff veterinarian at Christensen Farms in Sleepy Eye. She serves as a co-chair of the Minnesota State Fair's CHS Miracle of Birth Center. As a co-chair, Dr. Schleper has been an advocate for modern agriculture, with an emphasis on swine production.


Dr. Bennett
Dr. James Bennett

Drs. James Bennett, Plainview, president; Ann Brownlee, Stillwater, president-elect; Rob Memmen, Minnetonka, vice president; Heather Douglas, Minneapolis, secretary-treasurer; and Nancy Peterson, New Ulm, immediate past president