Dr. Rena Carlson announces 2024 AVMA President’s Award winners

For more information Phone: 847-285-6687 Cell: 847-732-6194
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(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) June 15, 2024—In one of her final acts as president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Dr. Rena Carlson presented AVMA President's Awards to three exceptional individuals who have demonstrated unwavering commitment and dedication to the veterinary profession.

This year's recipients are Dr. Michael Topper, Kimberly Topper, and Dr. Les Stone.

Dr. Michael Topper

Dr. Topper is a distinguished veterinarian who has made significant contributions to the profession through various roles and leadership positions. Along with multiple AVMA committees, he has served as a delegate for both Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania in the AVMA House of Delegates, chair of the House Advisory Committee and AVMA president from 2017-2018.

Dr. Topper received his DVM and PhD in veterinary pathology from the University of Georgia, and is a board-certified veterinary pathologist and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). In addition, he served as ACVP’s secretary and treasurer from 2010-2015.

Prior to becoming AVMA president, Dr. Topper had a long career in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, retiring at the rank of colonel in 2002 after 22 years of service. He then worked as the director of pathology at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and later the director of clinical pathology at Merck Research Laboratories.

"Dr. Topper exemplifies long-term servant leadership and is the epitome of selfless giving to the profession and his community," said Dr. Carlson. "His expertise and dedication have been invaluable assets to the AVMA."

Kimberly Topper

For more than 40 years, Kimberly Topper has volunteered her time with the AVMA Auxiliary, serving in positions from secretary to president and taking on duties such as raising funds for veterinary scholarships, planning national events and providing public relations for veterinary medicine. Her selfless contributions of time and expertise to the Auxiliary and American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), where she currently serves on the Board of Directors and Development Council, exemplify her dedication to the profession. In addition to her volunteer work, Topper had a distinguished 18-year career as a Health Science Administrator at the FDA from 1987 to 2005

"Kimberly's generous giving of her time and expertise over decades with the AVMA Auxiliary and AVMF is truly the epitome of selfless service to veterinary medicine and her community," said Dr. Carlson. "Her professional background further enhances the value she has provided to our organizations."

Dr. Les Stone

Dr. Les Stone recently retired after dedicating over 45 years to caring for animals as a veterinarian in his local Idaho Falls community. He and his wife JoAnn operated Northgate Veterinary Hospital for 44 of those years before retiring in 2018.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Stone has generously volunteered his time mentoring students, speaking at veterinary events and serving in leadership roles such as president of the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association in 2012.

Dr. Carlson, who also hails from Idaho and served as IVMA president in 2000, praised her fellow Idahoan's contributions. "Dr. Stone's unwavering commitment to the profession, servant leadership, and selfless giving of his time and energy have made a tremendous impact in Idaho and beyond," she said. "I have great admiration for his inspirational work ethic and dedication to our field over nearly half a century."

To learn more about the AVMA President's Award and past recipients, visit www.avma.org/awards.

For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell) or msanfilippoatavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).

About the AVMA

Serving more than 105,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.