Veterinary Medical Association Executives – July 14, 2023
The Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE) held its annual meeting on July 14 in Denver.
Executive of the Year
John Tramontana, Okemos, Michigan, for exemplifying the best in association management and continually bringing credit to the association executive profession and the association community. Tramontana is executive director of the Michigan VMA. Under his leadership for the past four years, the association has been able to meet the needs of its membership more effectively. Tramontana established the MVMA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee; expanded continuing education programs; achieved greater financial stability; created a new organizational membership model; improved communication with members; and increased advocacy efforts. Tramontana is president of the Michigan Society of Association Executives and secretary of the VMAE.
Distinguished Service Award
Dr. Randy Wheeler (Iowa State '77), Ankeny, Iowa, for exceptional service to the VMAE, demonstrating initiative, integrity, and commitment in serving the veterinary profession and association colleagues. Dr. Wheeler is the executive director of the Iowa VMA. He has served the VMAE as director, treasurer, and president.
Best in Business Award, annual budget under $750,000
Kentucky VMA. The Kentucky VMA was honored for its Pet Oxygen Mask Program. Established in 2019 to assist veterinarians in connecting with first responders, the program allows members to purchase pet oxygen kits and provide them to their local fire departments and first responders. Since inception, more than 400 oxygen masks have been purchased and delivered to emergency providers.
Best in Business Award, annual budget above $750,000
Minnesota VMA. The Minnesota VMA was recognized for its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Team's work-study partnership that works with the Mission Animal Hospital and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School-Twin Cities to employ a team of four students through the Cristo Rey Corporate work-study program in a veterinary hospital. The students share a 40-hour work week throughout the academic year. Via this program, the MVMA DEI Action Team aims to grow relationships with youth in diverse communities to ensure that the future of veterinary medicine in Minnesota is diverse and accessible to all.
Christine Shupe, Alachua, Florida, president; Debra Hamelback, Frankfort, Kentucky, president-elect; John Tramontana, Okemos, Michigan, secretary; Cristina Keef, Portland, Oregon, treasurer; and Tim Atkinson, Albany, New York, immediate past president
A version of this story appears in the December 2023 print issue of JAVMA.