VMAE Awards Program

Each year VMAE recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of our members and the work they do on behalf of their associations during our Annual Summer Conference. Awards are presented for the following categories:

  • Executive of the Year
  • Best in Business
  • Distinguished Service

The 2022 awards were presented at the VMAE Annual Awards Luncheon on July 29 during the AVMA Convention in Philadelphia, PA.

2022 Executive of the Year
Heather O’Steen, CAE
American Association of Feline Practitioners

The 2022 Executive of the Year was presented to Heather O’Steen, American Association of Feline Practitioners. VMAE is pleased to loudly recognize Heather as this year’s Veterinary Medical Association Executive of the Year. Congratulations Heather.

2022 Distinguished Service
Susan Blevins
Georgia VMA

Susan Blevins, Georgia VMA, has been a VMAE member since joining the Georgia VMA in 2014. She joined the VMAE Board of Directors in 2018 and served as a Director and President. Her leadership skills, as well as her insight has provided distinguished guidance for the board and VMAE.

2021 Distinguished Service
Dan Tjornehoj, JD
Minnesota VMA

Dan Tjornehoj, JD has been the Executive Director of the Minnesota VMA since 2006 and has served in many rolls with VMAE. He joined the VMAE Board of Directors in 2012 and served two years as a Director, three years as Treasurer, and three years in the Presidency roll (President-Elect, President, and Past President). Dan has also served on the Awards Committee and several task forces including the Collaboration, Recent Graduate, and the Membership & Bylaws Task Forces. Over the years Dan has put his heart and soul into VMAE.

2021 Best in Business
American Association of Feline Practitioners
Cat Friendly Certificate Program

The Best in Business Award recognizes an organization’s outstanding achievement through a program or campaign that reflects originality in content, creativity & usefulness. This year’s Honoree partnered with leading feline veterinary experts to develop the “Cat Friendly Certificate Program.” The program was developed for all veterinary professionals who see cats in their practice or those who work within other areas of feline behavior and welfare.

The goals of the program were to:

  • Provide better education so more cats receive reduced stress  veterinary care.
  • To provide a way for more individual veterinary professionals to become cat friendly.
  • And to increase the standard of veterinary care provided to cats.

The Association achieved its goals, with over 2,500 registrants and over 6,500 hours of education modules consumed since its launch last October.