OVMA Awards of Excellence: 2022 Recipients

At ceremonies held during the 2022 Oregon Veterinary Conference, held virtually, the OVMA honored the following for their service to the veterinary profession and animals.

2022 Veterinary Service Award

Dr. Steve Kochis & Tiberius

Dr. Steve Kochis

Chief Medical Officer, Oregon Humane Society

The Veterinary Service award recognizes an individual, group or organization that has promoted the veterinary profession and the well being of animals.

Dr. Kochis has served for nearly 25 years in various positions in veterinary medicine, including at Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital and VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists. His veterinary specialties include infectious diseases, immunology and emergency medicine. Dr. Kochis has dedicated his long career to improving the quality of life for his patients, providing education for his veterinary colleagues and the pet owning public, advocating for the mental and physical health of all veterinary staff, and providing the best possible care for animals in need. He received his Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and DVM from Cornell University. Dr. Kochis served on the Oregon Humane Society Board of Directors for three years until he joined the staff. He served as President of the Portland Veterinary Medical Association. In his free time Steve enjoys gardening and succulent collecting, traveling, building Legos, and exploring the Pacific NW with his husband Chris and his two Border Terriers, Helo and Tiberius.

2022 Outstanding Industry Representative

Keri Weppler

Keri Weppler

Area Business Manager, Zoetis

This award recognizes an individual from allied industry who has exhibited outstanding service to the OVMA and the profession.

Ms. Weppler received the Zoetis 2021 Lead Dog Award and is the former president of the Zoetis Women’s Council, working for the advancement of women into leadership positions. Keri has been passionate about supporting veterinary professionals as well as their patients and clients. From providing board members with thoughtful perspectives about legislation to coordinating relief efforts during times of emergency such as the Oregon wildfires, Keri has been creative and hardworking advocate for our profession in Oregon. We have benefited greatly from her extensive knowledge, not only of her industry, but also of the profession as a whole and her passion to put animals first. According to a Zoetis colleague, “Keri is just a kind person who truly cares. You are not a number to help her get to the top; rather, you are her friend and colleague and she genuinely cares about how you are doing both personally and professionally. She is passionate about giving back to the veterinary community.”

2022 President's Award

Dr. Connie White & Frazier

Dr. Connie White

The President's Award is given at the discretion of the outgoing president to an individual or group who has made an exceptional contribution to the OVMA and veterinary medicine. Now retired, Dr. White was a veterinarian in companion, mixed and critical care practice. She also holds a Masters in epidemiology and biostatistics and a PhD in genetics. She is a long time member of the OVMA—including a term as president. She was a member of OSU’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine Advisory Council, and is a guest lecturer at OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine on foundational medical and research topics. From legislative issues to the COVID crisis to rolling up her sleeves to help us teach K9 CPR to first responders, the OVMA has benefited enormously from Connie’s passionate and thoroughly researched approach to helping us problem-solve. Earlier this year, she received an excellence in teaching award from OSU.

Past Award Winners

Centennial Award

1963    Dr. Vic Oliver

Honorary Membership

1952    S.L. Brown, Charles Evans, T. Sims
1954    E.L. Peterson
1972    Walter Leth, James Short
1989    Morrie Craig
1993    Nan Dewey
2000    Kelvin Koong


Award of Merit

1961    Dr. Herb Muth
1966    Dr. E. Derflinger, Dr. Ralph Plamondon
1970    Dr. Gary Bryan
1973    Dr. Dallen Jones
1976    Dr. Ed Wedman
1983    Dr. Linda Blythe, Dr. Daryl Leu
1985    Dr. Elwyn Coon, Dr. Norm Hutton, Dr. Charles Seagraves
1989    Dr. Jack Hardesty, Dr. Fay Rankin, Dr. Ron Schmidtke
1991    Dr. Gordon Cunningham, Dr. Richard Hillmer, Dr. DuWayne Penfold
1995    Dr. Andrew Mach, Dr. Ed Wedman, Dr. Robert Whittaker

Meritorious Service

Presented to a veterinarian who has generously contributed time and energy for the advancement of the profession and community.
1996    Dr. Richard Werner
1997    Dr. Billy Kuhl
1998    Dr. Dick Reid
1999    Dr. Roy Peterson
2000    Dr. Richard Coon
2001    Dr. Don Bailey
2002    Dr. Stan Blinkhorn
2003    Dr. Leo van Dijk
2004    Dr. DuWayne Penfold
2005    Dr. Marty DeWees
2006    Dr. Jerry Boggs
2009    Dr. Scott Hendy
2010    Dr. Susan Loomis
2011    Dr. Steve Brown
2013    Dr. Robert Franklin
2014    Dr. Bill Young
2019    Dr. Leon Pielstick

Outstanding Industry Representative

Recognizes an individual who has exhibited outstanding service to the OVMA and the profession.
1996    Terrie Corcoran, Burns Veterinary Supply
1997    Leroy Ostrem, The Butler Company
1998    Rick Casey, Hoechst Roussel Vet
1999    Jim Houts, Summit Medical Equipment
2000    Linda Melton, IDEXX Veterinary Services
2001    Loren Heryford, The Butler Company
2003    Marge Strother, Merial
2004    Bruce Mackey, Hill's Pet Nutrition
2005    John Herkner, Pfizer Animal Health
2011    Vern Mason, Butler Schein Animal Health
2013    Jay Donkers, Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis)
2022    Keri Weppler, Zoetis

President's Award

Given at the discretion of the president to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the OVMA.
1996    Dr. Martha DeWees, Dr. Scott Hendy
1997    Dr. Jerry Boggs
1998    Dr. Merry Crimi
1999    Mr. Glenn Kolb
2000    Dr. Doug McInnis
2001    Mr. Dave Barrows
2002    Dr. Kurt Schrader
2003    Dr. Steven Brown
2004    Ms. Marcia Keith
2005    Dr. Gordon Cunningham
2006    Spouses and Partners of Veterinarians
2007    Dr. Rich Holdren
2008    Ms. Marge Strother, Lilly Companion Pet
2009    Dr. Matthew Fricke
2010    Ms. Lara Smith
2011    Dr. Cyril Clarke, OSU CVM Dean
2012    Dr. Donald McCoy & Dr. Larry Anderson
2013    Salem Friends of Felines
2014    Dr. Tom Keck
2015    Dr. Keith Sides
2016    Dr. Brad LeaMaster
2017    Judy Tate CVT
2018    Dr. Emilio DeBess
2019    Dr. Sue Tornquist
2020    OSU CCVM Students
2021    Jenny Wood | Raina Dey (OVMA staff)
2022    Dr. Connie White

Veterinarian of the Year

Awarded to a veterinarian who has made outstanding contributions to the profession through service to local, state and/or national organizations.
1969    Dr. E.R. Derflinger
1996    Dr. DuWayne Penfold
1997    Dr. Doug Corey
1998    Dr. Don McCoy
1999    Dr. Andrew Clark
2000    Dr. Marty DeWees
2001    Dr. Scott Hendy
2002    Dr. Brad Frank
2003    Dr. Heidi Buehner-McKenzie
2004    Dr. Leon Pielstick
2006    Dr. Paul Jones
2007    Dr. Jon Betts
2011    Dr. Gregg Takashima
2020    Dr. Sarah Bonner

Animal Welfare Award

Recognizes a veterinarian who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and/or developed programs that have been for the welfare of animals.
1998    Dr. Doug Evans
1999    Dr. Laird Goodman
2000    Dr. Bob Franklin
2002    Dr. Brad Pope
2004    Dr. Ken Fletcher
2009    Dr. Doug McInnis
2010    Dr. Doug Evans
2011    Dr. Scott Hansen
2012    Dr. Barbara Kahl
2015    Dr. Deborah LaPaugh
2018    Dr. Tom Holechek
2019    Dr. Brian Reister
2020    Dr. Kirk Miller

Veterinary Service Award

Recognizes an individual, group or organization that has promoted the veterinary profession and/or the well being of animals. Emphasis for this award is placed on educating the public, research, or the practice of veterinary medicine.
1998    Kim Singer, KPTV-12
1999    Feral Cat Coalition
2000    Deborah Wood, The Oregonian
2001    Dr. Barclay Slocum
2002    The Halo Group
2003    Evan Kalik, Cat Adoption Team
2005    Dr. Howard Wagner
2006    Oregon Humane Society
2008    Dr. Matthew Maberry
2009    Dr. Jerry Boggs
2010    Larry Chusid, The Pongo Fund
2011    Dr. Bill McCulloch, Delta Society co-founder
2012    Susan Faria, Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon
2013    Britta Bavaresco, ASAP
2014    Monique Balas, The Oregonian
2015    Fences for Fido
2016    Dr. Debbie Cochell
2017    Dr. Ben Braat
2018    Sound Equine Options
2019    The PAW Team
2020    Dr. Gregg Takashima
2022    Dr. Steve Kochis

Practice/Office Manager of the Year

Recognizes the role of the practice/office manager in clinical practice and salutes an individual who has exhibited exceptional professionalism in leading the practice.
2006    Linda Parisotto
2007    Lee Barg
2008    Debee Brown
2011    Jessie Merritt CVPM
2012    Diane Fowler CVT
2014    Gina Schluckebier
2015    Brandy Kagerer
2016    Brenda Bailey
2017    Dena Coyner
2018    Beth James (Fandrey)
2020    Traci Medeiros CVT

Technician/Staff of the Year

Recognizes a veterinary technicians and/or veterinary staff in clinical practice who has risen above and beyond the expected responsibilities of the practice to provide outstanding client and patient service, with community service also considered.   
2006    Leah Kennon CVT
2007    Gillian Cook CVT
2008    Kathy Charpilloz
2010    Kimberly McKay 
2011    Carey Blake CVT
2012    Juan Lopez AHT
2013    Dolores Galindo CVT
2020    Lisa Caton CVT

Updated: 2022-04-05 07:00:00

Author: Oregon Veterinary Medical Association