Kim Ralston
MVMA Communications


(January 29, 2020) – Over 600 veterinarians, veterinary technicians, practice staff and veterinary students attended the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association’s 128th Annual Convention on January 23-26, 2020 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center, Columbia, Mo. The convention offered over 60 continuing education lectures to participants.

Newly installed officers include:
David Gourley, DVM – President, Mountain Grove, Mo.
Marcy Hammerle, – President Elect, St. Charles, Mo.
Edward Migneco, DVM – Vice President, St. Louis, Mo.
Carol Ryan, DVM – Board Chair, Troy, Mo.
Shelia Taylor, DVM – Secretary/Treasurer, Springfield, Mo.
Richard Antweiler serves as Executive Director

Awards included:

Clifford J. Miller, DVM, owner/practitioner at Green Hills Veterinary Clinic, Moberly, Mo. was honored at the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association’s (MVMA) 128th Annual Convention on January 25th as the recipient of the coveted Veterinarian of the Year Award. Dr. Charles Barry, presented the award to Dr. Miller at the ceremony.

Dr. Miller is owner/practitioner of Green Hills Veterinary Clinic, LLC, Moberly, Mo. He is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri – College of Veterinary Medicine. After practicing in Kansas City, he opened Green Hills Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice in Moberly in 2003.

Dr. Miller is a member of the AVMA, MVMA, AABP, and AETA. His civic involvement includes the Moberly Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus Council 995, and local School Board. Dr. Miller has mentored countless veterinary students through preceptorships and enjoys teaching tomorrow’s veterinarians. He was instrumental in starting Moberly’s “HOUNDS” program which places unwanted dogs with offenders in Moberly’s prison for training and rehabilitation. Dr. Miller is past president of the MVMA and has served multiple terms in district leadership. He also serves as the chairman of the legislative committee for the association and has been very active in state legislative issues that impact Missouri’s veterinary profession and animals. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Moberly with their three boys aged 12, 10, and 7. He is actively involved with a cow-calf operation with his father.

The MVMA Board of Directors selects the Veterinarian of the Year based on the candidate’s contributions to their community, their state, and to people whose lives they have touched.

The MVMA’s annual President’s Award is given to individuals who were instrumental to the President’s efforts to advance the veterinary profession for the betterment of animal health in the state. Dr. Carol Ryan, MVMA past president, presented this year’s award to Dr. Joan Coates.

Dr. Coates specializes in neurology and neurosurgery and is Section Head of the Neurology & Neurosurgery Section/Service at the MU-College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbia, Mo. She is a member of the MVMA Wellbeing Task Force and was instrumental in developing the “Wellbeing Webinar”. The webinar is a presentation to bring help and awareness in the prevention of suicide among veterinarians.

Dr. Abby Whitling, St. Louis, Mo., received the MVMA’s inaugural Ortu Stella Award. The award was presented to Dr. Whiting by Dr. Sarah Meineka, chair of the MVMA Recent Graduate and Collegiate Task Force.

Dr. Whiting is a 2011 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her bachelor’s at Saint Louis University. She is currently employed at a busy multi doctor small animal clinic in St. louis, Missouri. In addition to her work as a veterinarian she is also a moderator for Not One More Vet (NOMV) which strives to prevent veterinary suicide. Her interests include: care of working/performance dogs, dentistry, pain management, team building, leadership training, and soft skills development. She is a former graduate of the AVMA’s Veterinary Leadership Experience.

The Ortu Stella recipient must in some way shine brightly, aid comrades in navigating the veterinary profession, assist in illumining the path for those around them, and/or demonstrate that they habitually strive to rise to the occasion.

Dr. Jessica Theil, Jefferson City, Mo. was presented the MVMA’s 2020 William A. Wolff Volunteerism Award for her service in times of emergency to veterinary medicine in Missouri. The award was presented to Dr. Theil by Dr. Cathy Vogelweid, chair of the MVMA’s Emergency Management & Public Health Committee.

Her organizational abilities and leadership skills were certainly tested on May 22, 2019, when an F-3 tornado touched down in Jefferson City, causing significant damage to many homes and apartment buildings. Under her leadership, the Jefferson City Animal Shelter was receiving disaster-displaced pets on May 23 – within one day of the tornado touchdown, with the shelter ultimately providing care for 39 pets.

Denise Colvin, Jamestown, Mo., received the Distinguished Service Award from the Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation (MVMF). Richard Antweiler, MVMA Executive Director, presented the award to Mrs. Colvin.

Mrs. Colvin joined the staff of the association/foundation as Museum Archivist in 2008 providing passionate service to one of the foundation’s major missions: Educating Missourians through the tool of our Missouri Veterinary Medical Museum. The museum houses over 3,000 artifacts in dozens of exhibits in which she played a major part in developing over the years.

Dr. Kenton Morgan, Faucett, Mo., received the MVMA Academy Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented to Dr. Morgan by Dr. Bruce Whittle, president of the MVMA Academy.

Dr. Morgan is an equine technical service veterinarian at Zoetis. His responsibilities include providing support for the equine specialist sales team and Zoetis veterinary customers.

He is a native of northwest Missouri and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medical degree from the University of Missouri in 1983. He spent 11 years in private practice in Missouri, Kansas and Idaho. His areas of interest include infectious disease, immunology, parasitology and reproduction.

MVMA Academy honorary members are individuals who have rendered distinguished or meritorious service to the veterinary profession.

2020 MVMA Academy officers include:
Julie King, DVM – President, Ozark, Mo.
Caitlin DeWilde, DVM – Vice President, St. Louis, Mo.

2020 Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation officers include:
Philip R. Brown, DVM – Chair, Chillicothe, Mo.
Scott Fray, DVM – Vice Chair, Boonville, Mo.
George Buckaloo, DVM – Secretary/Treasurer, Lake Tapawingo, Mo.
Roger Dozier, DVM – Museum Director, Jefferson City, Mo.


To download full image, right-click and choose “save image as”

MVMA’s 2020 Veterinarian of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Clifford Miller (left), Moberly, Mo. at ceremonies held January 25th in Columbia, Mo. Dr. Charles Barry (right) presented the award to Dr. Miller.

(From left:) Newly installed MVMA officers with Dr. John de Jong, American Veterinary Medical Association, immediate past president; Dr. David Gourley, president, Mountain Grove, Mo.; Dr. Marcy Hammerle, president-elect, St. Charles, Mo.; Dr. Edward Migneco, vice-president, St. Louis, Mo.; Dr. Shelia Taylor, secretary-treasurer; and Dr. Carol Ryan, board chair, Troy, Mo..