2013 Award Winners


The CVMA honors individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to organized veterinary medicine through participation in CVMA activities and through the human-animal bond.  The latest inductee into the California Animal Hall of Fame is also recognized.

Congratulations to the 2013 CVMA award recipients!  They illustrate the very best of the veterinary profession in California and the human-animal bond.  Each honoree was recognized during the Gala Awards Ceremony on June 21 at the Pacific Veterinary Conference in Long Beach.


Bishop_2013George Bishop, DVM

Dr. Bishop is a key member of the CVMA’s leadership, giving much of his time, energy and creative analytical thought to our association for three decades.  He served on the board of governors for eight years as a board member, and for 14 years − and counting − as treasurer, making his time with the board longer than anyone in the CVMA’s entire history.  Dr. Bishop also represented the CVMA with distinction as president from 1994 to 1995.  Dr. Bishop is everywhere, having served on virtually every committee and several task forces of the CVMA and many committees and councils of the AVMA.  He still serves today on the Political Action Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, and chairs the Finance Committee.  He is a VISC board member and treasurer.  Dr. Bishop is the treasurer of the California Veterinary Medical Foundation, and served as president of it from 1995 to 1997.  He was a CVMA delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates for eight years and since 2011 has been the alternate delegate.  Dr. Bishop served as co-chair of the first Pet Population Control Symposium in the country.

Dr. Bishop was born and raised on a dairy and hog farm in central Ohio.  He received his veterinary degree from The Ohio State University, and has spent his career as a small animal practitioner.  He joined the CVMA in 1967, founded the Animal Hospital at the Crossroads in Monterey in 1969, and continues to practice there.

Dr. Bishop has distinguished himself and the CVMA through his involvement with veterinary medicine at local, state, and national levels.  His dedication to the veterinary profession, the CVMA and the AVMA, is legendary.  In 2007, he received the CVMA’s Distinguished Life Member award in recognition of his accomplishments.  His devotion to his clients, the organizations in which he serves and the veterinary profession goes far beyond the norm.  Dr. Bishop is a superb ambassador for the veterinary medicine, one who leads by example and is still very active, extremely involved and very productive in advancing the profession.  As one supporter put it, “He has been a steady hand for the CVMA, which would not have accomplished all that we did without his dedicated service.”

The CVMA is pleased to honor Dr. Bishop for his lifetime service to California veterinarians, to organized veterinary medicine, to academic veterinary medicine, and to the CVMA.  We also look forward to his continued dedication and service to the CVMA.

Joan Samuels, DVMSamuels_2013

Dr. Samuels is a pioneer.  A CVMA board member for eight years, in 1991 she became the first woman to serve as president of the CVMA.  She was the first woman to be chair of the CVMA House of Delegates before that (1985-86).  And Dr. Samuels was also the first woman member of the AVMA Executive Board for District X (1987-95).  She was also one of the first women to break through many of the glass ceilings at the AVMA.  In her multiple leadership roles, Dr. Samuels has helped make the CVMA the largest and most progressive state veterinary association in the country.  In recognition of this, she was given the CVMA’s Distinguished Life Membership Award in 2006.

Dr. Samuels was born in Ohio and went to veterinary school at Michigan State University.  In 1981 she founded Buellton Veterinary Clinic, a four-doctor, AAHA-accredited small animal practice.  She is a successful owner of a nationally-recognized veterinary hospital and practice.  Dr. Samuels also manages an equine veterinary service.

Since joining the CVMA in 1979, Dr. Samuels has given her all to the CVMA.  She has served on the CVMA’s Insurance, Legislative, Finance, Political Action, AVMA Advisory and Ways and Means Committees, among others, as well as many task forces.  Dr. Samuels represented California in the AVMA House of Delegates from 1994 to 1998.  She founded the Pet Overpopulation Symposiums that led the entire veterinary profession to exert leadership in the animal welfare arena. Dr. Samuels was instrumental in the establishment of the Don Low/CVMA Fellowship and served on its first selection committee.  She provided leadership in the original development of the CVMA’s Disaster Response Program and provided vision and leadership in creating a regional veterinary conference.

Dr. Samuels is one of those individuals in organized veterinary medicine who has done it all. She has demonstrated considerable leadership skills at all levels of organized veterinary medicine.  Her efforts and commitment to the CVMA and AVMA are numerous and inspirational. She continues to be an asset to the CVMA, having recently finished serving on the CVMA’s legislative committee for 23 years, and keeping the CVMA apprised of emerging issues at the AVMA.  The CVMA is pleased to honor Dr. Samuels for her lifetime service to California veterinarians, to organized veterinary medicine, to academic veterinary medicine, and to the CVMA.

Distinguished Life Membership AWARD

Andrews_Web_2013Michael Andrews, DVM

Dr. Andrews was a CVMA board member for six years and served as president of the CVMA from 1998 to 1999.  During his time as president, Dr. Andrews was visionary in that he saw the need for an RVT on the Veterinary Medical Board and championed this cause.  He also introduced task forces to accomplish specific objectives (to be dissolved when the objective is achieved), which remain an integral part of the CVMA process to this day.  Dr. Andrews has served on many CVMA committees and task forces, including RVT, Membership, Legislative, Environmental and Public Health, Wellness, Disaster Preparedness, Finance, Veterinary Economics and Feline Fibrosarcoma.  As chair of the CVMA Governance Task Force, he was instrumental in bringing the concept of at-large members and a leadership development committee to the CVMA.  He also represented the CVMA at the AVMA’s House of Delegates, and was chair of the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.  Dr. Andrews served on AAHA’s board of directors and was president of AAHA from 2006-07.  He owns two small animal veterinary practices, one in Riverside and the other in Calimesa.  Dr. Andrews is originally from Troy, New York and graduated from Purdue University in 1983.  He has been a CVMA member since 1985.


Ms. Bonnie Lee Loghry, RVT, BASLoghry_2013

Ms. Loghry is known for her dedication to the registered veterinary technician profession. She leads by example and her colleagues find her enthusiasm both inspiring and motivating.  Ms. Loghry has provided balance, direction and a personal flair to the Veterinary Technology Program at Yuba College in Marysville for over 30 years.  She is an instructor in the Veterinary Technology Program and a Risk Assessment and Safety Specialist.  Her colleagues say she is the poster technician, carrying the banner to new graduates as well as seasoned professionals.  She promotes veterinary technology as a career at local schools, leads the student chapter of NAVTA, creates mentor programs, and promotes continuing education in her program’s graduates.  Ms. Loghry also volunteers as a surgical technician at her local SPCA, travels worldwide to train technicians and veterinarians, and is a subject matter expert for the California State Veterinary Board of Examiners.  In summary, Ms. Loghry is a fantastic role model for future RVTs.


Fellers_2013Greg Fellers, DVM

Dr. Fellers, a retired equine veterinarian and CVMA member for 37 years, has contributed to every aspect of equine veterinary medicine.  Since graduating in 1972 from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, he has mentored students, interns, and associates in the medical and administrative components of veterinary medicine.  As a hospital administrator at Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, a referral equine hospital, Dr. Fellers brought surgical and medical specialists into the facility and built a state-of-the-art equine hospital.  He also started a veterinary internship program to encourage new graduates, and continuing education seminars for veterinarians.  Dr. Fellers improved the lives of horses and their owners in his community.  As a veterinarian, he was dedicated to his clients and their animals and encouraged a philosophy of care and respect.  Dr. Fellers continues to work as the head veterinarian for the Tevis Cup 100-mile endurance ride, working to improve the welfare of horses in long-distance competitions.  Altogether, Dr. Fellers serves as a model for all new veterinarians.


The CVMA’s California Animal Hall of Fame, created in 1990, celebrates the companion and working animals of California and the veterinarians who care for them.  The winning animal’s care provider is recognized at the Pacific Veterinary Conference as well.

2013 Inductee:  SophieSophie_2013
Terrier – Therapy Dog

Owners:  Don Conkling, DVM and Brenda Conkling
San Bruno, CA

Nominating Organization:  Masson Veterinary Hospital
San Bruno, CA

Sophie is a 14-year old former street dog from Mexico City.  At age three, she was brought north by a rescue group and adopted by Dr. Don Conkling and his wife, Brenda.  The Conklings took Sophie to obedience and agility classes, but Sophie was distracted by anyone on the sidelines with treats.  One of the agility trainers suggested that Sophie might make a good therapy dog, and within six months Sophie and Dr. Conkling were certified as Pet Partners.

Sophie and Dr. Conkling manage three to six visits a week and have brought many smiles and a sense of normalcy to the lives of people in crisis, end-of-life situations, and recovery.  Hospice is their favorite.  Sometimes just being there with someone is Sophie’s most important job.  Sophie is very calm, gentle, and non-threatening and can snuggle up with patients no matter what the patient’s demeanor.  At one visit, a patient was so uncomfortable she had not slept for several days, but as soon as Sophie settled down next to her, she fell asleep almost immediately.  Even as the patient slept, though, she kept stroking Sophie with one finger.

Sophie and Dr. Conkling also visited the psychiatric unit at Stanford Hospital for several years.  Sophie became the “go to” dog for many of the patients.  Sophie is a comfort to everyone because she is so loving, yet she makes no demands, except occasionally, “Please go on petting me.”  The human-animal bond can do magical things, not only for the people the teams visit but for the staff at these facilities.

In addition to being a therapy dog, Sophie also trains new teams, which are required to go with her and Dr. Conkling on their first three pet therapy visits.  In over ten years she and Dr. Conkling have made over 1,500 visits as well as conducted many therapy dog classes and evaluations.  As an assist animal to demonstrate correct techniques, she has taken part in over 50 Pet Partners evaluations and 40 workshops.  Sophie spends her life working behind the scenes helping others and has positively touched many thousands of lives.


ConklingSophie_2013Dr. Donald Conkling

Over the years, 21-year CVMA member Dr. Conkling has donated services to people and animals in need, offered advice, taught compassion, and supported the local SPCA.  However, he has done something grander too, and it came about because he was offering pro bono veterinary care to animals rescued by the Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE) in Scotts Valley.  Through CAPE, Dr. Conkling came to adopt Sophie in 2002 and soon they became a certified pet therapy team.  Dr. Conkling also became certified as an instructor and evaluator for pet therapy teams.  He and Sophie have since volunteered at Sunrise Assisted Living in San Mateo, where they helped set up their pet therapy program and mentored new teams.

Nine years ago, Dr. Conkling also got involved with the hospice program at Sutter VNA and Hospice in San Mateo.  It took almost a year to get the program through all of the risk management worries.  During that time, Dr. Conkling took 20 hours of hospice training and agreed to help administer and mentor the pet therapy program.  Once approved in 2005, he and Sophie were the sole therapy team for the first six months on a probationary period.  It has since become one of the hospice’s most successful programs.

Sophie and Dr. Conkling opened the door at Sutter for this beloved program.  They have also been to numerous animal fairs and teaching situations generating interest in animal assisted therapy.  Sophie and Dr. Conkling are an amazing team whose dedication to helping people is inspirational.

Awards Nomination criteria and timeline

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