2015 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 2015 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 19 at the Pacific Veterinary Conference in Long Beach.



Tom Kendall, DVM

Dr. Tom Kendall’s commitment and contribution to the veterinary profession was enormous. Prior to his passing on March 2, 2015, Dr. Kendall was a small animal practitioner in Sacramento and had been an active participant in organized veterinary medicine at the local, state, and national levels since joining the CVMA in 1969.

He was a past president of the CVMA (1997–1998), a two-term board member, and a former member of the House of Delegates. He was part of the CVMA’s Legislative, Political Action, and Ways & Means/President’s Council Committees. As a past co-chair of the CVMA’s Legislative Committee, Dr. Kendall frequently represented the CVMA’s interests at the Capitol, speaking with legislators and staff and testifying at committee hearings.

Dr. Kendall was a past vice president of the AVMA (2002–2004), AAHA Director (2007–2009), a member of the AAHA Mentorship Task Force, AAHA representative to the AVMA Committee of Environmental Issues, and a member of the AAHA Leadership Council.

Dr. Kendall was also active in helping students become involved with the CVMA, encouraging leadership in organized veterinary medicine and supporting students to become successful after graduation. For more than 35 years, he offered externships at his practice and was a tireless volunteer for a number of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine student clubs.

In February 2008, Dr. Kendall was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Veterinary Medical Board. He served from 2008 until his passing in March 2015. In July of that same year, the CVMA awarded Dr. Kendall with a Distinguished Life Membership award for his lifelong service to the CVMA.

Dr. Kendall demonstrated his dedication to the veterinary profession with the generous amount of time he gave in many different capacities, at the local, state, and national levels.

Dr. Kendall received his DVM from Purdue University and is a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.

The CVMA Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Dr. Kendall in January 2015.



Peter Weinstein, DVM

Dr. Peter Weinstein’s commitment to organized veterinary medicine is remarkable with service at the local, state, and national levels. He joined the CVMA in 1986 and has been an active member ever since.

Dr. Weinstein received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his DVM from the University of Illinois. Three years after graduation, he opened his own practice in Laguna Niguel, CA. He is currently the owner of PAW Consulting, a small business and corporate consulting firm.

Dr. Weinstein’s participation in organized veterinary medicine is extensive. He is very active with the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association (SCVMA) and the CVMA and has held several positions in both associations. Dr. Weinstein has served on many CVMA committees and task forces including its Board of Governors, House of Delegates, Finance Committee, Leadership Development Committee, Ways and Means Committee, RVT Task Force, Veterinary Economics Task Force, Sunset Review Task Force, Veterinary Dentistry Task Force, Continuing Education Planning Group, PacVet Conference Advisory Committee, PacVet Practice Management Section Chair, and was CVMA president from 2003-2004. He is currently the SCVMA Executive Director and was part of its Board of Trustees and a past president.

Finally, another area that Dr. Weinstein has contributed is outreach education. “When it comes to veterinary medicine, he is a real renaissance man–He’s been an associate, owner, speaker, author, coach, mentor, and advocate–and that summary doesn’t accurately represent the hours and hours of work that he’s dedicated to make our profession more respected and vital,” explains Dr. Jon Klingborg.



Don Shields, DVM

Dr. Don Shields is known throughout the equine community as an outspoken advocate for racehorses. As several of his colleagues have attested, “he has been tireless in promoting science based rule changes that will help improve public perception, and still provide the best medical care to his patients.”

Dr. Shields received his DVM from UC Davis where he was president of the second year class as well as president of the student chapter of the AVMA. He was the first person to complete a Don Low Fellowship in large animal ultrasound.

Always a consummate educator, Dr. Shields has been a preceptor for the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine since its inception. In 2009, he received the title of Clinical Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine and in 2012 was presented with the Preceptor of the Year award by the third-year class at the Western University veterinary school.

Dr. Shields is the founder and operator of Winner’s Circle Ranch rehabilitation facility and president and co-founder of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians.



Elizabeth Ellis, DVM

Dr. Elizabeth Ellis’s enthusiasm for education and training is certainly appreciated by the technicians at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos, California. As an associate veterinarian, she has given her time to further the knowledge and skills of the veterinary technician staff and has continues to expand her medical knowledge so she may pass along what she has learned. Dr. Ellis developed and refined the hospital’s CPR protocol and has contributed to several training workshops.

Dr. Ellis serves as an instructor for Foothill College’s veterinary technician program and still finds time to teach and mentor Adobe hospital technicians formally and through day-to-day interactions. “It is thanks to veterinarians like her, who utilize their technicians, who are happy to share knowledge and create an environment that really does push their technicians to improve themselves that make Adobe Animal Hospital a wonderful place to work,” technician Mary Ann Baik explains.

Dr. Ellis graduated magna cum laude and received her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.



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.

2015 Inductee: Tara
Companion Animal Feline

Owner: The Triantafilo family

Nominating Organization: CVMA Ways and Means Committee

Tara, a seven-year old cat to the Triantafilo family is known for her brave act after saving her four-year-old owner, Jeremy Triantafilo from a dog attach. While riding his bicycle outside in his front yard, Jeremy was attacked by a neighbor’s dog that had escaped from a nearby yard. Just as the dog bit down on Jeremy’s lower leg dragging from off his bicycle, his cat Tara immediately sprang into action and hurled herself at the dog. She hit the dog with her whole body and the dog immediately released Jeremy and ran away. Tara continued to chase the dog for a while then returned to Jeremy, protecting him until the dog was subdued in his own backyard.

Security cameras caught the incident and when the Triantafilo family saw the footage, they were stunned by how quickly Tara reacted to save Jeremy. “Tara changed our perspective of just how loyal she was to Jeremy and our family and we cannot love her enough for that”, Jeremy’s father Roger Triantafilo says.



Tammy Osborn

Ms. Tammy Osborn works around the clock to save pets. As an adoption partner coordinator for Orange County Animal Care (OCAC) in Orange, California, she oversees the Medical Pets Program, which provides “medical and surgical care for seriously ill or injured animals who, if not for their injuries, would be wonderful companions and highly adoptable.” Saving animals is a lifelong passion for Ms. Osborn who identifies animals in need and works diligently to get them medical attention, raise funds for their care, and secures their foster care and adoption.

Ms. Osborn started with OCAC as a kennel attendant then as a supervising kennel attendant and finally as adoption partner coordinator. She has worked for OCAC for 19 years. It’s typical for her to work seven days a week to place animals in permanent homes.

Ms. Osborn’s tireless efforts to facilitate the care and placement of animals with medical needs makes her very deserving of the Meritorious Service Award.


Nominate Someone for a 2016 CVMA Award

It is the CVMA’s honor and pleasure to recognize significant contributions to the veterinary profession! The announcement of the award recipients is the highlight of the Pacific Veterinary Conference. We invite all readers to take a moment and ask, “Who has stood out in the crowd? Who has made a difference?” Then, send your nomination packet to the CVMA by the deadline of December 31, 2015. In June 2016 you can join your colleagues in San Francisco in applauding the recipients of these prestigious awards!

Awards Nomination criteria and timeline

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