2018 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 2018 CVMA award recipients!  They represent 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 29, 2018 at the Pacific Veterinary Conference in San Francisco.



Jon Klingborg, DVM

Dr. Jon Klingborg has served the CVMA for 23 years with membership in 30 different committees, task forces, and boards. While serving on the CVMA Agriculture Committee, he became a delegate to the CVMA House of Delegates, then was elected to the CVMA Board of Governors, and was eventually elected CVMA president and served in this capacity from 2004 to 2005.

Dr. Klingborg has been extremely active on many CVMA committees including the Agriculture, Public Relations, Human-Animal Bond, Finance, Legislative, and Political Action Committees. His involvement with CVMA task forces includes the Veterinary Economics, Dues, Mentoring, Animal Welfare, Physical Therapy, Restructuring, Animal Rehabilitation, Sunset Review, Eight Principles, and Premises Task Forces.

As part of the CVMA Legislative Committee for many years and its chair for nine, Dr. Klingborg was prepared for every meeting; and was knowledgeable of each bill, its updates, and its sponsor’s agenda. As Dr. Richard Sullivan explained, “His knowledge of the political process and how the CVMA fits into that process, is impressive.”

Dr. Klingborg is also a member of the California Veterinary Medical Board’s Multidisciplinary Committee (MDC) and has been its chair for the last two years. In this regulatory capacity, the MDC has had to address some very serious and difficult issues such as animal physical rehabilitation and minimum standards of practice, as well as others that are important to the CVMA, its members, and the veterinary profession.

The efforts of Dr. Klingborg reflect a dedication that exemplifies a lifelong involvement in a profession that he takes pride in.



Laura Bellinghausen, DVM

Dr. Laura Bellinghausen is an associate veterinarian for Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority and also a staff veterinarian and instructor at Carrington College in San Jose, CA. Her colleagues describe her as an asset to the veterinary medical profession and someone always willing to discuss cases, share ideas, and utilize RVTs as much as possible.

Dr. Ashley Cotton, a former colleague of Dr. Bellinghausen, described her as supportive by allowing the staff to perform their duties independently and encouraging them to problem solve on their own. “She practiced high-quality veterinary medicine and was routinely performing blood work, radiographs, and further testing as needed, but always encouraged the veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants to do those tasks, as time and skill allowed,” Dr. Cotton explained.

As a veterinary technology instructor, Dr. Bellinghausen shows up early and stays as late as needed. She is patient with students, giving them time to figure out the answers on their own, and meets privately with those preparing for the Veterinary Technician National Examination.



Kristi Pawlowski, RVT

Ms. Kristi Pawlowski has been very active in the veterinary profession as well as organized veterinary medicine. In addition to her role as an RVT, she has worn many hats such as hospital director, field trainer/field director, hospital manager, and even as a registered dental assistant. Her involvement in organized veterinary medicine includes serving as the executive director of the Sacramento Valley VMA, vice chair (2012) and chair (2013) of the CVMA RVT Committee, a member of many CVMA task forces, a long-time member and officer of the Sacramento Valley Veterinary Technician Association, and frequent attendee at Veterinary Medical Board meetings, all with the intent of representing RVTs. She currently serves as an RVT representative on the Veterinary Medical Board’s Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee.

Ms. Pawlowski’s enthusiasm for her work is evident in her tireless efforts to educate students about the integral role of RVTs in practice and the advantages and importance of membership in state and local associations. She has been a mentor to those she has worked with and always encourages an environment of high standards, education (on the job and formal training), teamwork, and putting animals first. As Dr. Dan Segna explains, “Kristi inspires people around her to do more and care more.”



Lori Weise (Downtown Dog Rescue)

Ms. Lori Weise founded Downtown Dog Rescue in Los Angeles, CA after her daily frustration of seeing homeless, sick, and injured animals on her drives to work made her take action. She began talking with the residents in the area about their pets and eventually established a rapport and trust with them. Ms. Weise started providing them with pet supplies, spay and neuter services, and even financial aid. That was 20 years ago.
Since then, Lori and her team of volunteers have expanded their services and their reach to include some of the poorest and most intimidating neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Monthly clinics, including spay and neuter services, microchipping, vaccinations, deworming, and veterinary consultation are provided.

The Downtown Dog Rescue has a facility where they house animals to prevent them from going into the municipal shelter system. Ms. Weise also fosters animals at home and at work. She does all this while continuing to manage a furniture warehouse.

Ms. Weise’s tireless efforts to help those struggling to keep their pets are truly commendable and certainly exemplifies the CVMA’s description of meritorious service.



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.

2018 Inductee:  Richochet, Therapy Dog

Owner:  Judy Dridono

Nominating Organization: ABC Veterinary Hospital

Ricochet has a special gift. Not only can she surf, but she provides therapy to people with disabilities by providing connection through her sport. Although she was first slated to be a service dog for a person with a disability, she found her true calling as a SURFice© Dog, working with adaptive surfing organizations and special needs children. In addition, she has more than two years of service dog training and over eight years of experience working with individuals with disabilities. She is a registered therapy dog and is involved with the Emotional Support Dog Program.

There is no shortage of testaments from people Ricochet has helped. She has provided therapeutic assistance to returning military personnel readjusting to civilian life, including a combat veteran with PTSD and who barely spoke; she has helped children with special needs come out of their shell and be social; and she has even taught them to surf, not an easy task!

As described by her owner, Judy Fridono, “There is a strong bond between Ricochet and the people she interacts with that defies present day scientific understanding. She not only provides affection, loyalty, and security, but she knows what each individual needs and she delivers it. She balances boards AND lives!”



Donald Brust, DVM

The Outstanding Service Award honors those that have been an excellent representative of the profession through active community involvement and/or veterinary service. Dr. Brust believes veterinarians are no longer small and large animal doctors, but specialists, and should pursue whatever endeavor can enrich your community or your professions.

Dr. Brust says, “The more we as doctors of veterinary medicine multitask, the greater our exposure to promote our profession.”

The Outstanding Service Award will be presented at the local level by Dr. Bruce Lindsey, representing the County of San Diego.


Nominate Someone for a 2019 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 January 10, 2019.  In June 2019 you can join your colleagues in Long Beach in applauding the recipients of these prestigious awards!

Awards Nomination criteria and timeline

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