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Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

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OVMA Awards Program

OVMA award winners have demonstrated a wide range of outstanding work in their communities. Whether it’s volunteering for committees or associations, engaging in volunteer work at home or abroad, or working to improve animal welfare in the province, OVMA’s award winners are improving the veterinary profession for the better each and every day. Since the OVMA Awards Program was established in 1986, more than 100 individuals have been recognized with one of OVMA’s prestigious awards (see a list of past award winners). 

Read the OVMA Awards Brochure for award categories and more information, or read the FAQ below.

Do you know an outstanding veterinarian? Nominate them for an OVMA Award!

How to submit a nomination

  1. Choose an award category that best suits your proposed candidate.
  2. Complete an OVMA Awards nomination form.
  3. Compile your supporting materials (biography, supporting letters, etc.*).
  4. Send the nomination form and supporting materials to or fax to 1.877.482.5941 or mail to 420 Bronte Street South, Suite 205, Milton, Ont. L9T 0H9 c/o Elyse Kay. 
  5. The deadline to submit a nomination for the 2023 OVMA Awards is Oct. 1, 2022

* Be sure to include biographical information about your nominee, as this will serve as the basis of the award nomination and presentation.


Awards nomination FAQ

How do I acquire supporting letters and documentation?

Approach colleagues, clinic staff or clients to see if they would be willing to write a letter in support of your nominee. Look for newspaper or magazine clippings etc. that demonstrates the work the veterinarian does for the local community. The more information that you provide about your nominee, the better.

What do award recipients receive?

Award winners receive an engraved OVMA Award, free registration to the OVMA Conference and Trade Show, accommodation for one night (if needed) at the conference venue, and travel expenses to/from the conference.

When are awards presented?

Awards are presented during the annual OVMA Conference and Trade Show. Awards are not automatically awarded on an annual basis, but are awarded when at least one nominee meets the award criteria as determined by the OVMA Awards Committee and Board of Directors.

When is the deadline for nominations?

All nominations must be received at the OVMA office by Oct. 1 of each year. Nominations will be accepted after Oct. 1, but may not be considered until the following year’s awards program. 


Meet the 2022 OVMA Award Winners!

Honorary Membership Award - Doug Raven

DougRThe OVMA Honorary Membership Award is presented to someone who is not a veterinarian but has contributed to animal welfare and/or the veterinary profession.

Doug Raven served as OVMA’s chief executive officer for 23 years, from 1998 to 2021. Under his leadership, the association saw extraordinary growth, more than doubling its membership, significantly increasing its annual revenue, and expanding the services and benefits offered to members.

During his tenure, Mr. Raven played an integral role in the development of the association’s Conference and Trade Show, which now welcomes over 1,200 delegates, as well as the Great Ideas Conference, which provides top-quality continuing education focused on practice management for veterinarians and clinic teams. In addition, he helped to introduce a wide range of new member benefits and services, including free legal advice, the OVMA Pet Health Insurance Program, MyVetStore, numerous economic research and business development services, the Member Assistance Program, and most recently, the iMatter campaign, dedicated to promoting wellness within the veterinary profession.

In 2002, Mr. Raven developed the Farley Foundation, the association’s charitable arm, which has disbursed more than $5 million to assist nearly 12,500 pets of low-income individuals. Recently, the foundation hit an incredible milestone by raising over $1 million in a single year. Much of the foundation’s success can be attributed to Mr. Raven’s leadership as the charity’s executive director from 2002 to 2021.

During his career, Mr. Raven also established strong relationships with veterinarians and clinic teams, animal welfare professionals and organizations, veterinary associations and organizations, and government officials across North America. In addition, he was the first and (to-date) only non-American to serve as president of the American Society of Veterinary Medical Associates Executives, and he was the first person to win all three of that association’s annual awards recognizing excellence in the profession.

“Although he was not a veterinarian, Mr. Raven had an uncanny ability to see what the profession needed, and how to steer the profession toward that goal,” says Dr. Matthew Richardson. “Throughout his tenure at OVMA, he identified lapses and built programs that made OVMA stronger and enabled the association to make the lives of veterinarians, pets and pet owners in Ontario and across Canada significantly better.”

Award of Merit - John Donovan, DVM

JohnDThe OVMA Award of Merit recognizes individuals for their practice of, or help to, veterinary medicine. It is awarded for distinguished public service to the veterinary profession in any form.

After graduating in 1995, Dr. John Donovan joined the team at Prescott Animal Hospital. During his career at the clinic, he served as a mixed animal veterinarian, and then transitioned to partner of the Prescott Animal Hospital/Rideau-St. Lawrence Veterinary Services when the clinic merged with another practice in 2009.

As part owner of the group, Dr. Donovan has helped the business grow extensively, including mergers with other practices, the development of a large animal surgical facility and the addition of a new companion animal clinic. In addition to his management skills, his colleagues and staff attribute his forward-thinking and focus on business sustainability to the success of the business.

“Dr. Donovan continuously pushes and influences his veterinarians and staff to practice progressive medicine, wanting them to dedicate themselves to their clients all while striving to have a work-life balance for them,” says his colleague Dr. Alexandra Knoepfli.

In addition to his regular role, Dr. Donovan has mentored and trained more than 100 veterinary externship students and more than 70 high school, veterinary technician, and international veterinary students. He currently acts as the regional representative for the Ontario Animal Health Network, is a member of multiple veterinary associations and advocates for the veterinary profession at high schools. Dr. Donovan also coaches various sports teams, volunteers with 4-H, volunteers his expertise at local horse shows, and sponsors many local bovine and horse events.

“Dr. Donovan is a huge reason why our practices have developed a reputation for being highly sought-after locations for education and employment,” says Dr. Knoepfli. “He has always gone above and beyond for his clients, the animals, his staff and his community.”

Associate of the Year Award - Michael Krystolovich, DVM

MichaelK copyThe OVMA Associate of the Year Award recognizes an associate veterinarian who has demonstrated superior customer service and has proven to be an asset to their practice, as well as their community.

Following graduation from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2014, Dr. Michael Krystolovich honed his skills at two clinics before joining Upper Grand Veterinary Services in Guelph, Ont., in 2017, where his main areas of interest are dairy herd problem solving, nutrition and surgery.

Colleagues say that Dr. Krystolovich routinely and successfully tackles whatever problem is put in front of him and has solved many complicated herd-level problems for clients through his determination and compassion. In fact, his commitment to being the best veterinarian he can be is evident in everything he does.

“Whether it is reception, technician, student or veterinarian, Mike patiently mentors them equally with kindness and skill,” says Dr. Rob Swackhammer, practice owner at Upper Grand Veterinary Services. “His kind guidance is invaluable to this clinic. He has been described by our practice manager as the glue that holds this clinic together. I could not agree more.”

Dr. Krystolovich is also an OMAFRA-appointed food safety veterinarian and regularly holds presentations for local farm producers in his community.

“He is knowledgeable, always on time, patient, and truly cares about his work as he constantly rises above and beyond our expectations,” says one of his clients, who operates a dairy farm. “Following every visit on farm, he never fails to ask if there is anything else he can help with or do for us. One of the things that sets Dr. Mike apart is his care and dedication for people, not just for the livestock.”

Associate of the Year Award - Sean Herzog, DVM

SeanHThe OVMA Associate of the Year Award recognizes an associate veterinarian who has demonstrated superior customer service and has proven to be an asset to their practice, as well as their community.

After graduating from the University of Sydney in 2009, Dr. Sean Herzog worked in semi-rural Sydney, Australia, for three years before returning to his hometown of Thornhill, Ont. He joined Smith Veterinary Hospital in 2013, and then moved to Green Lane Animal Hospital where he currently works as an associate veterinarian. In addition to his in-clinic career, Dr. Herzog has worked as a locum veterinarian since 2018. His primary interests focus on internal medicine, dermatology, cytology and feline medicine.

His colleagues highlight his expertise, compassion, charisma and positive attitude, which have enabled him to develop long-standing relationships with clients, many of whom have followed him throughout his career.

“I have never seen someone give of themselves the way Sean does. He truly endeavors to ensure all of his clients are satisfied and cared for to the maximum capacity he can offer,” says his colleague, Dr. Michael Cooper.

He also bonds the veterinary team together by nurturing relationships with every staff member and by bringing his energy and passion to the clinic every day, which Dr. Cooper says is infectious: “Our staff as a whole are full of cheer and energy, as they approach their jobs with the same passionate demeanor that Dr. Herzog exemplifies every single day.”

Golden Life Membership Award - Scott Reid, DVM

ScottRThe OVMA Golden Life Membership Award recognizes OVMA members who are retired from full-time career pursuits of veterinary medicine or who have been a veterinarian for a minimum of 30 years and have served the profession in an extraordinary manner. Recipients receive an honorary lifetime OVMA membership.

Dr. Scott Reid began his career at the Dunnville Veterinary Clinic where he provided exceptional around-the-clock veterinary care and developed strong relationships with clients. During his 35-year career, he developed a passion for zoological medicine, which led him to work with unique species at various zoos in southern Ontario, including African Lion Safari. Currently, Dr. Reid provides locum services for seven hospitals, including an after-hours clinic where he spends his weekends tending to emergencies.

“For as long as I have known Scott, he has had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and unwavering passion for the practice of veterinary medicine,” says colleague and friend Dr. Steve Backman. “His passion for his profession is only matched by his compassion for the animals in his care and support for the emotional well-being of their owners.”

Dr. Reid has mentored countless veterinary students, and high school and elementary students, and has volunteered for numerous veterinary and community-based organizations, including leading 4-H veterinary clubs for many years.

He’s been the recipient of multiple awards and scholarships, including the R.V.L. Walker Award, Kievit Memorial Scholarship, W.G. Stevenson Memorial Scholarship, K.W. Kennel Club Scholarship and the OVMA Award of Merit in 1999. Dr. Reid has also published several case studies, shared his insights for OVMA’s I Matter campaign, and has written a book, My Book of Memories, about his adventures and experiences working as a veterinarian.

“With his positive outlook and commitment to kindness, Dr. Reid gives me hope for the future of veterinary medicine, and for the world in general,” says Abigail Hill, a veterinary student and mentee.


420 Bronte Street South,
Suite 205,
Milton, Ontario L9T 0H9
Phone: 905.875.0756 / (toll free) 1.800.670.1702  



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