NAVC Conference 2009 – A Bright Spot in an Otherwise Gloomy Forecast

ORLANDO — Despite a less than inspiring economy, the NAVC Conference 2009 gave attendees a chance to relax, be entertained and most importantly hone their skills and veterinary knowledge.

During the five-day conference, January 17-21, 14,036 registrants were checked-in, including 5,420 veterinarians, 1,361 technicians, 462 practice managers, 129 receptionists, 302 DVM students, 296 technician students, 2,177 guests and NAVC staff, 29 non-DVMs, 3,747 exhibitors and 113 members of the media.

NAVC Board of Directors 2009

2010 Front Row (L to R): Ms. Lynne Johnson ” NAVC Director, Dr. Earl Rippie ” NAVC Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. Christine Navarre ” NAVC Director, Dr. Jorge Guerrero ” NAVC Director, Dr. Charlotte Lacroix – NAVC Director, Dr. Don Harris ” NAVC Immediate Past President

Back Row (L to R): Dr. Colin F. Burrows ” NAVC Executive Director, Dr. Doug Mader ” NAVC President-Elect, Dr. Earl Gaughan ” 2009 NAVC President, Dr. David Senior ” NAVC Conference Coordinator, Dr. Mark Smith ” NAVC Director, Dr. Gatz Riddell ” NAVC Director, Dr. Laurel Kaddatz ” NAVC Vice President and Dr. Mark Crootof ” NAVC Director

“Our numbers dropped from last year’s record high of 16,051, but we consider ourselves fortunate in this time of economic uncertainty,” said NAVC Executive Director Colin F. Burrows, BVetMed, Ph.D, MRCVS, DACVIM. “Last year was special as so many people in the veterinary community joined us to celebrate our 25th anniversary and we are pleased with the turnout this year, although there were fewer guests.”

The economy was in the minds of many attendees and the focus of several NAVC lecture tracks. The second installment of the popular and well-attended “Elephant in the Room” program looked at the alarming rise in veterinary student debt. A special half-day symposium on Sunday examined the veterinary economic crisis and panelists included University of Florida Economist David Denslow, Ph.D who is also a Research Economist for the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, veterinary lenders and Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA, a multi-location veterinary practice owner. The interactive sessions allowed audience members to respond to presentation questions, like whether their gross income and average charge per transactions in 2008 were up, down or comparable to those in 2007, using a handheld digital keypad which was then projected onscreen.

NAVC Conference 2009 Exhibit Hall

When not attending one of the 1,400+ hours of CE available, registrants could watch NAVC PrimeTime® from their hotel room or on televisions throughout the hotels. In its 11th year, NAVC PrimeTime® broadcasts lectures, announcements and conference activities 24-hours a day for five days straight and provided a variety of topics thanks to a new digital format. Shuttle buses courtesy of Merial aided in the transportation of attendees from the main conference hotels, overflow properties and off-site parking lot.

NAVC Conference 2009 Novartis Finale Party

Exhibitors in both the 178,000 sq. ft Gaylord Palms and the almost 100,000 sq ft Orlando World Center Marriott saw a steady stream of visitors and were able to add NAVC Rewards points to the badges of interested attendees which they could accrue and trade-in for NAVC Gear and other CE opportunities.

Susan Bartlett of Fort Dodge Animal Health was presented with the inaugural Neill P. Overman Award at their booth on Monday, January 19. The award honors Overman, founder of Veterinary Learning Systems (VLS), one of the founders of the Eastern StatesNAVC Conference 5003 SW 41st Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32608 January 17-21, 2009 The mission of NAVC is to provide world-class continuing education for all members of the veterinary healthcare team.Veterinary Association, Inc, member of the NAVC Board of Directors for 13 years and NAVC’s first Director of Exhibits. Nominated by fellow exhibitors for her fairness, ethical behavior, salesmanship, knowledge of the veterinary profession and continued efforts to educate all members of the veterinary healthcare team, Bartlett received an award and $1,000 check presented by Overman and witnessed by the NAVC Board and Past Presidents in addition to the Fort Dodge team.

C.A. Tony Buffington, DVM, MS, Ph.D, DACVN was presented with the 2009 Mark L. Morris, Sr. Lifetime achievement award for his lifelong commitment to improving the health and well-being of companion animals. Presented at Saturday’s Opening Ceremonies, partially sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc, Dr. Buffington was honored for his work in helping understand the causes of urinary tract disease in cats and in identifying the role played by the environment in the health of indoor cats.

Speakers of the Year from the NAVC Conference 2008, as nominated by attendees, were also awarded at the Opening Ceremonies. Winners were Scott Morrison, DVM ” Equine, Marla Lichtenberger, DVM, ACVECC ” Exotics, Michael Overton, DVM, MPVM ” Food Animal, Christine Merle, DVM, MBA, CVPM ” Practice Management, John Angus, DVM, ACVD ” Small Animal and Stephanie Plattner, RVT, BS ” Veterinary Technician.

Comedian Bill Engvall, star of “The Bill Engvall Show” on TBS and the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour,” took the stage following the awards and entertained all on Saturday night with his humorous takes on everyday life. At the Monday night Bayer Experience, actor, musician and performer extraordinaire Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts Band from The House of Blues had the crowd on their feet with their soulful rhythm and blues set. Fun and festivities were enjoyed once again at Wednesday’s Novartis Finale Party as attendees and their guests danced and sang along to the live band. Several young NAVC Conference audience members won $50 gift cards for winning the limbo contest and dancing The Twist onstage.

At the NAVC Business Meeting, Earl Gaughan, DVM, DACVS and an Associate with the Littleton Large Animal Clinic, Equine Hospital in Littleton, CO was sworn in as the 2009-10 NAVC President. Three new Board of Directors were also welcomed, Charlotte A. Lacroix, DVM, Esq. who consults veterinarians and attorneys nation-wide on veterinary legal issues, from Whitehouse Station, NJ, Christine B. Navarre, DVM, MS, DACVIM an Extension Veterinarian at the LSU AgCenter in the Department of Veterinary Science and Mark Smith, DVM, DACVS, DAVDC, a practitioner at the Center for Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery in Gaithersburg, MD.

The NAVC Conference 2010 will be held January 16-20 in Orlando. For more information please visit, email or call 352.375.5672.


Comments are closed.