WVC At 90 Years Young; Exploring Certifications


wvc 2018 90th jewel kevin nealonLast week I was welcomed to the WVC 90th Annual Conference in Las Vegas where nine decades of education, innovation and inspiration were celebrated. I look forward to this conference every year as it is my networking conference, and this year was especially true after a solidly successful conference exhibiting at VMX.

The conference started for me with the Senior Executive Forum superbly hosted by Animalytix’ CEO Chris Ragland and sponsored by the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, and with gracious opening remarks by this year’s Chairman, Scott Bormann, Vice President, North America Operations, Merck Animal Health. The presentation lived up to its billing of an insightful discussion of the evolving animal health marketplace and an opportunity to network.

I was pretty jazzed as I toured the exhibit hall and met with old friends and made new. It was my 22nd conference as it as at is at WVC where we celebrate the birth of www.goodnewsforpets.com – this year it’s 18th birthday – but I must admit that pales in comparison to a 90th birthday.

From the opening ceremony to the signage to the events to the content of the media kit, you couldn’t miss this was the 90th birthday. Nor could you miss how far the conference has come — we had a snazzy App, WVC-Connect and Wi-Fi to keep us well connected. Products and booth presentations alike caputred my attention – from KP International’s tranquil-ease heart patch for behavior support to the behemoth booth display for Bayer’s Alenza’s soft chews.

A generously stocked pressroom to help us cover the conference.  The growth of the fabulous Oquendo Center continues to amaze and new WVC summer programs are in the offing: Recent Graduate Symposium, Veterinary Technician Symposium and the Women’s Veterinary Summit.

The biggest takeaway for us is certification programs appear to be blossoming in the veterinary profession. Last year for a very

brief time, our parent agency represented Fear Free. Now we represent the Cat Writers and Dog Writers organizations and not any one certification program. We are curious. A very exciting and promising FREE program is the Heroes for Healthy Pets program announced during WVC. Another one that we want to explore is the Human-Animal Bond Certification Program announced immediately after VMX. The AAFP’s Cat Friendly Practices is a stellar program. Other professions are experiencing like my own PR profession are experiencing a burgeoning of certification programs. What does it all mean for the veterinary profession? We hope to hear more – and cover more!

Kudos to the pr team of Julie Jensen and India Heady at WVC for making me and the rest of the press welcome with all the accommodations needed to cover the conference.

Best Regards,




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