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—  Dr. Mike Topper,

AVMA Past-President, 2017-2018

Colleagues, it is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Rena Carlson, Candidate for AVMA President-Elect.

Having served in the position, I can tell you that Rena has unparalleled qualifications for this office.  A native of rural Idaho, Rena grew up on her family farm where she developed her desire to become a veterinarian.  After completing her bachelor degree at Idaho State University, she headed off to Washington State University where she earned her DVM degree.  Initially she was an associate small animal practitioner at Alpine Animal Hospital in Chubbuck, Idaho and then became an owner of the practice for the next 25 years.  Concurrently, she held a part time position in academia as the Attending Veterinarian in the AAALAC-accredited research facility at Idaho State University.


In addition to her busy working schedule, Rena started volunteering as a leader in veterinary medical organizations and has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility at the regional, state and national levels.  Regionally, she has served as secretary, treasurer and president of the Eastern Idaho VMA.  At the state level, she served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Idaho VMA.

Nationally, she served the AVMA at all levels.  She served in the HOD as the Idaho alternate delegate and delegate for 10 years before being elected as the District XI Director and serving on the Board of Directors for 6 years.  On the board, she honed her knowledge and leadership skills.  Two major areas of focus for the AVMA are advocacy at the federal government level, and developing and maintaining our strategy.  Rena was intimately involved with both during her term on the BOD.  She was chair of the Legislative Advisory Committee for 2 years and then chair of the Board’s Strategic Management Committee for 2 years.  Her service on the BOD culminated with her being elected by her peers to become an AVMA Officer and member of the Board of Governors, first as Vice Chair and then as Chair of the Board of Directors.


While serving in these professional organizations, Rena was honored by being named a Distinguished Alumnae of Idaho State University and as Veterinarian of the Year by the Idaho VMA.  


Rena is truly an amazing person!  She was able to successfully balance (on most days if you ask her) the roles of being a clinical veterinarian and practice owner, a volunteer leader, and that of being a wife and mother of two boys.  I really do not know how she did all of this!  Her life is less hectic now as she sold the practice and is doing lots of relief work while being a devoted grandmother, and daughter taking care of aging parents and the family farm.


After taking a year off from organized veterinary medicine, Rena is refreshed and eager to continue her service to the veterinary profession as a candidate for AVMA President-Elect.  Like I said at the beginning, she is very much qualified for this position and will continue to lead our organization forward.

Cat on Green

—  Dr. Joseph Kinnarney,

AVMA Past-President, 2015-2016

"Dr. Carlson’s vast leadership experience and her strategic thinking prepares her to be an outstanding AVMA president."


Dog on Pink

"Dr. Carlson has integrity, common sense and great leadership instincts."

—  Dr. Mary Ann Hollick,

HOD Member, 2021

"Dr. Carlson has proven herself as an accomplished servant leader in veterinary organizations at the local, state and national level. She fully understands the complexity of the AVMA having served multiple years as Chair of the Strategic Management Committee and then as Board of Directors’ Vice Chair and Chair."

—  Dr. Mike Topper,

AVMA Past-President, 2017-2018

Dog on Blue

“Dr. Carlson brings quality assurance to everything she participates in, from the exam room to the board room. She is a role model of servant leadership and is skilled in the leadership qualities that will make us proud while she represents us and the profession as the ambassador for the AVMA.”


—  Dr. Thomas F. Meyer,

AVMA Past-President, 2016-2017

Dr. Rena Carlson is an engaged and pragmatic leader with family values, which is what the association needs right now. Because of her compassion, honesty, and integrity, she exemplifies what a veterinarian, small business owner, and the next AVMA president should be.



—  Dr. Jennifer Glass,

Idaho AVMA Delegate, 2021

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