In 1992, the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) established the Awards and Public Relations Committee as a standing committee of the AVDC. In April 2005, the Board established a separate Public Relations Committee, and modified the Awards Committee standard operating procedure to reflect this change. The Awards Committee is charged with making recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding awards presented by the AVDC. The Awards Committee includes Dr. Peter Emily as a continuing member, who may vote only in the event of a tie. Dr. Robert Wiggs was a continuing member of the Awards Committee until his untimely death in 2009. The Awards Committee now functions under the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry.

Dr. Peter Emily Service Award

Peter Emily Award - Lion   Peter Emily Award - Rhino   Peter Emily Award - Seal

This award is presented annually to an outstanding Diplomate of the College for contributions in the service of the AVDC and also to further the field of veterinary dentistry. Those contributions may include academic efforts, scientific presentations, research endeavors, book chapters and books, other publications, involvement in organized veterinary dentistry and the veterinary medical community, civic involvement, and the general promotion of veterinary dentistry. St. Jon VRx initially agreed to sponsor this award in recognition of Dr. Emily's contributions to veterinary dentistry. Following a corporate merger, Virbac Animal Health continues to sponsor this award.

Past Emily Award Recipients: Dr. Chuck Williams (1992), Dr. Colin Harvey (1993), Dr. Bob Wiggs (1994), Dr. Gary Beard (1995), Dr. Ben Colmery (1996), Dr. Sandra Manfra Marretta (1997), Dr. Donald L. Ross (1998), Dr. Tom Mulligan (1999), Dr. T. Keith Grove (2000), Dr. Steve Holmstrom (2001), Dr. Heidi Lobprise (2002), Dr. Frank Verstraete (2003), Dr. Edward Eisner (2004), Dr. Mark Smith (2005), Dr. Ken Lyon (2006), Dr. Gregg DuPont (2007), Dr. Michael Peak (2008), Dr. Pat Frost-Fitch (2009), Dr. Jan Bellows (2010), Dr. Gary Goldstein (2011), Dr. Paul Mitchell (2012), Dr. Jennifer Rawlinson (2013), Dr. Bill Gengler (2014), Dr. Ira Luskin (2015), Dr. Barden Greenfield (2016).

Dr. Robert Wiggs Outstanding Candidate Award

This is an award given annually to an outstanding veterinarian on successful completion of an approved training program. This award is given to honor Dr. Robert Wiggs, who contributed selflessly to the AVDC and veterinary dentistry in general. Nominees must have successfully completed the Credentials process of the AVDC within the past three years, and either has not yet completed the examination process or are recent Diplomates of the College. Letters of support from Mentors or Residency Directors are evaluated and criteria may include presentations, seminars, publications, research, promotion of veterinary dentistry, and contributions to veterinary dentistry in general. The awards committee welcomes the nomination of candidates whose pathway to board certification has been unusual. Financial sponsorship of this award has been made by St. Jons/VRx (1992-1996), Pharmacia & Upjohn (1997-2003), Pfizer Animal Health (2004-2013) and Virbac (2014-current).

Past Wiggs Award Recipients: Dr. Linda DeBowes (1994), Dr. Gregg DuPont (1995), Dr. Don DeForge (1996), Dr. Mark Smith (1997), Dr. Randi Brannan (1998), Dr. Milinda Lommer (1999), Dr. R. Michael Peak (2000), Dr. Krista Mendoza (2001), Dr. Gary Lantz (2002), Dr. Cindy Charlier (2003) Dr. John Lewis (2004), Dr. Anson Tsugawa (2005), Dr. Jennifer Rawlinson (2006), Dr. Stephen Juriga (2007), Dr. William Krug (2008), Dr. Kendall Taney (2009), Dr. Kris Bannon (2010), Dr. Lee Blazejewski (2011), Dr. Boaz Arzi (2012), Dr. Ana Nemec (2013), Dr. Amy Fulton Scanlan (2014), Dr. Jerzy Gawor (2015), Dr. Travis Henry (2016).

Presidential Medal for Stewardship

Presidential Medal for Stewardship

This new award was created in 2015 to recognize those rare people who have exhibited an exceptional sense of duty. Those that have taken the precious resources entrusted to them, have cared for, expanded and improved upon these resources. It goes beyond service and sacrifice and is best described as stewardship. They have redefined their roles within the organization and we are grateful for their extreme dedication.

The development of the 3 inch medallion was made possible in part due to a generous donation from an anonymous donor. In addition to the medallion, the awardee also receives a gold lapel pin.

The selection is currently made solely at the discretion of the President of the AVDC.

The first four recipients of The Presidential Medal for Stewardship in 2015 are: Drs. Curtis Stiles, Gary Goldstein, Mark Smith and Steve Holmstrom. 2016 Awardees: Dr. Colin Harvey, Ms. Linda Pappalardo.

Hill’s Research and Education Award

Previously known as the AVDS Research and Education Award, this award was renamed in 2016 to reflect amalgamation of the Society into the Foundation and to reflect the long-term sponsorship of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. This is an award given annually to an outstanding person who has contributed greatly through research and/or education of veterinary dentistry. Letters of support are evaluated and criteria may include presentations, seminars, publications, research, promotion of veterinary dentistry, and contributions to veterinary dentistry in general.

Past Hill’s Award recipients: Dr. Steve Holmstrom (1997), Dr. Ira Luskin (1998), Dr. Peter Emily (1999), Dr. Ben Colmery (2000), Dr. Colin Harvey (2001), Dr. Bob Wiggs (2002), Dr. John Hefferren (2003), Dr. Sandy Manfra (2004), Dr. Loic Legendre (2005), Dr. Mark Smith (2006), Dr. Alex Reiter (2007), Dr. Don Ross (2008), Dr. Gary Lantz (2009), Dr. Bill Gengler (2010), Dr. Philippe Hennett (2011), Dr. John Lewis (2012), Dr. Rich Meadows (2013), Dr. Frank Verstraete (2014), Dr. Jason Soukup (2015), Ms. Bonnie Miller (2016).

The following 2018 VDF Speakershave generously donated their honorariums back to the Foundation.


  • Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists
  • Dr. Richard McFarland
  • Dr. Susan McTaggart
  • Dr. Mike Overend
  • Dr. Jan Bellows
  • Dr. Jamie Anderson
  • Companion Animal Dentistry of Kansas City

The following 2017 VDF Speakershave generously donated their honorariums back to the Foundation.

  • Dr. A. Amimoto
  • Dr. Brett Beckman
  • Dr. Curt Coffman
  • Dr. William Gengler
  • Dr. Toru Gotanda
  • Dr. William Kellner