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AKVNA Annual Meeting 2019

Minutes of the AKVNA Annual Meeting, May 26, 2019 (Arlington, Virginia)

Dr. Simon Anthappan, President, chaired the meeting.

46 veterinarians and families (including 4 guests from Kerala and 2 guests from American Association of Veterinarians of Indian Origin -AAVIO), a total of 73 people, attended the meeting. The guests were Drs. Rahul Sachivothaman IPS, Shanti. V. G., Manju Mathews, Bindu Prasanthi from Kerala, and Drs. Ravi Murarka and Chandrakanth Bhatia, Jyothi Chanchal (AAVIO).

The function started with a prayer by Ms. Gauthami. Ms. Sandra Simon, MC for the program invited Dr. Somakumar, most senior veterinarian attending the program to light the lamp to inaugurate the annual meeting 2019.

Dr. George Vergheese welcomed all the attendees. Dr. Simon Anthappan gave the presidential address. Dr. Naveen Surendran reported the activities of AKVNA for the year 2018-19. Dr. Joju George introduced the inaugural edition of AKVNA e-Magazine ‘GlobalVetTimes’ by giving a copy to Dr. Rahul IPS.


Drs. Joseph Luka (advisory committee), Dr. Rahul IPS (guest representative), Dr. Ajithkumar Gopinatha Menon (Canada representative), Dr. Ravi Murarka (AAVIO), Dr. Lakshmi Kelamangalath (Lady Vet representative) and Dr. Deepa Kuttappan (Student/postdoc representative) gave felicitations to the gathering. Dr. Nishanth Sunny gave the vote of thanks.

The public function was followed by Members and family introductions and cultural programs (Snacks were provided). Dr. Sandhya arranged cultural programs and introduced participants.

Following the cultural programs, the general body meeting was convened. The following agenda items/resolutions were discussed during the general body.


  1. Dr. Simon introduced the motion to institute a voluntary endowment fund to help veterinarians in the USA and alma mater in Kerala. The general body approved the resolution. Dr. Joseph Luka suggested to include a donation link at the AKVNA website. Dr. Justin Fernandez confirmed with the group that the contributions will be tax-exempt.

  2. The general body approved the purchase of projectors and stage lamps for AKVNA.

  3. The general body approved the resolution to have an Annual meeting on Memorial Day weekend every year going forward.

  4. The general body approved the expansion of the AKVNA governing committee by including additional posts: Vice-president, Joint Secretary, Magazine editor(with supporting 3-4 member editorial committee), and a webmaster for the maintenance and improvement of AKVNA website. Dr. George Vergheese suggested that the committee should consider office bearers to commit multiple terms to provide continuity in executing ongoing programs.

  5. The general body agreed that the e-Magazine will be released annually in conjunction with the annual meeting. The general body approved that the frequency may be increased to semi-annual editions if the number of articles/interest in magazine increases. Dr. Joseph Luka suggested that AKVNA may consider releasing print versions of the e-Magazine as an advertisement to the organization and inviting news organizations to cover the annual function. The general body decided to keep the e-Magazine electronically with the option of sending printed copies to members who wanted it. AKVNA committee 2019-2020 will decide whether future e-Magazine editions may call for advertisements to cover the expense of the magazine.

  6. The general body approved to allocate $250 towards the expense of AKVNA e-Magazine 2019.

  7. Treasurer Dr. Justin presented the treasurer’s report. 

  • The starting balance was $ 3876.31/-There was a record collection of annual subscription through the AKVNA website ($1500 until the meeting on May 26). The rest of the accounts relating to registration and subscription fees are being reconciled. Part of the 2019 Annual meeting expenses was sponsored by 610 Animal Hospital.

  • We collected $900 towards the ‘Student Aid Fund’ initiated by VAAK, Mannuthy through AKVNA BoA account, and donated to VAAK SBI account (c/o Dr. Vrinda Menon) for disbursement. 3 other members of AKVNA donated Rs. 12000 each directly to the VAAK SBI account.

  • We collected $3471.00 for Rini Roy Fund using the GoFundme and transferred the amount to Dean’s account which was transferred to Rini Roy’s parents.


The general body moved on to the Election of Office Bearers for the next term of 2019-20. The following nominations were made and accepted. (Dr. Padmakumar Pillai suggested that AKVNA form an ‘Electoral Committee’ including AKVNA advisory committee members and senior veterinarians to choose future office bearers starting from 2020 onwards)

President- Dr. Justin Fernandez
        Proposed by - Dr. Madhu Rajan Mathews. 
        Seconded by- Dr. Sandhya Sukumaran
    Vice-President – Dr. Madhu Rajan Mathews
        Proposed by – Dr. George Vergheese
        Seconded by – Dr. Padmakumar Pillai
Secretary- Dr Naveen Surendran
        Proposed by- Dr. Padmakumar Pillai
        Seconded by- Dr. Sunish Mohanan. 
    Joint Secretary – Dr. Sethu C Nair
        Proposed by – Dr. Simon Anthappan
        Seconded by – Dr. Mathew Abraham
Treasurer- Dr. Nishanth Sunny
        Proposed by - Dr. Justin Fernandez
        Seconded by- Dr. Joju George. 
Lady Vet Rep- Dr. Praseeda Ajithkumar
        Proposed by - Dr. Mini Bharathan
        Seconded by- Dr. Lakshmi Kelamangalath
Executive Committee Members: -
        Dr. Abdul Salam – (Member, Canada)
        Dr. Rajani Tyagi
        Dr. Rinosh Mani
        Dr. Sunish Mohanan
        Dr. Saju Mathews
E-Magazine Editor- Dr. Joju George
        Proposed by- Dr. George Vergheese
        Seconded by- Dr. Madhu Rajan Mathews
    AKVNA Webmaster – Dr. Mathew Abraham
        Proposed by – Dr. Naveen Surendran
        Seconded by – Dr. Manu Mohan Sebastian
Graduate Student Rep- Dr. Poonam Vinaya Mohan
        Proposed by- Dr. Deepa Kuttappan.
        Seconded by- Dr. Nishanth Sunny
    Ex-Officio member: Dr. Simon Anthappan

The general body meeting concluded and followed by Dinner (Catered by - Chennai Express, Chantilly) and group photos.

Other comments/suggestions from AKVNA members and guest speakers:
a.    Initiating Veterinary education talk series – Dr. Rahul IPS
b.    AKVNA Reaching out to western Canada to address/include enthusiastic Kerala veterinarians  who are getting ready for boards/practicing – Dr. AjithKumar
c.    Indian Veterinary Association of North America willing to help any veterinarian planning to prepare for NAVLE. Please contact AKVNA or Dr. Ravi Murarka.
Dr. Ravi Murarka interested in conducting surgery/dental procedure wet lab at Kerala Veterinary University on his next visit to India – to coordinate with Dr. George Vergheese.
d.    Increased participation of Kerala veterinarians in the Society of Toxicology annual meetings in USA and AKVNA to coordinate efforts to help vets interested in the Toxicology career track – Dr. Lakshmi Kelamangalath.
e.    AKVNA through its activities and donations to Alma Mater keeps a good image at Veterinary colleges in Kerala – keep up the good work – Dr. Deepa Kuttappan.
10.    The date and venue for the 2020 AKVNA meet - General Body decided New Jersey as the venue for 20th-anniversary meeting and Memorial Day weekend 2020 as the date. 

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