The Western Veterinary Conference (WVC), the largest veterinary conference in the United States, recently elected Joe M. Howell, DVM, as WVC president. Howell of Oklahoma City earned his DVM degree from Oklahoma State University in 1972. Howell’s election to the position of WVC president follows decades of commitment to animal care and welfare.
Howell is a companion animal practitioner, a former owner of the Britton Road and Quail Creek Animal Hospitals in the Oklahoma City area, and a current partner in Montecito Animal Hospital in Las Vegas. He is the president and CEO of Howell Investments, Inc., a consulting, venture capital, and investments firm. He is one of only two ethicists for the historic American Humane Association, a non-profit organization committed to ensuring the welfare, wellness and well-being of children and animals and unleashing the full potential of the bond between humans and animals to the mutual benefit of both.
“It is an honor to serve as president of such a well-regarded organization with an unmatched continuing education program in the field of veterinary sciences,” stated Howell. “As an ethicist as well as a veterinarian, I look forward to continuing to assist my profession with the pursuit of groundbreaking technology and innovative techniques in the areas of diagnosis, care, and humane treatment of animals as well as the pursuit of premiere professional development for Doctors of Veterinary Medicine across the United States.”
Howell served as president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and chairman of the executive board of AVMA, completing back-to-back appointments from 2002-2004. While serving the AVMA, he conducted presentations for veterinary associations in nearly all 50 states, interacted with the Center for Disease Control dealing with potential bioterrorist activities involving animal disease being used to target humans or animals, and chaired the AVMA President’s Roundtable in Washington, DC, interfacing with government and military veterinarians, and the deans of US veterinary colleges. Dr. Howell also served as an Examiner for the Clinical Proficiency Exam, administered to graduates of non-AVMA accredited schools seeking licensure in North America.
In Oklahoma, Howell served as president of the Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and Licensure for four years, three as president, and oversaw the consolidation of that board with the State Board of Medical Licensure. He was president, vice president, and secretary of the Oklahoma County Veterinary Medical Association, and on the executive board of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), an organization that honored him with the OVMA president’s award.
“I am pleased to be part of such important and meaningful work for my profession,” said Dr. Howell. “I want to thank Sharon Worrell, alumni affairs specialist, and former Dean Jean Sander for their help in engaging our alumni to vote. I look forward to impacting current and future generations of veterinary professionals, here in Oklahoma and around the world through the work of the WVC.”
Howell is an enthusiastic fundraiser having worked on OSU campaigns and other causes close to his heart. He also served on the faculty as interim director of continuing education for the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences and is a recipient of their Distinguished Alumni Award. He has also been very involved in his community participating in many civic and philanthropic organizations and activities.
Dr. Howell resides in Oklahoma City and has two adult children, Sumrall Jane, in San Diego, Calif., and Martin Joseph, in Oklahoma City.
The Western Veterinary Conference, established in 1928, is considered the premiere veterinary continuing education meeting in the world. Through its Oquendo Center, a 66,000 square foot facility, the WVC engages recognized authorities to deliver valuable information, utilizing innovative and effective methodologies that enhance animal and human health worldwide.