Award Winners

NAVTA’s Veterinary Technician of the Year
Dru Mellon, RVT, CVT

The Executive Board had a difficult time choosing one winner, but, in the end, we agreed unanimously on this well-deserving person.

This year’s Veterinary Technician of the Year was chosen because he exemplifies what it means to be a Veterinary Technician. He is involved in the Utah Society of Veterinary Technicians and Assistants (USVTA) and is currently on their Board as Secretary. He actively recruits new members and encourages them to get involved. He also supports the USVTA in offering virtual RACE CE, which was critical during the Covid crisis.

But his greatest accomplishment, in the eyes of the NAVTA board, was his work with the Utah Veterinary Medical Association (UVMA), USVTA, the VNI, and NAVTA in bringing Veterinary Technician credentialing to the State of Utah. It cannot be understated what a huge collaborative accomplishment this was and how difficult a task it was.

Because of this year’s Veterinary Technician of the year, the state passed a law to offer credentialing not only to graduates of VT programs but through two alternative routes.

NAVTA is proud to announce that the 2020 Veterinary Technician of the Year is Dru Mellon, RVT, CVT, of Mountain West Veterinary Specialists!

Congratulations Dru!!


NAVTA’s Student Chapter of the Year (2020-2021 Academic Year)
Northwood Technical College (formerly Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College)

When volunteering was put on hold and classes moved to online instruction, this chapter refocused its efforts on providing support to their fellow students. They partnered second-year cohorts with first-year cohorts to help provide mentorship.

They were able to help cover the costs for any student wanting to participate in the state’s vet tech association convention as well as made it a priority to participate in Student Senate meetings and activities. In doing so, they not only raised money for their own chapter, but for a local animal rescue/shelter, and the state’s Bassett Rescue program.

The Chapter was able to develop safe COVID procedures that allowed them to resume serving their community.

Congratulations to Northwood Technical College, SCNAVTA Chapter of the Year!


NAVTA’s Student Chapter Advisor of the Year (2020-2021 Academic Year)
Meri Durand, CVT, RLATG

The SCNAVTA Advisor of the year is Meri Durand, CVT, RLATG from Dakota County Technical College. As the Dean of the program wrote in Meri’s nomination, Meri worked tirelessly to promote the field of veterinary technology, despite the significant challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meri spearheaded activities to increase SCNAVTA membership among the program’s large student population, which is predicted to surpass 200 in the upcoming academic year. She emphasized the need to build a sense of community among the members at the same time that she led numerous efforts aimed at giving back to the greater community.

The Dean further wrote that Meri displays all the best qualities of an excellent technical educator: a passion for her profession, a devotion to sharing her knowledge with others, and a high expectation that her students will take their role as students seriously.

Congratulations Meri Durand, SCNAVTA Advisor of the Year!