Award Winners

NAVTA’s Veterinary Technician of the Year
Melissa Entrekin, LVT, VTS (ECC)

Melissa has been a NAVTA member since 2013 and has 22 years of clinical experience in ECC and more than five years of experience as a Veterinary Technician Educator.

She is passionate about the career opportunities for veterinary technicians and is eager to share knowledge with students and fellow veterinary technicians.

In nominating her, her colleagues wrote:

“She is 100% devoted to our profession.  She is not only a vet tech educator full-time, but she spends the majority of her free time advocating for LVTs in the state.  She drives several hours to attend a veterinary board meeting as a rep for NAVTA and as the President of the state Veterinary Technician association.  There isn’t a day that goes by that she isn’t doing something to benefit and advance the profession.”

In assessing the nominee, the judges noted that Melissa was extremely active in state regulatory matters and had a tremendous positive impact in this area, testifying at several state Veterinary Medical Board meetings.

The judges also noted her high level of engagement in her state association as President and in NAVTA as a District Representative and committee member.  They also commended her for her involvement in AAHA, VECCS, AVTEA, and the state’s educator’s association.

She clearly has a lot of energy and is extremely well organized to do all of that!

NAVTA is proud to announce that the 2021 Veterinary Technician of the Year is Melissa Entrekin, LVT, VTS (ECC) of Piedmont Technical College

Congratulations Melissa!!


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!