Thomas G. GillespieAASV Vice-Presidential candidate

Thomas G. Gillespie

Candidate's message

I was first exposed to AASP, as it was called then, in 1979, when I attended the annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. At that time, I was a senior veterinary student, and utmost on my mind was the professional path that I would be embarking on upon graduation. To put it mildly, I was in awe. Suddenly, as a veterinary student, I was rubbing shoulders with numerous successful swine veterinarians who would become colleagues and friends. As a student, I devoured the proceedings, took detailed notes, and quickly learned that the veterinarians were eager to impart practical information to a "soon to be" graduate. This left me with a sense of excitement about my chosen profession.

Since that first initial exposure in Indianapolis, AASV has continued to provide me with opportunities. I have been honored to be a speaker at several annual meetings. More importantly, I have met and developed friendships with colleagues all over the world.

Recently, I was sharing my intention to run for AASV office with a colleague, and he quite frankly asked me, "Why are you going to do that?" My reason to run for office is that I want to give back some part of what AASV has given to me over many years.

I have three objectives if I am elected Vice President. First of all, I want to do what I can to help AASV thrive and continue to grow as an organization. We need successful swine practitioners to be members in order to have a successful organization. But, equally important, a successful organization helps to create successful swine practitioners. One of the outstanding features of the AASV is that it provides us with the ability to network with other colleagues. I know this has helped me both personally and professionally. Communications help keep members of AASV abreast of the rapid changes in this industry. The first objective of AASV is to "endeavor to do all things necessary to promote the interests, to improve the public stature, and to increase the knowledge of veterinarians in the field of swine practice." Membership in a strong AASV will empower members with scientific knowledge, creating a science-based approach of dealing with current issues.

My second objective is to make AASV the framework for members to successfully lead on many fronts. These fronts are too numerous to list, but those that come to mind are food safety, antibiotic resistance, welfare, and regulatory issues, especially in regard to foreign animal disease. This cooperation between AASV members, agricultural organizations, and regulatory agencies helps build a strong swine industry, and supports AASV's third and fifth objectives, which are "to promote the relationship between the veterinary profession, swine practitioners, the swine industry, and the public" and "to cooperate with veterinary and agricultural organizations and regulatory agencies."

My third objective is to promote membership in AASV, both nationally and internationally. International members bring different experiences, beliefs, and ideas that will strengthen AASV. A goal especially important and dear to each of us is to reach qualified students desiring to become veterinarians and to involve newly graduated veterinarians to ensure the future success of our organization. This is consistent with AASV's fourth objective "to promote understanding and goodwill among its members."

I believe I am qualified to serve as your Vice President. My educational background includes a DVM from Purdue University in 1979 and Diplomate status in the American Board of Veterinary Practi-tioners, Swine Health Management Specialty, in 1998. I started in mixed animal practice, which developed into a swine specialty practice in 1991. Consulting has included both national and international work. I have been active with various professional organizations, including the following: AASP Board member (1990-1994), AASP Foundation Secretary (1990-1994), AASP Pseudorabies committee for AASP (1987-1990), AASP Membership committee chairperson (1993-1998), AASV Pharmaceutical Issues committee (2000-present), Indiana Veterinary Medical Association swine committee chairperson (1989-1991), Academy for Continuing Education committee for Indiana Veterinary Medical Association chairperson (1988-1992), National Board Examination Committee of American Veterinary Medical Association (1990-1992), Indiana Board of Animal Health (1991-2000), and chairperson (1994-2000).

I participate in the local community as a basketball coach and 4-H leader and am active in church leadership. My family includes my wife, Denise; son Kevin, a junior at Purdue University; son Matt, a junior in high school; and daughter Kendra, in sixth grade at the middle school.

I believe I have much to offer and the ability to accomplish my objectives. I would be honored to have the opportunity to represent our organization.