2017 GVMA Award Winners

2017 GVMA Award Winners

GVMA Veterinarian of the Year

Presented to Martin Stotelmyer, DVM, in Recognition of his Exceptional Service to Georgia Veterinarians.

Dr. Stotelmyer was born and raised in Winchester, Indiana, and stayed in-state to earn his veterinary degree from Purdue University. He began his career as an associate veterinarian at Parkdale Animal Hospital in Newburgh, Indiana, before moving south where he joined Buckhead Animal Clinic as associate veterinarian in 1974.

In 1984, Dr. Stotelmyer became a co-owner of Buckhead Animal Clinic with David Forehand until Dr. Forehand’s death in 2004.

Dr. Stotelmyer sold Buckhead Animal Clinic in December 2010 and retired from general practice in January 2011.

For his entire career, Dr. Stotelmyer has been a member of the GVMA and the AVMA and Buckhead Animal Clinic was an AAHA accredited hospital for 21 years. He has held numerous positions with the GVMA and the Greater Atlanta Veterinary Medical Society.

What set Dr. Stotelmyer apart from other Veterinarian of the Year candidates has been his recent work as co-chair of GVMA Student Surgery Committee in conjunction with the UGA CVM and the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. Along with GVMA President’s Award winner Dr. Mary Elizabeth Ellard, Dr. Stotelmyer has worked countless Saturdays this year guiding students through sometimes their first veterinary surgical procedure. The hours could be long, but Dr. Stotelmyer was always there with a cheerful disposition, encouraging veterinary students through the process.

Student Surgery Program Manager, Lindsay Corley, claims that without Dr. Stotelmyer the program would not be what it is today, crediting him with getting the fledgling program off of the ground. He was there from the beginning and continues to be a driving force behind the student program as it grows. Says Lindsay, “Dr. Stotelmyer is proof that one person can make a difference.”


J.T. Mercer Lifetime Achievement Award

Presented to Andrew J. Morrow, DVM, in Grateful Recognition of his Life-Long Dedication to Veterinary Medicine in Georgia.

Dr. Morrow graduated from veterinary school at Auburn University in 1972. He immediately went to work for Dr. James Yarborough in Miami, Florida, where he met his wife, Eileen

. In 1975, Joe returned to his hometown of Columbus, Georgia, where he opened his own practice. He always enjoyed practice, both the animals and the clients. He sold his practice in December 2011.

Joe has always been committed to service in the veterinary community. During his years of practice, Joe was active in the local Chattahoochee Valley Veterinary Association, serving several times as president. As a member of the GVMA, Joe served first as assistant director and then as director of his district. He was chairman of multiple task forces and in 2012, he was elected president of the GVMA.

Dr. Morrow has also been committed to serving the community. Both before and after retirement, he has served in different positions in his church and was president of the East Columbus Kiwanis club for several years. He is currently vice president of the Governor’s appointed board to FDR’s Little White House in Warms Springs, GA., and he is president of the Friends of the Little White House.


In addition to community service, he swims every morning at the YMCA and studies history at Columbus State University. He also has a cattle farm in Harris County, GA., managing a small herd of Angus cows.

Dr. Morrow volunteers with the homeless in Columbus and started a clothing bank that serves the needs of an average of 100 people per week. He also leads a group from his church to prepare and serve several meals, including Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to the poor and homeless. Needless to say, if any of you are considering retirement in the near future but are not sure what you will do with all that free time, call Dr. Morrow– he’ll be full of suggestions.

Joe and Eileen have 3 amazing children and 5 even more amazing grandchildren. Joe is a lifelong fan of University of Alabama football, National Champions for 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017 is looking quite promising.

Says Dr. Morrow, “serving as a member of the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association has always been enjoyable, well spent time. Having the opportunity to get to know and to support the veterinarians in our state was very rewarding. I was honored to serve as president of our organization where we served all the veterinarians in our state and worked constantly to improve on the many successes that our profession continues to enjoy today.”


Dobbins Mahaffey Advocacy Award

Presented to John Sundstrom, DVM, in honor of his outstanding advocacy for the Veterinary Profession in Georgia.

Dr. Sundstrom’s love of veterinary medicine started at age 3 while bottle-feeding orphan lambs on grandmother’s ranch, he told her “I’ll take care of all the lambs when I grow up.” At age 7 he threatened to leave home from suburban Washington, DC if his parents didn’t move to a farm, which they soon after did.

After a pre-vet undergraduate degree from University of Maryland, Dr. Sundstrom moved south to earn his veterinary degree from UGA, and recently celebrated a 50-year class reunion. Dr. Sundstrom claims his veterinary school highlight was winning the hand of the former Linda Broome of Augusta, and they have now been married 51 years.

After working for two years in Athens and Decatur mixed animal practices, Dr. Sundstrom had an opportunity to buy a Gainesville practice with a down payment of zero, which pretty much fit their budget. So he and Linda became practice owners in 1970, with Linda running the business side.

They would spend the next 45 years in Gainesville, taking on a new partner, Dr. Denise Funk, in 1996. She had started working in the practice at age 13. Dr. Chris Potter joined the practice in 2001, and soon became a partner. Dr. Sundstrom retired in 2015, except for the occasional fill-in for a former partner. He was appointed to the State Board of Veterinary Medicine by Governor Nathan Deal in 2011, and has twice served as president of the State Board.

In 2017, Dr. Sundstrom spearheaded a committee to upgrade the Veterinary Practice Act, which had not been updated since 2003. He created and led a team of veterinarians and veterinary industry partners that would spend countless hours and numerous meetings bringing the Practice Act into the 21st century. That hard work will culminate in the next session of the Georgia General Assembly as a bill he hopes will pass through the legislature and into law in 2018. Dr. Sundstrom has been a GVMA member for more than 50 years.

His daughter, Stacey Chadwell, lives in Cumming with her family including their granddaughters, Avery and Katie. His son, Dr. Brad Sundstrom, lives in Chattanooga, with his family including their granddaughters, Alden, Skylar, and Charlotte.


Clare B. Reagan Recent Graduate Award

Presented to Ali Daniel, DVM, for seizing the opportunities of leadership to make a difference in Georgia veterinary medicine.

Because her father, Tracy Terrell, worked in the veterinary industry for Patterson Veterinary, Dr. Daniel was drawn to veterinary medicine at a young age. Some of her earliest memories include visiting clinics with her dad. As a result, Dr. Daniel was able to know and learn from many great veterinarians who taught her more than just how to properly disinfect a kennel.

A lifelong member of the Bulldog Nation, she obtained both undergraduate and veterinary degrees from the University of Georgia. During her time as a student, she was actively involved in the Student Chapter of the AVMA, AGHON honorary society, Block and Bridle Club, and completed a Congressional Agricultural Fellowship in Washington, DC.

Dr. Daniel practices at The Veterinary Clinic in Marietta, GA. Her interest areas include dentistry, surgery, dermatology, and caring for aging patients. Most of all, she enjoys developing relationships with families and their beloved pets.

Dr. Daniel and her husband Dr. Zach Daniel live on Lake Allatoona in Acworth. Outside of work, Dr. Daniel serves as GVMA Foundation President, volunteers with the UGA CAES Alumni Association, and enjoys catching fish and cooking for others.


President’s Recognition

Presented to Mary Elizabeth Ellard, DVM, in Recognition of her Exceptional Service to Georgia Veterinarians.

Dr. Ellard is a native of Atlanta. She earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University and both her MS and DVM from the University of Georgia. After fifteen years in private practice, Dr. Ellard answered the call to shift her practice to animal shelters. She completed a graduate certificate in shelter medicine from the University of Florida and continues to work as a co-instructor for the program.

Dr. Ellard currently works with Best Friends and with Lifeline Animal Project as they strive to save lives in metro Atlanta shelters. Her special interests include high-quality, high-volume spay-neuter and behavioral wellness for shelter animals.

Her shelter medicine background has been a great asset for the GVMA Student Surgery Program, where Dr. Ellard mentors UGA veterinary students as they gain valuable surgical experience in spays and neuters while providing a service to the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Her other passion is history. Dr. Ellard speaks regularly on veterinary medicine during the American Civil War. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Civil War Round Table and as a Trustee and Vice President of the Georgia Battlefields Association. She is also a member of the GVMA Foundation Board.

She and her husband, Bill, attend Peachtree Christian Church and live with their pampered shelter cat, Annabelle.


Congratulations to all of our Award Winners! You deserve it!


The GVMA Team