UF veterinary student wins national award for business aptitude

Dr. Doyle Watson, president and CEO of Simmons & Associates, is shown with UF veterinary student Geoffrey Landau.A University of Florida veterinary student has won a national competition that recognizes business excellence in veterinary medicine.

Geoffrey Landau, a fourth-year student at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, was named the winner of the Simmons Business Aptitude Award in January during the national Veterinary Business Management Association’s annual meeting in Orlando.

The $15,000 award, which is given to senior students, is intended to bring attention to the importance of business education in veterinary practice.

As UF’s nominee for the award, Landau submitted a marketing project in a national contest among all of the various school nominees from veterinary colleges throughout the United States as well as overseas. He was selected from among 17 national and international candidates.

Landau’s project involved crafting a marketing plan for a hypothetical veterinary hospital and focused on how technology would help keep current clients and make the hospital visible to future clients.

 “While putting together my marketing plan for the SEF Award competition, it became very clear that today's marketing tools are constantly changing,” he said. “It is extremely important to track analytics for each strategy and re-evaluate what is most effective for each individual practice.”

After graduation, Landau plans to join a small animal clinic in the Atlanta area as an associate. His long-term goal is to own a veterinary practice.

Martha Mallicote, D.V.M., a clinical assistant professor of large animal clinical sciences at UF and an instructor in the college’s business certificate program, said the award reflects the substantial work Landau has put into the business certificate program and the marketing project he submitted.

The college’s business certificate program offers veterinary students a means of strengthening their skills in the business aspects of veterinary medicine through completion of a series of courses and a summer practice management clerkship.

The award is funded through the Simmons Educational Fund, a nonprofit corporation founded in 2002 by Simmons and Associates, a company that specializes exclusively in veterinary practice sales, valuations and negotiations.  

“We at the SEF continue to be incredibly impressed by the effort, thoughtfulness and quality of work that all of the entrants display in their projects,” said Dave Gerber, D.V.M., a fund trustee. “The finalists were hard to separate due to the excellence of each of their projects.  With students of this caliber, our profession will remain in good hands for years to come.”

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is supported through funding from UF Health and the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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Sarah Carey's picture

Sarah Carey

Public Relations Director, College of Veterinary Medicine

Sarah Carey, M.A., A.P.R., is director of public relations at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, a job she has held since 1990. Formerly, she was editor of...Read More