Purina Director of Conformation Ann Viklund is a leader in promoting canine health and working behind the scenes to support canine health research. Her work has not gone unnoticed.
At the “Canines & Cocktails” gala, held Dec. 14 in Orlando, Fla., the AKC (American Kennel Club) Canine Health Foundation presented Viklund its President’s Award for helping to advance canine health. About 425 dog-passionate enthusiasts attended the event that celebrates achievements in canine health research.
“Ann’s dedication, experience and enthusiasm make the AKC Canine Health Foundation much stronger,” said Dr. Charles Garvin, chair of the board of directors, in presenting the award. “Ann always goes above and beyond for the Foundation, and we are privileged to have her on our board. She is richly deserving of this honor.”
“Purina and the AKC Canine Health Foundation are longtime partners in supporting research that aims to improve the lives of dogs everywhere and their owners,” Viklund said in accepting the award. “I feel fortunate to be part of these efforts that pay off abundantly with every new discovery and breakthrough.”
Dr. Diane Brown, CEO of the Foundation, says, “Ann has dedicated her career to advancing the health and well-being of dogs. Her insights and thoughtful nature have allowed her to gain the confidence of those she works with. I consider her a personal mentor.”
Viklund, who has worked at Purina for 20 years, leads a team of seven Area Managers and Field Promotion Reps and 15 consultants. Her team represents Purina at more than 200 dog shows a year. Their efforts led to the record 98 of 100 top all-breed show champions being fed Purina Pro Plan in 2016.*
In 2013, Viklund was named to the AKC Canine Health Foundation’s board of directors, currently serving as secretary and member of the executive committee. In 2016, Viklund became the first woman in the 142-year history of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, the host of the “National Dog Show Presented by Purina,” to be elected to its board of directors.
Founded in 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent, treat and cure diseases that impact all dogs. As the largest funder of health research focused solely on dogs, the Foundation works to help dogs live longer, healthier lives by funding research to address canine diseases.
* Based on the AKC Top DogsSM All-Breed Competition through December 31, 2016.
The handler or owner of these champions may have received Purina Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors.