Simmons Educational Fund‘s 2024 National Business Aptitude Award was presented during the Veterinary Business Management Association’s (VBMA) 2024 annual conference at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando in January. SEF’s largest annual student award–$30,000–was presented by Simmons & Associates Chief Operating Officer Carly Tobler to University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine third-year student Max Wunsche.
Wunsche was selected based on the exemplary case study he submitted as part of the application as well as his academic, leadership, and professional accomplishments.
“Max Wunsche is an extremely impressive veterinary student. The case study he submitted demonstrated an excellent understanding of the challenges and opportunities of practice management,” said Tobler. “He represents the best of the best in veterinary students.”
Wunsche, a Charleston, S.C. native, earned his undergraduate degree from Clemson University. At UGA, he has served as the president of the university’s VBMA chapter and is currently serving as the treasurer of his College of Veterinary Medicine class.
“I am honored to be the recipient of the SEF Business Aptitude Award. I have a keen interest in entrepreneurial opportunities in veterinary medicine and am grateful that the Simmons Educational Fund incentivizes exploring that interest through their annual case study,” said Wunsche. “Working on the case study greatly bolstered my confidence in my business knowledge. I am thrilled my submission was selected as this year’s winner as this award will go a long way in helping me achieve my goals.”
Each year, SEF receives submissions for the award from veterinary students from across the nation. These students distinguish themselves by demonstrating a keen interest in and aptitude for the pursuit of business excellence in veterinary medicine. Submissions for the award are evaluated by a panel of professionals from Simmons & Associates. Previously, only third-year veterinary students could submit applications for the award. Next year, the award will be open to any veterinary student who will still be in school through January 2025.
“As someone who has owned and operated a veterinary practice, I know how important it is for veterinarians to be knowledgeable and skilled in both medicine and businesses management,” said SEF Board Member Dr. David King. “Max Wunsche’s case study showed a strong understanding of both. He is a worthy winner of the SEF’s National Business Aptitude Award.”
The Simmons Educational Fund was founded in 2002 by Simmons & Associates as a non-profit organization dedicated to educating practitioners and students about the business of veterinary medicine. To date, SEF has provided more than $3 million in funds in support of business education for veterinarians and veterinary students.
Simmons & Associates is a trusted advisor, broker, and appraiser to thousands of practice owners and prospective owners across the United States and Canada. For five decades, Simmons has specialized exclusively in veterinary practice sales, valuations, and negotiations.