Deloris Gaines retires and receives Distinguished Service Award

Deloris Gaines

For more than 20 years, Deloris Green Gaines and her firm, DG & Co., have managed professional associations; the last 16 years from an office here in Fayetteville. She recently announced her retirement and was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the Veterinary Medical Association Executives.

With more than 40 years of experience in meeting planning and association management, Gaines has worked with numerous associations including local, state, national and international groups where he responsibilities have included full-service association management, staff support to association boards and committees, budgeting and financial management, administration of a 501(c)(3) foundation, publication of membership directories and newsletters, maintenance of websites, fund-raising, full-service meeting management, management of events such as golf tournaments and banquets, and maintenance of membership records.

Her firm has served associations for a variety of professions including veterinarians, veterinary dentistry, theriogenology, small ruminant medicine, audiology and speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, psychology, trucking, transportation fraternity, nursing homes and Realtors.

A few weeks ago, as she officially retired from serving the Tennessee and Alabama Veterinary Medical Associations, the Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE) honored her with the Distinguished Service Award during the organization’s annual convention. Recipients of this award represent initiative, integrity and commitment in serving the veterinary profession and association colleagues. The award is given to a VMAE member who has been selected by the VMAE President for notable or important contributions made to the organization. Gaines serves as Past President of the organization and has chaired the Membership Task Force and the Awards Committee.

“It’s a bittersweet time for me as I have enjoyed working with a variety of professions and trades and met so many interesting people from around the world,” Gaines reflects. “Working alongside my wonderful staff and the members of the associations, I have made many friends in the process. Veterinarians are truly some of the nicest people. My work with them has been a labor of love.”

Fellow Fayetteville resident, Fayetteville Animal Clinic co-owner and TVMA member Dr. Mary Carter recalls, “I moved to Fayetteville from Nashville around the same time that Deloris moved back to Fayetteville from Nashville. We didn’t really know each other then. I knew of her as I was a TVMA member, but I was not really active in the organization. Over the past 20 years I got to know Deloris and enjoyed riding with her up to Veterinary Day on the Hill in Nashville. Deloris has been a great advocate of veterinarians.”

Active within her profession, Gaines is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Tennessee Society of Association Executives, having served on the TNSAE Board of Directors for four years, chaired several committees, participated as moderator or speaker in educational sessions, and organized the TNSAE Meeting Planning Special Interest Group.

She was listed by ConventionSouth Magazine as “One of 100 Meeting Planners to Watch” in 1994 and again in 2000. She has twice received awards from TNSAE for Outstanding Meetings, Special Events, and Conferences. She holds a Master of Education degree from Mississippi State University and Bachelor of Science degree from Blue Mountain College.

 “While I may not totally quit working, I am really looking forward to spending more time with my husband and my mother and visiting our children and grandchildren who are spread out from Fort Drum, NY, to Sarasota, Florida and Nashville to Washington DC,” she said. “I have been blessed to have worked in the association business.”

Gaines and her husband Rick are members of the Fayetteville First Baptist Church, where she has served on the Finance Committee and Long-Range Planning Committee. Together they have five daughters, two grandsons, a granddaughter and another granddaughter due in March. The family is rounded out with a poodle and two cats.