Dr. Charles Lemme

Candidate: District VII Director

Dr. Charles Lemme Dr. Chuck Lemme has been a small-animal practitioner since graduating from Iowa State University in 1975. The economy was down at that time, and there were very few small-animal jobs available in Iowa, so he was excited to get a position as an associate veterinarian at Bramer Animal Hospital in Evanston, Illinois. Being involved in organized veterinary medicine was part of the culture of that practice. Both partners served as president of the Illinois state VMA during the time Dr. Lemme was there, so it wasn't long before he, too, was also getting involved, first as a committee chair and then a board member of the Chicago VMA.

In 1985, Dr. Lemme had the opportunity to "move back home" with his family to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and bought a small-animal practice there, where he continues to practice. Through connections established in the Chicago VMA, he was asked to serve as president of the Midwest Small Animal Association and then to serve as an area director for AAHA. Being a volunteer leader for a national organization was a great opportunity to meet other veterinarians from around the country with a strong interest in organized veterinary medicine, and to learn about how an organization of that size operates. Toward the end of his term as an area director, Dr. Lemme also got to witness from the inside AAHA's change of governance from a grassroots/member-driven organization to a more centralized board/staff-driven organization, and the pluses and minuses of that change.

Dr. Lemme's involvement with AVMA started when he was selected to be the AAHA representative on the AVMA's Clinical Practitioner's Advisory Committee (CPAC) to the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic agents. That was another tremendous learning opportunity, especially regarding the regulatory aspects of veterinary medicine and seeing how much influence AVMA has working with government agencies. He also got six years of experience working with other volunteer leaders and AVMA staff developing and improving AVMA policy.

While serving on CPAC, Dr. Lemme was selected to present AVMA's comments at public meetings held by both the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine and the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics. He also was selected to be the small-animal practitioner representative on a working group made up of veterinarians from industry and USDA, tasked with developing new, practitioner-friendly labeling for biologics.

At the state level, Dr. Lemme became involved in the Iowa VMA by serving on the small-animal committee, first as a member, and then chair for several years. He has also served on the legislative committee and finance committee. Dr. Lemme was elected as a district representative on the IVMA Executive Board and then elected as vice president, rotated up through the offices, and served as president in 2007-08. He was honored in 2015 by being selected as the IVMA "Veterinarian of the Year." He currently is in his sixth year representing Iowa in the AVMA House of Delegates, first as the alternate delegate, now as the delegate.

When he isn't practicing, Dr. Lemme enjoys cheering for the ISU Cyclones, photography, running (slowly now) and traveling, especially two weeks annually in Aruba. He has two children, a son, Patrick, who passed away in 2005, and a daughter, Beth, who lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband, Joe, and four amazing children. Beth and Joe are both employed by Minnesota State University, Mankato. Beth is an assistant professor in education, and Joe is an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for the football team.


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Dr. Lemme—Statement of Reason for Seeking Office

The veterinary profession has been very good to me. It has given me the opportunity to make a decent living doing something that is interesting and rewarding. There has never been a boring day in practice. It has also given me the opportunity to be involved in organized veterinary medicine at every level, something I have learned that I really enjoy. Serving as a volunteer leader with local, state and national veterinary associations for most of the 40-plus years since I graduated from Iowa State has allowed me to meet great people from around the country, learn about a whole lot of things I never knew I would, and find skills I never knew I had. Serving on the AVMA Board of Directors representing District 7 would be "as good as it gets" for me.

Being involved with AVMA for the last 12 years has given me the opportunity to be exposed to the many issues the organization and profession are facing. While serving on various boards, committees and task forces, I have worked with veterinarians from every practice type, academics and industry, and have learned the unique issues and perspectives of each of them. Being involved with other veterinary organizations has given me a broader viewpoint and the opportunity to see other ways of doing things.

The AVMA is a great organization but faces many challenges. Staying relevant to our current and future members is going to be a major one. It is going to take leadership that is engaged, experienced, but also forward thinking to meet those challenges. I think I can provide those skills.

One of my personal "life goals" is to do what I can to leave the veterinary profession at least a little better when I leave it than it was when I started. Having the opportunity to serve as your District 7 representative on the AVMA Board of Directors would be a great way for me to continue working on that goal.

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