Lessons from the Trenches, a Leadership Panel

by David Foley, Jack Advent & Dr. John Albers
Moderated by Lynn Appel
1.5 CE Hours (per workshop)

Saturday January 5, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm & 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

This panel will consist of three 30 minute sections, one on each of the following three topics.

Roles of the Elected Leader and Chief Staff Officer – A discussion and perspectives to help volunteer leaders make the most productive use of their time and skills, and respect/utilize their ED’s time and skills to advance and serve  the organization. In essence who should be responsible for what  so that the right skill set is applied, volunteer’s time is respected and uncertainty/frustration for all parties is mitigated.

Strategic Planning and/or Thinking – Our perspectives and experiences with the true value of strategic plans. What formats/structure for  development work best, for what time horizon should they be, how do you keep them “in front” of the board, and do you really even need one or would other alternatives work better?

Right-Sizing Governance – The conversation about effective governance structure is going on in various state VMAs and AVMA. Is smaller for small’s sake really the right approach? What factors about organization culture and history should you consider? Our perspectives on some of the short and long term implications as well as benefits of any effort to “right size” your board.

About the Panel

David L. Foley

 David L. Foley

David currently serves as the executive director for the American Association of Equine Practitioners, where he began working in 1988.  Initially serving in a variety of positions within the AAEP, he was promoted to the position of executive director in 2000.  A native of Louisville, KY, David is a 1985 graduate of the University of Kentucky, with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and received is CAE certification in 2004.
David is active within the veterinary, equine, and association communities and has served on numerous committees and boards, including the American Horse Council, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Professional Convention Management Association, and the North American Riding for the Handicapped. Currently, he serves on the executive committees for the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America, the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives (ASVMAE), and the Unwanted Horse Coalition.
Married, with two college-aged children, David and his wife Wendi reside in Lexington, Kentucky. 

Jack Advent, CAE
Jack Advent, CAE
Executive Director,
Ohio Veterinary Medical Association

Professional Experience & Involvement 


  • Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, 1998-present

Executive Director

  • Ohio Wholesale Marketers Association, 1981-1997

Director of Association Services, Executive Director

  • Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, 1980

Public Relations Director

Professional Designations

  • Certified Association Executive (CAE), 1994-present

Conveyed by the American Society of Association Executives

Professional Organizations/Involvement

  • American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives

Past President, Board Member, Committee Chair & Member

Membership  1998 - present

  • Ohio Society of Association Executives

Past President, Board Member, Committee Chair & Member

Membership  1980 – present

  • American Society of Association Executives

ASAE Foundation Environmental Scan Task Force Member

Membership  1990 – present

  • American Veterinary Medical Association

Legal Issues Task Force Member

  • The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Campaign Committee Member

Economic Impact Study Advisory Committee Member

Professional Presentations

  • Ohio Society of Association Executives

Budgeting, Environmental Scanning, Leadership Development, Convention Contracts, Association Structure

  • Ohio State Bar Association

Committee Effectiveness

  • American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives

Ohio Livestock Standards Development, Recent Graduate Leadership Programs

  • American Veterinary Medical Law Association

Ohio Livestock Standards Development

  • Indiana Veterinary Medical Association

Ohio Livestock Standards Development

  • American Veterinary Medical Association Public Policy Symposium

Large Animal Loan Repayment Programs

John W. Albers, DVM

John W. Albers, DVM

John’s experience in companion animal practice and organized veterinary medicine includes over 23 years of service as Executive Director of the American Animal Hospital Association. In addition, he has had extensive interaction with state and national veterinary associations, animal health pharmaceutical and pet food companies, pet insurance companies, distribution, academia, trade press and publication providers, conference organizers, the animal welfare community, government, and practitioners.

A recognized leader throughout his career, John served on the panel that authored the seminal Pew Foundation sponsored publication, Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine, which drove change in the delivery of veterinary education. In 1995, John authored the AAHA Report: A Study of the Companion Animal Veterinary Services Market, the first substantial work to examine the animal health delivery system, pet owner attitudes towards their pets, and the potential impact of consolidation on the companion animal segment of the profession.

In the late 1990’s, John’s leadership was instrumental in the comprehensive economic study, The Current and Future Market for Veterinarians and Veterinary Medical Services in the U.S., and the subsequent formation of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI). A founding member of the NCVEI, he served as a Director for almost ten years and was a primary presenter of the study results for the first two years following its publication.

Under John’s leadership of AAHA, it became one of the most respected organizations in the profession, growing substantially in members, programs, and services, as well as revenue and net assets.

After retiring from AAHA at the end of 2009, John established Albers Veterinary Strategies, a very active strategic consultancy for the animal health industry and veterinary organizations. He also continues to be an active volunteer, serving on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation and on the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee.  

A special thank you to Pfizer for their continued support of VLC and
their commitment to the veterinary profession.

Pfizer Animal Health - Commitment to Veterinarians