David Little has been named director of the Convention and Meeting Planning Division. Little replaces Michael Roop, who died Aug. 30, 2002.
Little will build on his experience of the past year and a half as AVMA continuing education and sponsorship coordinator. In this position, he has been involved with many facets of AVMA convention planning, in addition to the educational and financial components.
"It is unfortunate that we have to promote AVMA staff under these circumstances; however, our mission must be to move forward with the best programs we can deliver," said Dr. Bruce W. Little, executive vice president of the AVMA. "David has been a quick study. He has become involved in the role as staff support to the Convention Management and Program Committee, the expanding wet lab program, Family Night, the General Session, and a host of other events that have become an integral part of the AVMA Annual Convention."
As division director, David Little will focus on maintaining the quality of the continuing education offerings and other convention programs as well as continue to work with the AVMA's industry partners to raise sponsorship funds. He will oversee a staff of five.
Little sees the AVMA convention as having several strengths, foremost that of providing quality education to veterinarians in a wide variety of disciplines. "We have such a diverse educational program," Little said. "There is something for everybody."
"Right now, we have over 800 hours of program, and we are looking to make that the cornerstone of our convention," he continued. "We have the ability to attract many of the leading authorities in veterinary medicine worldwide, and that provides our attendees with an outstanding educational experience."
The convention will continue to offer events such as Family Night and the General Session, as they are great networking resources, and Little also plans to devote special attention to recent veterinary school graduates. "One of the things that we have begun to do and will continue to do is promote the convention to younger veterinarians," he said.
Prior to coming to the AVMA, Little worked for the managed health care company First Health in Downers Grove, Ill., as a senior account manager. Among his other jobs, he cofounded Hawaii Dance Alliance Inc., a not-for-profit organization located in Pearl City, Hawaii that provided dance programs for disadvantaged youth. At HDA, Little was responsible for the fiscal management of the organization, seeking out funding sources, and providing strategic planning for all programs and services. He earned a BS degree in sports marketing and management from Indiana University.
At press time, a search was under way to hire a person for the position vacated by Little. The position was renamed "convention manager." Duties will include assisting in site selection, coordinating bids for future conventions, and contracting with convention and visitors bureaus, hotels, local tour groups, and transportation companies.