Barbara Baldwin joined the AVMA staff Jan. 31 as an assistant director of the Membership and Field Services Division.
Baldwin comes to the AVMA with nearly 20 years of association experience in member services, governance, and leadership development. Most recently, she was assistant to the vice president of administration at a large law firm in suburban Detroit where she assisted with their employee training program.
With the AVMA, Baldwin supervises membership recruitment and retention activities and oversees the Association's membership records. She is also secondary staff consultant to the Member Services Committee.
Additionally, Baldwin is part of a staff committee currently evaluating the existing member classifications. It was this task that opened Baldwin's eyes to the profession's diversity.
"It's been interesting because, as a nonveterinarian, it's helped me learn more about the profession," she said.
Baldwin earned a BA degree in sociology with a concentration in social psychology of organizations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From there, she went to work for the American Dental Assistants Association in Chicago.
Baldwin has spent several years in the Chicago and Washington, D.C., offices of the American Planning Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes urban, suburban, rural, and regional planning.
"Working with an association fits my interests in how organizations work and sometimes don't work," Baldwin explained. She understands the importance of working closely with the voluntary leadership to help them achieve their vision for the organization.
Baldwin admires the AVMA and says the Association is a good fit for her. "People go into different professions for different reasons," she said. "City planners are people who care about communities and environmental and social issues. Veterinarians also seem to be caring people. They went into this profession because they care about animals and public health."