September 01, 2005


 Treasurer: AVMA the poster child for professional organizations

AVMA shines in comparisons

  Dr. James F. Peddie

In his sixth and final annual report to the House of Delegates, Dr. James F. Peddie pronounced the AVMA fiscally "beyond healthy" and dubbed it the American Society of Association Executives' poster child for professional organizations.

"We have the highest percentage of our profession participating in the organization, the lowest dues of any of the professional organizations, and the best ratio of association members to staff of any of the other major professional organizations," he told delegates.

"Folks, this is one lean organization, and I urge you to hold your head high as leaders of it."

Using ASAE data for 2004 on the American Medical Association, American Bar Association, and American Dental Association, the treasurer compared them with the AVMA. In terms of organizational membership, the AMA has fewer than 30 percent of medical doctors as members, and the ADA has about 60 percent of the dental profession as members. This compares with 86 percent of veterinarians holding membership in the AVMA, as of June 30, 2005.

Annual member dues are $420 for the AMA and $350 for the ABA. The ADA's tripartite dues structure involves state and local organization dues, but Dr. Peddie found dues for most other professional organizations run from $425 to $600. In comparison, dues for active AVMA members are $250.

The treasurer said another area for comparison of organizations is the number of association members supported by each staff member. The number of members supported by each employed staff person is as follows for the four organizations: AMA-254; ADA-340; ABA-476; and AVMA-562.

"We have the most members being served by each individual staff member of any of the other similar professional organizations, which indicates a very high level of efficiency," Dr. Peddie said.

The grand total of the AVMA's four pools of assets is about $38,153,400.

The first pool comprises long-term equities, bonds, and managed funds. This pool totals $10,995,700 and is divided into two areas. One consists of invested funds that are distributed broadly among investments in equities and bonds in national and international markets for which specific long-term investment goals have been established. The other consists of a selection of mutual funds held by another investment firm.

The second pool of AVMA assets is the intermediate-term monies, which totals $13,291,000. These funds are held in a collection of insured certificates of deposit and government agency securities.

The third pool is composed of the monies held in the AVMA's interest-bearing checking account and short-term government funds; it totals $666,700. The fourth pool consists of fixed assets—real estate, office furniture and equipment, and computer hardware and software. Dr. Peddie said that a conservative estimate of the AVMA's unencumbered holdings in fixed assets would be $13.2 million.

The 2005 budget projects a total income of $24,839,250 and expenses of $24,072,950. The AVMA is on track to meet its budgeted goal of $766,300 of income over expenses.

What does all this financial health support? Dr. Peddie recited a litany of services and initiatives that benefit the profession, AVMA members, veterinary students, and the public.

Dr. Peddie referred to his often-mentioned principle that organizations such as the AVMA run on two fuels—money and people. He praised the AVMA staff as a "can-do" group.

"Six years seem to have flown by," said Dr. Peddie, who completed his final term as treasurer later in the convention. "This position will be very capably filled by Dr. Bret Marsh, and I am asking you, the members of the House of Delegates and the Executive Board, to support him as well as I have been supported by you."