Dr. Doug AsprosJan. 4, 2013Chicago, Ill.
Delegates, friends, colleagues and guests, thank you for attending, and welcome to the AVMA’s 2013 Veterinary Leadership Conference.It’s been 150 years of continuous change in our profession. Don’t expect it to stop now.Decade by decade, year by year, graduating class by graduating class, the profession and this association have continuously encountered new challenges and new opportunities.As we begin the celebration of AVMA’s 150th anniversary, there is no better time to recommit ourselves to our vision and our mission, for the benefit of our members, our patients and the society in which we live. Like everything else, our members’ expectations are changing, even as our membership has changed. Members expect more from us: more products, more services, more attention to their concerns. Facing daunting economic challenges, they expect us to have their back, even as we struggle to define what that means for AVMA. But, to successfully meet these needs, we need to evolve ourselves, we need leaders who will work together to help AVMA make the adaptive changes our future membership demands.In just a few minutes, we begin a meeting unlike any the AVMA has ever held. As you hear from Glenn Tecker, an expert on association behavior, speak with the members of the AVMA Task Force on Governance and Member Participation and take part in discussions and exercises with your colleagues, you will be playing a crucial role in imagining and then molding the future of AVMA.It is our collective challenge to help transform this august association into one that not only meets the needs of our current members, but is prepared, as a 21st Century association, for the demands of our future members and tomorrow’s veterinary profession.Let me tell you – this is no small task that is set before you. I commend you for your leadership, and your thoughtful consideration of the issues and options that are about to be presented to you. I also want to thank the task force members, and the AVMA staff, who worked so diligently to get us to where we are in this process today We are a profession small in size, and we can atomize ourselves into yet smaller groups, based on backgrounds, professional roles and interests. But for all our differences, we share a common mission: of improving animal and human health and advancing the veterinary profession. We share an oath to use our scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of all society.We have lived by these tenets for a century and a half – a period of incredible progress in the art and science of veterinary medicine, a period that has seen incredible advances in both animal and human health. Let us take pride in these accomplishments and what veterinary medicine, in all its complexity, can offer today.So, as we begin our journey into the next 150 years, AVMA must be committed to be the one voice for those we serve, their best voice. Let us find the courage, and the wisdom, to face the changes of our time, and to become the leaders who will be celebrated at our next birthday. Thank you for all your support this past year, and in the year ahead. Have a great meeting.