Advocacy continues amid spending curb

Board actions shape animal welfare, student, practice issues
Published on December 01, 2008
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Executive Board Chair David McCrystle
Executive Board Chair David McCrystle
The Executive Board maneuvered its way through the fall agenda, exercising an added measure of fiscal restraint while forging ahead with AVMA priorities. 

The result was several decisive initiatives that did not strain AVMA finances. Executive Board Chair David McCrystle, District X representative from Healdsburg, Calif., navigated the board through some 200 agenda items. Most carried no price tag at all, and a few even translated to meaningful savings.

Noteworthy actions, to name a few, were a new stand on ear cropping and tail docking, support of veterinary student enrichment activities, and development of a veterinary clinic database and online locator tool.

Those are examples of initiatives that will advance the AVMA strategic goals, which correlate with the issues of advocacy, animal welfare, economic viability, veterinary education, and veterinary workforce.

To fund recommendations it approved in November, the board authorized $93,000 from the contingency fund and $223,075 from the Strategic Goal Fund, which was earmarked this past spring within the reserves to finance tactical plans and programs. The contingency is a $300,000 fund budgeted each calendar year for board allocation. The board has spent $254,354 from contingency this year, leaving $45,646 through year-end.

At the onset of the Nov. 13-15 board meeting, AVMA Treasurer Bret D. Marsh reported on the board's 2008 year-to-date expenditures and the funds invested with Olcott Consulting Group of McLean, Va. As of Nov. 14 the funds were down 28.5 percent, but they are invested for the long term and structured for risk, he noted, and the Association derives less than 6 percent of its revenue from investment income.

Like the House of Delegates, which instituted electronic voting this year, the board is committed to progressive electronics. Board members traded the bulky agenda binders for an electronic version accessible via a wireless network on their laptops.

Coverage of Executive Board actions and deliberations begins on this page and will continue in the Jan. 1 issue.