Auxiliary tables dissolution, installs male president

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The Auxiliary to the AVMA deliberated over its future and welcomed its first male president during the AVMA Annual Convention in San Diego. The Auxiliary also sponsored its Kritters Korner Gift Store and held its Marketplace of States, which featured a silent auction and handicrafts from a half dozen constituent auxiliaries.

Greg Mooney of Mount Gilead, Ohio, succeeded Ginger Morton as Auxiliary president, becoming the first male to hold that office since the organization was founded in 1917. Mooney is the husband of Dr. Marty Mooney, a 1978 graduate of The Ohio State University and a practice owner.

Morton and Mooney
The Auxiliary presidency passes from Ginger Morton to Greg Mooney. (Photo by Dr. Richard Dixon)

Her husband has been active in the AVMA and Ohio VMA auxiliaries for 34 years. He serves on the OVMA auxiliary board and was a member of the AVMA Auxiliary Executive Board from 2000-2004. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1997 after 20 years with the Ohio Air Force National Guard.

His theme for the year is “The Auxiliary–Paving the Way for the Future.” A civil engineer, Mooney used roads as an analogy for the Auxiliary’s evolution. Like the National Road from Maryland to Illinois, which began as a dirt road, he said the Auxiliary was improved over time by adding programs and forming partnerships with state auxiliaries, allowing it to grow in usage and size. Eventually, roads need upgrading and realignment. “We’ve been in the process of maintenance and realignment with the work on updating our bylaws and converting the student loan program to a scholarship program,” Mooney told delegates.

“The Auxiliary is akin to Route 66. We may not be the most traveled highway anymore, but people still participate, and others in the veterinary profession count on us.”

At its 2011 meeting, the Auxiliary House of Delegates approved a motion directing the Auxiliary board to adopt and submit to the 2012 HOD meeting a resolution proposing voluntary dissolution of the Auxiliary. In compliance, the Auxiliary board presented a resolution for a vote in San Diego, but the resolution recommended tabling dissolution indefinitely. Delegates passed the resolution, 23-6.

Mooney told JAVMA, “We explained in the resolution that we have existing contracts with students for loans. It’s been suggested we forgive them, but that would have tax consequences for the students, and the Auxiliary has over $250,000 in outstanding loans we don’t want to lose.”

Another reason the resolution gave for tabling the discussion on dissolution was the current negotiations between the Auxiliary and American Veterinary Medical Foundation on a memo of understanding that would convert the Auxiliary’s student loan fund to an endowed scholarship fund distributed by the AVMF.

“We are still negotiating on some of the last points between the Auxiliary and AVMF,” Mooney said. “Once the MOU is finalized, the Auxiliary must obtain approval from the Illinois attorney general, since it involves a change of use of the monies.”

The resolution also referenced the adverse impact dissolution would have on the Auxiliary’s financial assets and property. Mooney mentioned the Kritters Korner inventory and office supplies as examples.

“Not everyone wants to end the Auxiliary’s purpose,” he said. “We’re still here, we just have fewer members. We think the purposes for which the Auxiliary was founded are good, and we hope to still find ways to do them.”

The Auxiliary had only 303 dues-paying members as of July, but Mooney said members who haven’t yet renewed will be contacted. Besides dues revenue, he said the Auxiliary has other monies raised over the years and will fundraise. Kritters Korner revenue goes toward operating funds, and proceeds from the Marketplace of States toward the student loan fund.

To come into full compliance with Illinois nonprofit law, delegates in San Diego took the first step toward rescinding the Auxiliary’s constitution, to allow new bylaws to be put in place. The proposed revised bylaws will be voted on after legal review is completed. Mooney said a bylaws change in membership criteria could enable additional people to become involved in the Auxiliary.

“Another reason we’re revising our bylaws is that the delegate model doesn’t allow all members to be heard,” Mooney said. The 2012 Auxiliary HOD comprised only 29 registered delegates out of a possible 186, for example. Each state with a constituent auxiliary sends up to five delegates; each state without an auxiliary can send three.

Serving with Mooney on the Auxiliary Executive Board are Mary Louise Dixon, Rome, Ga., secretary; Judy DeWitt, Birmingham, Ala., vice president for membership; Linda Walker, Arlington, Texas, vice president for publications; Ginger Morton, Athens, Texas, immediate past president; and Doris Blalock, Evans, Ga., parliamentarian.