Treasurer: New process ties finances with AVMA strategy

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AVMA Treasurer Barbara A. Schmidt told the House of Delegates July 10 during its regular annual session that the AVMA now has a process to tie Association finances with Association strategy.

“An important role of finance is strategy management—careful implementation and monitoring, aligning our organization’s resources to our strategic priorities, setting targets, and tracking and measuring success,” she said.

Dr. Schmidt
AVMA Treasurer Barbara A. Schmidt (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

Dr. Schmidt said this represents an expanded role for the Board of Directors’ Budget and Financial Review Committee as well as for the treasurer, whose responsibilities as of 2014 now include chairing this committee.

The AVMA Strategy Management Process is a comprehensive evaluation and planning effort that began in 2014. It resulted in the 2015-2017 AVMA Strategic Plan and in building the Association’s capabilities for effective implementation. Dr. Schmidt acknowledged the instrumental role that AVMA Chief Financial Officer John Nocera has played both in development of the AVMA Strategic Plan and now in helping the Association build the three-year operating plan for its implementation. Links to the strategic plan and the strategic process landing page are at under “Strategic Planning.”

“Our surpluses are now able to support the AVMA in implementation and execution of its new direction in strategy management to achieve our goal to grow AVMA member value across all segments of the profession,” the treasurer said.

In that regard, the AVMA has grown its reserves by nearly $15 million since 2008. Reserves are projected at $37.35 million for 2015.

Dr. Schmidt reported that from October 2013 through April 30 of this year, the AVMA investment portfolio realized a gain of more than $5.46 million. It was two years ago that the Board adopted a less conservative asset allocation and alignment policy and hired Bernstein Global Wealth Management as the AVMA investment adviser.

Net revenue from operations was $3 million in 2014, and performance of the investment portfolio added $2.6 million. After $1.5 million in expenses was approved from reserves, the surplus was just over $4 million.

The 2015 operating budget depicts a balanced budget, with revenue just over $34.3 million and expenses just over $34.5 million. Given current projections, Dr. Schmidt is optimistic there will be a surplus from operations of close to $300,000.

“Across all segments of our profession, we are each uniquely aware of the competitive environment we are currently facing. Going into my third decade as an equine practitioner and as a business owner, I recognize that the challenges it presents must be navigated successfully in the work we all do every day,” she said.

In the same way, she went on, AVMA decision-makers must lead the way in reshaping the Association to meet the profession’s challenges.

Related JAVMA content:

AVMA seeks to refocus through strategy management (June 15, 2014)