The AVMA Future Leaders Program alumnus prevailed in a contested election that saw a member of the AVMA Board of Directors and an AVMA delegate vying for the office of 2019-20 AVMA president-elect.
Dr. Kratt, a small animal practitioner from La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the state's delegate in the AVMA House of Delegates, received a majority of votes from the House on Aug. 2 to best Dr. Gary Brown, 2018-19 AVMA Board chair. Dr. Kratt will succeed Dr. John Howe as AVMA president next year during AVMA Convention 2020 in San Diego.
Later in the day, Dr. Kratt spoke to the HOD during its regular annual session in Washington, D.C. Joined by his wife, Dr. Kimberly Kratt, who is also a veterinarian, and their children, Zachary and Madison, he thanked his colleague—not his opponent—Dr. Brown, praising him for his service to the AVMA and the West Virginia VMA.
A 1998 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kratt is a former president of the Wisconsin VMA and has served in the AVMA HOD since 2011, which included a year as chair of the House Advisory Committee.
Dr. Kratt was part of the 2012-13 class of AVMA Future Leaders. The one-year program, which the AVMA no longer offers, was designed to prepare a select group of participants for leadership positions in the AVMA and throughout organized veterinary medicine.
In addition to his responsibilities in the HOD, Dr. Kratt is active on several AVMA entities, including the Strategic Management Committee and Working Group on Veterinary Engagement.
Last year, when he started his campaign for AVMA president-elect during the Candidates' Introductory Breakfast in Denver, Dr. Kratt used a Lego block as a metaphor for the versatility of the veterinary profession. "There are so many choices on what to do while being a veterinarian," he said. "What piece do we play? Much like a Lego creation, we are all made up of different parts, which in turn make something great."
The challenges confronting the veterinary profession are many and daunting, Dr. Kratt said. "How we handle these challenges is what defines us."
"We must balance the challenges by exploring opportunities for our profession," Dr. Kratt continued. "Proactively considering the needs of the veterinarian and the challenges of the future allows us to help our profession grow and continue to excel.
"What is my agenda when I become president? I don't have an agenda. A leader listens to the members and follows the strategic plan of the organization and does not push a personal agenda; they are a steward of the organization. A leader may assist in the big vision of the design, but they also play one of the Lego blocks in that design."