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President’s Summer Message

Dear AVAP members,

I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to be at the helm of such a great organization! I have been a member for over 10 years now, and have watched it grow in numbers and strength, and I hope to help continue that progress.

For our over 30 new members, welcome! I believe that I-that WE-have the second best job in the world. There can be nothing finer and more satisfying than supporting people and programs that are making a difference in the lives of people and animals all over the world. Whether in education, service or teaching, people in our veterinary colleges and schools are impacting lives on a daily basis. And we are able to help them.

For those of you who weren’t able to make the conference, it was an incredible one. Chad Rohlfs and his crew at Purdue deserve a resounding round of applause for all the work they put in. From the speakers, to the food, to the social activities, it was a stellar event! These conferences help remind me of the importance of the work that we do. They also help me recharge when I am there-I get new ideas, affirmation of our work and friendship! If you were there, please don’t forget to fill out the post-conference survey, as we will soon begin planning our next one. Pam Jones and her staff at CSU have agreed to host another conference in conjunction with the AVMA conference in Denver, CO next summer (thanks you guys!!) and will use your input. Here’s the link: http://www.avaponline.org/2017-conference/2017-post-conference-survey/

At the conference, we installed our officers for the year, and here they are:

Vice President                   Danielle Johnson
Treasurer                            Lynne Haley
Treasurer elect                  Karen Johnson
Member at Large              Joe Montgomery
Member at Large              Bill Venne

The secretary position was left open, as Jo Ann Winn is retiring from it after 5 years, but Kelley Marchbanks has volunteered. As we will be migrating our listserv to our website, and she does extensive work with that, this is greatly appreciated. Also greatly appreciated is Jo Ann’s service and friendship over the years!

A point of business that we forgot was to approve the 2016 business meeting minutes. Jo Ann has uploaded them to the website, so if conference attendees would please take a few minutes to review them and advise of any corrections necessary that would be great. Deadline for approval is Friday, August 11. If we don’t get any corrections, we will accept the minutes as written. Here’s the link for that:    AVAP 2016 Meeting Minutes final

In closing, I would like to say that this organization and this board is here for YOU! Use it…throw ideas and questions out on the listserv, reach out to members for ideas, contact the board if you need them. We will be having our first meeting soon to discuss goals for the coming year, so now is a great time for your input to help guide the future of AVAP.

Gretchen K. Morgan, AVAP President
Director of Alumni and Donor Relations
School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University

AAVMC chooses University of Florida for 2017 Communications Excellence Award

The communications program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, led by Public Relations Director Sarah Carey, APR, has been recognized with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges’ (AAVMC) 2017 Communications Excellence Award.

Florida’s communication program was reviewed and enhanced as part of a major institutional strategic planning program completed in 2014. The revamped program was tethered to the college’s 40th anniversary celebration and configured to support a major new college branding campaign themed “Challenge Accepted.”

“Communications excellence and institutional advancement go hand in hand,” said AAVMC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe. “We congratulate our colleagues at the University of Florida for earning this honor, and appreciate the role their work is playing in advancing the interests of all of us in academic veterinary medicine.”

The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, a commemorative and public recognition. It will be formally presented during the annual meeting of the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals (AVAP) on Thursday, July 20 at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Center Hotel in Indianapolis.

See rest of announcement.

2017 AVAP Conference – Save the Date

AVAP 2017 Conference - Racing Toward Success

Calling all veterinary advancement professionals!


for the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals (AVAP)
JULY 19 – 21, 2017

+ Indianapolis, IN +

Racing toward success in 2017!
Registration details coming soon.

AVAP President Update – Greetings from Cheryl Cobbs

Cheryl CobbsNovember 10, 2016

Dear AVAP Colleagues,

“Only by binding together as a single force will we remain strong and unconquerable.” – Chris Bradford

The executive committee met last month and formulated its goals for the coming year.

Our goals include:

  • Strengthening communications with AVAP members
  • Developing “best practices” resources on various topics such as grateful clients
  • Expanding the website to become a regularly utilized resource for its members
  • Continued collaboration with AAVMC and explore new collaborations with other veterinary organizations to raise AVAP visibility and leverage member expertise
  • Organizing a vibrant conference that incorporates 2016 survey feedback
  • Finalize the 501(c)(3) process and consolidate finances

During a recent conversation with Jeff Douglas (AAVMC) we discussed an article in the “Vet Med Educator,” a monthly electronic publication produced by AAVMC. The publication offers a succinct summary of the issues that impact veterinary medicine and can help you get onto the same page as the deans. If you are not already receiving the publication, I encourage you to subscribe at http://www.aavmc.org/Electronic-Communications/The-VetMed-Educator.aspx so you are in the know.

AVMA has moved the 2017 Alumni Receptions from Monday night to Friday night, July 21. Reason. As a result, the AVAP conference will be held BEFORE the start of AVMA. The conference planning committee are looking at dates and locations at this time. Further details will be available on the AVAP website in December.

Speaking of the conference, one final shout out to the Texas A&M team for planning this year’s conference! We also want to thank everyone who completed the 2016 San Antonio conference survey. We gleaned valuable suggestions and feedback for next year’s conference. If you have suggestions for the 2017 conference please send them to Chad Rohlfs at [email protected].

Have an idea for AVAP?
I invite you to contact any of the executive committee members to share your idea — our phone numbers and emails can be found at http://www.avaponline.org/contact/.

As Henry David Thoreau said, “I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

Best to you in this season of thanksgiving,

Cheryl Cobbs, MA, CFRE

2016 Post-Conference Survey and Materials

Click here for the 2016 Conference page including the post-conference survey and meeting materials, presentations and samples.

Meet the 2016/2017 Executive Committee

During the 2016 AVAP Conference Business Meeting, the following individuals were elected to lead our organization in the next year. If you might be interested in joining the leadership team, contact Cheryl Cobbs.

2016-2017 AVAP Executive Committee

Top row: Karen Johnson, Chad Rohlfs Middle row: Joe Montgomery, Cheryl Cobbs, Lynne Haley Bottom row: Gretchen Morgan, Danielle Ford, Jo Ann Winn

Top row: Karen Johnson, Chad Rohlfs
Middle row: Joe Montgomery, Cheryl Cobbs, Lynne Haley
Bottom row: Gretchen Morgan, Danielle Ford, Jo Ann Winn

Thank you to Pam Jones and the 2015-2016 Executive Committee!


L to R: Eliana Mijangos, Cheryl Cobbs, Jodi Peeler, Jo Ann Winn, Pam Jones, Lynne Haley, Gretchen Morgan, Jonathan Burton, Sherrie Whaley

Visit the Contact Page for more information about past AVAP leaders.

2016 AAVMC Communications Excellence Award to be Awarded at the Annual AVAP Conference

The AAVMC Communications Excellence Award will be Awarded at the 2016 AVAP Annual Conference this August!

The “AAVMC Communications Excellence Award” is designed to recognize the important role communications plays in advancing academic veterinary medicine and the profession. It also seeks to inspire higher levels of performance among our members. During this 50th anniversary year, the award will also recognize member engagement with the AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary program. In addition to overall program excellence, judging criteria will recognize grassroots institutional participation in anniversary communication programs.

The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, a plaque, and recognition during the annual meeting of the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals (AVAP). The recipient is expected to attend the AVAP meeting held in conjunction with the 2016 annual meeting of the AVMA in San Antonio, Texas to receive the award.

Nominations are welcome from any individual employed by an AAVMC member institution and candidates may nominate themselves. Nominators are encouraged to submit materials electronically via email. Hard copy will be accepted if postmarked by the deadline for submission.

The individual selected as the 2016 AAVMC Communication Excellence Award could be asked to present at the AVAP conference on Wednesday as part of the Communications Track Session.  





Best Wishes to Past-President Jonathan Burton

Dear AVAP Colleagues,

Our worlds are full of transitions and change, and it often seems that we do not have enough time to pause and reflect. I hope that this note will provide the impetus to take a moment to think about the many contributions of Jonathan Burton. Today he began work in a major gift role with his undergraduate alma mater, Clark University.

I want to thank Jonathon not only for his service as an AVAP member these past 8 years, but also for his numerous contributions as an Executive Committee member. These past three years, he served as Vice President, President, and this year, Past President. Jonathan’s talents, enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and intelligence have contributed to AVAP’s ongoing growth and evolution, and we thank him for being a part of this great organization.

Best wishes, Jonathan! Thank you for your leadership and commitment.

Pam Jones
AVAP President 2015-2016


A Note from Jonathan – Feb 4, 2016:

Hello AVAP Friends,

I’ve been dragging my feet a bit on passing this news along, and I would rather call each of you than send my update via broadcast email.

I phoned Pam last week to reluctantly share that I’m making a professional transition, after eight rewarding years with Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, and another seven years prior to that with Tufts in undergraduate alumni relations.  Fifteen years is a long time with one university, but honestly, I could have stayed another fifteen more.  Things remain very good here at Tufts!

I’m returning to my undergraduate alma mater, Clark University, (nearby in Worcester, MA) in a major gifts role to hopefully help achieve some of the steady and prosperous growth that I’ve enjoyed being a part of with Tufts for so many years.  This was an exceedingly difficult choice for me, but the timing felt right to help Clark grow as the university ramps up for a comprehensive campaign.

There are many facets of my work I am surely going to miss, but the camaraderie of AVAP volunteers is right up there at the tippy top.  I feel privileged to have had the chance to contribute to this association, and it has provided much back for me.  I remember very well my first AVAP meeting in New Orleans which added such great perspective on my work.  Several on this list were involved AVAP volunteers when I began my veterinary advancement work in 2007, and every year since, I feel like I’ve gained valuable insights from peers in this profession.

I remain in my role at Tufts throughout the month of February.  Please drop a line as time allows, as I’d welcome the chance to connect personally with each of you!

Very best,

2015 Conference Program Resource Archive & Presentation Documents

With thanks again to the nearly 100 AVAP members who joined to make the July 14-15 2015 Boston-Cambridge conference so memorable, we hope you’ll continue to build on the connections made this past summer as your academic year continues.

For handy reference, all of the resources and presentation materials are now archived on the 2015 Conference Information Page.

AVAP President Update

September 21, 2015

Dear AVAP Colleagues,

Greetings from the AVAP Executive Committee. We hope this email finds you well! The purpose of this letter is to provide a brief update on several outcomes from our business meeting in Boston and our progress toward this year’s goals. Please communicate with any of the executive committee members if you have comments, feedback or advice.

Report on Outcomes from our Business Meeting – July 14, 2015, AVAP Conference, Boston, MA

  • We are following up on our 501-c-3 paperwork. We’ll have more to report in the future.
  • The new bank account transition is in process.
  • The Chris Gruber Memorial Scholarship Pledge Installment was paid at $1,000

Report on Progress Toward 2015/2016 Goals

Goal One: To continually improve the educational foundation of AVAP for the benefit of its members

  1. Strategically use the listserv to pose questions that are relevant to current issues.
    1. The Executive Committee has put together a schedule to post discussion starters on the listserv each month starting in September and running thru May with a break in December.
    2. For September’s topic, Jo Ann Winn just posted helpful tips on listserv etiquette.
  2. Provide support to those who wish to create educational fora for the benefit of our members.
    1. Danielle Ford has begun a bi-monthly conference call option – (Topic on August 20th – Reunion Weekend; Topic coming up on October 15th – Grateful Client Programs)
    2. Please let us know if you wish to prepare something similar, and we will assist.
  3. Support our on-site conference committee with all aspects of the upcoming conference.
    1. Eliana Mijangos, Conference Chair, is working with her committee and has made progress on the logistics and budget plan. She has also formed a sub-committee to work on the conference program and content.
  4. We hope to increase conference attendance by 3-4% (4-5 additional conferees), so let us know if you have any ideas to accomplish this.
    1. We received a 53% return on survey responses. It was slightly lower than our target of 60%, but we will aim for this number next year. Thank you for taking the time to respond, and we are grateful for your feedback! Results are posted on the AVAP web site.
    2. Please save the date! The conference will be on August 9th and 10th.

Goal Two: To collaborate with our respective institutions and AVAP’s partner organizations to ‘come into view’ on the major opportunities and challenges facing veterinary medicine

  1. Meet with the AAVMC leadership to identify 1-2 specific goals that AVAP and AAVMC can partner on in the coming year.
    1. Two goals have been identified and are being vetted with the executive committee on both sides. We will be in contact with AVMA; there will be more to report on both collaborations in the coming months.
  2. Promote the participation of (a minimum of) 5 deans to attend next year’s conference.
    1. We will be posting information on next year’s conference on the website in ample time to share with your deans.
  3. Define 1-2 tasks to support cross-communication between AVAP and AVMA in support of our conference at San Antonio.
    1. More to report as the year unfolds.

Please let us know if you have any comments on these goals. We look forward to the coming year!

Best regards,
Pam Jones
Phone: 970.491.3932
Mobile: 970.219.4913
[email protected]