Dear AVAP Colleagues,
It is a privilege to serve as AVAP president this year. Thank you for this opportunity!
Between the ever-present preparations for the upcoming semester, the pace of our regular work, and planning summer breaks with family and friends, I hope that you were able to find a little time to reflect upon the 2015 AVAP Conference in Boston last week. The conference was true to its theme, “Navigating Seas of Change”; it was a great mix of perspectives and insights on best practices for how we approach the future to benefit our institutions. A heartfelt thanks to this year’s conference committee, and we are grateful to Jonathan Burton and Lorraine Daignault of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts for their leadership. Thank you.
You will also find that we have an exceptional group of talented and passionate individuals on our executive committee. We are fortunate to have committee members who are continuing on with us as well as new members. Also please join me in applauding Jonathan Burton for his exceptional work as president last year. His many contributions are evident as he ‘passes the gavel,’ and I am grateful for the course he has set for AVAP.
This is an exciting time for our organization. As advancement professionals, we possess a unique position within our institutions, whether our roles are fundraising, alumni relations, or marketing and public relations. Today we are able to think about our future in new ways, thanks to the many wonderful leaders who have shaped AVAP for the past 27 years. How do we best tackle our primary objectives as an organization – to aid, benefit, and improve the skills of development, public relations, and alumni relations – while at the same time bring into view the impact we make to support veterinary medicine? As I look to the past to inform our goals for the upcoming year, I pose the following questions:
How do we continually improve the educational foundation of AVAP for the benefit of its members?
Goals for 2015-2016
o Strategically use the listserv to pose questions that are relevant to current issues.
Action: Post an opportunity or issue each month starting in September.
o Provide support to those who wish to create educational fora for the benefit of our members.
Action: Support Danielle Ford’s online discussions on grateful client programs.
Action: Support others who may wish to create similar offerings.
o Support our conference partners (thank you, Texas A&M!) to design and organize next year’s conference in San Antonio.
Action: Work closely with the conference chair, Eliana Mijangos, and the Texas A&M team to assist them with the conference.
Action: Increase attendance at next year’s conference by 3-4%.
Action: Encourage a minimum of 60% participation in the survey responses for Boston in order to understand the membership’s needs for San Antonio. The feedback survey is live, so we encourage all to complete it while the conference is still fresh in our minds!
How do we best collaborate with our respective institutions and AVAP’s partner organizations to ‘come into view’ on the major opportunities and challenges facing veterinary medicine?
Goals for 2015-2016
o Meet with the AAVMC leadership to identify 1-2 specific goals that AVAP and AAVMC can partner on in the coming year.
o Promote the participation of (a minimum of) 5 deans to attend next year’s conference.
o Define 1-2 tasks to support cross-communication between AVAP and AVMA in support of our conference at San Antonio.
Please let us know if you have any comments on these goals. We look forward to the coming year!