Critical Issues Workshop an Impactful Success

The Critical Issues in Veterinary Association Leadership workshop, held in Chicago on January 9, 2020 immediately preceding the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, was a collaborative offering of AVMA and VMAE.  Facilitated by Glenn Tecker, the workshop attracted 108 VMA presidents, presidents-elect, and executive directors from more than 40 VMAs who desired to deepen their alignment and communication as leadership partners in those VMAs.

The workshop was a success in multiple dimensions:

  • Demonstrating collaboration between AVMA and VMAE to the broader professional community
  • Symbolizing the joint commitment between AVMA and VMAE to the success of leadership partners within VMAs and to helping VMAs thrive
  • Providing a cost-effective opportunity for leadership development, as requested by VMAE members
  • Deepening profession-wide understanding of best practices in association governance, from understanding the organization to leading together

A survey of workshop participants generated responses from 33% of participants and indicated positive impacts.  86% of respondents rated the workshop as very good or excellent, with 92% percent indicating the information was very or extremely relevant.  Evaluation comments included:

  • “Several great take-aways for practical use.”
  • “I like the collaboration with my executive board and hearing their opinion about certain topics. I liked getting to know them on a more personal and deeper level to understand how they think and work.”
  • “The speaker was amazing – so much information and very relevant information.”
  • “Great way to engage top leadership in VMAs!”

VMAE demonstrated its strong commitment to this training program by funding 17 scholarships to the program, assuring that budget challenges at a VMA would not preclude its leadership representatives from participating.  VMAE acknowledges its Strategic Initiative Partners for providing the financial resources that make program scholarships possible.  Based on the capacity audience and the strength of evaluation responses, VMAE envisions offering this workshop again – most likely every other year for optimal timing with changes in the leadership partners.