The greatest asset of any association is its volunteer board of directors and the partnership with staff. As with any asset of such importance, its care and feeding are paramount to the returns it produces. We will take you through an in-depth exploration of governance leading practices that have been validated in high performing boards. We will also focus specifically on the roles, responsibilities, and the important relationship between the board, the board chair, the executive director, and the staff.

Facilitated by Debbie Trueblood, the full-day session provides a proven, cost-effective method for your leadership partners to learn core governance practices and discuss implementing them with your peers, explore the areas where Board and staff roles intersect and where they separate, and gain proven practical tools you can use immediately to promote and implement good governance practices.

This program is a collaborative offering of the Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) – who share the goal of helping you and your VMA thrive!


  • Registration available ONLY to executive directors and VMA officers, ideally the president and presiden-elect. Registration must go through your VMA executive director, who will register your team.
  • Registering all three leadership partners is highly encouraged.
  • Registration fee of $329 per person includes workshop presentations and materials, continental breakfast, and lunch.
  • Workshop registration can occur as a “stand-alone” registration or in conjunction with VLC registration (additional fee applies for VLC registration done through AVMA).
  • Workshop seating is limited – register your leadership partners today!

Debbie Trueblood, MSW, FASAE, IOM, CAE

Debbie is a Senior Consultant with Association Management Center (AMC). She has been in the association community for 22 years. She served as an Executive Director beginning in 2002. As a consultant and speaker, she supports associations with DEI, ethics, governance, and strategic planning. She serves on the boards for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the National Association of Park Foundations (NAPF). She became a Fellow of ASAE (FASAE) in 2022 and earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) in 2008. She is on faculty for the ASAE Exceptional Boards program. She was the 2018-2019 Chair of the ASAE Ethics. She is past chair of Association Forum’s Welcoming Environment Committee. Under her leadership, her former association received four ASAE Power of A awards. She received Association Forum’s “Forty Under Forty” award in 2014. Debbie has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois–Chicago, is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management (IOM) and Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership. She was a recipient of Association Forum’s Forty Under 40 award.