VMAE | Live! is all about connecting our special network for input, insight and inspiration while exploring association management and professional issue topics.

VMAE | Live! webinars convene on the third Thursday of each month, starting at 12:05 PM Mountain time (and concluding by 12:55 PM).  Each session will feature VMAE colleagues who will share their expertise or external subject matter experts who will provide their thoughts. There will be time for questions – and answers – as well as interactive polls to keep things focused, lively, and relevant to the interests of VMAE members.

VMAE Virtual Town Hall

Hotel Contracts in the New Era

Thursday, May 28 – 12:05-12:55 PM Mountain time

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced cancellation or adjustment of plans for numerous meetings sponsored by veterinary medical associations.  Uncertainty about future public health conditions and potential governmental restrictions weigh heavily on the minds of VMA executives, and cause VMA members to consider whether they feel safe to travel and gather for association meetings even if/when restrictions have been lifted.  Join the conversation with three attorneys who have experience helping associations manage risk and resolving meeting-related questions such as these:

  • Since our force majeure clause doesn’t reference “pandemic” specifically are we at risk if we cancel our meeting?
  • What if our hotel can’t accommodate the number of expected participants when safety distancing is factored into room setups?
  • Are there negotiation strategies for cancelling prior to a governmental order that would prohibit our meeting?
  • What’s a good clause for future contracts that would cover us for a public health crisis and related issues like curtailment of transportation?
  • Can we even afford to purchase all-hazard event cancellation insurance anymore?


Isham R. Jones III

In-house legal counsel, American Veterinary Medical Association

For almost a decade, Isham Jones has been one of the most important individuals on staff at the AVMA. Prior to his joining the Association, the AVMA relied on legal advice and support on an as-needed basis from external sources. As in-house legal counsel, he has been invaluable in guiding the AVMA through all sorts of legal issues—both internal and external—covering contractual, litigious, parliamentary, and other matters. He has always been available to answer a wide breadth of legal questions and has also been known to assist individual volunteers and staff with personal legal matters as an act of goodwill.

Cara B. Lawrence

Tierney Lawrence LLC

Cara is a partner in the Denver law firm of Tierney Lawrence LLC where she provides business and tax advice to public charities, private foundations, venture philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, political organizations, educational institutions, professional associations, and traditional for-profit businesses. She regularly assists clients with entity selection and formation, corporate governance issues, and complex taxation issues. In addition, Cara counsels numerous public charities, social welfare organizations, political organizations, professional associations, and private foundations on political, lobbying, and advocacy activities, including the creation and operation of affiliated charitable, social welfare, and 527 organizations. Cara is a member of the Colorado and Denver bar associations and is a frequent presenter at the Annual Institute on Advising Nonprofit Organizations in Colorado. Cara was named to Colorado Super Lawyers® in 2014-2016 in the field of Nonprofit Law. Cara was also named to The Best Lawyers in America in 2015 and 2016 and was voted Best Non-Profit Lawyer in Colorado (The People’s Court Choice, Law Week Colorado, “Barrister’s Best 2010”).

Jed R. Mandel

Member, Chicago Law Partners LLC

Jed has extensive experience in representing not-for-profit organizations and is general counsel to more than 100 trade associations and professional societies. His practice includes counseling associations on tax, antitrust, corporate governance, contract, liability, insurance, healthcare, certification and credentialing, meeting and convention and other related matters. In addition, Jed has appeared before Congress, state legislative bodies and various state and federal agencies advocating positions on behalf of client associations.  As part of his work on behalf of the not-for-profit community, and as General Counsel to the Association Forum of Chicagoland, Jed was the principal author of recent amendments updating and modernizing the Illinois Not For Profit Corporation Act.  Jed is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association Forum of Chicagoland, and a charter member of the American Society of Association Executives’ Legal Section (and currently serves on its Legal Section Council). Jed is the General Counsel for the Association Forum and was awarded its Associate Member of the Year Award for his contributions to the Chicago association community, and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.

Future VMAE | Live! Sessions

May 28
Hotel Contracts in the New Era


  • Isham R. Jones III, in-house legal counsel, American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Cara Lawrence, partner, Tierney Lawrence LLC
  • Jed R. Mandel, founding member of Chicago Law Partners LLC
Previously Recorded Webinars

Virtual Town Hall with VMAE Strategic Initiative Partners

COVID-19: Mental Health Primer – A Guide for Veterinary Medicine Association Executives

April 16, 2020

Slide Deck

Sustaining the Human-Animal Bond During Hospice Care

February 20, 2020

Slide Deck

Influence: The Biggest Challenge in Leadership

January 16, 2020

Randy Hall Slide Deck

Animal Emergencies: What Have We Learned about the VMA’s Role?

Reframing our View of Veterinary Work — Calling or Career?

October 17, 2019

Slide Deck

Four Tips to Help Your Members Reduce Team Turnover

September 19, 2019

Slide Deck

Successful Associations Know When To Say No

August 15, 2019

Slide Deck

How Veterinary Practices Are Successfully Using Digital Marketing Tools

July 18, 2019

Slide Deck

Effectively Messaging to Member Segments