It’s hard to believe that 2018 has come and gone, but here we are in 2019. I hope everyone had a happy holiday season filled with family, friends, laughter and joy. While many take this time of year to relax, the IVMA has been hard at work over the past couple months finalizing the details for the upcoming annual meeting starting on February 28, 2019, as well as planning for its replacement, The Crossroads Veterinary Conference, that will take place in 2020.
Last year at the 134th Annual Meeting, our membership voted unanimously to move forward with the recommendation from our Governance Structure Task Force to reshape the IVMA Board of Directors. This past year has been spent implementing those changes to develop a more nimble and active board to enhance your experiences through the IVMA. Our hope was that this would be a seamless transition, and hopefully we fulfilled that goal.
This year we will add our four at-large positions to the board and, over the next few years, as terms of our district representatives expire, they will be replaced with our new regional representatives. Our board will shrink to eleven voting members made up of the four at-large representatives, three regional representatives, the Treasurer, President, President-Elect and the AVMA Delegate.
At our goal-setting meeting in early 2018, we decided to focus on three concepts: Community, Value and Engagement. A plan was put forth and task forces were formed. These task forces have wrapped up and are in the final stage. They will present their findings and recommendations to the Board of Directors at the January 16, 2019, board meeting for consideration and voting. Many of these recommendations will become the action items that carry us through 2019.
While the task forces were busy this year working on their specific topics, Lisa and Lourdes were engaging and building community with our IVMA On the Go campaign. This was an outreach campaign where we visited practices throughout the state. It was a great success. We traveled north and south and had the opportunity to meet and interact with old friends, as well as make new ones. If we didn’t make it to your practice in 2018, hopefully we will catch you in 2019 as this campaign continues.
This year also ushered in a new era of continuing education for the IVMA. This past year we sought to enhance our CE offerings and include wet labs into our repertoire. On November 1, 2018, we filled up the IVMA office and the upstairs conference room in Discovery Hall with DVMs, RVTs, and Veterinary Assistants. These were a great success, but they never could have happened without the help from Patterson Veterinary and Dr. Matthew Lemmons. Thank you to both of them for their efforts and dedication to IVMA. Since our move to Discovery Hall, the opportunities that are available to us have grown exponentially regarding continuing education. Look for more CE opportunities to develop as we plan for the spring!
Lastly, the accomplishment I am most proud of had very little to do with me. At our Board of Governors retreat last February, I said I would like to see significant membership growth and threw out the idea of 100 new members. Lisa and Lourdes came through again and exceeded my expectations by adding 128 active new members! When these two put their hearts and minds to something, great things happen. It is easy to see why the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association is revered as one of, if not the best, VMA in the country.
As I conclude, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. It has been a great honor. On behalf of the IVMA, we wish you all peace and prosperity in the new year. We hope to see you all at the 135th Annual Meeting!