March 2017 President’s Letter

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Published on: March 21, 2017

President’s Letter

By Mark James, DVM

March 2017


First off, I’d like to thank Dr. Bethany Funnel for her service leading the association last year.  Thanks are also in order to the membership for the outstanding annual meeting survey response. The conference in St. Louis became a little more of an unforeseen challenge with the unpredictable and simultaneous Cardinals game. We do listen and we will use this feedback to plan future meetings in the best interest of our membership.

The Board and our committees have been leading the way with many efforts to enhance the association. These include continued efforts to strengthen certification, the efforts of the Membership Committee to recruit and retain students and new members to the association, and the ongoing efforts of the Education Committee to develop and implement our Modular Initiative. We would also like you to be aware of improvements and changes to the membership survey for this year and beyond to improve and simplify real E.T. data results. Likewise, we’d like you to know about the efforts of all of our members and committees to strengthen and enhance embryo transfer here in the states as well as abroad.  Also, we would like to welcome Kory Bigalk, DVM, and Matthew Dorshorst, DVM, as the two newest members of the Board of Directors. 

Please allow me to take a moment to mention association participation.  We could not operate without the commitment of our volunteers. For those of you involved, and those whom have served in the past, we thank you for you contributions. If you’re not currently involved, take a moment to consider what you could contribute to our great association.

Some other noteworthy projects you may be interested in are the visual enhancement of the certification brochure and updates and improvements to the banners at our trade booth to reflect our free student membership and the student scholarship. We also are planning the creation of sponsors and exhibitors links on our website as well as the creation of a used equipment area on our website.

Make sure you take a look at these links when they are up and running. If you’re in need of equipment or you have some for sale, this should be the place to go

The topic of proxy voting was debated at the winter board meeting, and I’d like to share some of what was discussed.  As many of you may already know, it is stated in the bylaws of the association that proxy voting is strictly prohibited.  You may ask why that is, and I will try to clarify here.

Part of the election process allows for floor nominations immediately prior to our vote, which would not be possible with proxy voting. Also, campaign speeches, given by the candidates prior to the vote, allow attending members the opportunity to get to know them. And attending members not only support the association, they also get the chance to interact with the candidates prior to the vote. We feel that these requirements keep members of the AETA actively engaged remaining as members and bearing responsibility for the future direction of the association. If you are engaged and active and supporting the association, this should be rewarding to you. As seems to be the case. Over 75% of the voting membership determined the outcome of the last election, and I would say that was a great turnout. After much debate, the Board has concluded that proxy voting will remain prohibited in the bylaws. The Board of Directors and I invite comments from any voting member that feels strongly one way or the other regarding proxy voting. Otherwise, we consider this issue resolved.

Special thanks are in order for Charles Looney, PhD, for working hard with the Vice President (John Prososki, DVM, this year) to produce a world-class conference this year. That said, make sure you clear your calendar and plan to attend the annual conference in Orlando from Oct. 26-28, 2017 at the Caribe Royale. Space and accommodations should be exceptional. You won’t want to miss this one!

Special thanks are in order for Charles Looney, PhD for always working hard with the Vice President (John Prososki, DVM this year) to produce a world-­‐class conference that should be no exception this time around. That said, make sure you clear your calendar and plan to attend the Annual conference in Orlando from Oct. 26-­‐28, 2017 at the Caribe Royale. Space and accommodations should be exceptional. You won’t want to miss this one!

Also, let me say that I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to lead this outstanding organization. The AETA is made up of some of the greatest individuals I have ever had the honor to work with and I look forward to serving this great association as your President in 2017!

Respectfully Submitted,

Mark James, DVM 2017 AETA President

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