April President’s Letter

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Published on: April 30, 2013

photoAs winter refuses to release its grip here in the Northeast, I have the opportunity to reflect upon my first few months as President. It has fortunately been absent of any serious issues or problems and the only major event to grace this period was our winter board meeting which was held at FASS headquarters in Champaign-Urbana. Although the board often meets in the winter at the venue selected for the annual meeting, it had been decided that utilizing the FASS offices was both logistically prudent and an excellent opportunity to get some face-time with the folks that do so much to make our organization run. In hindsight I believe this to have been an excellent decision and would encourage future boards to periodically meet there as well.

We also agreed to extend the length of this year’s meeting by a day to allow the board to participate in a facilitated strategic planning session. Many organizations utilize such sessions to provide direction and guidance and, given that several years have passed since the AETA went through such a process, the board deemed it an appropriate time to take a close look at who we are and where we are headed – both in the short term and long. While the details and refinements of this planning session will be an ongoing process in the months to come, the board did formulate an outline that will hopefully provide direction and ideas for the years to come. This document will also be reviewed with the committee chairs prior to our next board meeting given that the action points will be implemented at this level.

In January of this year Dr. Michael Pugh travelled to Hanover Germany to represent the AETA at the annual IETS conference. I would like to thank Michael for taking the time away from family and work to make this long trip. I believe it only benefits our organization to maintain a clear working relationship with the IETS and we are looking at some joint projects both in the near future and long-term. Specifically, many of our members will be involved in the pre-conference symposium “Practical Advances in Embryo Technology” at the IETS conference in Reno in January 2014. In addition Charles and Michael (our conference co-chairs) are working to ensure that the content of our meeting in Reno this fall is complimentary to that of the IETS later that winter.

Member services and education continue to be a primary focus of your board of directors. In Champaign-Urbana the board voted unanimously to provide a financial safety-net (for at least the next three years) to ensure that the embryo transfer training workshops will continue to be a part of the pre-conference program at each AABP conference. The AETA has a long history of involvement in these workshops and I would like to thank Dr. Randall Hinshaw for his diligent work in maintaining that spirit. I am also pleased to announce that Drs. Dave Matsas and Richard Whitaker, along with the staff at SVF Foundation in Newport, RI, have completed filming of a new small ruminant ET training video. Pre-edited footage looks fantastic and we are on schedule to have this available both on the website and as a DVD by our annual meeting.
That’s all the news for now and in closing I would simply wish everyone a safe and productive summer. Don’t forget to save the date for our conference in Reno this fall and remember to mention the student scholarships and free student membership as you interact with those that are up and coming within the profession.

Kevin A. Lindell

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