July Message from the CEO

Jul 19, 2022, 11:35 AM by Dr. Linda Fineman

Message from the CEO

I just returned from the ACVIM Forum, an event I’ve attended almost annually since becoming Board-certified in 1996. It was great to get to see people in person and to have an opportunity to hear feedback about what’s going well and what areas of opportunity there might be from varying perspectives.

I was particularly impressed with how our Forum planning staff, volunteers and speakers pulled together such high-quality content for the live event, much of which will be shared as recorded content for those participating virtually this year. I’d like to offer a big thank you to our volunteer leaders who participated in an environmental scanning exercise in Austin. It was great to see how Board members and committee chairs working together will inform the direction of the ACVIM!

You’ve heard that I’ll be retiring from the CEO position at the end of the year and that we are lucky enough to have Shannon Carter (current Chief Strategy Officer for the ACVIM) moving into the CEO role in 2023. In order to continue our focus on member engagement and programs, we’ll be hiring a new Membership Department leader, ideally someone who has extensive experience in professional organizations like ours. Recruitment for that position will begin shortly. By hiring an experienced leader for that department, we can continue our focus on building programs of value for our members while we continue to transition and solidify processes in the certification arm of our organization.

As our office staff continues to support the ACVIM’s ever growing breadth of activities, I’d like to provide a “behind the scenes” view of how our work gets done. Those of you who have volunteered with the ACVIM over the years may have visited the office condominium we used to own. We had long recognized that the space was not conducive to the collaborative culture we value, and the pandemic expedited our plans to sell that space. Since then, our Denver-based staff moved to a co-working facility, allowing teams to gather for meetings or to work side by side in our dedicated office spaces, while still working remotely from home when the work to be done is best suited to that approach. This allows for maximum flexibility in how we work and where we work, something that is particularly important in today’s labor market. It has also allowed us to expand our applicant pool as we are now well set up to welcome highly-qualified staff members who aren’t geographically located in Denver.

"By working together, we have an avenue to drive or influence change in our profession."

In other news, in May, the ACVIM hosted a group of association executives that represent veterinary organizations whose members are clinically focused, such as ophthalmology, radiology/radiation oncology, surgery, and critical/emergency. That group also includes AAVMC, the association representing veterinary schools. We plan to broaden the group, whose goal is to collaborate to address some of the most pressing challenges in specialty medicine. The issue we focused on in May was the shortage of small animal specialists, something that impacts all parts of the ACVIM mission. That work is only just beginning and by working together we have an avenue to drive or influence change in our profession.

As I look ahead to the direction our organization is headed, I am energized by how staff, Board members and volunteers are working together to continuously grow our impact on members and veterinary specialty medicine. These are not easy times to live in and it is great to see the shared sense of purpose within the ACVIM!



Linda Fineman, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)


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