Choppy – but navigable – waters ahead
The exciting, dynamic time in which the animal health industry finds itself leads to change and opportunity. Hence the theme – “Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunities” – of this spring’s Annual Conference of the American Veterinary Distributors Association. (The location of the conference – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida – might have had something to do with that, too.)
AVDA kicked off the Conference with the Women’s Leadership Forum, featuring human behavior expert Colette Carlson, speaking about the “Three Truths Female Leaders Need to Know.” Her presentation was sponsored by Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health, or WILMAH.
Robin Wederer of The Wederer Group reviewed the results of that organization’s veterinary practice survey, which was commissioned by AVDA. The good news for distributors: Decision-makers clearly prefer to order from distributors rather than manufacturers. (See June 2017 Veterinary Advantage.)
Maj. Gen. Brett Williams, USAF (Retired), spoke on “Cybersecurity: An Executive Approach to a Technical Challenge.” Williams – an expert in cyber-risk management – believes that business leaders and technical professionals speak different languages. Closing the gap in understanding and perception is a leadership challenge.
Former Dallas Mavericks basketball player Walter Bond shared motivational lessons and stories in his presentation, “Think! Execute! Dominate!” Businesses that win don’t always need the most brilliant technical minds, he said. But they’re committed to having the right intelligence to compete with informed determination. They’re committed to collaborating to function as a team. And they’re committed to investing in their people.
Alan Beaulieu, president, ITR Economics, offered a broad overview of the nation’s economy, and the veterinary industry within it.
Motivational speaker John O’Leary spoke on “The Power of One: How One Attitude, One Action and One Person Can Change the World.” At age nine, O’Leary was in a fire, which burned 100 percent of his body. He lost all of his fingers to amputation and had to relearn how to walk, write and feed himself. “I endured, persevered, and survived – largely because others emerged, served and inspired,” he writes in his website. “I now live to share the life-giving lessons from my story in hope that I can Spark! the extraordinary possibility of your story.”
The AVDA 2018 Annual Conference will be held May 6-8, 2018, in San Diego.