To say that the past year has been different would be a huge understatement. During the previous year, we have weathered through an unprecedented storm in our professional and personal lives. We have struggled, we have adapted, and we have ultimately prevailed through one of the most challenging years our profession has known in recent memory. Each of you through your work and the ALVMA through its leadership have seen us through to the other side. As a profession, we have dealt with a multitude of issues ranging from interruptions in supply chains, staffing shortages, curbside service, and short-tempered clients to name just a few. And just as we thought we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, there seems to be a resurgence of the virus. As the old saying goes, “The only constant in the world is change.” And with change will come additional challenges and with each challenge comes growth. Growth as people and as a profession, that I believe will see us strengthen the resolve and the fortitude within each of us to do what we do best: Serve our clients with a compassion and understanding that each of us has been uniquely blessed with.
Upon assuming the role of the ALVMA president, I looked around the room at the members of our ALVMA board and our significant partners. In that moment, I realized that our association is in a good position. I am confident that both the veteran and emerging leaders, with your help, are capable of meeting whatever challenges this year may present. I have a plaque on the wall of my office that reads “A good leader is one that surrounds themselves with capable people, discusses the plan, and then gets out of the way.” The state association will be meeting to develop our Strategic Plan. This plan will affect us for many years to come, and I welcome your input as we set a plan in motion that will benefit us all.
I want to say thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your president. It is a tremendous honor that I do not take lightly. I promise to approach our challenges as a servant leader with the above motto as a guiding principal. I truly believe veterinary medicine is the most wonderful profession in the world and I look forward to working with my colleagues and friends to keep it that way.
Steven Murphree, DVM