© 2023 MJH Life Sciences™ and dvm360 | Veterinary News, Veterinarian Insights, Medicine, Pet Care. All rights reserved.
Little retires top spot at AVMA
Executive Board members have fast begun developing a list of search committee candidates.
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — After a decade heading the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Bruce Little plans to hang up his title as executive vice president.
The 70-year-old issued a letter of intent to retire during the AVMA Executive Board's June meeting. Little's contract runs out Dec. 31, 2007, capping 22 years of service with the association. Promoted to executive vice president in 1996, he's essentially acted as chief executive officer of the nation's largest veterinary membership organization for more than a decade.
"I am tremendously proud of the growth of AVMA's assets, outreach and direction," Little says in a prepared statement. "No one individual can run an association of this magnitude by themselves. I am, perhaps, most proud of being able to hire and retain an outstanding group of people who are recognized as the foremost leaders in their areas of enterprise."
Little's leadership has been praised for advancing the association to new membership heights, creating standalone Scientific Activities and Animal Welfare divisions, developing AVMA's first Human Resources Department and expanding the group's annual convention.
"Dr. Little has tremendous influence at AVMA," Executive Board Chairman Dr. Bud Hertzog says.
Yet his reign hasn't been devoid of career battles. By nature of the job, Little is frequently targeted by bad press dished out from animal activists and rights extremists. He walks a tight rope between the often-conflicting welfare stances of AVMA's food animal and companion animal members, and his retirement follows a staff hiring dispute that resulted in the resignation of the association's Governmental Relations Division director.
Controversy comes with the job of leading 73,413 AVMA members, insiders say. According to AVMA Bylaws, only a veterinarian can fill the executive vice president's seat. The application deadline is Oct. 15. At presstime, the association was crafting a full job description.
To smooth the leadership transition, Executive Board members have fast begun developing a list of search committee candidates charged with screening applicants. Hertzog plans to introduce his handpicked five-member panel this month during the AVMA Annual Convention in Honolulu.