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A Note from the President of USAHA
Dr. Marty Zaluski
I want to thank you for another productive annual meeting of the USAHA in Providence, Rhode Island, and for completing the post-meeting survey. The USAHA Executive Committee (EC) values your opinion and wants to ensure the time spent away from work and family is productive. Here’s what I learned from your feedback.  
 
YOU VALUE HUMAN CONNECTIONS : Of the 88 responses to the question of “what was the best part of the meeting,” over half listed networking and visiting with colleagues. We’ve heard this before, and the non-structured meeting time was a significant consideration in changing the format from our traditional full morning of plenary presentations on Monday mornings to a single Keynote speaker. This format allowed us to focus on a highly impactful topic and freed up two hours during an otherwise busy meeting to network with colleagues.  
 
LOCATION AND VENUE ARE IMPORTANT : Respondents overwhelmingly enjoyed Providence! The meeting space was sufficient. The open areas in the convention center provided lots of common space for walk-bys, sit-downs, and bumping into old friends. This will continue to be a priority for the EC in choosing a location in the future.  
 
Some of you commented that while the meeting facilities were excellent, travel to Providence was difficult, and I’m sure many of you, like me, had to take three separate flights. The EC considers travel logistics during meeting venue selection (hope to see you in Nashville in 2020!!!), but the USAHA is required to rotate districts for meeting locations, and there are a limited number of facilities that can accommodate nearly 1,300 attendees at an affordable rate. Ease of travel will continue to be one of the criteria evaluated for meeting locations.  
 
THE PRESIDENTS’ DINNER IS A COMMITMENT : We heard from some of you that while you enjoy the great food and seeing colleagues recognized, the banquet is a long evening at the end of a long day. The award recipients represent the best of USAHA, USDA, and AAVLD. Our colleagues are distinguished leaders, and every moment of recognition is deserved. However, we must also strive for a program that is efficient, attention-grabbing, and high quality. We are committed to facilitating an event that does justice to the organizations, without the extensive time commitment, and we’ll continue to streamline the program to the extent possible.  
 
KEEPING THE MEETING SHORT WHILE REDUCING OVERLAP IS DIFFICULT:  Comments were divided between the desire for fewer days away, while also reducing the number of concurrent sessions. As you might expect, these two interests are in direct conflict, and meeting duration continues to be our biggest challenge. Based on past feedback, the conference has been shortened from seven to four days for the vast majority of USAHA attendees; and shorter still for attendees with a one-species focus . A shorter meeting also helps with our goal of rebuilding the strong industry membership that is a pillar of our organization. 
 
 
THANK YOU TO USAHA STAFF : I’ll close by recognizing that many of you commented on great organization, as well as helpful and cheerful staff. To this, I want to extend my deepest appreciation to Ben Richey, Kelly Janicek, and Kaylin Taylor who make a successful meeting look (almost) easy.  
 
Keep the ideas coming - this is your organization! Please continue to provide feedback, and while the annual meeting survey is a great way to give input, I’d gladly hear from you anytime. Catch me at mzaluski@mt.gov , or call or text at 406/475-2569.  
 
Welcome New Members!
A special welcome to the newest Official Agency Member, U.S. Forest Service, represented by Dr. Patrice Klein.
New members since October:
Individuals:
  • Joseph Annelli, Nat'l Assn of Federal Vets
  • Andrew Bailey, Nat'l Pork Producers Council
  • Meade Barry, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Robert Bonifacio, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • David Barber, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Dennis Kohler, USDA
  • James Dillon, Texas Dept of State Health Svcs
  • Elena Behnke , USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Ann Garvey, NASPHV
  • Gericke Cook, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Jamie Hall, Missouri Dept of Agric
  • Melinda Hergert, Texas Dept of State Health Svcs
  • Sam Holley, North Am Deer Farmers Assn
  • Julie Hurley, New England Ovis
  • Richard Hurley, New England Ovis
  • Jean Ray, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Julianna Lenoch, USDA-APHIS
  • Kathleen Turner, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Kelsey Luebbering, Missouri Dept of Agric
  • Leigh-Ann Dawes, USDA-APHIS
  • Lynn White-Shim, USDA-APHIS-Animal Care
  • Matt Keller, GlobalVetLINK, L.C.
  • Rachel McPhie, CAN Food Inspection Agency
  • Mike King, Pork Checkoff Report
  • Baitsholetsi Gloria Mokolopi, Univ of South Africa
  • Susan Noh, USDA-ARS
  • Leela Noronha, USDA-ARS
  • Rachel Cezar-Martinez, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Susan Reenders, South Dakota Animal Industry Brd
  • Sarah Reinkemeyer, Missouri Dept of Agric
  • Shanna Siegel, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Allie Steck, Pennsylvania Dept of Agric
  • Sandra Strilec, New Jersey Dept of Agric
  • Suzan Loerzel, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Terry Gosch, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Tracey Dutcher, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Clint Turnage, USDA-APHIS-WS
  • Jia Wei, USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Jenna Bjork - Minnesota Dept of Health
  • Ann Carpenter - VA-MD Regional College of Vet Med
  • Gita Malik-Dahiya - CAN Food Inspection Agency
  • Rosemary Marusak - Daybreak Foods, Inc
  • Toby Pinn-Woodcock - Cornell Univ
  • Annette Roug - Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • Shanna Siegel - USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Denise Spencer - USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Tommy Stephens - Oklahoma Dept of Agric
  • Anna Welsch - USDA-APHIS-VS
  • Delwin Wilmot - USDA-APHIS-VS
Students:
  • Ira Parsons, Mississippi State University
  • Bonni Beaupied, Colorado State University
  • Sara Fleckenstein - VA-MD College of Vet Med agencies
  • Mitchell Meyerhoeffer - VA-MD College of Vet Med
  • Herbert Portillo - VA-MD College of Vet Med

U.S. Animal Health Association | usaha.org