Leading AOVET on a great mission
Carl Kirker-Head outlines objectives going into second AOVET IB leadership term.
03 February 2018
When Dr. Carl Kirker-Head took the reins as Chair of the AOVET International Board (IB) in July 2015, AOVET was at a crossroads, with its future direction unclear. Reelected to a second 3-year term which begins in July 2018, he says AOVET today is in a substantially more robust position, but much work still lies ahead to ensure AOVET’s long-term sustainability.
“We are in many ways a different entity, retaining our core mission and spirit but necessarily reinventing how we consistently yet affordably achieve our goals,” said Kirker-Head, adding that AOVET’s strategy is now well defined, a global business plan of depth and complexity has been rolled out, and 2017 data reflects AOVET’s fiscal viability.
Under Kirker-Head’s leadership during his first term, AOVET increased the number of courses and individuals taught worldwide, introduced new curricula representing best practice and better meeting the needs of its regions; expanded its faculty training; enhanced its digital presence; and increased its membership—all the while reconfiguring its R&D mission to build relevance across the AO Foundation community and more effectively engage veterinary professionals. Those achievements represent the hard work, determination, goodwill and spirit of AOVET officers, faculty and members, he said.
Allied objectives build on one another
While continuing to work toward fulfilling uncompleted 2014 goals—including building AOVET’s female base and engaging the pet-owning public to philanthropically support AOVET’s mission and vision goals — Kirker-Head said his major focus must be AOVET’s continued sustainability and growth as the pre-eminent veterinary orthopedic educator. For his second term of AOVET IB leadership, he has outlined four allied objectives that build on one another:
- Embed AOVET Terms of Reference (i.e. byelaws and guidelines) and succession planning policies to ensure good governance, guidance and opportunities for faculty and officer advancement, stable leadership transfer, and continued engagement of the clinical division’s most senior faculty after officership.
- Appropriately reward members for exceptional service to AOVET by implementing a remuneration program. Dr. Kirker-Head expects AOVET’s remuneration policy to be practical, compliant, affordable and equitable.
- Build AOVET’s sustainable presence in emerging markets by leveraging opportunities—such as those regions’ increased spending on pet care. And by introducing additional and larger educational events that train more people, involve more junior faculty and increase course profitability. In 2017, AOVET’s new business plan and partners were trialed in seven countries. The complex rollout continues and as processes are cemented and longer-term partnerships are formalized, Kirker-Head pledges the International Board’s focus and leadership.
- Enhance connectivity between regions by more effectively leveraging the experiences and strengths of one region to the benefit of other regions. Kirker-Head plans to build on AOVET members’ common interests and experiences, centralize more executive processes where it makes sense, and yet promote regional autonomy where it bests serves members’ needs.
“I have had the privilege to lead AOVET these last two and a half years through a complex reorganization to ensure our long-term survival,” he said. “It is clear that there is still much to do and I am grateful for the opportunity to help contribute guidance, encouragement, pragmatism and inspiration to the process.”