AAHA is pleased to announce Chief Executive Officer Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (C/F) Emeritus has been named a 2017 “Changemaker” by meetings industry publication, MeetingsNet.

“Changemakers” is an annual list of 20 innovative, dedicated, thought-leading professionals making a difference in the meetings industry. Cavanaugh was selected by MeetingsNet editors from a large and diverse pool of nominees that were gathered from readers, industry leaders, and previous “Changemakers.”

Cavanaugh was nominated by business improvement consulting firm Velvet Chainsaw Consulting (VCC) for his thought leadership regarding AAHA’s new conference model, Connexity.

“We were impressed with Dr. Cavanaugh’s role in AAHA’s decision to change its yearly conference and replace it with a rebranded, mission-driven, member-focused, new conference experience,” VCC Managing Director David Lutz said. “We thought that was a bold and brave strategic decision that puts the members and profession first. Mission-before-margin business decisions are rare.”

In 2016, AAHA announced plans to transition to an accredited-only membership model. In keeping with this focus on accreditation, AAHA and VCC have been working closely to develop a conference to better fit the needs of accredited members.

The two organizations recently revealed their plans for the new model— a unique, highly intimate, and exclusive experience with a limited attendance to only 700 participants from AAHA-accredited hospitals—during the AAHA Nashville 2017 Opening Session.

“As we move forward, we recognize that the way we engage with our members needs to change,” Cavanaugh said. “We wanted to create a unique space for veterinary professionals to come together and learn together, and the result was a strategic, carefully crafted, and intentional design that speaks to the future of both our association and our profession.”

The term “connexity” comes from the idea of community and connection, merging as one. The Connexity conference will bring colleagues together to help support peers, celebrate and shape the future of the profession, and inspire the next generation of innovators and leaders. The conference will focus on transformational learning techniques that include field trips, case study work, small group problem-solving, and other experiences that maximize learning.

All 2017 “Changemakers” are featured in the June issue of the MeetingsNet tablet magazine and digital edition.

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