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NAVTA Board, Legal Committee Propose Bylaws Revisions

To:      NAVTA Members

Fr:       Phillip E. Russo, CAE – Executive Director

NAVTA’s Executive Board has approved a recommendation from NAVTA’s Legal Committee to revise the Association’s bylaws.

The Executive Board identified several areas in need of revisions during its strategic planning session in 2020.  Those items were shared with NAVTA’s Legal Committee, which considered the changes earlier this year and offered additional recommendations for revisions.  The Executive Board met in July to review the Committee’s proposals and voted to accept the revisions and present them to the NAVTA members with a recommendation that they be approved as submitted.

Here is a summary of the proposed revisions:

Membership Changes:

  • “Active Members” will now be called “Credentialed Members,” and will be defined as, “An individual who is certified, licensed, or registered as a veterinary technician or veterinary nurse, and who resides in the United States of America.”
  • Adds a “Student” membership category.
  • Eliminates requirement for members to physically mail their dues payments to the association.
  • Clarifies that only credentialed members are eligible to vote and hold elected positions.

Board Changes:

  • Renames the Executive Board to “Board of Directors” and renames the “Member-At-Large” positions to “Director” positions.
  • Combines Secretary and Treasurer positions in to one Secretary/Treasurer position and permits the Board to assign some of these duties to staff.
  • Creates 3rd Director seat to maintain an odd number of Board members.
  • Increases to two years (from one year) the terms for President, President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and Past President.
  • Expresses the association’s mindfulness of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Eliminates the need for a vote of the members in uncontested elections.
  • Gives Executive Board authority to choose a winner in the case of a tie vote in an election.
  • Clarifies the Board’s ability and process to remove a board member for cause.
  • Specifies the lines of succession in cases of vacancies in any of the board seats.
  • Provides greater detail for Officer responsibilities.

Other Changes:

  • Eliminates the specification that the fiscal year is January 1-December 31; gives the Board the ability to determine the association’s fiscal year.
  • Reduces the number of mandatory committees from nine (9) to four (4) and gives the Board full ability to create and disband committees/work groups as deemed necessary.
  • Eliminates the category of “Ad Hoc Committees” as by their very nature ad hoc groups are disbanded upon completion of their work and should not be in the bylaws.
  • Allows amendments to the bylaws only if first approved by the Board, then by a majority of members voting on proposed changes.
  • Adds requirement for distribution of assets upon dissolution of the association.
  • Adds requirement for the association to provide indemnification to volunteers.

You can review the proposed new bylaws here.

You can review NAVTA’s existing bylaws here.

I will host a Members-only 60-minute live webinar on Tuesday, August 30, at 7:00 pm EDT to explain the proposed revisions and answer questions.  Members can register for the webinar here.

You can also submit any questions or comments on the proposed revisions to

Beginning Saturday, September 10, 2022, NAVTA Members will have ten (10) days to vote on the proposed bylaws revisions.  As noted above, the NAVTA Executive Board is recommending that the revisions be approved as proposed.  If approved, the new bylaws would go into effect immediately, but current Board members would remain in their seats through the end of their terms.

In the Fall of 2022, NAVTA’s Nominating Committee will seek qualified members to fill the four Board seats (President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and two Directors) currently held by Members whose terms expire in January 2023.  See below.