Hello from the new President of MSA - the first of January sees the new President take the reins of the society and all I can say is, you certainly hit the ground running! Last weekend, the MSA Council held its annual Winter Meeting out in Reston, Virginia. This location makes it easy for the executive council members to meet with the MSA Association Management company Drohan Management Group , since they are located in Reston. Executive council visits DMG on the Friday before the full council meeting to evaluate and discuss their society management activities. The sections of MSA who interact most closely with DMG are asked for their evaluations of the management of the society in advance and feedback from these groups within MSA forms the core of the discussions with DMG. This year the evaluations were very positive and we are happy to continue to work with DMG in the operation of the society.
During the Friday meetings the Executive Council also evaluates and receives updates from our Meeting Manager (Nicole Guy) and our Trade Show Manager (Doreen Bonnema). I am happy to say that both of those individuals have the planning for the M&M 2015 in Portland, OR well in hand and it promises to be another great time in the Pacific Northwest. There is a good deal of information in the rest of this MSA Update related to the M&M 2015 meeting and we will continue to pass on new information as it becomes available.
The main focus of the full Winter Council meeting was a discussion of the future strategies of the society. In particular we focused on what the society membership offers, what membership means to our young scientists and how we can optimize the activities of the society to most benefit our junior members. A number of possible initiatives were discussed and we will be fleshing out the details of those in coming months and I will share some of them in future MSA Updates. A piece of good news is that the financial health of the society continues to improve and we are well on our way to a stable financial footing that would shield us from catastrophic events like a full M&M meeting cancellation.
MSA Council and MAS Council took advantage of the fact that both councils were meeting in Reston on the same weekend to have a joint strategic planning session since it is almost 20 years since the two socieities decided to always meet jointly at the annual Microscopy and Microanalysis meetings. Closer mutually beneficial ties between the two societies were examined. Among the topics of discussion were an possible joint membership option, possible extension of the MAS Topical Conferences into more microscopy focussed subjects and the formation of MAS-centric FIGS. We discovered that thee topics need some careful examination and discussion, but both councils decided to move ahead cautiously. We will keep all of our members appraised of these activities.
I personally welcome comments and suggestions of how MSA can improve its activities and services to members.
I hope that you are enjoying the New Year and looking forward to Spring!
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