It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Chair of the Saint Louis Section of the American Chemical Society for 2016, and I am delighted that Natalie LaFranzo will be taking over the reins for 2017. The Saint Louis Section remains engaged and vital for 2017 as evidenced by, among other things, the new slate of officers representing the progression of “younger” chemists into positions of administrative responsibility: Ben Barth – Chair Elect, Jeff Cornelius – Treasurer, Henry Rohrs – Secretary, and Natalie LaFranzo – Chair.
Our special programs remain strong and I make special note of the new/revitalized Chromatography Discussion Group that has become very active under the enthusiastic guidance of Doug Malkin. Donna Friedman led the Board of Directors through an exacting review and revision of the Saint Louis Section’s Bylaws, which were approved at the open meeting held in concert with the Continuity Dinner on December 8, 2016.
A special note and thanks must be extended to Vic Lewchenko, the Saint Louis Section’s long-serving outgoing Treasurer. Vic has done an exceptional job over many years and the Section owes him a deep debt of gratitude. Jeff Cornelius will, indeed, have big shoes to fill.
My wife Brenda and I have greatly enjoyed hosting the monthly Steering Committee meetings at our home in Webster Groves. The 2016 Steering Committee (Lisa Balbes, Ben Barth, Pegah Jalili, Natalie LaFranzo, and Leah O’Brien) have served ably, offering wise and experienced counsel regarding issues facing the Section and its many programs. For this I offer them my hearty thanks.
Finally, I remind the reader that those active in the Saint Louis Section are all volunteers. If the Section is to remain one of the most active of all the Local Sections encompassed by the National ACS, it must recruit new “younger” members from the Saint Louis region to add to the long-productive efforts of the “old guard”. Those of us with gray hair (or no hair) need younger members to keep us on our toes and, ultimately, to take over leadership roles in the Section. Recruitment of young, eager, motivated chemists into membership in the Saint Louis Section must remain a high priority and major focus of all of us.