It’s incredible how fast time flies. I started my year as Chair with excitement and anticipation… and I can’t believe it’s over already! My perspective has changed a bit since I started the succession – I now recognize this is only the beginning, a stepping stone to contributing and helping to grow our Section.
It’s certainly visible from the outside how active our Section is, but one of the best parts of being Chair is getting an intimate view of all the people and programs who make us successful. I’m grateful for all those who give their time and energy to provide the programs, activities, resources, and awards that benefit so many chemists and scientists in the St. Louis area. I can’t say enough how much your efforts are appreciated and valued.
I was also blown away by the number of people who provided feedback during our Member Survey this Fall. But, one of the most disappointing themes that stuck out to me was how many local chemists actually have no idea what the St. Louis Section of the American Chemical Society can offer them.
So, I’d like to help change that. Our current approach has been to invite members to attend our monthly Board of Directors meetings. Which – if you’ve never been – are full of business and limited opportunities for socializing. I think we can do better. We can offer more informal and convenient opportunities for local chemists to meet each other, interact, and learn more about the ACS. In 2018 I intend to organize monthly Coffee and Cocktails with Chemists – sponsored by the St. Louis Section ACS. We’ll rotated days, times, venues, etc. to enable the most inclusive participation. I think this low-cost activity could be a great way to engage more of our members, enable networking opportunities, and perhaps recruit some new members!
I hope you’ll consider joining us at one of these events in 2018. The January event has been scheduled for Wednesday January 31 at 8 AM at Café’ Ventana, near the campus of St. Louis University. You’ll find this event, and future events (once planned) at the new Meetup Group here: https://www.meetup.com/Coffee-and-Cocktails-with-Chemists-ACS/
If this time doesn’t work well for you, please feel free to drop a note in the Group suggesting future days/times/locations. Or, you’re always welcome to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again to all who made 2017 an outstanding year for our Section. Look forward to what 2018 will bring!
Happy New Year!
Natalie LaFranzo, PhD
Immediate Past Chair, St. Louis Section ACS
Chair, Younger Chemists Committee, National ACS