Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chair Column

Chair Column Jaime Curtis-Fisk, Chair, Midland Section ACS

I hope that everyone enjoyed wonderful and relaxing holidays with family and friends, and that 2016 is off to a great start! Many of us will head into the new year with resolutions, plans to take on new challenges, or maybe even considering trying something new and exciting. Just as we all make these plans in our personal lives, the Midland Section ACS is also in the process of planning for 2016 and beyond, continuing a process that began last fall to develop and implement a strategy for our local section. This began with a team of leaders and volunteers from our local section digging into what is working, what could be more effective, and how the unique skill set of our organization can best serve our members and the community. More information on their findings will be coming soon, but in the meantime there are many opportunities to get involved and be a part of leading and implementing new programs and initiatives. If you would like to be more involved in your local ACS section, we would love to hear from you! 

Personally, I take on a new journey this year as I begin my term as the Chair of the Midland Section of the ACS. As I look to my goals for this year, I begin with the perspective that our local section has a mission to serve both our members and the community. As a technical society, our obligation is to educate and excite both the community and our members about the role of chemistry in our careers and everyday lives. Through this we have the opportunity to increase the relevance of our organization to both our current and prospective members. We can achieve this through continuing technical programs, providing opportunities for professionals and our student members to network and learn more about the technology in development within our own community, and facilitating career development opportunities for all levels from student through professionals. I look forward to working with our program committee and our other committees such as WCC, YCC, and many others in developing exciting new opportunities for our members. 

In parallel with optimizing programs targeted at our members, this year I will also work with our volunteers and local section leadership to evaluate the outreach program. We will seek to increase involvement by offering programs that satisfy a wide range of interests and utilize the broad expertise of our membership. Our strong outreach program already has a reputation for quality and impact. In addition to increasing participation, the next stage in our program should be to increase partnerships with other local organizations with a shared mission. This will increase the efficiency of our time and resources, and broaden the impact on our local community. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has an interest in volunteering or who would like to hone their leadership skills to take part in developing this new strategy and putting the plan into action.

In summary, there are many exciting things ahead for us in 2016 and many opportunities for our members to be involved! I would love to hear from anyone who has feedback, ideas, or is looking for how to get involved. I can be reached conveniently by e-mail ( or by phone (989-638-7044). Thank you, and Happy New Year!