As I near the end of my time as CRS President, I am enjoying this final sprint to our annual meeting in Edinburgh. Like I imagine for the previous 35 presidents, I have primarily had an enjoyable and productive time. As with all of life’s moments, the primary positives have been the people. The Board, committees, chapters, our incredible team at headquarters, and members—all of these have been what has created the memories this past year for me.
In mid-April we held a meeting of the executive board in Nottingham. We selected Nottingham for this meeting to dovetail with the annual chapter meeting of the United Kingdom-Ireland Local Chapter (UKICRS). The UKICRS meeting was spectacular thanks to the efforts of organizers Maria Marlow and Laura Mason and to the strong chapter headed by Gavin Andrews. For the Board to immerse ourselves in the local meeting was the ideal way to prepare for the next two days of strategic planning.
Our society is strong, but we have challenges. A review and renewal of our strategic plan is the correct course for us to advance as vibrantly as possible beyond 2015. Here is a link to our current strategic plan: www.controlledreleasesociety.org/about/leadership/Pages/StrategicPlan.aspx
At our meeting we committed to several items:
- We will update our strategic plan in the second half of 2015. As appropriate, this is a living document and needs to evolve to continue to serve our dynamic membership.
- We will remain focused on our signature annual meeting. We have made a number of changes that will be apparent in Edinburgh and are enthused about the renewed meeting. Still, we think there is room for more improvement, primarily in terms of education and more industry involvement.
- We are fortunate to have many engaged volunteer members. We will continue to recruit new leaders to key roles, particularly committee heads. We will work more closely between the Board and key committees to make sure that all are engaged and on task. We will consider a new committee organization.
- We will begin a focus in advance of each annual meeting with the local community. This will include our members but, for example, we will also reach out to local leaders in Seattle over the next few months in advance of our 2016 meeting.
- We will continue to capitalize and expand our ventures in publishing such as Drug Delivery and Translational Research and our book series.
- With the incredible content we have as the leading voice for delivery science and technology via our journals, books, newsletter, and annual meeting, we will look to find ways to expand the link between content and engaged members.
- We will look to expand sales and marketing to ensure that more people know about CRS.
Please read the current strategic plan, and let the Board know your thoughts and how you want to help!
As you know from the earlier announcement, we have elected a new Board and Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA). My congratulations to all nominees, and to the winners, for the Board: Ruth Schmid as President-Elect, Christine Allen as Treasurer-Elect, Ben Boyd as Secretary, and Justin Hanes and Nicole Papen-Botterhuis as Directors-at-Large. We are also welcoming new BSA members Daniel Bar-Shalom, Craig Bunt, Peter Cheifetz, Michael Doschak, Hideyoshi Harashima, Arlene McDowell, and Arto Urtti. I am also pleased to announce that we will induct five new members of the College of Fellows in Edinburgh: Hamid Ghandehari, Edith Mathiowitz, Samir Mitragotri, Yvonne Perrie, and Thomas Rades.
As you know from previous communications, we are planning a tremendous meeting in Edinburgh. I want to again emphasize a few. Imagine a lunch with luminaries from the history of our field, Nicholas Peppas and Vince Lee (only about 10 tickets remain!) on Tuesday of the annual meeting. Imagine a reception in a UNESCO World Heritage site with the tastes and sounds of Scotland. Imagine almost twice the number of posters as last year in Chicago (937 versus 495—the highest ever!). And imagine a dynamic meeting with sessions set up to create a dialog between academic and industry members. Better yet, don’t imagine it, just plan to be in Edinburgh on July 26–29!
My day job is with a 74-year-old organization, Southern Research. I have two buildings on my campus named for Charles Kettering, who was a benefactor of our organization. As I have started to educate myself into the history, I found what an incredible research leader Kettering was, with a career primarily at General Motors. He is immortalized in a number of named entities, most notably Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We published a memorial to him when he passed away in 1958, and as I read it I was touched by a quote of his:
“Research is a high-tech work that scares a lot of people. It needn’t. It is rather simple. Essentially, research is nothing but a state of mind—a friendly, welcoming attitude toward change.”
So join me as we look toward change—whether a renewed strategic plan or a reinvigorated annual meeting. I look forward to that change with you, in the friendly, welcoming way that is CRS.