President’s Message December 2016
The annual meeting in Dallas was another hugely successful meeting, filled with exceptional science and outstanding social opportunities. Thank you so much Erin Spargo and Chris Heartsill and your fantastic team for hosting us all in the Big D!
As I reported during the annual Business Meeting, I am so proud of the important things that have been accomplished this year by your fellow members. Our Committees and Liaisons have done an outstanding job. Some of the highlights include the Annual Meeting, the JAT Continuing Education Credits, and the numerous high quality Regional Workshops.
On the national scene, there continues to be a tremendous amount of focus on forensic science, and SOFT is well positioned to be influential in the future of our field. We have members on all the major groups – the National Commission on Forensic Science, the Academy Standards Board and its Toxicology Consensus Body, and all levels of the NIST OSAC – from the FSSB to the Chemistry SAC to the Tox Subcommittee. These groups will impact how our work is done, who can do our work, and how our important work will get the necessary resources. SOFT is here as your resource to keep you aware of the important issues facing our field. And I strongly encourage you to not only stay current, but to actively participate in the process.
We’ve also had some important organizational changes this year. We hired the first SOFT Executive Director, Beth Olson. I know many of you had the pleasure of meeting her in Dallas. Beth will be managing the day to day operations of the organization, improving our financial structure and segregation of duties, and providing business stability through changing leaders. She will be supporting the dedicated volunteers that make SOFT so successful. And she will be helping the Board identify long term goals that continue to find new ways to meet the needs of our members.
We have also relocated our SOFT office. Most of you have never had the pleasure of seeing “SOFT Central”, but it was a small room (~10x10) in the basement of an office building filled with file cabinets, boxes, and folding tables. We will now have a “real” office suite on the second floor of the same building. So only the Suite Number will change in our address. The new office space provides an office for the Executive Director and the Administrative Assistant, a conference room for small meetings, and a storage area.
Then comes our final big task of the year… regretfully accepting Bonnie Fulmer’s retirement. Enough cannot be said about how special Bonnie is to SOFT. She is truly the backbone of the organization. I cannot think of a more dedicated or loyal person to have in our corner. She has always had the best interest of SOFT at the core of everything she does for us. We knew this day would eventually come, but it is so hard to imagine calling the office and not hearing her voice, or going to the annual meeting and not seeing her welcoming smile at the registration desk! We are so grateful for her hard work over all these years with SOFT. She will be truly missed, but she will always be a part of the SOFT family. We wish her all the best for a long, healthy, and happy retirement.
So now I get to introduce you to our new Administrative Assistant, CC Watson! CC will be joining SOFT on December 12th. She has excellent experience in accounts payable/receivable, customer service, event planning, marketing/social media, and office management. Please join me in welcoming CC to the team.
As I transition into the Past President role, I leave you all in great hands. Thank you to my fellow Board members, for not only their hard work this year, but for their support and comradery. We’ve had some significant challenges this year and I am so impressed with the professionalism, insight, and intelligence of this team. Thank you also to past Board members for their mentoring and guidance over the years. And thank you to all of you for allowing me the privilege of serving as your President. It is truly the highlight of my career and something I will always be immensely proud of.
Have a wonderful holiday season!
Jennifer Limoges, M.S., D-ABC
SOFT 2016 President