The Executive Office is undergoing a dramatic shift in personality. Many members associate the Office with the annual meeting, and indeed we estimate that one half of our time is devoted to the conference. This means that throughout much of the year, Greg and I are actively involved in planning and executing the meeting, from the call for papers, to sending out acceptances and rejections, to lining up audio/visual services, to collaborating with sister societies, to setting up engagement events, and on and on and on. Because of the strategic plan, we have been asked to let go of many of these duties (a difficult prospect for perfectionists), so that we can focus our energies on the 6 goals identified in our strategic plan, such as professional development, publications, broadening our reach, membership, and advocacy. The annual meeting is also in the six goals, at least of equal importance to the others, and we intend to carry out a dynamic meeting as we have in the past; it’s just that we will be relying on meeting professionals, people who plan and execute meetings as part of their livelihood, to manage future HSS meetings. This makes us a bit uneasy but we are confident that a professional manager will bring a new level of expertise to the conferences and will help us make sure that the HSS annual conferences are remembered fondly. It is my hope that these professionals will help us enhance all aspects of the meeting as we move forward, providing our members and our guests the finest experience that is possible.
I do realize that when I slip into superlatives such as “finest” that I teeter on the edge of corporate speak and that I may be trying to convince myself that everything will be all right. We will rely on you to provide us your insights and suggestions… for the conferences and for everything that we do. It is our hope that the strategic plan will mark a new era for the HSS, one that sees the Society flourishing in many ways.
Thank you for your membership.