Fall is historically the time of year for leadership transitions. The country just held another Presidential election, and our Chapter elected a new Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Annual Meeting of Members on October 20, 2012.
It has been an honor for me to work closely with outgoing Chairman Robert Shapiro during two successful terms. Bob’s inspired leadership enabled our continued growth in income and strengthened program delivery. Bob continues his service on the Executive and other committees of the Board.
Incoming Chairman Douglas Bryant is deeply committed to the Society’s vision of a world free of MS, and will work tirelessly toward that end. Doug, whose daughter Carrie was diagnosed with MS in 2004, recognizes his over arching responsibility as Board Chairman, and is ready to meet any challenge we face.
In his comments to the Annual Meeting of Members, Doug pledged himself to lead the Board in four strategic areas that are essential to maintain our growth and success.
The Board is setting the fundraising bar high with a target of $15 million in three years. To achieve this attainable goal, the Board will define strategies and tactics and engage staff and volunteer event committees to facilitate implementation. Trustees have also committed to leverage their personal and professional networks to foster the formation of new corporate teams and increase corporate sponsorship.
It is essential that we significantly increase MS research funding as mandated by the 10,000 person survey conducted just two years ago by the National MS Society. The Trustees will establish priorities for Chapter staff to reduce operational and program costs in order to increase available dollars for research, while still fulfilling the needs of people with MS.
Our Trustees are also focused on utilizing technologies, like video conferencing and video streaming, to reduce travel expenses for staff and to increase program access for people with MS. Social media is also a key tool that our organization has been using, and will continue to emphasize as an awareness and relationship tool.
Diversity is also vital to the relevance and effectiveness of our Chapter to all people with MS who live in our communities. Our programs must be visible and accessible, and we must find effective inroads to recruit a diverse spectrum of leaders, who are representative of our ethnicity, gender, and geography.
I look forward to working side by side with Doug as our new Chapter Chairman, as he rallies his fellow Trustees and the energies of our volunteer corps to achieve all of our goals for fiscal year 2013, and moving us closer to our common goal of a world free of MS.
President & CEO
Making Connections: Annual Meeting of Members Conference & EXPO with Stanley F. Waterman Research Series
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Augusta, ME; Worcester, MA; Manchester, NH; and Essex, VT
MS Research Series
More than 400 people attended the 2012 Annual Meeting of Members, which included workshops, research updates, and an exhibitors fair. The annual MS Research Lecture included a prominent MS researcher or clinician in each state.
- Alexius E.G. Sandoval, MD, from the Maine Rehabilitation Center at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, and a member of our Clinical Advisory Committee, spoke in Augusta, Maine. Topic: MS & Rehabilitation: What’s New that can Help You?
- Elliot Frohman, MD, Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology, was the Stanley F. Waterman Research Guest Lecturer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Topic: The Hope of Emerging Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis.
- Nicholas LaRocca, PhD, a clinical psychologist, spoke in Manchester, New Hampshire. Topic: MS Research: What’s on the Horizon.
- Ann Cabot, DO, a neurologist specializing in MS, spoke in Essex, Vermont. Topic: Mapping the Way: Directions in MS Research.
From left: Doug Bryant, Elise Waterman, Jane Waterman, and Arlyn White
at the Annual Meeting of Members in Worcester.
A New Chairman of the Board
At the head of the slate of officers for fiscal year 2013 was Doug Bryant, who was elected Chairman of the Chapter Board of Trustees. Senior VP & Regional Manager at Wells Fargo Bank RCBO, Doug’s daughter, Carrie, was diagnosed with MS in 2004. Additional officers elected to one year terms: First Vice Chair: Piper McNealy. Vice Chairpersons: Woody Chittick, Mary Jalbert, and Eli Rubenstein. Clerk: Joan Kaplan. Treasurer: David Gladstone. Assistant Treasurer: Michael Mingolelli. Immediate Past Chair: Ropbert Shapiro.
Several Chapter Trustees also have significant leadership roles at the national level. Eli Rubenstein is Chairman of the Society’s national Board of Directors. Dan Rattner, Richard Slifka, and Peter Galligan also serve as Directors on the Society’s national Board. Additionally, Woody Chittick is Chairman of the Northeast Region Leadership Advisory Council and sits on the National Leadership Council.
Fundraisers Going Beyond the Call of Duty
Elite fundraisers, who raised at least $19,000 during fiscal year 2012 ($1 for each person with MS in our Chapter), were welcomed into the Mission Possible Club during the Annual Conference. Thirteen people achieved that level or higher: Eli Lipcon, Liam Kennedy, Douglas McAllister, Marjorie Van Houten, James Boudreau, Susan Martin, Ron Joseph, David Parker, Pamela Littell, Sumner Weeks, John Overbay, David Gladstone, and Kevin Lombardi.
Thirteen Volunteers Recognized
Maine - Alexius E.G. Sandoval, MD: Professional Volunteer of the Year. Robert Picone: Advocacy Volunteer of the Year. Stefanie Peary: Volunteer of the Year. Max Michaud: Self Help Group Leader of the Year.
Massachusetts - Linda Buchwald, MD: Advocacy Volunteer of the year. Stephanie Annichiarico: Program Volunteer of the Year. Sandy Forman: Program Volunteer of the Year. Diana Towle: Self Help Group Leader of the Year.
New Hampshire - Christine St. Laurent: Healthcare Professional Volunteer of the Year. Tammy Perham: Self Help Group Leader of the Year.
Vermont - Jim Cookson: Vermont Office Volunteer. John Pierce: Mission Volunteer of the Year. Susanna Weaver: Self Help Group Leader of the Year.