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February 2022 Message From the President

February in Montana

Welcome February! I once read that “February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March”, I like to think of February as a time to regroup for a new year. January is still in Christmas hangover but by February, the Christmas decorations are put away, all those goodies are just a memory, and thoughts turn to spring blooms and gatherings.

Your Montana leadership is eagerly looking ahead to the Spring. We held the Winter Board Meeting on January 22nd and covered a lot of business affecting our state Society. Our Nominations committee is working on filling the slate of candidates to be voted on this spring. If you’re interested in serving on the Board of Directors, raise your hand and say Count Me In! It’s a great experience and an opportunity to work with folks from across the state. You can let me know directly, contact any of our Nominations committee (Maria Rodriguez, Zanna Hartrich, Abbey Wichman), or fill out the Volunteer opportunity form (Get Involved),, on our Montana website.

Speaking of our website, our new webmaster, Anna Adams is working with Susie Zanto getting acquainted with our current website and learning about the new platform coming later this year. Watch for updates about the website as they develop.

Another thing to watch for is news about the newly updated Bylaws combining them with our Standard Operating Procedures. Abbey Wichman is chairing this task force and has submitted our draft document to the ASCLS Bylaws Committee for review and approval right after Thanksgiving. We received initial feedback with a few minor edits and have resubmitted. When we receive the final approval, we will publish the proposed document to all of you for review prior to presenting it for a vote at our Annual Business Meeting in May. The Bylaws/SOPs will be in a table format with the Bylaw in the left column and the corresponding SOP in the right column. I’m very excited about this project and looking forward to sharing with all of you soon.

Have you seen the postings for the annual Lab Week Run? Registration is now open,! Individual race packets are $30 each or you can register a group of 5 for $125. These early bird prices end Feb 15; after that the rates go up to $35 and $150. This is the 7th year for this event, it’s a lot of fun and easy to do. Grab a group from your lab, take many photos and post them, and bring your medals to Great Falls for a large ASCLS-Montana group photo! I’m already registered, how about you?

If you haven’t responded to the Future of IMSS survey, there’s still time, It’s vitally important to get as much input as possible before the Region VIII Council meets on February 16th. We will be voting on the future of IMSS – will it continue as an annual in-person meeting, will it move to a virtual platform, will it alternate platforms, will it move to every 2 or 3 years? As you can see, there are many questions, and your input is needed. No matter what decision is made on the 16th, I do know that IMSS will not be held at Jackson after the 2022 conference. The Snow King is the only venue in the area that can accommodate our meeting and they have become far too expensive to be able to continue there. If we do continue in-person IMSS, we need to determine where to hold the meeting and a rotational schedule. If you haven’t completed the survey, please do so by the 14th of February. I will keep you posted on decisions made by the Council and if the decision is to continue with IMSS, watch for volunteer requests to help decide where and when to hold IMSS. We will also need to fill a planning committee so think about what you would like to do to help with planning.

I hope you are all staying healthy and safe, I know that as Covid continues to rage our laboratory professionals are working overtime and dealing with supply chain issues on a daily basis. I am so proud of every one of you hanging in there and doing what you do so well. Stay strong, stay resilient and remember to take time to breathe and smell the snow flowers.


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