Advancing the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.
Central Florida chemists, chemical engineers, and those in training, improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.
- Contribute to the public’s understanding of chemistry through the delivery of a compelling message at the annual Earth Day and during the National Chemistry week.
- Encourage students and support members in their pursuit of a successful career in chemistry or chemical engineering by supporting the Chemistry Olympiads and granting achievement awards.
- Support the career of our members and advancing their employers by organizing, supporting or promoting networking events, conferences or continuing education.
- Attract a diverse group of volunteers by offering a menu of inspiring activities. Our CHALLENGES
- Increasing engagement of members from industry or in a chemical engineering career.
- Increasing representation of volunteers without an advanced degree.
- Increasing the menu of opportunities to get involved.
- Helping members lacking the time to volunteer.
- Overcoming the geographic dispersion impeding in- person participation.
Who We Are
The Orlando Local Section of the American Chemical Society represents members in the Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and helps them remaining active and involved in their communities. Specifically, it is the local section’s role to offer its members a forum to 1) connect with other chemists and chemical engineers, 2) enhance their professional development, 3) build leadership skills, 4) affect change in the region through outreach, and 5) contribute to the public’s understanding of chemistry in our community.1
What We Do
The ACS Orlando Local Section focuses most of its activities on educating the public on the benefits chemistry brings to society; supporting the education of future chemists and chemical engineers; hosting networking social events; and recognizing the achievements of members and students. The full list of recurring activities is summarized in Table 1.
What our members want
Our section must contribute to the fulfillment of the aspirations of its members to get them involved. According a non-scientific internal poll (Figure 2), chemists and chemical engineers would be more likely to get involved with the local section for the purpose of networking, build their resume, and satisfy their wish to give back to the community.
1. Becoming the hub for students, professionals and retirees to connect and obtain information about regional chemical engineering and chemistry activities, employment opportunities and volunteering. Connecting members is core to our mission. Although local section’s leadership is well connected with the teaching community, this is less so with members in the government, in the private sector, and with our retirees. Our activities focusing on our students, public education, awards and recognition aligns with just a portion of the chemical enterprise. We will aim to improve our ties with the whole spectrum of the chemical enterprise while continuing existing activities.
Action 1: Staff a communication team2 responsible to maintain a distribution email; establish a network of news contributors; relay webpage content to the webmaster; and engage the membership on the local section Facebook page. We will aim to recruit a team member from each of the counties under our jurisdiction to maximize our reach. We hope minimizing the constraints created by our large geographical area by creating an active web presence. The number of views on our web page and Facebook engagements will serve as a measure of our success.
Action 2: Becoming better networked with the local chemical enterprise. As a first step, each member of the board will seek the views and recommendations from their supervisors and from the mover and shakes in their network about this strategy. This engagement should result in having their buy-in, solidify our network, and expand our list of prospective volunteers. This first step and the implementation of the other actions in this strategy should lead us to a satisfactory understanding of the local enterprise.
Action 3: Increase the number of networking opportunities by first allowing members to attend the monthly Executive Committee meetings. Members considering volunteering will benefit meeting the Board, and the Board will gain a new opportunity to receive comments from the membership.
Action 4: Maximize membership access to scientific and non-scientific presentations provided at nearby teaching institutions. Local institutions may be willing to grant access to students from nearby institutions and to ACS members to hear guest speakers but may not have time to publicize their events. The section can use its web presence and distribution list to publicize such events. The ACS Orlando Local Section will request that institutions hosting guest speakers funded by our organization to welcome local section members.
2. Attract, recruit and retain more volunteers: The ACS Orlando Local Section requires a “critical mass” to be effective in attracting and retaining talented members to execute its mission. Increasing the number of volunteers will bring better ideas, make new skill sets available, and contribute to the section’s networking capability in addition to help sharing the workload. Presumably, the recruitment of volunteers will become easier as we achieve the Strategic Goal #1.
Action 1: The Executive Committee will establish a project team for each of the activities listed in Table 1 with the aim of staffing them with at least two members. The local section will take the steps necessary to ensure each team has adequate time to prepare for their assigned events and enjoy the experience to support the same event in subsequent years. Every volunteer is encouraged to recruit fellow members they judge equipped to bring a positive contribution to our continuity of operation.
Action 2: The Executive Committee will include the recruitment of volunteers as an agenda item to its monthly meeting to reflect the importance of the issue.
3. Seek diversity and foster a sense of belonging: The Executive Committee encourages members from all ethnic, cultural, gender identity, and educational backgrounds to seek office, volunteer in one or more of its committees or teams, and to attend any one of the local section activities. The Executive Committee believes in the strength of diversity in all forms because inclusion of, and respect for, diverse people, experiences, and ideas leads to superior solutions. When successful, our undergraduate and graduate students, our professionals and retirees will share an equal sense of belonging and inclusion in our professional group.
Action 1: The Board and team members will support the recruitment of minority and underrepresented professionals by leveraging their personal and professional network. Our officers will invite their professional leadership to help identify potential volunteers from under represented communities.
Action 2: Create a laboratory professional award and an entrepreneur/employer award to increase recognition of professionals with an undergraduate degree and to celebrate the success of our membership’s employers.
4. Find a path to expand engagement: The ACS Orlando Local Section believes it can do more to advance the local chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people beyond student development, public education, recognition, and offering an opportunity for its members to volunteer. Expanding the scope of local activities will make the section more valuable to its members, have a greater impact on the local chemical enterprise and motivate more members to become active. At this time, the section is constrained in its capability to expand the menu of activities due to the limited availability of volunteers and funding. But, the successful execution of the three priorities just presented above will open an opportunity for the ACS Orlando Local Section to expand its reputation of being networked and delivering impact in our community which should increase the number of members interested in volunteering.
Action 1: Establish a task force to identify special events the local section could conduct or sponsor that is appealing to a wide segment of the membership or to their employers. Attention could be given to activities with the potential of improving the employment prospects in our region and to the success of their employers. The task force will also determine if the local section leverages the full support and services the ACS national office offers to its sections with an eye on better serving the local chemical enterprise and of its chemists or engineers.
- Team vs committee, https://www.laurindaonleadership.com/2011/06/whats-the- difference-between-a-committee-and-a-team/
Note: This strategic plan was last updated on 08/22/2020