Councilor’s Report: 260th National Meeting Fall 2020

The Council meeting was held virtually due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic that continues to affect our personal lives and our work. Councilors were urged to take into account their own actions and habits to make their own communities safer. Councilors were advised to use their positions as members of the scientific enterprise to spread helpful messages and encourage the safe practice of mask wearing, physical distancing, and limiting exposure within your communities.

The continuous and ongoing struggle in this country to create a safe and equitable society for all was brought to Council’s attention. The ACS encourages inclusivity and opposes discrimination in scientific learning and practice. Councilors were urged to take active roles in dismantling any barriers that may deter or impede their colleagues in their research or careers. Councilors and guests were encouraged to review the ACS statements on diversity and reflect on how to implement these in their local sections and divisions.

Actions of the Council

Election to Committees

By electronic ballot, the Council elected Elizabeth M. Howson, Zaida C. Morales-Martinez, Margaret J. Schooler, and Jeanette M. Van Emon for three-year terms (2021-2023), and Mark D. Frishberg for a one-year term (2021) on the Council Policy Committee (CPC).

Additionally, the Council elected Martha G. Hollomon, Diane Krone, Sarah M. Mullins, Andrea B. Twiss-Brooks, and Javier Vela for three-year terms (2021-2023) on the Committee on Committees (ConC) and elected Jetty L. Duffy-Matzner, Kevin J. Edgar, Neil D. Jespersen, Julianne M. D. Smist, and Linette M. Watkins for three-year terms (2021-2023) on the Committee on Nominations and Elections (N&E).

Other Council Actions

Key Actions

  • On the recommendation of the Committee on Committees, and with the concurrence of the Council Policy Committee, Council approved the Petition to Clarify Amendments to the Standing Rules and disbanded the Joint Board-Council Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service, contingent on approval by the Board of Directors.

Establishment of an International Chemical Sciences Chapter

  • On the recommendation of the Committee on International Activities, and with the concurrence of the Council Policy Committee, Council approved the creation of an ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapter in Israel, contingent on approval by the Board of Directors.

Highlights from Committee Reports

Nominations and Elections

Ballots for the 2020 fall national election will be distributed starting on September 28th, with a voting deadline four weeks later on October 23rd. ACS members eligible to vote and with an email address on file will receive an electronic ballot with the option to request a paper ballot. Those members with no email address on file will be sent a paper ballot with the option to vote electronically. The ACS election vendor, Survey & Ballot Systems, will send three email reminders during the voting period to those who have not voted as of the reminder dates. N&E encouraged all ACS members to vote for President-Elect. Election information may be viewed at

Budget and Finance

The Society’s 2020 financial performance through July 31st yielded a Net from Operations of $55.7 million, or $25 million greater than the same period in 2019. Total revenues are $354 million, 5% ahead of last year, and total expenses are $298 million, or 3 percent below last year. Unrestricted Net Assets increased to $466 million.

The committee approved one program reauthorization request and one new pilot program request for consideration by the Board of Directors.

The most direct revenue impact to the Society related to the COVID pandemic has been to meeting- related revenues with the termination of the in-person Spring National Meeting and termination of the in-person Green Chemistry Conference. Significant effort has been devoted to expense management. The Society expects to meet its budgeted net contribution of $41.3M.

Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting Attendance

The theme of the 260th ACS National Meeting was “Moving Chemistry from Bench to Market.” As of August 19th, registration for the Meeting, broken down by Category was:

Member                                          3,494
Student Member                          1,638

Unemployed Member                       25

Non Member                                     945
Student Non Member                     375

Total                                               6,477

If you have any comments or questions regarding membership or benefits, please contact your Councilor, Darlene Slattery at or call her at 321-632-2535.

Councilor’s Report: 257th National Meeting Spring 2019

The 257th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society was held in Orlando, Florida  March 31 to April 4, 2019 and was attended by 15,605 registered individuals. The Council meeting was held on April 3.

Actions of the Council

Election Results

Candidates for President-Elect, 2020

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2020: Magid Abou-Gharbia, H.N. Cheng, Carol A. Duane, and Christopher J. Welch..  By electronic ballot, the Council selected H.N. Cheng and Carol A. Duane as candidates for 2020 President-Elect.  These two candidates, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the Fall National Election.

Other Council Actions

Amendments to the ACS Constitution and Bylaws

  • The Council approved the Petition to Streamline the ACS Governing Documents [Constitution Articles I-XIX, Bylaws I-XIV, and Standing Rules I-IX], which will reorganize the fundamental governing documents of the Society: the Constitution and Bylaws, and create a third document: Standing Rules. These three documents will function as a hierarchy. The Constitution should define; the Bylaws should authorize; and the Standing Rules should operationalize. Additionally, an Amendment was voted upon, and passed by recorded vote:
    • That language proposed as Standing Rule II, Sections 2 a, 2 b, and 2 g be moved to the Bylaws as new Sections 2 a, 2 b, and 2 c of proposed Bylaw III with appropriate renumbering of the other sections of Bylaw III and Standing Rule II.
  • The Petition will become effective if and when the proposed changes to the Constitution are approved by the Membership of the Society, and if and when the Board of Directors approves the Petition. Because the changes to the ACS Governing Documents are substantial, the Council authorized the ACS Secretary and General Counsel and the Committee on Constitution & Bylaws to correct minor technical mistakes in the Petition.

2020 Member Dues

  • The Council voted on the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance (B&F) to set the member dues for 2020 at the 2019 rate of $175.

Council Special Discussion

  • ACS President Bonnie Charpentier led a special discussion on ACS Relevance to Current and Future Members: Challenges and Opportunities. Councilors had been asked prior to Orlando to discuss the ACS value proposition with their local sections or divisions and bring that input to Council. Councilors provided many recommendations and suggestions including increased support for local sections and industry members, helping student members transition into their professional careers, and implementing a monthly payment tool for ACS dues.  These, and all the other ideas and input submitted, will be shared with the Committee on Membership Affairs and the ACS Membership Division for further research or implementation. 

Highlights from Committee Reports

Councilor Divisor

As required by the Society’s Bylaws, the Council Policy Committee has set the divisors for allocation of Councilor seats among Local Sections and Divisions for 2020 to 2023.  Official notification of the Councilor divisors and the number of Councilors permitted for each Local Section and Division will be sent to the respective Local Sections and Divisions prior to May 1st as required in the Bylaws.

Budget and Finance

In 2018, ACS generated a net from operations of $41.1 million, which was $13.3 million higher than 2017.  Total revenues were $571.6 million, increasing 6.4% – or $34.2 million – over 2017.  Expenses ended the year at $530.5 million, which was $20.8 million or 4.1% higher than the prior year.  These results were attributable to strong performance from the Society’s Information Service units (CAS and ACS Publications) and a continued emphasis on expense management across the ACS. 

Additional information can be found at  At the bottom of the page, click ‘About ACS’, then ‘ACS Financial Information.’  There you will find several years of the Society’s audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings.


The ACS ended 2018 with 151,012 members, a net membership growth of one-tenth-of-one-percent. This is the first membership growth ACS has recorded in the better part of a decade. Of the 25,000 new members who joined in 2018, about 20% were incentivized by market testing initiatives. Without these new members, ACS would have seen continued declines.

Council voted to extend the provision of the international dues discount test based on World Bank country income levels for an additional three years (August 2019 – August 2022).

As a side note, your Councilor is  a member of the Membership Affairs Committee and is assigned to the Benefits and Engagement Subcommittee.  The discussion is continuing on whether a “one size fits all” approach best serves the membership.  A major question continues to be, do members feel that the membership benefits justify the dues?  Are you aware of the benefits available to you?  Please see


  • The Council passed several resolutions:
    • in memory of deceased Councilors;
    • in gratitude for the officers and members of the Orlando Section, host for the 257th National Meeting, the divisional program chairs, symposium organizers, and ACS staff for the planning and execution of the meeting.

If you have any comments or questions regarding membership or benefits, please contact your Councilor, Darlene Slattery at or call her at 321-632-2535.

2020 Orlando Section Officers

Chair:Christopher Chouinard321-674-8173
Chair Elect:        Duy Le —
Immediate Past Chair:Joel Olson321-674-7350
Treasurer:Van Quach
Secretary:Mary C. Roslonowski 321-243-6198
Councilor & Section Historian:Darlene Slattery321-632-2535
Alternate Council Member:Laura B. Sessions407-582-7138
Chair:Michel Johnson
Newsletter Editor:
CHEMISTRY OLYMPIAD Chair Mary C. Roslonowski  321-243-6198
AWARDS COMMITTEE Chair Darlene Slattery 321-632-2535
*Click on name to send an officer an email

2021 Orlando Section Officers

Chair:Duy Le407-666-8198
Chair Elect:        Denisia Popolan-Vaida407-823-1537
Immediate Past Chair:Christopher Chouinard321-674-8173
Treasurer:Van Quach
Secretary:Pavithra Pathirathna321-674-7561
Councilor & Section Historian:Darlene Slattery321-632-2535
Alternate Council Member:Laura Sessions407-582-7138
Chair:Michel Johnson
Newsletter Editor:
CHEMISTRY OLYMPIAD ChairMary C. Roslonowski  321-243-6198
AWARDS COMMITTEE ChairDarlene Slattery 321-632-2535
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE ChairDenisia Popolan-Vaida 407-823-1537
Chair:Christopher Chouinard321-674-8173
*Click on name to send an officer an email

2021 Strategic Plan


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

Figure 2. Ranking of the reasons motivating members to get involved with the Orlando Local Section based on a non-scientific poll conducted in March 2020.

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.

Strategic Goals

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.



[2]- Team vs committee, difference-between-a-committee-and-a-team/

Note: This strategic plan was last updated on 08/22/2020