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Council Meeting I-A

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Tucson, Arizona
June 24, 2006


Attending – Council I-A was attended by M. Tassinari, President; K. Jones, Past President; E. Faustman, Vice President; T. Knudsen, Vice President-Elect; G. Dearlove, Secretary; I. Washington, Treasurer; E. Carney, K. Filkins and R. Parker, Councilors and T. Masson, Executive Director.

M. Tassinari called the meeting to order at 8:35 and announced a rescheduled Agenda in order to accommodate the delayed arrival of B. Hales, Chair of Publications Committee.

Conference Call Minutes from June 9, 2006 were reviewed, revised, clarified and approved following amending.

Revisions on page 2 as follows: MDA was defined as Muscular Dystrophy Association; paragraph 5 revised to reflect that ACOG felt there was not too much industrial support for our annual meeting, rather there was too much recognition of industrial support.
Last line, change “be populated by” to “include”

Clarification on page 2, paragraph 5. a statement indicating that the final program and abstracts should be available at least 4 months before the meeting for ACOG review was added.

Clarification on page 3, paragraph 1. The paragraph was revised to convey the need for a person with successful experience in NIH grant writing, not that the individual be required to currently hold an NIEHS grant.


M. Tassinari noted that job descriptions for Secretary, Treasurer and Councilor needed to be written or revised. This will be a function of Council in the coming year.

The priorities list (attachment 01) was reviewed. Items of discussion included how to open communications with the membership in the future. Associating with another Scientific Society was again discussed. More outreach is needed to follow up on this item. Some issues of concern discussed were that larger societies meet in cities that have larger convention facilities and are also more expensive. President to appoint a subcommittee with representation from OTIS and NBTS to see if there is any interest in trying to run the meeting as one meeting in the future (i.e. one registration for starters).

R. Parker proposed that we approach this problem with a committee that would have a schedule with defined deliverables.

Year 1 = set up small committee to identify groups with whom we might meet.
Year 2 = go to those groups to sell the idea of a joint meeting with Teratology.
Year 3 = coordinate meeting planning for a meeting of both Societies. E.g. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome group meets one day prior to Alcohol meeting. If we were to coordinate with their city and meeting time, we might pick up 150 attendees who would rather come to our meeting if it were in the same time and place as the alcohol meetings.

G. Dearlove moved to create an Ad Hoc committee to look into other groups who may have synergistic scientific interests and to look at models to see how we may implement these possibilities (including the analysis of pros and cons) to present to attendees of the next strategic planning meeting in 2007. Passed unanimously. The members are to be appointed by the close of Council II.

T. Knudsen questioned our interaction with NBTS and OTIS and how they might view this proposal. Council felt that OTIS would look favorably upon the idea as long as they were included and NBTS would probably want to have greater input into the decision.


E. Faustman indicated that the meeting attendance this year was good. The attendance of 17 people from OTIS in the education course required that they alter their normal program. This permitted more joint symposium sessions this year.

Registration discounts for both meetings were again discussed.

R. Parker indicated that Charles River Laboratories would like to move the Charles River Lecturer (now an annual event at the BTS meeting) to an annual event at Teratology Society meeting also. E. Faustman to follow up with R. Parker to facilitate creation of this sponsorship.


Site selection discussions for future meetings were put off to Council II.

T. Knudsen reported that the program committee is getting a good start on next year. An e-mail was sent out and many suggestions have been received (some were full proposals) Some of the suggested topics for next year include:

• Bioinformatics – computational biology
• Epigenomics and epigenetic programming
• F.A.S. spectrum disorder
• Genetic and Environmental risk factors for major birth defects
• Personalized medicine in pregnant women and children
• Prenatal drug abuse and adolescent developmental trajectories
• Reproductive and developmental toxicity studies in the NHP model
(These possibilities do not include the Wiley-Liss or March of Dimes Symposia)

OTIS is interested in the FAS symposium.

The committee is discussing possible ways to more closely tie the symposium topics in with the poster sessions in order to get more participation from other individuals in the laboratories of the presenters.

FASEB Representation discussions – T. Knudsen led the discussion of what the FASEB does, how they interact with congress to push scientific agenda forward and why the Teratology Society should actively participate in these activities. Much time was spent on grant coverage and how R-21 and R-01 grants are being pushed by FASEB. Congress currently is pushing to have the funds spent for managed research (i.e. to cure diseases) rather than for research. These grants can be computer mined in the future and will not benefit innovator applicants.

To address the question of “are we getting our monies worth out of FASEB” requires that we first address the question “what do we want from FASEB?” Much of the discussion revolved around communications (to and from the membership; to and from FASEB). All agreed that the Society needs to identify and train people to be study section leaders and to write grants as well as communicate with the membership. To do this, Teratology needs to have an active group of representatives within the framework of the FASEB.

Council proposed a task force to meet for a limited time with limited, defined goals to determine if we are to retain our membership in FASEB for the benefit of the Society. The task force will be given authority to act without direct Council daily direction. The past President will be one of the members of the Task Force. This could generate a group that will have new trainees each year interacting with those who already have experience in dealing with the FASEB. Council to recruit four people for the first year of task force activity (plus M. Tassinari and T. Knudsen). They will be recruited at the Annual Meeting.

The written reports from Bill Scott and John Rogers were reviewed.


I. Washington reported that Jason Harris, the individual at Legg Mason who was our investment broker, had been replaced by SmithBarney after they purchased LeggMason. The Society was not given an option to select a broker. Jason Harris and Ida Washington had previously worked together to establish an investment strategy through which the Society would be able to increase our reserves to one and one-half times the annual operating budget. Ida Washington did not have a feeling of comfort with the newly assigned representative. Council voted unanimously to authorize the Treasurer to begin searching for a new financial management company to assist us in managing our funds. Ida Washington will seek bids from various fund management companies to present to Council at the October meeting. At that time, the CDs that mature in November of 2005 and 2006 will be invested in accordance with a new plan, if appropriate.

The current plan is based on an annual operating budget of approximately $400,000, and a cash account that requires up to $100,000 to pay expenses when they come in. Council previously determined that investment of 65% of Society funds in fixed assets was acceptable, with approximately 25% of the funds invested in growth funds. The remaining 10% of the funds would remain available as money market cash accounts to pay the bills.

Actual numbers for this year were presented and some questions about the Annual Meeting Budget were addressed. M. Tassinari to present at Business Meeting

Membership & fees $221,636
Contributions & grants $ 93,916
Royalty (Wiley-Liss) $119,675
Investment income $ 8,045

Annual Meeting $229,747
Membership services $ 51,952
Council Expenses $ 12,501
Mgmt. Expenses $124,796

Total $494,544 Total $418,996

Net + $75,548

Investments are dual track as follows:

CDs (interest) matures value
Capital One 4.7% 11/07/06 $49,971
Pacific Capital 3.25% 12/05/07 $56,174
Flags Bank 3.75% 12/32/07 $25,392
TOTAL $131,537      

Mutual Funds
American Balanced Fund $50,851
Federated Total Return $73,082
Royce Fund $38,645
TOTAL $162,578

Grand Total $294,115

Assets as of 12/31/05

Cash & equivalents $355,841
Investments $294,115
Receivable $123,147
Interest Due $ 1,109
Prepaid expenses $ 18,939

The funding of the upcoming Strategic Planning Session was discussed in conjunction with the annual Royalty from Wiley-Liss. Some of these funds are currently earmarked for student travel support, and a portion of the remainder could be relegated to investments. Council discussed options of uses some of the funds this year for trainee travel and special projects (e.g. Strategic Planning Session in 2007). Final decisions will be made at Council II or the interim Council meeting. The membership will be informed of these decisions, especially now that the NIH funding for travel has been reduced. Council must account to the membership that we are investing the Journal Royalties in future members (students) and Society Outreach and not just paying for the Annual Meeting Budget with these funds.

Ways in which Council and the Society could increase corporate contributions were discussed. The Society needs to change its approach to corporate funding. The various contributors need to see what they will gain from an increased contribution. This will require input from the PAC and the Outreach Committee. Council to discuss possible changes prior to next year’s annual meeting.

Council I-A was Recessed so Council members could attend the Continuing Education Course. Council I-B will reconvene at 5:30 pm with a working dinner.

Minutes Approved August 4, 2006.







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