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TERATOLOGY SOCIETY COUNCIL CONFERENCE CALL
August 5, 1996

The call was initiated at 2:00 PM EDT. On the line were Jose Cordero, Kathy Sulik, Phil Mirkes, Elaine Francis, Barbara Hales, Bob Kavlock, Carol Lemire (ex officio), Eve Kagan (ex officio), and George Daston. Dr. Cordero presided.

Dr. Cordero informed Council that the purpose of the call was to discuss the proposed contract submitted to Tony Scialli by the Keystone Resort for our 1999 annual meeting (copy attached). He summarized the salient points: Keystone agrees to forgive all but $10,000 of the $65,000 penalty we incurred by not meeting our room night quota in 1996 if we will hold our 1999 annual meeting at Keystone during one of two weeks of their choosing during June and July (most likely the week ending in July 4). They agree to offer only 12,000 square feet of meeting space gratis (vs. 16,000 this year). He also reported that our net revenues from the 1996 meeting were more than $10,000, so we would still be in the black after paying the reduced penalty.

Dr. Francis questioned the validity of the meeting revenue estimate, as not all of the bills have been received. Dr. Sulik replied that the estimate was based on a revenue statement from the end of June of $153,391, with expenses to that date of $105,800. Only the speaker expenses were still outstanding at that time, which she expected to be not more than $20,000. Ms. Lemire concurred with these estimates, but that the exact amount of our profit cannot be known yet.

Dr. Francis inquired as to whether the Society's letter to Ralcorp, Keystone's parent corporation, asking to forgive our penalty had been answered. Dr. Cordero reported that a reply had been received indicating that Ralcorp was no longer a part of Ralston Purina, and that no donation would be forthcoming. Dr. Francis also suggested that we consult our attorney as to whether we could seek arbitration of the penalty rather than sign a contract for a 1999 meeting. Dr. Cordero replied that he thought that it was premature to do this before we had negotiated on Keystone's proposal. Dr. Mirkes concurred, but believed that we should be seeking our attorney's advice.

Dr. Francis also indicated that the exact amount of the 1996 penalty needed to be obtained from Keystone, as it has ranged in different correspondence from $65,000 to $100,000. Dr. Sulik believed that the higher number was generated by the accounting office before they had spoken to the meetings office, and that the lower figure was accurate. However, an exact figure would be obtained from Keystone before a contract was signed.

Dr. Kavlock expressed his opinion that the meeting duration as proposed by Keystone was one day too long, that the room distribution was still unduly weighted towards the more expensive one bedroom condominiums, and that no room rates would be quoted until 1998. Dr. Cordero replied that he had done a comparison of the proposed room distribution and the 1996 figures and that the two contracts are close based on estimated revenue. There was considerable discussion about room rates, with a consensus emerging that we must have these agreed to before signing the contract.

Dr. Daston restated Dr. Kavlock's concern about the meeting length, and that a shorter meeting may be better attended.

Dr. Mirkes stressed that Dr. Scialli must negotiate the room slippage allowance, the amount of the penalty, the length of the meeting, and the room rate ceiling. Dr. Cordero believed that costs of food service functions would need to be added to the contract as well.

Dr. Cordero requested that Dr. Daston summarize for Dr. Scialli all of the points that Council would like to have addressed in his further negotiations with Keystone. Dr. Cordero will ask Dr. Scialli to fax a letter to Keystone this week with all of these points; to report back to Council about the negotiations; and to have our attorney review the contract, and to ask about the pros and cons of arbitration.

Dr. Kavlock asked whether others on Council thought that scheduling over July 4 would affect attendance. It was agreed that Councilors would conduct an informal survey of colleagues at their workplaces to determine whether this poses a significant problem.

The call was ended at 3:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

George P. Daston,

Secretary, Teratology Society

 

 

 

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