At the Opening Ceremonies of the 2011 SIVB meeting in Raleigh, the SIVB President, Dr. William J. Smith, had the pleasure of presenting awards to those individuals who had provided extraordinary service to the Society over the preceding year. The awarding of the Distinguished Service Award is at the discretion of the president and symbolizes his recognition of contributions that were highly meaningful to his presidency. While each member is critical to the success of the Society, and the hard work of a large number of individuals has put SIVB onto a strong financial footing, Dr. Smith chose to focus on four areas that meant a great deal to him: the outstanding scientific program for 2011, the strong, active support of Past Presidents, the excellence of SIVB publications, and the essential, superlative performance of the SIVB Business Office.
The reason for meeting each year as a society is to network with colleagues, share our scientific and personal accomplishments and to view the most exciting, cutting edge research in the broad arena of in vitro sciences covered by our members. Starting immediately after the 2010 meeting in St. Louis, the overall Program Chair Cynthia Goodman, along with Plant Biotechnology Program Chair Kan Wang and In Vitro Animal Cell Science Program Chair Brad Upham, began assembling a Program Committee that provided the Raleigh meeting with everything and more than we might have expected. While the three chairs received the Awards, all members of the Program Committee deserve our full thanks and congratulations.
Having completed the first year of his two year term, Dr. Smith acknowledged the mentorship and wisdom provided to him by the immediate Past President Todd Jones and the former Past President Paul Price. Not only had they presided over the Board of Directors for the four years prior to Dr. Smith’s presidency, but they have never wavered in their enthusiastic support of the current Board. The Society has continued to move forward because of the kind of contributions made by these two awardees.
The three major publications of the SIVB include In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant, In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant, and our society newsletter the In Vitro Report. As our internal report, SIVB members enjoyed the quality of the In Vitro Report. In recognition of the outstanding quality and growth of our publications, Dr. Smith awarded Distinguished Service Awards to Michael Fay, Barbara Reed, J. Denry Sato, David Songstad, Carol Stiff, and Dwight Tomes. In addition, the Society presented awards of Special Recognition to the outgoing editors of our principal journals Dwight Tomes (IVC&DB-Plant) and J. Denry Sato (IVC&DB-Animal).
All of the administrative burden of the Society is carried by a dedicated group of individuals in our Business Office. That office assures that we receive all of our membership benefits, shepherds all of our contractual relationships, compiles and distributes numerous reports, and makes all the arrangements for our annual meetings just to name a few of their many tasks. The President formally recognized this by presenting Distinguished Service Awards to three of the key individuals who are always available to the President, the Board, and all members: Marietta Wheaton Ellis, Michele Schultz, and Michelle Stevenson.
The Society for In Vitro Biology has had a very good year. The Distinguished Service Award recipients have played a major role in the successes, but they are only a sampling of all the time and commitments made on behalf of SIVB. Everyone in this Society deserves the President’s congratulations on a job well done.