Lisa Houston, ACS District IV Director

Lisa Houston

Candidate, District IV Director, 2020-2022

Colleagues, I am honored to be considered as a candidate for District IV Director. My first exposure to chemistry was in my sophomore year of college.  Like a catalyst in a chemical reaction, the activation barrier was overcome, and the final product has been an enduring passion for chemistry and sharing its impact on society and the world. I joined the American Chemical Society (ACS) as a member nearly 30 years ago and have been an active volunteer for more than 25 years at all levels including Local Section, Division, Regional Meetings and National Committees. I began my ACS career in the Division of Petroleum Chemistry (now Energy & Fuels) where I have served in almost every position including Area Representative, Treasurer, Chair, Alternate Councilor, and currently as Councilor, Long-Range Planning Chair and Chair of the newly formed Communications & Technology Committee.  I have also volunteered my services to the Greater Houston Local Section where I have served as Treasurer, Chair, Communications & Technology Committee Chair and now as Awards Chair. During this time, I also had the opportunity to serve on the organizing committee of the 2016 Southwest Regional Meeting as Fundraising Chair.  All these volunteer opportunities have advanced my professional career by providing leadership training in a host of different areas that have crossed over into my professional life and ultimately to my current position as the Business Segment leader of two portfolios at Petroleum Analyzer Company (PAC), an analytical instrumentation company.

The ACS Board of Directors has the responsibility to guide and direct the Society in fulfilling its vision of “improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry”.  My commitment to you is to represent these two sides of our Society and take on this challenge by working closely with the board, Executive Director and CEO, Committees, Local Sections, Divisions, and all members of our Society to guide and direct ACS “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people”.

There are many issues that the Society faces which I am committed to work on improving, including the following priorities:

  • Increase Membership. We must continue to provide services that meet current members’ needs but also attract new members with innovative services that increase their skills, stay scientifically current, provide recognition, identify and pursue job opportunities and networking.
  • Strong Local Sections, International Chapters and Divisions. ACS is a grassroots organization and it is imperative that its grassroots units become and remain healthy as they are the backbone of the Society. ACS would not exist if not for our dedicated volunteers at every level; however, the Local Sections, International Chapters and Divisions are normally held together by a small subsegment of their population. We need to develop mechanisms to aid them in engaging an active volunteer pipeline including students, academic and industrial professionals to strengthen and increase their impact. We also need to encourage the interactions between them which will serve to provide further strength.
  • Science Communication & Advocacy. Our future as a society, a nation, and as chemical professionals depends on how well the public and legislators understand the benefits of chemistry. Their understanding, or the lack thereof, affects funding of R&D and STEM education as well as laws and regulations that impact chemical businesses and jobs. ACS must provide resources to help understand the importance of chemistry to daily lives, health, and well-being. We must inspire, equip and support ACS members in delivering positive messages in their communities and to enhance the perception and appreciation for chemistry from the local through the federal levels of government.

With the combination of my more than 30 years in the industry and 25 years of ACS experience, I have sharpened my organizational and leadership skills with ever increasing roles of responsibility in each. In both my professional and volunteer roles, I have enabled teamwork, fostered innovation, and mentored young chemists to achieve success. I have a proven track record of working in my Local Section, Division, ACS Committees, and my business to develop goals and determine and execute strategic initiatives to achieve those goals. The result has been continued measurable growth for all. All these experiences have shaped my philosophy as a leader and would serve me well as an ACS Board Member.

I pledge to contribute all my energy, enthusiasm, and experience to keep ACS strong. I urge you to vote for me and I would be honored by your support.

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