ACS Local Section Activities
After 20 years of working with ACS Technical Divisions, I felt it was important to be contributing in my local section as well. Since becoming an active volunteer with the Greater Houston Section (GHS) in 2012, I have worked to strengthen my local section by exercising leadership skills in several different positions on the executive board.
The Greater Houston Section faced a number of leadership challenges in the early- and mid-2010's as several active board members and candidates for section Chair and Chair-Elect relocated out of the section's geographical area or were unable to continue in their position, leaving a substantial leadership gap. I volunteered to serve as GHS Chair-Elect in 2016 and Chair in 2017 to help ensure continued section operations and help rebuild an active and available volunteer board.
As part of my tenure as section Chair, I engaged my strong interpersonal skills to increase the volunteer pipeline within the local section. In 2017, I effectively doubled the number of active volunteers by recruiting 15 new volunteers, five of whom became part of the 2018 GHS leadership team and remain active in 2019.
I was also able to leverage my experience with the ACS Energy & Fuels division communications during tenure as GHS Communications & Technology chair to establish effective methods and tools to improve internal and external communication within the local organization to reach a larger percentage of our members and the public.
With the support of the GHS executive board, I have continued to focus on expanding our outreach and education efforts through the introduction of new activities. Our local section has used the momentum from these activities to help chemists stay active and involved through networking and collaboration and educating the Greater Houston community about chemistry. Some of the highlights of my outreach work include:
- Successfully applied for and received ACS grants for $5350 to support our program efforts including senior chemist outreach, science cafés, and communication tools.
- Tripled the number and breadth of programs offered to the members, students, educators and the general public including seminars, science cafes, workshops, networking and outreach events.
- Expanded our outreach by engaging local senior chemists to provide high school classes with the benefit of their experience.
- Personally shared my industrial career experience with high school and college students and young professionals in the community.
I was fortunate to be part of the team who worked with local section mentors to organize a large gala event to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Greater Houston Section. The Gala was attended by 200 participants and honored our members from over the last 100 years that have received annual local, regional and national ACS awards, our past and present officers, Project Seed students, ACS scholarship recipients, our 50, 60, and 70-year members and other distinguished honorees. As a lead on the organizing committee, I:
- Developed the overall program including agenda, speakers, invitations, photography, awards and graphics.
- Recruited ACS Board members as speakers.
- Created and produced the event program.
- Served as emcee for the Anniversary event.