Medichem Newsletter November 20002
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Andreas Flückiger then presented the financial report for the calendar year 1999. Medichem is solvent and at the end of 1999 held a credit balance of CHF 150,236.16 (USD 95,844.44). Medichem’s credit balance was up CHF 33,070.09 from December 31, 1998. Expressed in USD, the assets went up by USD 9215.19.
The credit balance as of August 17, 2000 was CHF 154,636.16 (USD 89,900) and the assets at the end of 2000 are expected to be at a level similar to those at the end of 1999. The Treasurer’s financial statement has been found in order by auditor Walter Urbatus and was unanimously approved by the Board.
In the discussion that followed, several members expressed their opinion that it was not meaningful to accumulate too much money in Medichem's account. Several suggestions were made how to use some of this money in a meaningful way, e.g. by supporting members or occupational health projects in the developing world or by utilising some of these funds to advertise Medichem for dealing with the problem of a decreasing membership.
The Board Meeting proposed to leave the membership dues at USD 50 per year. No comments were made and no opposition raised.
The Board decided to leave the funds for the 2001 Scholarship and Medichem Prize Schemes
unchanged, i.e. a maximum of USD 2000 each for no more than 3 scholarships, and USD 250 for each of the 6 Prize contestants plus USD 500 for the Prize winner.
Only about 10 members make regular use of the scheme of reduced membership fees which is comfortably within the limit of 40 that was originally established. No changes or decisions are necessary other than that economically disadvantaged members can be encouraged to make use of this scheme.
In 1999, ten companies paid a total of USD 11,480 in sustaining membership dues. In 2000, the following companies have so far paid their sustaining membership dues: Solvay, Hoffmann-La Roche, Dow, Novartis, Boots, BP, DSM, Employers’ Union of the German Chemical Industry (all USD 1000), BASF (USD 480). Payment will be solicited (as last year) from Borealis. Neste, after a merger with Fortum, is no longer a sustaining member. A contribution of DEM 3000 towards the publication of the Vienna Congress proceedings without formal sustaining membership came from the German Chemical Industry’s Accident Liability Insurance Fund.
This means that we can expect to have 10 sustaining contributors in 2000 which is one less than in 1999. Furthermore, due to retirement of key contacts or mergers in the industry, it is likely that we will lose two sustaining members in 2001 which is relevant as almost half of Medichem's income results from sustaining memberships.
In the next 12 months, new efforts are needed to increase the number of sustaining members.
Medichem has gained few new members in the past 12 months. An effort by the secretary to encourage each member to recruit one new member in 2000 has had little effect. Five new members were gained through this initiative. Active local members and active National Representatives are of paramount importance to promote membership locally.
It is the aim to use the 2002 Medichem conference to boost Medichem membership in the US. Other target areas for recruiting members are those in the process of industrialisation, e.g. China, India and other regions of Asia as well as Africa and Latin America. It was also pointed out that whilst this was true, the traditional strongholds of Medichem in Western Europe should not be neglected either.
Ted Smith, former Board Member, is the issue manager for the question of NR's. He had submitted a number of proposals at the Officers' Meeting in Nottingham which were also presented and discussed here. These proposals were: 1) Redefine the role of the NR's, select, motivate and train a group of interested members. 2) The NR's should become a stronger group giving input to Medichem leadership possibly by being represented on the Board. 3) A group of strong NR's should be assembled at Medichem 2001 in Prague and should be invited to agree a set of rules and goals for their role and activities.