Councilor Talking Points – ACS NOLA

Councilor Talking Points: Summary of Governance Issues and Actions

The following summary is provided to help Councilors report to their Local Sections and Divisions on key actions of the ACS Council meeting held March 21, and Board of Directors meetings held March 16-18, at the 2018 spring national meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Actions of the Council

Election Results

Candidates for President-Elect, 2019

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections presented to the Council the following nominees for selection as candidates for President-Elect, 2019: Harmon B. Abrahamson, Luis A. Echegoyen, Thomas R. Gilbert, and Mary Virginia Orna. By electronic ballot, the Council selected Luis A. Echegoyen and Thomas R. Gilbert as candidates for 2019 President-Elect.  These two candidates, along with any candidates selected via petitions, will stand for election in the Fall National Election.

                                    President-Elect, 2019a

Nominee 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round
Harmon B. Abrahamson 84
*Luis A. Echegoyen 116 132 152
*Thomas R. Gilbert 129 168 206
Mary Virginia Orna 92 117

a421 valid electronic ballots were cast, with 211 being the majority. The results of the first preference vote totals are shown in the 1st round column. No nominee attained a majority. Following the procedures approved by Council, second-preference votes were distributed in two subsequent rounds. Those marked with an * were declared elected as candidates.

Candidates for Districts I and V

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the results of the election held prior to the New Orleans meeting to select candidates from the list of nominees for Directors from District I and District V on the Board of Directors for the term 2019-2021. By internet ballot, the Councilors from these districts selected Katherine L. Lee and Laura E. Pence as District I candidates; and John E. Adams and Joseph A. Heppert as District V candidates.  Ballots will be distributed on or before October 1 to all ACS members in District I and District V for election of a Director from each District.


Nominee 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round
*Laura E. Pence 22 26
*Katherine L. Lee 9 9 18
Gerard F. Parkin 7 9 11
Mary K. Carroll 6



Nominee 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round
*John E. Adams 24 27
*Joseph A. Heppert 12 14 26
Mark C. Cesa 10 10 13
Catherine H. Middlecamp 5


a The results of the first preference vote totals are shown in the 1st round column. No nominee attained a majority. Following the procedures approved by Council, second-preference votes were distributed in two subsequent rounds. Those marked with an asterisk (*) were declared elected as candidates.


Candidates for Directors-at-Large

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced the selection of the following candidates for Directors-at-Large for 2019-2021 terms: Frank D. Blum, Lee H. Latimer, Ingrid Montes, and Angela W. Peters.  The election of two Directors-at-Large from among these four candidates and any selected via petition will be conducted in the fall.  Ballots will be distributed to the Council on or before October 1, 2018.

Special Interim Election: Committee on Committees

  • The Committee on Nominations and Elections announced that Susan M. Schelble received 142 votes to Rick Ewing’s 128 votes to fill a vacancy on the Committee on Committees (ConC) for a full two-year term (2018-2019).

Other Council Actions

Amendments to the ACS Bylaws

  • The Council approved Petition on the Composition of Society Committees [Bylaw III, Sec. 3, e, (3), (4), and (8)], which will change the requirement for Councilors on Society Committees from at least two thirds (2/3) to a majority, and remove the requirement that the Chair and Vice-Chair of a Society Committee must be Councilors.
  • The Petition for Election of Committee Chairs [Bylaw III, Sec. 3, c, (1); d, 3, (3), (8); e, (3), (8); g, (3); i (3)], which would allow the voting members of all ACS committees to select their own Chairs, failed to gain the approval of Council.

2019 Member Dues

  • The Council voted on the recommendation of the Committee on Budget and Finance to set the member dues for 2019 at the fully escalated rate of $175. This rate is established pursuant to an inflation-adjustment formula in the ACS Constitution and Bylaws.

 Distribution Formula for Division Funding

  • The proposed formula for allocating dues funds to divisions, recommended by the Committee on Divisional Activities, was recommitted to the committee.

 Continuation of Committees

  • The Council approved the recommendation of the Committee on Committees that the Committee on Ethics be continued; and that the committees on Publications and on Younger Chemists be continued contingent on approval by the Board of Directors.


  • The Council passed several resolutions:
    • in memory of ACS Past President Ronald Breslow and other deceased Councilors;
    • in gratitude for the officers and members of the Louisiana Section, host for the 255th National Meeting, the divisional program chairs, symposium organizers, and ACS staff for the planning and execution of the meeting; and
    • to recognize Dr. Harry P. Schultz, former Councilor for the South Florida Section (1974-1977), on the occasion of his 100th

Highlights from Committee Reports

Online Preference Forms for Councilors

All Councilors, including new Councilors, were reminded to complete their online committee preference form for 2019 committee assignments, which is open from March 26 – June 8, 2018 at (log in required).

Nominations and Elections

The Committee on Nominations and Elections solicits Councilors’ input of qualified individuals for President-Elect and/or Directors for future consideration.  Suggestions may be sent to [email protected].

Budget and Finance

In 2017, ACS generated a Net from Operations of $28.6 million, which was $4.8 million higher than 2016.  Total revenues were $553.1 million, increasing 5.0% or $26.4 million over 2016.  Expenses ended the year at $524.5 million, which was $21.6 million or 4.3% higher than prior year.  This was attributable to strong performance from the Society’s Information Service units (CAS and ACS Publications) and a continued emphasis on expense management across the ACS.

Additional information can be found at  At bottom, click ‘About ACS’, then ‘ACS Financial Information’.  There you will find several years of the Society’s audited financial statements and IRS 990 filings.


The ACS ended 2017 with over 150,000 members. While this means that ACS remains the world’s largest scientific society, this number represents a continuing decline in overall membership for the sixth year in a row.  The Committee on Membership Affairs is committed to working with Council, the Board of Directors, the Committee on Budget and Finance, ACS staff, and other stakeholders to halt this trend and return ACS to a growing and engaged membership.

New Orleans Meeting Attendance

As of Monday, March 19:

Attendees                8,470

Students                   6,432

Exhibitors                    877

Expo only                    301

Guests                         505

Total                      16,585


Petitions to Amend Constitution and Bylaws

New petitions to amend the Constitution or Bylaws must be received by the Executive Director no later than May 2 to be included in the Council agenda for consideration at the fall 2018 meeting in Boston.  Contact the Committee on Constitution and Bylaws with any questions or requests for information at [email protected]

Actions of the Board of Directors

The Board’s Executive Session

The ACS Board of Directors met in Executive Session March 16-17, and considered a number of key strategic issues and responded with several actions.

The Board’s Committees

The Board of Directors received and discussed reports from its committees on Executive Compensation, Strategic Planning, Corporation Associates, Pensions and Investments, Professional and Member Relations, the Joint Board-Council Policy Committee Task Force on Governance Design, the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications, and the Leadership Advisory Board.  In particular,

  • The Board received an extensive briefing and approved several recommendations from its Committee on Executive Compensation.  The compensation of the Society’s executive staff continues to receive regular review from the Board.
  • On the recommendation of the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications, the Board voted to approve the reappointments of Editors-in-Chief for several ACS journals.  Those appointments will be announced in C&EN once the appointed individuals have been notified and arrangements for their continued service have been made.
  • On the recommendation of the Committee on Professional and Member Relations, the Board approved a Society nominee for the 2019 King Faisal International Prize for Science, and screened lists of nominees for the 2019 Priestley Medal and the ACS Award for Volunteer Service. The Board will select the recipients of these latter two awards from the screened lists provided.
  • The Board liaison to the Leadership Advisory Board gave an update on the history of the Advisory Board and the ACS Leadership Program, and offered key observations and strategic questions regarding the direction of the program in light of future Society and member needs.
  • The Board liaison to the Committee on Corporation Associates offered an update on the future design state of the committee in the context of the landscape for chemical corporations and professional societies.
  • The co-chair of the Task Force on Governance Design offered brief comments on its written interim report and provided a preview of its planned presentation to the Councilor caucuses focusing on streamlining the Society’s governing documents.

The Executive Director/CEO Report

The Board received an extensive report from the Executive Director and CEO on issues relating to the Safety and Professionalism core values of the Society as well as on Membership, ACS financial performance, Operational Excellence, and upcoming events and activities.  He also led a discussion on the strategic direction of the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) and its ramifications for ACS.  His direct reports then engaged in discussions with the Board on the activities, opportunities and challenges of the Education Division, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), and the ACS Publications Division.

Other Society Business

As is customary, the Board heard reports from the Presidential Succession on their current and planned activities for 2018.  Several presidential symposia and events incorporating and supporting the meeting’s theme of Food, Energy and Water were highlighted in those reports.

Board Resolution

Finally, the Board approved a resolution that recognizes and applauds the United Nations for proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table, and pledged that the Society will do its utmost to recognize and participate in events celebrating this important scientific milestone and achievement.

The Board’s Regular (Open) Session

The Board held a well-attended open session on March 18, which featured a presentation from Dr. Lisa M. Balbes (Balbes Consultants, LLC) on Nontraditional Careers in Chemistry: Thinking Outside the Beaker. She also introduced two alumni from the ACS Scholars Program, Brandon Presley and Isa Watson, who briefly shared their careers paths to date with the assembled audience.

Prior to the presentation, the Board Chair gave a report on Board actions and issues from its Executive Session March 16-17. Members of the presidential succession and the Executive Director & CEO also offered brief reports on their activities.  The officers provided more extensive reports on their activities and/or future plans as part of their written and oral reports to the Council.

Contact the Board

Your Board of Directors is elected by and acts in the best interests of the members of the Society.  Please contact them with your comments, concerns, ideas, and suggestions at [email protected].


The following is a list of URLs and email addresses for supplemental information offered in oral reports at the Council meeting.


Peter K. Dorhout, President                              [email protected]

Bonnie A. Charpentier, President-Elect              [email protected]

Allison A. Campbell, Immediate Past President  [email protected]


ACS Offices

Office of Secretary & General Counsel               [email protected]

Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Coordinator        [email protected]



Budget and Finance                                  à About ACS à Financial Information

Constitution and Bylaws                                   [email protected]

Economic and Professional Affairs

Work-related Visa Working Group            [email protected]

Local Section Activities                           

Nominations and Elections                               [email protected]

Women Chemists                                             [email protected]


Resources on the Web

Committee Preference Forms                 

Highlights of ACS Achievements              

Governing Documents                            

Resources on mentoring                         

Guidelines & Recommendations on

Teaching HS / Middle School Chemistry

Career Consultant Program                     

  • Legal Resource Manual for Divisions and Local Sections (2nd Edition)
  • Freedom to Meet Without Limitation