Written by Sean Smith
Earlier today, ASTC president and CEO Anthony (Bud) Rock and ASTC Board of Directors chair Linda Conlon formally opened and led the business meeting portion of the 2016 ASTC Annual Conference at the Tampa Convention Center. Conlon began the meeting by “recognizing the leaders in the field for their service” and promising to share some “highlights of some of the great things [ASTC] has been doing” over the course of the year. Conlon thanked the ASTC staff for their work and encouraged attendees to stay—or get—involved in the organization. “The ASTC staff is a small one, so it really depends on everyone in this room to make [the association] sing. And it does sing.”
Conlon recognized the ASTC Board of Directors for its work; the Board is composed of 23 members from institutions diverse in size and geographic location. Outgoing Board members were then recognized and thanked for their dedicated service to the association and the field, and outgoing Member-at-Large Ronen Mir (Weizman Institute of Science-Levinson Visitors Center, Rehovot, Israel) offered brief remarks. Mir praised the Board for being “a global board leading a global organization,” offered a snapshot of his current and past work in the field, and called upon attendees to “go beyond their own institution[s] and job[s],” promising each that “you will get so much more than you give.”
Conlon then warmly welcomed new Board members Maurice Bitran (Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Canada), Joel Brennan (Discovery World, Milwaukee, Wisconsin), and Sarah George (Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City) into the fold.
Bud Rock followed Conlon’s remarks by offering highlights from ASTC’s ever-growing portfolio, touching upon the award-winning Dimensions magazine; its Communities of Practice; webinars, workshops, social media, and podcasts; the work of the Public Policy Committee and the associated ASTC Legislative Action Center; the excitement surrounding its global engagement and the upcoming International Science Center and Science Museum Day; the fact ASTC is now an affiliate member of the International Council of Museums; and a series of recent “firsts”: Creativity Garden, the Fund-A-Bus minigrant program, the Connected Science Learning journal, the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, and #myscimuseum, where he encouraged attendees to use the platform to share their videos and stories, as “they are the story of what we represent.”
About the image: ASTC Board Chair Linda Conlon and outgoing Board member Ronen Mir