Change in SVP Management Association

February 22, 2012

Change in SVP Management Association
2012, February 22nd

I am writing to notify you of a change in the association that manages the SVP. In June 2012, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biologists (FASEB) will take over management of the society from the Sherwood Group. The SVP Executive Committee reached this decision after several months of assessing our current levels of service, assessing the Sherwood Group and other management associations, and evaluating the costs and benefits of each management association.

An ad-hoc committee of current and former members of the SVP Executive Committee was formed in the Spring of 2011 to review and assess SVP’s needs in terms of management services. It was decided to seek bids for SVP management, mainly as a matter of due diligence (evaluating the performance of Sherwood in relation to the expense, and determining whether or not we would be served better by a different management association). This was the first time that such an assessment has occurred since Sherwood started to manage SVP in 1999.

The committee invited ten association-management companies, including Sherwood, to submit proposals for SVP management. After reviewing three bids, the committee interviewed two—Sherwood and FASEB—at the SVP meetings in Las Vegas. Various committee chairs also participated in the interviews. We had numerous follow-up communications with both organizations about costs, personnel allocations, specific services, and transition costs.

Our decision to make the transition to FASEB was made with deliberation after a detailed comparison of personnel, services and expenses. We have received good service from the Sherwood Group for more than a decade, and are grateful for the work and commitment of the Sherwood staff. The transition period will involve extra work on the part of many and entail the termination of some long-standing relationships. However, our decision reflects our judgment that SVP will function with great vitality and efficiency with FASEB. The FASEB staff has considerable experience managing a range of scientific organizations, has a robust management structure, has received positive reviews from members of other organizations who have worked with FASEB, and has a cost-effective fee structure. The change will not incur a substantial increase in expenses for SVP, and should entail some new operational efficiencies.

The contracts have been signed, and the transition is underway. By mid-June, most of the daily management of the SVP will transfer from Sherwood to FASEB. This will include membership issues, the website and most committee work not directly involved with the annual meeting. Sherwood and FASEB will both be involved in making the 2012 SVP meeting in Raleigh a success, with the former handling the abstract system, the development of awards, and general management of the meeting. Registration, business and committee meetings, and general SVP management will be handled by FASEB. Both companies are working closely together to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible.

Your experiences with the day-to-day operations of the society should continue without any noticeable interruptions or changes; however, you will probably encounter minor differences in procedures, addresses and personnel as the transition progresses. And we hope you will personally join us in Raleigh to acknowledge and thank personnel of Sherwood for their long years of service to your Society, and to welcome key staff of FASEB who will be responsible for carrying us forward in the future.

With best wishes,
Philip J. Currie, President