A Note From the President

Published in October Issue             

Friends and Colleagues,

We recently had our annual ASMBS elections for your executive leadership and I am pleased to announce that the two new executive council members-at-large are Natan Zundel and Teresa LaMasters. Our next Secretary/Treasurer is Matt Hutter and he will progress to president-elect and president over the next two years. Congratulations to these great leaders and we look forward to your successful terms of office in service to our
great organization.

The voting turnout for these elections has never been very good for our society. Itís unclear to me why that is, especially since we hear a lot from members about wanting to have their voices heard more clearly. Your executive council members-at-large are your voice when it comes to important decisions in the society and they represent the diverse group of members and practices that makes up the ASMBS. In past years, weíve had about 10-15% of the membership vote. This year, we tried a new strategy of providing the state chapter presidents regular feedback regarding their stateís participation during the voting period. We then asked the chapter presidents to go directly to you and encourage your vote. While turnout wasnít as high as I had hoped, it was the highest ever for our society at 20%. I hope this is the beginning of a trend toward more engagement and participation from the membership with regards to the critical decisions that we make to keep our organization relevant and vital.

On another topic, I would like to announce our new SOARD
Co-Editor-in-Chief. As most of you know, Harvey Sugerman has taken our journal from its beginning to a top tier surgical journal. Our impact factor is 4.96 which places us 11th among 196 surgical journals. There is no doubt that all credit for the success of SOARD goes to Dr. Sugerman and the editorial board he selected. We have been discussing a succession plan for Dr. Sugerman for several years and we felt that now is the appropriate time to do so. After discussions with Dr. Sugerman and our publisher, Elsevier, we have decided to implement a transition plan for the next Editor-in-Chief. The newly appointed Co-Editor-in-Chief will work with Dr. Sugerman over the next three years to incrementally increase their responsibility in running the journal. At the end of the transition period, that person will become the Editor-in-Chief of SOARD. I formed a search committee comprised of myself, John Morton, Bruce Wolfe, Alfons Pomp, Rich Peterson, Harvey Sugerman, Georgeann Mallory and Samer Mattar. We put out an international call for applicants and received over 25 applications and personal statements. After many conference calls and deliberations, we narrowed the field to four finalists who each conducted a phone interview with the committee. I am pleased to announce that Raul Rosenthal was unanimously chosen by the search committee to fill this important position. As our Immediate Past President and an internationally renowned surgeon and researcher, Raul will lead our journal into the future and I am confident SOARD will be in good hands for many years to come.

Our 34th annual meeting at ObesityWeek is upon us.
The courses and scientific programs are outstanding and we have exciting social events planned as well as trips to Capitol Hill for those who want to meet their representatives in Congress and discuss policies to increase access to care for obesity treatment. I hope to see you there.

Best wishes,