The Evolution of a New Generation of Scientific Thought Leaders
In early 2009, the Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS) and the Association for Laboratory Automation (ALA) began discussing ways the organizations could work together to further their respective and similar missions. These discussions led SBS and ALA to recognize that coordinating programs and activities offered many significant advantages. Accordingly, SBS and ALA assigned a task force of eight experienced volunteer leaders, four from SBS and four from ALA, to explore options and determine the viability of an SBS-ALA amalgamation and, if viable, to define its appropriate structure. The task force unanimously concluded that both SBS and ALA could be strengthened by merging into a new entity that advanced their common missions and goals while respecting and protecting the unique individual histories and identities of SBS and ALA.
Rationale (1 + 1 = 3)
Members of the SBS and ALA Boards of Directors agreed that merging the organizations would significantly advance the organizations' respective goals and, thereby, benefit individual members of both organizations and the public at large, expanding opportunities and strength by:
- Embracing and building shared goals and priorities
- Expanding organizational scope and global influence
- Elevating the quality and significance of annual conferences and exhibitions
- Enhancing the reach, impact and efficiency of promotional opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors
- Streamlining operational costs and increasing administrative efficiencies
- Creating a sound financial foundation for organizational maintenance and growth
As part of SBS and ALA's investigation regarding the viability of consolidation, each organization conducted a thorough due diligence review of the other. Following the completion of these reviews, both organizations agreed that the idea of a merger was both viable and attractive. After that, a formal Plan and Agreement of Merger was developed outlining the terms and conditions of such a merger for consideration by the boards of directors of both organizations.
Agreement and Recommendation
In January 2010, comprehensive plans were presented and discussed by both boards of directors. After the boards of directors provided input and made revisions, a final Plan and Agreement of Merger was adopted by both boards via separate resolutions with recommendations that the plan be presented to the SBS and ALA memberships for a vote.
As of May 5, 2010, both memberships officially authorized the merger with more than 95% of the votes cast in favor of the plan. The inspectors for the proxy voting process reported that SBS and ALA exceeded quorum requirements by 124% and 218%, respectively, and certified the results as valid. The SBS Inspector was the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman of Washington, DC. The ALA Inspector was the law firm of Gaido & Fintzen of Chicago, IL.
About the Name
The name Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) is inspired by its origins: the union of two respected and established organizations, the Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS) and the Association for Laboratory Automation (ALA).
The SLAS definition statement, An International Community Advancing Scientific Research and Discovery through Laboratory Technology, communicates at-a-glance a simplified explanation of the SLAS global purpose, mission and desire to appeal to scientists, engineers, professionals, and students from many disciplines and industries.
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