ABSA Past Presidents
1985 Everett Hanel
1986 Jerry Tulis, PhD
1987 Jonathan Richmond, PhD, RBP
1988 John H. Richardson, PhD, RBP
1989 Joseph Songer
1990 Diane Fleming, PhD, RBP, CBSP
1991 Emmett Barkley, PhD
1992 Gerald Spahn, PhD, CBSP
1993 Jerome Schmidt, PhD, CBSP
1994 Mary Cipriano, RBP, CBSP
1995 Manny Barbeito, CBSP
1996 Byron Tepper, PhD, CBSP
1997 Joseph Van Houten, PhD, RBP, CBSP
1998 Richard Knudsen
1999 Marilyn Misenhimer
2000 Jack Keene, DrPH, RBP, CBSP
2001 Debra Hunt, DrPH, RBP, CBSP
2002 Maureen (Best) Ellis, RBP
2003 Barbara Johnson, PhD, RBP
2004 Stefan Wagener, PhD, RBP, CBSP
2005 Betsy Gilman-Duane, RBP, CBSP
2006 Glenn Funk, PhD, CBSP
2007 Bob Hawley, PhD, RBP, CBSP
2008 Chris Thompson, RBP, CBSP
2009 Bob Ellis, PhD, CBSP
2010 Ben Fontes, MPH
2011 Karen Byers, MS, RBP, CBSP
2012 LouAnn Burnett, MS, CBSP
Barbara Fox Nellis, SM(NRCM), RBP, CBSP,
Welcome to the President's page of the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) website. I extend my personal appreciation to all our current and hopefully soon to be members for making ABSA one of the leading authorities in the vast and growing field of Biological Safety and Security. As networking is one of our highest priorities, this website is just one of many communication tools offered by ABSA. Others include the Journal, seminars, webinars, conferences, the list- serve and training venues. It is my personal goal to reach out to as many individuals dealing with Biosafety and Biosecurity as possible during my one year as your President. I joined ABSA in 1989 for the network of professionals who seems so willing to share their knowledge with me without expecting anything in return. This has not changed even after all these years and I learn from every interaction at ABSA and especially at the annual conference. I believe we have only scratched the surface on the levels of those who are working on the front lines with highly infectious agents. Examples of expanding new areas of concern include the proliferation of Human Gene Therapy competent viral vector protocols being carried out in Clinics and Doctor's office around the world and the various Flu, SARS and other infectious organisms that defy being kept in one structural easily identified form and continue to mutate and challenge us to identify, prevent, contain or control.
ABSA is known for being welcoming, mentoring and for providing a wealth of information including the more practical day to day needs of its membership. Currently membership is world-wide and includes government, industry, academia, hospitals, consultants and many more too numerous to mention. We hope to continue this outreach effort and expand to include the cutting edge needs of our community, affiliates and alliances. There is much that we know but so much more that we need to learn to keep up with our ever changing environment both physical and regulatory. Providing the right services to our membership community in a timely fashion is another goal we take very seriously and can only help in the prevention of potential exposures and inadvertent releases of infectious agents. The members, who essentially are ABSA, are the critical link in the entire process and we need their continued involvement in Teams, Committees and the overall Leadership of ABSA. We must engage our members and develop new leaders while creating work products and benefits. I strongly urge any new or existing member to email the ABSA office or me directly if you are interested in serving on any team or committee. The details for all the committees are on the website. Together we can be a very strong force in Biosafety since people are the most important resource.
As your President, I believe all of you are my customers and I am here at your request to move the ABSA community forward for the next year. I absolutely cannot do this alone and need everyone's help and support. The economy continues to be a challenge to all associations and another of my goals is fiscal responsibility without sacrificing the basics. We are all being challenged to create, innovate and simply do more with less. I have also committed to our new Strategic Plan which requires a vision, core purpose and core organizational values. Goals and objectives will roll down to the teams and committees allowing them to create their own set of specific, measureable objectives. Strategic Planning requires a commitment to review and respond and keep the membership in touch with any progress being made on their behalf. The member engagement cards used at the past two conferences gave ABSA a tremendous amount of good suggestions, ideas and opportunities for improvement as well as constructive criticism. We need your continued input to the Council.
In summary, my personal focus for 2013 includes implementing the Strategic Plan, finding innovative ways to spread out the work on our teams and committees, developing more opportunities for new members to participate with support from more experienced members to start, balancing the budget and finding creative ways to reward ABSA's tireless and often overworked volunteer community. Our world is constantly changing, our workforce of volunteers is changing and we need to position ABSA to work within these environments in the best interest of all the members and the entities that they all serve.
I am honored that you elected me to this position and will do my absolute best to lead the association forward in a productive, professional manner while listening to you all. We are a community committed to providing the safest work environments possible for all people working in and around biological hazards. It is a huge delicate balance of personalities and reality but together we can do it.
Barbara Fox Nellis, SM(NRCM), RBP, CBSP