2011 Service - Harold Metcalf Northeast
Lewis Meixler has been a dedicated supporter of the FLC Northeast Region for many years in several capacities, including Deputy Regional Coordinator and his current position as Regional Coordinator. He has been especially committed to taking steps to reengage laboratories in the region—which covers Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Puerto Rico—that had become inactive and to personally reach out to other laboratories that were not involved in the FLC.
One important change Meixler implemented was the format of the biannual regional meeting. Rather than trying to attract members to the meetings with glitzy locations and spa-like facilities, he changed the meeting locations to FLC laboratories. This setup made it possible to include onsite tours of the hosting labs, thereby allowing members to see firsthand examples of technology transfer best practices and successes. This change also had the advantage of reducing the cost of the meetings significantly, which in turn made it less costly for members to attend. An additional advantage of the compact nature of the Northeast Region was to hold meetings at central locations that would allow members to attend without extra travel expenses. Diligence in minimizing the costs has allowed the Region to hold meetings with registration costs under $80—and several at no cost.
To reactivate dormant laboratories, Meixler personally visited them. This took a considerable amount of effort, and was accomplished over a long period of time. The initial labs he visited were in the New Jersey area, but eventually his outreach expanded to the entire Northeast Region. This “missionary trip” was quite successful: lab participation in the Region has increased significantly, with high-level lab representatives participating in the regional meetings. The results are in the numbers: from a minimal laboratory representative (and alternate representative) attendance of 13 at the 2004 meeting to 36 in 2010 (which is more than the 28 labs in the Region).