Solaci Board 2011-2013
Rising to the Challenge: SOLACI‚Äôs Outlook
A word from our president ¬†
I assume SOLACI‚Äôs presidency with great honor and I proudly accept the responsibility to fulfill the expectations of those who supported me and of all SOLACI members in and outside Latin America.
With this letter, we start a dialogue that will be maintained during my presidency. Our part is to keep you informed of all ongoing activities and projects and, when fit, of any problems that may arise; conversely, we are opening to our associates‚Äô comments, suggestions and questions, creating an inverse communication channel through our website.
Despite its young age, SOLACI has grown fast and this creates new challenges.
Our administrative and financial restructuring process calls for severe review to bring about effective change and attain a more professional and efficient set up. Therefore, we will build on the initial plan, started with Dar√≠o Echeverri. In keeping with this goal, we have incorporated a new General Manager and will soon introduce changes in our offices, to foster synergy and complement our actions. We will take measures to prevent local inflation and labor costs from impacting the organization, despite neither have we seen a fall or a rise and neither may we see change in the short term. Yet, we will continue to build a stronger foundation for growth and stability.
Though SOLACI is a members society, we will continue to work closely with the National societies to combine efforts and promote results to improve our service offer for all stakeholders. These strategic associations, present and future, include international alliances. We aim at updating, strengthening and improving, the existing alliances and at incorporating new strategic partners.
SOLACI Congress has grown spectacularly over time and is a reference event for our specialty area. This encompasses the challenge of strengthening and improving our meetings year after year. Every time I have had the chance to lend a hand for event organization, I have tried to promote changes, big or small, towards a professional culture. With this idea in mind, we have shaped a logotype to identify our Congress, one to resist the small annual changes the different host countries require. We have also incorporated a software program to smooth Congress organization process, to facilitate scientific program assembling, communication, and travelling arrangements and abstract/case handling, in keeping with the leader organizations of the world. We have also introduced a travel policy for our guest professors, started a Congress journal, SOLACI Daily (Chile 2011 and Argentina 2010 issues are already online) and our night symposia. What is more, the introduction of a General Manager, working closely with Congress President and local societies, gave structure and coherence to our events and aligned service providers, which in turn improved quality and reduced costs.
One of our greatest challenges lies in hosting our Congress in different countries and in constantly changing authorities, which may work against transfer and increase the risk of duplication. But we also face up to the global crisis, the increasing legal limitations for sponsors and a low number of procedures in the region, which discourages new investment while costs keep rising steadily. This daunting scenario hinders performance quality and profitability, and threatens our mere existence, since we do not charge our members. It has forced us to cut down on the glamour (dinner parties and shows) and concentrate on audiovisual projections and live case transmissions, as you were able to appreciate in our last two meetings.
The growth of local societies and the progress of the international societies, as well as the great offer at a global level, also demand the best of us to keep our associates‚Äô interest and encourage their participation. Participating of our sessions, conferences, website and registry, attending our joint sessions at important events (like TCT and PCR) and working together in the development of new activities, is key for us to consolidate what our predecessors have accomplished.
Our website has been changed and its content renewed also to adapt to our competition, which excels in variety and quality. The reaction of users has been very positive, and we will keep working to increase and improve our content to get closer to our readers and users.
Finally, our ultimate goal is to increase the number of associates, to get massive participation and to consolidate a new management, committed to SOLACI‚Äôs mission, to project us into our best future.
With sincere affection and appreciation,
Oscar A Mendiz, MD.
President of SOLACI.