By Alice Kay
The 2019 Stempra AGM was recently held on Monday 25 March at The Castle, Farringdon. It was great to see so many people there – around 30 members attended this year – and it was lovely to catch up with everyone over a drink and plateful of delicious pub food.
It was also a slightly sad occasion as we bid several outgoing committee members farewell, particularly Claire Hastings. Claire has served on the committee for four years, including as Chair of Stempra for the last two, and has done a fantastic job during that time. She gave a brief run through of everything Stempra has accomplished over the past year, and it was a very impressive summary indeed. In brief:
• 13 Stempra events were held in 2018/19, including 3 outside London.
• the number of paid-up members has increased significantly
• 6 newsletters were issued with a substantial increase in members subscribing
• The mentoring scheme, Stempra Buddies, has been a great success
• The Stempra Guide to Being a Media Officer was updated, and now features a shiny new best practice guide for biomedical press releases
Our Treasurer Trish also gave an update on the state of Stempra’s finances, which are in pretty good shape. However, it was clear that the website needed investment to resolve various bugs, and that the cost of running events in London was increasing, so the AGM approved a small increase to the membership fee from £15 to £17 per year. That change will come into effect over the next couple of months.
The AGM then appointed the new committee. In response to demand from members based outside London, an online voting form was provided for the first time this year. This allowed members who couldn’t make it to the AGM to vote on the committee appointments and other items for discussion. To increase the capacity of the committee, those at the AGM voted on the night to appoint all five non-portfolio candidates to the committee this year. Your new committee members are:
Chair: Rob Dawson
Treasurer: Daisy Barton
Secretary: Fiona Dennehy
Membership Coordinator: Chris Melvin
Website Editor: Jonathan Cooke
Non-portfolio committee members: Robin Bisson, Tom Bragg, Jo Kelly, Simon Moore, Ed Pinches
Fiona Lethbridge, Fareha Lasker (Newsletter Coordinator), Emily Head (Events Coordinator) and Erin Johnson (Social Media Coordinator) remain on the committee.
Claire Hastings (former Chair), Trish Regis (former Treasurer), Alice Kay (former Secretary), Omar Jamshed, and Justine Alford (former Website Editor) all stood down from the committee.
Thank you and farewell to all outgoing committee members, and a big welcome and hello to our new committee!