ABSA International Update
In This Issue:
Principles & Practices of Biosafety
Certification Review Course
Training Tools/Resources Committee
Technical & Regulatory Review
ABSA Owned Courses
Biosafety Buyer's Guide
Anthology XIV Sustainability
Remembering Byron Tepper
Letter for Employer Support
ABSA International Council
President: Melissa Morland
Hello ABSA Colleagues!
I'm excited to provide you with a brief quarterly update of the activities of your ABSA International Council. The volunteers who comprise the Council have been very busy working on your behalf. I'm providing you some information on major accomplishments or projects underway.
The ABSA Council continues to facilitate the implementation of the Strategic Plan by engaging membership and setting goals through committees and teams. A thorough review of the ABSA organizational structure was conducted to ensure we were best organized to support our Strategic Plan, since then a number of changes have taken place. Some committees were combined, moved to task forces, or sunset. In addition to reorganizing, it is apparent that ABSA must focus on leadership development for the success of the organization. ABSA is only as good as the much appreciated efforts of our members. A Leadership Development Task Force is in the process of development and will focus on how our volunteers are recruited, placed, and developed.
Following our 2015 Annual Conference, the White House released a memorandum regarding the next steps to enhance and strengthen oversight of biosafety and biosecurity in the United States. ABSA actively participated in multiple aspects of this review and many of ABSA's recommendations can be seen throughout the report. ABSA International commented on this report and has been approached to work with federal agencies as the implementation plan moves forward to create a thorough, robust, and engrained culture of safety that supports best biosafety practices.
At the 2015 Spring Council Meeting, the ABSA Council developed a mega-issue to concentrate ABSA's efforts on promoting the value of the biosafety profession as partners with other disciplines, agencies, and organizations to prepare for and respond to emerging infectious diseases and other public health emergencies. The Mega-Issue Task Force reported their findings and suggestions to Council in October. In support of their recommendations, ABSA International created a Task Force to develop an infectious disease outbreak preparedness consortium This Task Force will also work with the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium (GHSAC). ABSA International is also the Coordinator for the Professional Associations Working Group for the GHSAC. In this capacity, our charge is to develop and engage the Professional Associations Working Group within the GHSAC. ABSA representatives attended the February 25, 2016 meeting and presented a summary of the working group members' initiatives.
In January 2016, ABSA International participated in 2 valuable events. ABSA partnered with the CDC to present the 14th CDC International Symposium on Biosafety. ABSA also partnered with the American Society of Microbiology, American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation, and CRDF Global for the 2016 Laboratory Safety Leadership Summit.
Many ABSA committees have already started planning for the next ABSA Conference to be held in Grapevine, Texas from September 30 - October 5, 2016. We hope that you are planning to attend! More information can be found at www.absaconference.org. In addition, ABSA is the managing partner for the USDA ARS 5th International Biosafety and Biocontainment Symposium to be held February 6-9, 2017. The Steering Committee has been formed and will meet this spring. More information can be found at http://arssymposium.absa.org/.
I would like to thank all of you for your continued support of our organization and a special thanks to our volunteer leaders. This update only contains highlights of the activities; please don't hesitate to contact me or any ABSA Council member for additional information. We welcome and look forward to your input and continued support.
Distance Learning Committee
Co-Chairs: Maryjo Lanzillotta and Kathleen Kennedy
After the ABSA Conference in October, the DLC had their final webinar for 2015 on October 23 titled Occupational Health Webinar-it was the highest attendance in DLC history with 74 attendees. The DLC worked with the Preconference Course Committee to bring 2 instructors and their courses to the webinar/online arena as they have taken on Council leadership roles. The committee continues to work on developing course ideas throughout the year.
The DLC goal for 2016 is to advertise webinars at least 3-6 months in advance. DLC sent invites to SMEs of 2015 webinars about reoffering their webinar in 2016. Dates have been secured and advertising has begun for 2016. Webinars that are being reoffered will be revised, as needed based on feedback from the surveys and instructor comments. Different subcommittees are currently working on reconstructing 2 webinars; developing 3 new webinars, and 4 self-paced webinars. The DLC is proud to announce that for 2016 there are over 10 webinars already on the schedule for the year. Topics include biosecurity, occupational health, training, communication, virology, and much more. For a list of the current webinars, please visit https://www.absa.org/eduonline.html.
Principles & Practices of Biosafety
Co-Chairs: Paul Jennette and Jeff Owens
The most recent course was held in San Diego, California from February 21-26, 2016. In addition to the Co-Chairs, Pat Condreay, Dee Zimmerman, Paul Meechan, and Hallie Hoskins instructed 42 participants in this class. The next course will be July 10-15, 2016 at the Embassy Suites-Portland Downtown, Portland, Oregon. To register for this course, please visit http://www.absa.org/eduppb.html.
Certification Review Course Committee
Co-Chairs: Rita D'Angelo and Willie Wong
The instructors have been responding to questions from participants of the online Advanced Biosafety Training Series. The registration for the Advanced Biosafety Training Modules (Certification Review Course Modules) can be found at http://www.absa.org/educbsp.html.
Preconference Course Committee
Co-Chairs: Corrie Ntiforo and Carrie Smith
The committee is in the submittal phase of course proposals for the submission process for the annual meeting. Our first 2 committee conference calls have been scheduled for this year. The first conference call was on February 29 and covered the review process and expectations of committee members. The second conference call is scheduled for March 23 and will be a 2-hour decision conference call in which courses will be selected for the preconference course program. More information about the preconference courses and the conference can be found at www.absaconference.org.
ABSA "Member-Get-A-Member" Referral Program
We are asking our current members to help recruit new ABSA members. For each new member that current members recruit, they will receive a $50.00 ABSA credit. The credit may be used towards ABSA products such as conference registration, merchandise, membership, publications, and courses. Newly recruited members must have not been members for the last 2 years. To be eligible, referring members must be good standing ABSA members for 2016.
The process is easy! Ask your coworkers and friends to join ABSA and e-mail Lena Razin [email protected] with your name as the referring member. The $50 credit will be applied directly to your account as the referring member.
Co-Editors: Karen Byers and Barbara JohnsonIn support of the ABSA International mission, Volume 20, Number 4 of Applied Biosafety provided peer-reviewed resources for biosafety professionals. In addition to a Guest Editorial on the Global Health Security Agenda and Biosafety Associations, original articles discussed the evaluation of decontamination effectiveness, PAPR protection, detecting and differentiating pox virus and pox virus vectors, and safe transport of 100,000 Risk Group 3 samples. In addition, Special Features columns discussed animal facility emergency response plans, occupational health perspectives on response to laboratory incidents and accidents, and summarized papers on flu vaccine design and an LAI report on a vaccinia infection in a recently immunized laboratory worker. Update on Applied Biosafety transition to SAGE Publishing: Barbara Johnson and Karen Byers, Coeditors-in-Chief; David Gillum, Associate Editor; and Karen Savage, Managing Editor, have all been trained on using the SAGE journal management website. We anticipate posting new Manuscript Submission Guidelines on the ABSA International website soon. We've started to work with the SAGE team producing the Volume 21, Number 1 issue. To submit a manuscript, please visit https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/apb. SAGE issued a press release about partnering with ABSA to produce Applied Biosafety.
Scientific Program Committee
Co-Chairs: Darlene Ward and Betsy Matos
The committee has reviewed the conference evaluations and made notes on what members would like for the 2016 conference. The SPC Co-Chairs have also updated the Speaker's Guidelines, reviewed the SPC Policies & Procedures, attended a presentation for a potential Keynote, and helped OASIS submitters with their abstracts. In addition, SPC has had 2 teleconferences and is currently looking at Keynotes for the conference and reaching out to the LAC for suggestions. The committee has 2 SPC members who have volunteered to be Co-Chairs. Lastly, the Co-Chairs are in the process of updating the poster evaluation form.
The Call for Papers has been sent. We encourage members to submit Abstracts in order to share innovative ideas to address contemporary issues facing biosafety professionals. The link to the submission site is http://absaconference.org/call-for-papers/. The deadline for submissions is March 24, 2016.
Local Arrangements Committee
Co-Chairs: Patrick Conley
The Texas Team has worked with the ABSA Office to review the conference location and have identified and selected the Glass Cactus to host Tuesday Night's event. The LAC currently has bids out to several companies to produce the speakers' gifts that will have a Texas flare. The goal is to produce a nice gift that comes under budget. The committee will be reaching out to these companies to produce samples that will be reviewed.
Exhibitors Advisory Committee
Chair: Brandon Rosendahl
The committee has reviewed the 2015 exhibitor's survey results as well as conference evaluation relevant to the exhibit hall. The Exhibitors Advisory Committee (EAC) Chair is currently working on brainstorming ideas that could boost overall traffic. In an effort to recruit new vendors, the EAC has reached out to several organizations that would benefit from attending the next conference as well as working on recruiting new vendors to exhibit at ABSA while attending multiple shows globally. For more information on ABSA Conference exhibits and sponsorship go to http://absaconference.org/sponsorexhibitor-info/.
Co-Chairs: Bruce Whitney and David Gillum
A number of new members have been added and the committee currently has 16 members. The committee met at the annual conference and has held 2 teleconference calls this quarter. The committee is currently working on an LAI article database.
Training Tools/Resources Committee
Co-Chairs: Eleanor Low and David Harbourt
The committee has added several new members to the committee. The committee is currently reviewing submissions and actively adding new ones to the Training Tools/Resources webpage. To view submissions or to submit a new training tool or resource visit http://www.absa.org/trainingtools.html.
Learning Verification Committee
Co-Chairs: Niki Drazenovich and Matthew Fischer
The committee welcomed 4 new members to the committee. The LVC has recently completed question sets for 6 journals, which completes 3 years of journal questions (i.e., 3 CM points). The ABSA Office is working on posting the 3 quizzes on the ABSA website for CM points. The next set of 6 journals will be due in April. The LVC will be identifying more material for the committee to review and generate questions. Additional information and registration can be found at http://www.absa.org/eduonline.html.
Chair: Robert Hawley
The Standards Committee completed the BSL-2 laboratory checklist and was reviewed by all members of the Accreditation Team. The BSL-2 and ABSL-2 accreditation notification to be posted on the ABSA website https://www.absa.org/aiahclap.html is in progress.
There were changes in the accreditation fees. The ABSA Council has approved the revised fee structure. The fee changes notification is posted on the ABSA website https://www.absa.org/pdf/ABSAlabAccreditationInfo.pdf.
Upon receipt of an accreditation request(s), the Accreditation Team is ready to fulfill its mission to accredit the biosafety management programs of U.S.-based entities with containment research laboratories relative to technical and operational competence compatible with applicable regulations, guidelines, and standards.
Co-Chairs: Debra Sharpe and Meghan Seltzer
The committee has drafted comments to the National Science and Technology Council, the Emerging Technologies Interagency Policy Coordination Committee on the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, and provided comments on the FESAP document. The committee also developed a generic agency form letter to use when submitting comments and have implemented legislative bill tracking service through AIHA.
The committee has reviewed over 92 bill summaries and requested 18 bills in their entirety. The committee looks for relevance to the biosafety community during this review of the bills. The committee reviewed those and recommended 4 bills be passed on to the affiliates for action at the individual state level.
Technical and Regulatory Review Committee
Co-Chairs: Eric Steelman and Yolanda Arriaga
Early in the year amendments to the NIH Guidelines were released. The changes being proposed incorporated the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) regarding human gene transfer clinical research protocols. The amendments would specifically affect which protocols go to the RAC, the process by which human gene transfer protocols are reviewed and registered with the NIH, and ultimately streamlining submission requirements. The Committee sent a letter to the Office of Science Policy in November.
We have been working with the Legislative Committee and Public Relations Committee regarding the report from the Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel (FESAP) for the past few months. This report covers several topics such as culture of responsibility, oversight, and incident reporting. Overall this report aims to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity practices and oversight activities. There is more to come with this project.
On November 30, 2015, the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) released a policy statement regarding Inactivated Bacillus anthracis. Even though this policy statement was final and posted, the content deserved attention. Members were asked to comment on the policy and submit comments. A letter to ABSA Council was drafted and submitted on February 9, 2016 for consideration.
The committee is currently working on a review regarding the biennial review and republication of the select agent and toxin list. The biennial review is proposing several amendments to the regulations, adding provisions to address the inactivation of select agents, provisions addressing biocontainment and biosafety, and clarifying regulatory language concerning security, training, incident response, and records. These changes aim to increase the usability of the select agent regulations as well as provide for enhanced program oversight.
FSAP released an announcement requesting comments on the draft policy Opportunity to Dispute an Inspection Report Observation Requiring Corrective Action which allows an entity to dispute inspection report findings. The draft policy is brief, a paragraph outlining details such as whom the dispute should be addressed, content of the letter, as well as follow-up response times. Due to time constraints, the information was sent to the ABSA listserv as well as to all ABSA members via blast email on the week of February 8, 2016. This allowed individuals an opportunity to submit comments on their own behalf.
The policy in the USDA APHIS Environmental Impact Statement; Introduction of the Products of Biotechnology, which includes proposed definitions and 4 approaches to the Environmental Impact Statements. This information was posted to the ABSA Listserv to encourage members to submit comments directly.
Public Relations Committee
Co-Chairs: Rebecca Moritz and Joshua Turse
The committee has finished the proposal for a Public Relations course that the committee put together for Council and potential spokespersons. We have identified 1 individual who would be the instructor. Ideally, the committee would like to have 2 instructors depending on the budget available. The committee has identified 18 topics and the committee members are creating the talking points for each of those topics.
ABSA Owned Course Working Group
Chair: Pat Condreay
The Working Group has been primarily responsible for the Risk Assessment preconference courses. The Working Group is transitioning to the ABSA-owned Course Committee with Willie Wong and Chad Austin as Co-Chairs and several courses under its purview. The ABSA-owned Working Group plans to present Basic Risk Assessment at the 2016 annual meeting.
Biosafety Buyer's Guide
ABSA launched the Biosafety Buyer's Guide in 2014 at http://biosafetybuyersguide.org. As we enter the third year, the Guide has had much success with many visits to the ads and listings. The Guide lists companies and consultants that provide biosafety-related products and services. For more information, contact Karen Savage at [email protected].
Credentialing Maintenance Board
Co-Chairs: Susan Cook and Thomas Leonard
To assist the credentialed biosafety community, the Credentialing Maintenance Board (CMB) continues to explore mechanisms to identify and advertise biosafety-related webinars that are both inexpensive and suitable for certification maintenance (CM) credit. In the last year, the CMB has identified several free or low-cost online options and has preapproved them for CM credits. These activities are listed at http://absa.org/eduonline.html; this page will be updated as new activities are identified. The CMB welcomes input from the credentialed community on other live or online training opportunities that could be pre-approved for CM credit.
There were 72 credentialed biosafety professionals (CBSP and/or RBP) that were scheduled to re-credential for the 2011-2015 cycle. These applications were due on February 1, 2016 and will be reviewed by the CMB in the coming months.
Credentialing Evaluation Board
Co-Chairs: Donald Wang and Betty Kupskay
Since the ABSA conference to February 5, the CEB received a total of 18 applications-2 CBSP and 16 RBP. Both of the CBSP applications were approved. Of the 16 RBP applications, 7 were approved, 7 disapproved and 2 are pending additional information or being held for further discussion.
Anthology XIV: Sustainability
Anthology XIV helps us to better understand how we can create facilities that are more efficient with strategies such as reducing the energy requirements for effective autoclaves, biological safety cabinets, and animal facilities. With sustainability comes commitment for investing in the future, and this Anthology XIV will continue to provide current and forward-thinking information to aid the biosafety community achieve its goals. The Anthology XIV book is available in print and at: http://www.absa.org/pubanth.html.
Co-Chairs: Janet Peterson and David Gillum
The committee is looking forward to a productive year. The first e-blast to the ABSA International membership requesting honor award nominations was sent and the 2016 awards nomination form is now on the ABSA webpage at http://www.absa.org/bioawards.html. Nominations for award nominations are due by June 1, 2016. The committee would like to take this opportunity to encourage all ABSA International members to consider submitting a nomination for one of the honor awards. The committee depends on the membership to nominate deserving individuals to have the very best pool possible from which to select award recipients!
Co-Chairs: Matt Anderson and Sarah Ziegler
The committee has created a blog for news and information of interest to biosafety professionals. The blog address is http://blog.absa.org. The posts are also shown on the main www.absa.org homepage. Submissions of blog posts are open to all members of ABSA and the public. Non-ABSA members must be sponsored by a current ABSA member for their post to be accepted and published. There is a submission form available on the blog site.
We have also begun the preliminary steps towards a complete redesign of the www.absa.org website. The new site will use the Wordpress content management system and will be designed with input from committees, Council, the ABSA Office, and members. The goal is to make the site more user-friendly and appealing by reducing the amount of plain text on the site in favor of a more dynamic and inviting format that hopefully makes it easier to locate the vast resources.
The committee is in search of tech-savvy members who want to make a contribution to the future branding of ABSA and our public face through the website. If interested, please contact the Chair, Matt Anderson, at [email protected].
Co-Chairs: JeT'Aime Newton and Malissa Mayer-Diaz
The committee has received the survey results that were sent out to the new members. They will be looking at the members that would like more information about the mentorship program and give the names and contact information to the Co-Chairs. They will then split the remaining surveys among the committee to make contact and try to find a committee for them to become a part of for the upcoming year.
Chair: David Phillips
The Philanthropic Committee continues to work towards the completion of the basic biosafety on-demand module for low-resource countries. The module is currently in the review stage of the content within the presentation and we anticipate it will be launched before the end of 2016.
Chair: Marian Downing
The 2016 committee has met and started the process of defining the candidates for the 2016 election to include: President-Elect, one Councilor, Secretary, and 4 Nominating Committee members. The committee's Policies and Procedures have been updated and approved; the Call for Nominations to the ABSA membership have been sent. New this year, the President-Elect position can be filled by a previous Council member, a Team Leader or Committee Chair with at least 3 years of experience and 5 years of ABSA membership, or by someone who has served on a Board/Council of a similar organization in the past, or served as president of an ABSA Affiliate, and maintained ABSA membership for a minimum of 5 years as well as ABSA team or committee involvement for 3 years. These changes were instituted in order to expand the pool of candidates for the position of President-Elect. Please go to www.absa.org/aboelections.html for the nomination form. Nominations and suggestions should be sent by March 25, 2016 to [email protected].
Co-Chairs: Althea Capul and Sarah Ziegler
The committee has received a number of requests for mentors following the conference-they are in the process of matching them with mentors. They have also updated our Rules of the Road and our Mentoring Evaluation form, which will be uploaded to the ABSA website. In the next quarter, they will be soliciting past mentors to add their profiles to the my.absa.org site to facilitate the matching process. They are also making minor revisions to the P&P for the Mentoring Committee and will move those forward in the next quarter.
Byron S. Tepper, 85
Baltimore - Byron S. Tepper, 85, Director Emeritus of the Office of Safety and Environmental Health of the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hospital and member of the faculty in the Department of Pathobiology and Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, passed away peacefully on December 15, 2015.
A native of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Byron completed his bachelor's degree at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, his master's degree at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA and his PhD in Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. Following his graduate studies, he accepted a post-doctoral position at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL and joined the Pathobiology faculty at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD in 1960.
Byron's 15-year microbiology research career at Johns Hopkins University included studies on the nutrition and metabolism of cultivatable saprophytic and pathogenic mycobacterial species of Mycobacterium lepraemurium and M. leprae with particular emphasis on growth of M. lepraemurium in cell-free media. He worked with John H. Hanks, PhD as microbiologist and Assistant Director for Administration, American Leprosy Foundation at the Johns Hopkins Leonard Wood Memorial laboratory. His 30 publications spanned 41 years with the majority in American Society for Microbiology journals. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (FAAM) and Academy of Northeastern University.
Byron established and incorporated BioControl, Inc. in 1981 to manage his consulting and other extracurricular business activities that continued until his death. In 1979, he was program director of a four-year National Cancer Institute contract to present two-week annual courses entitled "Control of Biohazards in the Research Laboratory." After NIH funding ended in 1983, Byron continued one-week Control of Biohazards courses under the sponsorship of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and later by BioControl, Inc. until his retirement in 2010. The course continues into its 37th year, under the direction of Richard W. Gilpin. The course reflects Byron's commitment to assist in the training of biosafety officers and allied professionals who require instruction on the recognition and control of biohazards. With associates, his company provided consultation in environmental health and safety specializing in biosafety, laboratory design, laboratory and hospital safety and general safety as well as the biosafety training. Byron also provided service as biosafety officer for emerging biotech companies and served as "outside expert" on Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs).
Byron was a Certified Safety Professional (CSP)-Emeritus and Certified Hazard Control Manager. He had more than 30 years of experience in biosafety, occupational safety and environmental health and was a charter member and President of the American Biological Safety Association (now ABSA International). While President of ABSA, he helped establish the Journal of the American Biological Safety Association and the ABSA biosafety training programs. Byron was also President of the Chesapeake Area Biological Safety Association (ChABSA). In 1998, he was presented ABSA's Arnold G. Wedum Distinguished Achievement Award. He also served on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Laboratory Safety Advisory Committee, State of Maryland Controlled Substance Advisory Council, Board of Directors of the Safety Council of Maryland and the Association of American Medical Colleges Panel on Hazardous Materials. Byron received a National Safety Council and CSHEMA Honorary Life Membership in 2002. In October, 2007, during the 50th Annual Biological Safety Conference, Byron was an invited panelist for a landmark Historical Roundtable to discuss the past 50 years of biosafety because of his significant contributions to the biosafety profession and the society.
Byron loved teaching the Control of Biohazards course and playing the role of educator of the biosafety profession. He was particularly proud of the live bacterial spore aerosol experiments conducted with the students. He also enjoyed his position as Director of the Office of Safety and Environmental Health and the strong support of safety programs by deans of research at the schools of medicine and public health. Byron implemented many innovations in biosafety, including development of the canopy connection (Tepper tepee) to simultaneously remove laboratory air and exhaust from Class II, Type A biosafety cabinets. Under his direction, the Johns Hopkins safety office became one of the premier laboratory design and training organizations in the country.
Byron had a dry sense of humor, read extensively and easily made friends both professionally and personally. He shared his passion for fishing, ocean cruising, collecting coins and figure skating items with his children. He served as board member and president of the Baltimore Figure Skating Club for many years.
He and his wife Shirley R. Tepper (deceased) entertained many of those who worked with him. Byron leaves his 2 children, Alan A. Tepper and Rachel S. (Bradford) Cox and grandchildren Anna Cox and Ryan Cox to celebrate his life and mourn their loss.
Richard W. Gilpin
ABSA Past Councilor
Joseph P. Kozlovac
ABSA Past Councilor
Robert J. Hawley
Co-Chairs: Bob Hawley and Joe Kozlovac
Compile, record, preserve, and make available the history of ABSA. The 2015-2016 committee members are: John Balog, Manny Barbeito, Bob Hawley (Co-Chair), Joe Kozlovac (Co-Chair), Keith Landy, and Anil Saxena. The committee has primarily been focused on working the ABSA International Office staff to ensure materials collected over the past few years to be transferred to the National Agricultural Library as part of the ABSA Special Collection. This entails providing funding to NAL for an intern to catalog the material in the collection. Joseph Kozlovac shall be stepping down as a Co-Chair and John Balog will be assuming that role in the newly assembled Historical Task Force.
Through the ABSA Store not only can you access the Members' Directory; you can update your contact information under the "My Information" link; view events you have registered for under "My Events"; access your educational credits under the "My Professional Development" link; and print a copy of past invoices under "My Transactions." You can also purchase ABSA publications, NEW ABSA shirts, and other ABSA products. ABSA is working hard to make managing your membership more intuitive and user-friendly.
Letter of Appreciation and Support for Your Employer!
The Council has drafted a letter expressing gratitude to ABSA members' employers and emphasizes the value of your participation in ABSA activities including the ABSA conference. If you would like to view this letter or would like us to send it to your employer, please e-mail [email protected]. We also appreciate any feedback about the letter!