Justin Hanenberg, MLS(ASCP)CM

From left: Justin Hanenberg and Amanda Fulton organized a social gathering for ASCLS-CA at Angel City Brewery during their Oktoberfest celebration. And Justin represented ASCLS-CA at the 2019 Legislative Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Major changes are coming to the California chapter of ASCLS. A “changing of the guard” might be the most appropriate phrase to describe the shuffling of roles and responsibilities. California recently bid farewell to two long-time contributing members, Josh Pulido and Ginger Weeden, who moved out of state. We wish them well and congratulations to Minnesota and Oregon who get to adopt some great laboratorians. As new leadership steps in to re-invigorate the society, members have a variety of opportunities to take on small volunteer roles that have real impact.

The leadership of ASCLS-CA is making some changes with how the society will communicate with members in 2019. The state society website is desperately in need of a makeover. Currently, the position of web master is vacant and yearning for a web-savvy member to champion the project. In the meantime, the leadership has decided to let the website go dormant and focus on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter to broadcast news and events. Important documents, meeting notes, and flyers will be housed in the ASCLS Connect Community until the official re-launch of ASCLS-CA.org in late summer/early fall. We ask all members to direct their questions, comments, and community posting to the ASCLS-CA Facebook page or state sub-group on Connect Community.

A recent poll was conducted through the state society’s Facebook group to gauge member interest for future events. Leadership may be buzzing with ideas, but we needed to know which ones were of the most interest. Turn out for responses were low, though still helpful in steering the committee’s efforts for upcoming events. The word “community” kept coming up in conversations—we want to take an approach that weaves community building into continuing education seminars, social outings, and student outreach activities (the three most voted categories).

The starter event for social gatherings was done by Amanda Fulton and Justin Hanenberg at Angel City Brewery during their Oktoberfest celebration. The day was filled with stories of our laboratory careers, ideas for the profession moving forward, and ways to combine a weekend social cocktail with continuing education. California is a big state and planning for any event usually means planning two events to reach both northern and southern California constituents. Members should be on the lookout for these kinds of hybrid education and social activities in upcoming months. Members can host events with ASCLS-CA, too! Weekend hikes, attending events together, or maybe looking for a team to do trivia night at a favorite night spot—we want to let our members know that volunteering can be about what they enjoy.

So, keep ASCLS-CA on your radar to be an up-and-coming state society! We hope to launch some exciting new initiatives that combine learning with entertainment. I don’t want to give too much away just yet. We encourage members to get involved early if they want to get in on the behind-the-scenes happenings and be a part of the momentum. It’s a prime opportunity to help shape the future of the CLS community in California.

Justin Hanenberg is field application specialist for Binding Site, Inc., in Sherman Oaks, California.