I’ve had a lot of good days here at Fermilab, so far. The best ones usually fall on the last Thursday of the month.
That’s the day I get to hang out with the members of Fermilab’s Community Advisory Board. Every other month, this diverse group of folks from all over the local area gets together here at the lab. They get an inside peek at some of our ongoing and upcoming experiments, learn about plans that may affect the local community and hear from Director Pier Oddone on the federal budget and other lab-related issues.
But mainly, the Advisory Board, … well, advises. And they advise well. The current board was preceded by two task forces, convened for specific purposes. CAB members now have a much more general remit: serve as a sounding board and act as liaisons with our neighbors. Basically, they tell us whether we’re on the right track.
The group is also a lot of fun to work with. I’ve only been around for a few meetings, but every time I’ve put an idea in front of the board, they’ve responded with excitement and strong ideas. Plus, they laugh at my awful jokes, which is nice. They’ve been welcoming and supportive, and I can’t thank them enough.
In December, we started the process of bringing new members on board, while some of the longer-serving members are stepping down. Last Thursday, we officially bid farewell to four members. I think it is worth a public thank-you for the time and effort they’ve all put in over the last three-plus years. So, to Jack Barshinger, Natalia Domovessova, Joe Suchecki and Terri Voitik, thanks from all of us here at the lab.
We also welcomed two new people to the team, both recommended by departing members. Natalia works as a senior planner in the city of Warrenville, and she suggested Warrenville Alderman Leah Goodman for her spot on the board. And Jack is the superintendent of Batavia Public Schools, so he tapped the district’s chief information officer, Tony Inglese, to step in for him.
I met both Leah and Tony on Thursday, and they’re going to be great additions to the CAB. I’m looking forward to working with both of them, as well as the continuing members and the new members that haven’t been chosen yet.
I’m betting the last Thursday of the month will continue to be my favorite day.
For more info on the Community Advisory Board, read this.
Andre Salles is the media and community relations specialist with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He can be reached at 630-840-6733, or firstname.lastname@example.org.