Greetings to my fellow forensic science service provider managers. It’s a Saturday morning and I am on the couch with my cup of coffee, thrilled to see the sunshine streaming through the windows. It is below freezing but beautifully sunny. It puts me in an optimistic, energized mood as I contemplate my weekly message. Let’s celebrate some good news.

On the national front, we are hearing from the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations, CFSO, that the federal budget is nearing passage. The Justice for All Act and the Medical Examiner bills are also nearing final drafts for passage. It is very good to see movement in these areas as they are the basis for our federal forensic grant funding.

We also received great news on Friday afternoon from RTI about the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories they conducted. Although the final statistics are still being determined, the response rate matched, if not exceeded, the 2014 rate of 88%. The data will be used to inform budgets, policy, and resource allocations for the next few years. To that end, they are now busily working on getting all of the data ready for BJS’s forthcoming publication, which they expect to be released later this year at the earliest. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey and to the members who helped increase the response rate by reaching out to their peers. It really made a difference.

We had our monthly Board of Directors meeting Friday and now want to publicly congratulate Board Members Tony Tessarolo and Bruce Houlihan for their upcoming retirements at the end of the month. Both have been very active on the Board taking the lead as Chairs for several of the Committees and participated fully in all Board meetings and activities. I thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Forensic Science profession with both your bench and management roles.

In case you are wondering what else we have up our sleeves for the Symposium in Reno, I think you will truly enjoy what we have planned for the President’s Reception. The hotel has a night club that they turned into a venue for us to host our reception and awards event. It has a dance floor which many folks recommended following our Boston reception. There are booths and tables/seating throughout the venue and a large balcony area that overlooks the swimming pools. It will be a great night to hang out and celebrate our award winners. Please join us! Thank you, JusticeTrax for your sponsorship of this event and making it possible for an evening of relaxation and fellowship.

If you or a co-traveler is interested in the spa appointments at the hotel, please make your reservations now. They fill up quickly. The hotel management also let us know that their Bimini steakhouse needs reservations early as it books to capacity every night.

For those of you following the University of Rhode Island Safety Program, they have a new flyer. This one is about developing SOPs.

I hope you all have a great week and some sunshine to inspire you like it has me.