There was a story today in the New York Times about how this magnificent city is clawing its way back trying make itself better than it was before hurricane Katrina and with some success.
It reminded me of a bad decision the leadership of the American Society of Clinical Oncology ( ASCO) made to drop New Orleans from it's list of meeting sites.
When someone commented that New Orleans would no longer accommodate a meeting the size of ASCO, I checked with a colleague of mine in New Orleans and was assured it wasn't true. The convention center , hotels and New Orleans outstanding eateries are well able to handle the meeting.
I was told by ASCO's EVP Alan Lister, that it was primarily a financial decision . ASCO can make more money from the exhibits at the Chicago convention center than at New Orleans because of the way it's configured. But it turns out New Orleans is not suffering from discrimination . ASCO is gong to be in Chicago in perpetuity despite good facilities at other cities as well.
Now don't get me wrong, I like Chicago-just not every year. Not to mention that ASCO could do it's part by helping the economy of New Orleans.
I told the ASCO leaders that I thought if the ASCO members were polled they would probably have voted for variety over Chicago in perpetuity.
Annoyance was obvious. I was told it was a board decision to make. As a member I disagree.
I was at the founding meeting of ASCO. The society was founded for the benefit of its members, and had as it's primary role the dissemination of information, not to become a bank.
I don't suppose the annual budget to run the society of 90 million dollars had anything to do with this?