President’s Message

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Salutations, WAML Colleagues,

Things are starting to look up. . . . Right?A head-and-shoulders photograph of Matthew Toro

In the United States, we recently surpassed our inglorious milestone of over 500,000 dead to the virus. It’s over 2,500,000 globally.

But vaccines produced by various pharmaceutical firms are now making their way into a rapidly growing number of our immune systems. According to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker site[1], over 265,000,000 doses have been administered globally (as of early March). In the US, nearly a full quarter of its population has received at least one dose. Canada will soon hit six percent; Mexico is currently at about two. It seems we finally have some numbers whose rise we can monitor with delight rather than with dread.

Choropleth map of world showing vaccine status. Dark green US, Peru, and a bit of Europe stand out.
Screenshot of interactive World Map of Vaccination. 03 March 2021.

Please get yourself and your loved ones vaccinated as soon as the privilege becomes available.

It’s been more than a full year since our species spread the virus to global dimensions. During this time, WAML has fared as well as anyone could have hoped. Notably, new initiatives are underway that promise to strengthen the organization for years to come.

The Web Advancement Project 2021 recently kicked off. If all goes according to plan, WAML’s fragmented web presences — the main site, the conference site, and this, the Information Bulletin site — will be consolidated into a single integrated platform (content management system) by summer.

The project’s goals and structure are informed directly by report of the now-dissolved Web Review Task Force, which successfully completed its charge last Fall. Special thanks (again) go to the Task Force for conducting their assessment, developing planning and technical insights, and proposing an outline for the path forward. The executive board has effectively passed the baton from the Task Force to a newly convened temporary Working Group led by a new Project Manager. The executive board will be monitoring the progress of the project with great excitement and anticipation.

The board also recently approved the charge of a new ad hoc committee “formed for the purpose of reviewing the fit of WAML’s existing appointed positions and honoraria to the current and future goals of the organization.” As with the web modernization project, optimizing the basic roles and division of labor that keep WAML running will ensure that WAML has what it needs to continue thriving in the years and decades ahead. It’s a good refresh of organizational roles. Thanks go to all volunteering their time and energy to that undertaking too.

If you’ve ever been or are currently involved with any level of service to WAML — in an appointed position, as a member of a standing or ad hoc committee or task force, as a past or present executive board member, or as any sort of volunteer, whatever it may be — you have my deep and sincere gratitude and the gratitude of the organization at large.

If you haven’t yet served the organization in any capacity (other than through your active membership and participation), I strongly encourage you to consider giving it a go. It’s an immensely rewarding way to give back to the organization that continues to nourish the professional development of so many.

And, good news: your chance could be coming soon. Two positions are opening on the executive board for the 2021-2022 term: (1) Vice President / President-Elect, and (2) Secretary. Please consider nominating a colleague, or yourself, for one of these positions. Contact a member of the ad hoc nominating committee — Susan Powell, Kim Durante, and Chrissy Klenke — to suggest a name (or two or three) for consideration.

This is my third and final IB message to you in my capacity as 2020-2021 WAML president. It’s been a pleasure to learn more about and grow closer to my fellow board members, to WAML as a whole, and the profession more broadly.

I want to thank my fellow board members — Evan Thornberry (vice president), Louise Ratliff (secretary), Bruce Godfrey (treasurer), and Susan Powell (past president) — for the guidance, collaboration, and patience shown toward me as I, seemingly out of nowhere, stepped into the role of president and, in my intense, eccentric fashion, sought to move WAML forward. It’s been an honor serving with such a fine group of professionals.

As summer comes around and the board transitions to its new roster, I could not be more confident about our incoming president’s leadership for the 2021-2022 term, Evan Thornberry. Evan will lead us through another period promising unprecedented challenges but offering unprecedented opportunity too. Over the coming months, please join me in congratulating and welcoming Evan to his new role at the helm of WAML.

Enjoy the spring, everybody. Salutations.

Matthew Toro
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

[1] More Than 265 Million Shots Given: Covid-19 Tracker. Accessed 03 March 2021.

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