Friends of ORNL Board of Directors

Minutes of the November 13, 2017 Meeting


The meeting was held in a front meeting room of the UT Center on the Oak Ridge Turnpike. President Jim Rushton called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.  Other attendees were Chuck Coutant, Kathy Gant, John Gunning, Bob Hightower, Leigha Humphries, Herb Krause, Connor Matthews, Dave McVicker, Dick Raridon, Vinod Sikka, Phil Sklad, Steve Stow, and Kent Williams. Invited guest, Rhonda Bogard representing the Weinberg Papers Project at the Children’s Museum, also attended.



The minutes for the October 9, 2017 board meeting were approved unanimously.


Collection of 2018 FORNL dues started on October 1, 2017. There were 23 submissions received for 2018 membership dues as of November 11, 2017 (since my last report on October 7, 2017). Four new members (Susan Fredrick, Roger Dale McBee, David Stair, and John Polinsky) were added to the active and general email lists; Roger McBee was recruited at the ORNL Benefits & Wellness Fair and elected to try the first year free (the first person to do so). Four members were recorded as deceased: one life member (David Moses) and 3 regular members (Boyce Griffith, Francis Perey, and Alex Zucker) were removed from the active list, added to the "In Memoriam section,” and removed from each email list. Two members (Joe Lenhard and Peter Scheffler) were given credit for 2018 dues because each paid twice in 2017.


As of 11/11/17, the 2018 net paid membership includes 26 regular members and 36 life members for a total of 62 living members in good standing after 1 month of 2018 dues collection. For reference, we ended the 2017 dues collection period (Sept. 2017) with 77 regular and 37 life members paid for a total of 114 members.



Vinod reported the current checking account balance of $2081.72; the savings account balance of $3782.36; and one 10-month CD for $10,114.31 (maturity 7/21/2018) is earning 1.16% interest at the ORNL Federal Credit Union. 


Vinod is sending the paperwork and a check for $1500 (with a letter by Olson) to Jennifer Tyrell at ORAU for FORNL’s sponsorship of the 2018 Tennessee Science Bowl; this gift was approved last month.


Rhonda Bogard discussed the Weinberg Papers Project at the Children’s Museum

At the request of Rushton and Stow, Rhonda discussed the Weinberg Archival Project headquartered at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge (CMOR), where Alvin Weinberg’s papers are stored. (Rhonda is a daughter of Selma Shapiro, the founding director of the museum.) The Weinberg paper collection consists of correspondence, laboratory notebooks, manuscripts, reports, publications and slides primarily from his tenure at ORNL, and includes documents dated from the 1940s to the 1980s. Project planning is underway to convert the Weinberg papers to digital format so they can be more easily shared with both the scientific community and the public, and to preserve and protect the original documents according to the best archival procedures.


To ensure the Weinberg papers are available for future generations, the entire collection must be preserved and major portions digitized.

The papers are in good condition and are stored in 14 filing cabinets and 33 cardboard boxes in a locked room at the CMOR.  The filing cabinets are in the original order that includes an alphabetical/subject listing based organizational system and have been inventoried.  The project is seeking financial support to i) hire a part-time professional archivist (estimate of $8400); ii) purchase archival quality materials (estimate of $4300); and iii) purchase 2 computers and a public access kiosk (estimate of $3700).


The software and digitization necessary for electronic data storage and retrieval will be donated by Y-12.  This software, known as Knowledge Preservation Management (KPM), provides information configuration control and uses OCR technology for retrieval on any word in scanned documents.  Grants will be pursued to develop an Alvin Weinberg exhibit to complement the public access kiosk.


A subcommittee of the CMOR Board of Trustees (including representatives from Y-12, ORAU, ORNL, and UT) will provide planning and oversight, select an archivist and interns to prepare the papers for digitization, and ensure the long-term preservation of the original documents.


Through questioning we learned that FORNL can help the project by creating interest in it in among our members.  FORNL and our members can also help provide some financial support for the project; CMOR has raised $2500 to date. Rhonda will send us instructions that will help our members donate to the Weinberg project and Krause will inform our membership.  There is also room for volunteers if they work under the guidance of a professional. We can also provide contact information for scientific organizations such as the ANS, etc. that may be able to provide additional financial help. CMOR will develop specific plans to locally publicize the effort in January and ORAU will provide publicity outside OR.  


After Rhonda departed and some board discussion, a motion to contribute $2000 to the project was offered and seconded; the motion passed unanimously.  Stow will inform Rhonda that a check is coming.  Steve will discuss ways we can coordinate with them to get publicity for the project and FORNL.  Our contribution will help the project reach their $5000 kickoff goal. 



Luncheon Programs (Kent Williams):

Completed Program

October 10, 2017

Dr. David Holcomb of ORNL spoke about “Salt Cooled Reactors.”


Scheduled Programs

November 14, 2017

Cathy Toth, Chairperson of the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation (ORPSEF), will speak on “ORPSEF’s Making a Critical Difference Campaign.”


December, 2017 - There will be no luncheon lecture.


January, 9, 2018

Dr. William Peter, Director of Department of Energy's (DOE) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at ORNL, will discuss progress at the MDF.


February 13, 2018

Robert Kennedy of Tetra Tech. will discuss “Renewable Energy Systems in Africa.”


Community Lecture Schedule (Bob Hightower, Chuck Coutant, Connor Matthews)

Leigha reported that Thomas Zacharia will deliver a community lecture following ORNL’s “State-of the Lab” event in January or February; his ORNL talk has not been scheduled yet.


History Room (Dave McVicker)

The 42nd quarterly content for the “Treasures from the Archives” section of the next ORNL Reporter using Fall 1957 historical material submitted by Dave last month, has not be published in the ORNL Reporter yet.


Membership Committee (Gloria Caton and Kathy Gant)

Gloria and Kathy setup the FORNL display at the ORNL Health and Benefits Fair on October 19.  They spoke about the benefits of FORNL membership to many people who may be interested in joining. They requested and obtained a display location next to the ORICL display.  One new member joined and elected to take advantage of our new incentive policy, “first year free for ORNL employees.”


ORNL Visitor Badges (Bob Hightower)

Bob is now accepting applications for 2018 ORNL visitor badges; he has received 22 requests since the beginning of October for 2018 ORNL visitor badges.  Members who have paid their 2018 annual dues or are Life Members of FORNL are eligible to apply; see the monthly luncheon lecture notices for details. About 65 visitor badges were issued during 2017.


Tours (Dick Raridon)

DOE tours originating at the AMSE in October carried 413 visitors in 13 tours for an average of 31.8 people/tour in a bus with 34 available seats.  Tours were held on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays during October. There will be only 7 tours in November.


Lab Liaison (Leigha Humphries)

Leigha reported that a series of forward looking events (e.g.,  a take your child to work day, a community day, etc.) are being planned to celebrate the 75th anniversary of ORNL during 2018.  She has talked with Pat Postma about the possibility of establishing a summer science camp in Oak Ridge; see the Old Business section of the October 9, 2017 board meeting for more about the proposal.  Concerning our wish of holding the TSB in OR, Leigha’s understanding is that ORAU (the TSB manager) has not found a place in OR with sufficient banquet space for 400-500 people (the primary constraint).  The present airport location for the banquet is even becoming over crowded. During other questioning, Leigha also reported that we should send our meeting announcement message to Fred Strohl if we want it to appear on the weekly ORNL Today displays at the lab.


Manhattan Project (Chuck Coutant, Connor Matthews, Steve Stow, Bob Hightower, Dave McVicker, Dick Raridon,

                                          Bob Olson, Jim Rushton)No Report


Old Business:

Gift Cards for ETEC staff: Nicole Allen, Office Manager, and Tracy Boatner, Program Manager.  (Dave McVicker)

In appreciation for their dedicated assistance in providing excellent service for our monthly board meetings and luncheon lectures, a $50 gift card and card of appreciation was presented to Nicole and Tracey.  This action was approved by the board in November.



FORNL Board and Office Nomination Committee for 2018

The report of the Nomination Committee (Herb Krause, Chuck Coutant, Bob Hightower, Connor Matthews, and Bob Olson) was offered for the board’s approval.  The board member names proposed for the ballot in the 2018 election/re-election at the Annual Meeting on February 13, 2018 are Bob Compton, Chuck Coutant, Al Ekkebus, Vinod Sikka, and Phil Sklad. The report also recommended the following FORNL officers for 2018: Jim Rushton, President; Kent Williams, Vice-president; Phil Sklad, Secretary; and Vinod Sikka, Treasurer. (The new board elected in February, 2018 will be asked to approve/reject this officer slate during the first board meeting after the annual meeting on March 12, 2018.)  All candidates have agreed to serve.  A motion to accept the 2018 board nominations and officer suggestions was seconded and the motion passed unanimously.  In early December, Krause will ask the board members on the ballot to submit a short resume to be sent to the membership in the January announcement for the February Annual Meeting.


Management of the membership and the email databases will be shared by Gloria Caton and Kathy Gant of the Membership Committee after Krause completes his third term in February, 2018.  Krause was asked and agreed to serve the board as a non-voting “adjunct board member” in 2018 to help in the setup and transfer of the FORNL computer data bases to Gloria, Kathy and Phil Sklad.


President Rushton adjourned the meeting at 10:44 a.m.


Next board meeting:  Monday, December 11, 2017, 9:30 a.m., at the UT center in Oak Ridge (normal meeting place and time, day before the second Tuesday lunch/lecture meeting).


Next Lunch meeting: No Luncheon Meeting will be held in December.


Herb Krause, Secretary.