Following on the resolutions of the Executive Board meeting held in Paris, on 5th April 2008, the President was authorised by the Executive Board to pursue the possibility of registering the Society as a charity in England, where it was founded in 1995, and to set up an account for the Society with a British bank.

The minutes of  April 2008 meeting is being presented here. You may view the details of the day. Charity items is specifically #11.

WMS Exec Board Meeting Minutes
5 April 2008,  Paris

  1. Welcome.Victor Dubowitz welcomed the  participants. Apologies from Kevin Flanigan and Nigel laing were received. Final agenda was set.
  2. Minutes of the Exec Board Meeting, Taormina. From the minutes of the last meting in Taormina  names of the prize committee will  to be added into the final form to be more accurate. 
  3. Matters arising. The prize committee will need to be revised. This was actually  requested by the Kevin Flanigan. A list of any prizes should be available from the beginning. The names should be on the home page of the Society from the year 2000 when  all these started. Lea Rose prize was an addition from 2006. (Muntoni, Bonne, Nishino, were names on the comm)
  4. President’s report: A smooth transition was expected as for as financial matters were concerned. Hopes were towards facing no problems. However, registering the Society in France is a practically very long and complicated procedure and needs a lot of paper-work and has many regulations. On the other hand, England may be easier for this respect. The main bank account may be opened in England, and this could be managed from remote. Two issues are required. A contract needs to be signed. This needs to be approved by the board. Certain basic costs will be evident. Between 3000-5000 GBP is necessary. President should be authorized by the WMS Board to act on behalf. WMS Board members are actually trustees. Muntoni: Charity commission requires WMS meetings and the current bank account. Books should be audited once a year by account people. There may be some charges or a nominal fee. 
  5. Secretary report: There are 598 current members for 2008. All new registrations and renewals are done exclusively from the WMS website.  It has been decided that all registrative procedures should be done before the 31st of March.  All profiles of members are kept on the WMS server with back-ups provided.  There is a software company running the business in the background with a resonable charge, being less that 1500 Euros per year. Occasional software update may be required as extra.
  6. Treasurer’s report: Thomas Voit: Currently WMS can not accept any money from the members. This is due to new registering process of the Society as charity.  WMS can not receive or send any finance for the time being. For to register in France, all the pevious aspects and finance should be closed. Charter should be re-written. All procedures should be done thru the French Law. Executive board is the decisive organ.  Old Society should be closed and a new one launched. French tax officers are to evaluate te finance before these procedures. All minutes should be kept in French. Under these circumstances Victor nominated Giovanni Nigro, the previous treasurer as the ex-officio WMS member. In England, registering as charity may be more feasible. We may need to change a few items on the constitution.  No collection from the members’ renewals and new members has not been accomplished yet. If everything goes well, we may be registered in England as soon as 4 weeks or so. This may be extended to 6 months on the other hand. All new member and renewal applications are done via the WMS website. Only credit cards will be accepted. No checks are taken. Direct money transfer would be applicable. Dubowitz suggested that It  is better if  Educational and other accounts could be separate.
  7. Final report of the WMS-12 Taormina congress:  Vita told that  there has been a loss of 2666 Euros. Dubowitz suggested that  the finances of courses should be  different than the general  meeting budget. In case of losses, then the main congress can cover the difference.  Hilton-Jones asked whether the course has been advertised within the UK? The budget would have been balanced if there were 40 participants.  Oldfors suggested that accomodation low budget would have been better to reduce the cost. There were 650 participants from 37 countries. 440 abstracts were received. 17 oral presentation. Out of 60 applicaitons for fellowship 53 were accepted. Two senior fellowships funded by the WMS educational Fund. There were 20 fellowships from the AFM last year. Straub: This year Treat-NMD can provide around 10 fellowships targeted mostly to Eastern Europe.  Many awards were distributed totalling 18.  Dubowitz: Awards should be distributed from the local site. Thus, Elsevier funds is better if transferred to the local site where the meeting will be done. There were 340 new registrants . After fellowships and expenses of the invited speakers, there was a surplus of 18. 450,00 Euros. All prizes and awards to be distributed fom one source, and that is from the local congress budget and expenses.  Voit: Three separate WMS accounts would be more feasible. General, Presiden’s and Educational.  Vita: 142 people applied for European Credits for continuing medical educations.  This mostly came from the US participants followed by the UK, France,  and Spain. For WMS-13, crediting system will apply.  The organizing company received 10% of the overall budget.  The Agemars got 60.000 Euros. Dubowitz and Voit suggested that in future hotel accomodation could be done together with the Congrex.  There could a sub-agent locally along with the original Congrex. In future this issue is to be raised said Dubowitz. We might have to re-discuss this item at the next WMS Board. Pavilion costed a lot about 34.000 Euros but was a nice facility. Overall 3130.11 Euros were given back to the WMS out of 5000 Euros advanced. Feedback forms. Overall, the congress has been well respected. One participant requested to limit the use of digital cameras in the sessions and in posters. We can  discuss in  general this in the general assembly. Most sitable day for the Therapy  session which is usually on the last day  can be asked to the general audiance at the general assembly also.
  8. Progress report WMS-13. Straub: Deadline for abstract session is over. People can register later on. 361 abstracts by the day after. Based on 6 parallel sessions. 10-12 posters per session will be able. There is a waiting list of posters. Programme committee in May will decide on presentations. As a breakdown general topic submissions were higher. For myasthenia gravis only 19 abstracts were  receieved. Hilton-Jones  said to reconsider the abstracts coming from non-neuromuscular area.  141 people have registered. Early registration will be possible until 15 May 2008.  The meeting can host 450 people with 50 accompanying persons. Gala dinner capacity is also limited. Currently 95.000 GBP has been raised. There is a sponsorship package and if any of the WMS Board member is interested this can be distributed him. Dubowitz warned to be careful with the commercial organizations. Muntoni: We do not want companies interfering with the parallel sessions. On the other hand we must continue to facilitate their contributions and we should discuss this further. Dubowitz: In principle there must not be confict of time. Course preparations are on the way. 40 participants are expected. Faculty is confirmed and all set. The precise programme is not final, however there is going to be live patients invited to this course.  Fee will be 185 GBP including the accomodation included.
  9. Future meetings: In 2009, the meeting in Geneva will be held between 9-12 September. Topaloglu presented the summary of their preparations , which was sent by Urs Ruegg. They expect participants close to 500. 2010 Japan. Delivered by Nishino. The date has been set for 14-17 October. They expect around 600 participants. There are 2 options. One is run by the prefecture of the city and is reasonablt prized to include the poster halls and the general meeting room. The second option is the Hotel Nikko, but this will cost about 10 times higher. The traditional WMS schedule is to be maintained. He put forward the idea of doing every aspect of congress preparation locally or getting the support of Congrex and asked whether this could be decided soon. He thinks having a local company involved is the most appropriate solution. At the next WMS Board meeting an update will be provided. For 2011 and beyond, there are two centers which have already sent their letter of intents. These are Portugal (Dr. Negrao) and Australia (Dr. Laing).
  10. Annual congress. Guidelines. Dubowitz has updated this as a new version. He is going to send a new after another revision. At the next meeting poster display system and how to handle presentations should be discussed in depth. Bönnemann has drafted out several suggestions andhad originally distribute these to the WMS Board back in 2005. As a separate agenda item. Hilton-Jones: This matter is difficult discuss with 15 people altogether. Volunteer members  can prepare a short document with 3-4 options in relation to the poster formats. The format must be suitable to the local organizers also. Hilton-Jones: May be only posters from the 3 given topics could be discussed, but then Dubowitz, Muntoni an Straub stated that this may be difficult practically. Non muscle issues should be included as well Topaloglu suggested.
  11. Future of WMS. Our previous treasurer has accepted to run the financial aspects until registering as charity becomes into reality. To do now is to register the Society in England. There is book work. Trustee declaration must be provided. Two things: Trustee declaration. All members of the Exec Board becomes Trustees. A second paper is to approval of authorization to one selected member of the WMS. Chairman of the Exec Board can sign it. Three of the WMS officers can sign this document together.
  12. Any other business.  On the recommendation of the president, Giovanni Nigro, previous treasurer of WMS from 1995 to 2007, was elected an ex officio member of the executive board. The president also signed a delegation of authority to enable him to continue handling the current accounts of the Society until the transfer of the accounts to a new WMS account to be established in the United Kingdom.

WMS Board members thougt that this was another useful meeting. A nice format. During the forthcoming  congress in Newcastle, to meet last day on lunch hour would be an optimized time.

Meeting closed at 17.30hrs.

Published on 10 April 2008.


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