Following a successful election process, the new Executive Board was announced at the WMS 2022 Congress in Halifax, Canada.
Some new faces have joined the Executive Board, as well as some familiar ones who will continue to serve. Together, they will lead the WMS for the next three years.

Remaining in their positions as Executive Officers are:

Volker Straub, President
Gisèle Bonne, Treasurer
Laurent Servais, Secretary

Volker Straub said: “I’m grateful to the members of our society to have elected me on to the WMS Executive Board again and to my colleagues for supporting me for a second term as President. I’m looking forward to working with Gisèle Bonne and Laurent Servais on the activities that we had started after the Copenhagen Congress and am excited that our team is joined by six new Executive Board members who will help us to shape the WMS.”

Gisèle Bonne said: “I am very grateful to the WMS members for re-electing me as a member of the Executive Board, as well as to the new Executive Board members for reappointing me as Treasurer of our society. These last three years have been rich in changes and new projects, and I am extremely pleased to be able to continue this journey together with Volker Straub and Laurent Servais, and the whole Executive Board for the promotion of Myology in all its dimensions.”

Laurent Servais said: “I have been incredibly lucky to work as the Secretary of the WMS for the last 3 years. It was my first official role in the WMS, and I am thankful to Volker, Gisèle and the board members on one hand to share their experience, and on the other hand to allow me to do what I am the most able to do: be the troublemaker! Together, we have accomplished a lot in terms of opening up the WMS, making it more participative and inclusive.”

Also re-elected to the board are:

Kevin Flanigan
Francesco Muntoni
Ichizo Nishino, who takes the role of Website Committee Chair
Werner Stenzel
John Vissing, who continues in the role of Programme Committee Chair

Newly elected board members include:

Lindsay Alfano, who takes the role of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee Chair
Alan Beggs
Jordi Diaz-Manera, who takes the role of Social Media Committee Chair
Jim Dowling, who takes the role of Sustainability Committee Chair
Teresinha Evangelista
Gina Ravenscroft
Benedikt Schoser, who continues in the role of Pre-Congress Teaching Course Chair

Lindsay Alfano said: “The World Muscle Society has been instrumental in my growth as an independent researcher, and I look forward to contributing to the ongoing development of WMS through service on the Executive Board.  

I hope my unique perspective will guide the development and growth of WMS during these exciting times of rapid knowledge expansion and clinical trial advancements. I’m planning to identify opportunities to expand WMS membership, diversify educational opportunities and access to WMS resources, expand contributions from clinicians and researchers in currently underrepresented regions to promote WMS as a leading resource for neuromuscular education, networking, and collaboration.”

Benedikt Schoser said: “I noticed the WMS in my very early days as a student. I attended by first WMS in 2006 where I gave my first talk and was impressed with the combination of clinical and basic science, so I stayed on board for all the following congresses. Since 2017, I have been organising the famous WMS -Pre-Congress Teaching Course. I am looking forward to continuing to develop our fantastic education offer within my new role on the Executive Board.”

Anders Oldfors remains as an ex-officio member of the board within his role as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neuromuscular Disorders.

He said: “For many years the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Neuromuscular Disorders, Victor Dubowitz, was also the President of the World Muscle Society. This link was central for the support to the WMS from the publisher and for the Journal to be dedicated to publishing research and workshop reports in the fields of interest of WMS.

As new Editor in Chief, my intention is to continue this tradition and strengthen the interaction with the WMS. This will be achieved by, among other things, by invitation of new editorial board members, associate editors and guest editors from the group of active members of the WMS.”

Stepping down are:

Nathalie Goemans
Peter Van den Bergh
Haluk Topaloğu
Carmen Navarro
Carsten Bönnemann

Carmen Navarro said: “I have had the privilege of being a member of the WMS Executive Board for six years. During that time, I have deeply understood the main objectives of the WMS, its benefits to worldwide research institutions and people, its unique character in opening a place for young researchers, and its open-mindedness to change and progress.

The representation of 10 different countries within a board of 15 people is an example of the comprehension and wisdom of the WMS, welcoming a diversity of ideas, suggestions and interesting requests to be considered by the committee. I have also had the delight of meeting extraordinary and knowledgeable people who became my friends and will continue to be so.”

Haluk Topaloğu reflects on 20 years serving the Board, including as Secretary between 2002 and 2019. He said: “I was lucky to work with so many intelligent and productive people at the WMS. When I first started, the membership was fewer than 300, and escalated to more than 700 over the years. In the early years, our Treasurer, the late Prof. Giovanni Nigro had essential input.

We’ve come a long way, from manually registering membership information, to a dedicated membership database and website. We originally aimed to get the address www.wms.org but it was already taken by the Wilderness Medical Society. So, that is why our web address is a bit long!”

Outgoing Executive Board Members.

Published on 25 November 2022.

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