On Saturday, September 10, 2011, Alcor held its Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. The meeting was attended by all directors, seven in person and one by teleconference and using Skype. In addition to the public Annual Meeting, the directors, the president, and (for some sessions) several other participants, spent Friday afternoon and after dinner, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning engaged in a private Strategic Meeting.
Director and officer elections were held at the Annual Meeting. The existing slate of directors, James Clement, J.D., Ravin Jain, M.D., Saul Kent, Ralph Merkle, PhD, Michael Riskin, PhD, CPA, Michael Seidl, PhD, Tim Shavers, J.D., Brian Wowk, PhD, and officers Max More, PhD (President) and R. Michael Perry, PhD (Secretary and Treasurer), were carried forward for another year.
Alcor’s Board of Directors is self-perpetuating according to Alcor’s bylaws. There was some discussion of bringing onto the Board a ninth director and of possible candidates should one of the existing eight need to be replaced. Among the most desirable skills in such a person would be expertise and credentials in accounting, medicine or cryobiology, fund raising, public relations, and business.
There was extensive discussion of the problem of member underfunding. A discussion document is being prepared for publication later this month. Following its publication, there will be a 3-month discussion period before a decision is made to implement any specific proposal.
Alcor’s operations budget ran a surplus in 2011 due to several hundred thousand dollars of unanticipated and nonrecurring revenue from case funding and bequests. These funds will be used to replenish Alcor’s Reserve Fund, which was significantly depleted in the years prior to Alcor’s recent dues increases.
The operations budget is expected to be balanced until 2014 due to revenue from the LEF/Miller/Thorp grant, which expires at the end of 2013. A deficit anticipated in 2014 (based on zero cases) is believed to be manageable through cost savings and other measures to be implemented in 2013 and/or 2014.
There are to be no increases in dues, CMS fees, or cryopreservation minimums in 2012. An increase in the whole body minimum is under discussion for 2013. There may be some revenue-neutral adjustments to Alcor dues discounts. This is still under discussion.
The portions of cryopreservation funding allocated to CMS will be increased from $20K to $30K for whole body, and from $15K to $25K for neuro without any associated increase in minimums. We believe this new allocation better reflects our costs and will support our efforts to continually improve standby services.
In 2010 a decision was made to seek legal segregation and protection of $3.5 million of funds that Alcor has been treating as an Endowment. The intention is to insulate the funds from liability, and legally enshrine Alcor’s policy of limiting withdrawals to 2% per year. Director and attorney Michael Seidl provided the board with an update of his investigations of options to do this, which include either a structure similar to Alcor’s Patient Care Trust or establishment of a separate 501(c)3 organization if tax-exempt status can be obtained.
An Alcor 40th anniversary conference in late 2012 is being considered.
Alcor will be attempting to deploy a capability for limited field neuro cryoprotection with M22 vitrification solution for dry ice shipment for some overseas cases. There was considerable discussion of logistics issues and personnel to improve response capabilities in Europe.
There was a presentation by Suspended Animation, Inc. (SA) and some of their contract medical personnel at the Strategic Meeting. SA now has a network of cardiothoracic surgeons and clinical perfusionists that they will be attempting to deploy for all their cases. Alcor adopted a policy of attempting to use SA for all Alcor cases in the continental U.S. outside of Arizona for which they are available and for which their services are clinically indicated. Alcor staff and ACT teams will still be used as emergency first responders. Aaron Drake may sometimes accompany the SA team. Catherine Baldwin was added to the Alcor Deployment Committee and made an advisor to the Alcor Board.
Next year’s meeting is scheduled for September 7 to 9, 2012.
The board and management of Alcor wish to thank the staff, membership and donors for support over the past year. We especially thank the Life Extension Foundation, the Millers, and Edward and Vivian Thorp for their joint grant pledged in 2008 that expired earlier this year, apart from the portion directed at funding the CEO position.