March 2021

Treasurer's Report

Serena S. Hu, MD

As is well appreciated, this past year was a challenge for all of us, and for the Scoliosis Research Society as well. The pandemic required a late decision to have our IMAST meeting virtually, which was an untested experience at the time. Instead of full registration fees, we only charged for CME credits; most of the industry support was inapplicable. However, thanks to negotiations by our Executive Director, Ashtin Neuschaefer and her outstanding team, the expenses associated with the meeting reduced by over half. Despite these efforts, IMAST still had a net loss of $277,000. Similarly, as our Annual Meeting was also held virtually; we had a reduced registration fee and less industry support, and again, we negotiated our anticipated expenses down considerably. Fortunately, this resulted in a net income for our Annual meeting of $125,000. Although less than our budgeted net income of $486,000, this was largely due to the reduced revenue from our modest registration fee. Importantly, 896 people registered for our meeting, 859 of whom signed in for the meeting itself.

We had budgeted for a general budget shortfall of $225,000 for 2020, related largely to the transition of moving our IMAST meeting to distribute our major educational offerings during the year. However, through a combination of reduced expenses because we did not have in person meetings, our projected year-end net loss of income over expenses for general funds is $250,000.

However, the Endowment income was significantly greater than budgeted, projected to be $1,664,850 (including unrealized gains) compared to the conservatively budgeted $39,600.00. This resulted in an overall net income projected to be $1,359,134 compared to a budgeted loss of $185,259. Although the stock market took a major dip early last year, its recovery has been strong, so that year end our endowment assets stood at $7,107,900 in Rockefeller and $5,965,585 in Vanguard, for a net gain of 14.3% and 13.9%, respectively.  This keeps us on solid financial footing and gives us reserves for operational deficits such as we suffered during the challenges of this past year.

For 2021, we continue to plan for various contingencies, including a hybrid in-person and virtual Annual Meeting in St. Louis. This too, will be a new experience; we hope the pandemic risks diminish, but recognize that local and institutional restrictions may vary. Given the ongoing travel and meeting constraints, several of our Current Concepts and Hands-On Courses will be rescheduled for future dates, which will save on expenses for this current year. However, reflecting the increasing reliance on on-line communication, both learning, updates and conferences, the SRS Board voted to hire a Senior Communication Manager, which will be a significant investment but hopefully a worthy and integral one.