AMS Beacons Program to Help Lighten the AMS Annual Meeting!

The AMS Beacons Program is an initiative of the Membership Committee and is firmly rooted in former Executive Director Kenneth Spengler’s legacy of fostering the AMS as an open, inclusive, and welcoming organization. The Beacons initiative is an ambassador program with a member-staffed goodwill cadre reflecting the AMS’s mandate to serve its existing, returning, and potentially new members. AMS Beacons serve at the pleasure of the AMS Executive Director, and assist with Society and membership-related functions as deemed necessary or appropriate at AMS annual, Scientific and Technological Activities Commission (STAC), and local chapter meetings and other functions. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines the word beacon as a source of light or other signal for guidance; a source of light or inspiration. This adequately describes what AMS Beacons aspire to be.

At the 94th AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, Beacons will once again be present with friendly faces and a goal of providing assistance and help to anyone attending the annual meeting—from the first-time attendee who needs directions to someone who is a regular attendee that might need some timely and thoughtful advice.

Signs, social networking media (e.g., the AMS Facebook site or Twitter feed), and daily newsletter blogs will notify attendees of the presence and function of AMS Beacons. Beacons, who may be identified by their bright yellow lanyards, will have a significant presence at the Newcomers’ Welcome and Informational Exchange on Sunday, will be stationed at key locations (e.g., Registration Desk, entryways, meetings with large gatherings, etc.), and will informally greet and assist attendees as they move throughout the venue during the week. The Beacons are a volunteer, complementary resource to the AMS staff and are trained on what questions and information should be referred to AMS staff members.

For more information, contact Beth Farley, AMS director of Member Services (tel: 617-226-3910; e-mail: