Trip to ACIL’s 2016 Annual Meeting in St. Louis!

Every year, Rebecca Smith attends the annual meeting of the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL) on behalf of Pickering Labs.  This year Jim Murphy was able to come along, and we flew over to St. Louis for a great week of educational sessions and networking with lab owners and managers from all over the country!


ACIL is the trade association that represents commercial scientific and testing laboratories (independent means the members are not government or university labs).  Its members are engaged in testing, product certification, consulting, and research and development.  Affiliated membership is available to manufacturer’s laboratories, consultants, and suppliers to the industry.  Pickering Laboratories has only been an affiliate member since 2010, but next year ACIL will be celebrating its 80th anniversary!

So as you can imagine, when a group of top laboratory executives get together, there is very hard work to get done.  We listened to great speakers on leadership topics, human resources topics, and business improvement topics.  We also “worked very hard” during a Cardinals baseball game, during a tour at the Anheuser-Busch brewery, and while touring the fabulous downtown St. Louis area. 

Networking events are a great opportunity to talk with more experienced lab managers and learn from their wisdom, and Rebecca comes back every year with great new ideas to implement with the Pickering staff.  The ACIL technical program is also a great learning experience for developing business acumen and keeping your leadership fresh.  This year ACIL brought in Jason Greer, who made two hours of Diversity Training fly by in an instant – seriously one of the most engaging speakers we’ve ever seen!  We also were impressed with John Bohm and his talk on evolving your business strategies and standing out to your customers.  The ACIL staff does a great job every year of selecting awesome content – Jim and Rebecca would encourage any and all lab owners or managers to check out the meeting.  We are so happy a customer referred us to ACIL in 2010 and haven’t missed an annual meeting since!

Since Rebecca is an avid equestrian and enthusiastic beer drinker, I’m guessing you can imagine the pictures we have ready to share from this year’s trip: 


Both of the above are classic shots from the Budweiser Brewery!  And below we see pictures from the St. Louis Cardinals’ fabulous stadium.

sl4 sl5

Needless to say, I’m sure our staff believed we had a really rough week of hard work!  (And just to make matters more convincing, next year the ACIL annual meeting will be held in Portland, Oregon which is known as another fantastic beer hotspot!)