A rich history--- the early years

The following was kindly supplied by George S. Kobayashi

The notion of an organization called the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas (MMSA) was hatched during the Second Symposium on Coccidioidomycosis held in Phoenix, Arizona, December 8-10, 1965. During that meeting a group of mycologists met to discuss unifying medical mycologists throughout the Americas into a central organization. Some of the objectives of that Society were to address issues of communication, education and social. The first get-together of medical mycologists interested in organizing a society to recognize their professional needs and represent their interests met in Los Angeles California on Saturday, April 30, 1966 at General Lee's Man Jen Low Restaurant. Eighty-one mycologists attended. After cocktails and a banquet, a brief business meeting and discussion period was held. Pertinent subjects were discussed, general policy was outlined, and committee appointments were made. These included the Aims and Goal of the Society, Mode of Activity including meetings and publications.

The following mycologists were appointed Chairs of various committees:

  • Margarita Silva-Hutner the Nomination Committee;
  • Lorraine Friedman the Constitution and By-Laws Committee;
  • Charlotte Campbell the Steering Committee;
  • Morris Gordon and Antonio Gonzales-Ochoa the Information Committee;
  • Donald Greer and Angela Restrepo-M. the Membership Committee;
  • Elizabeth Hazen the Annual Lectureship Committee.
  • Irene Weitzman the Local Arrangements Committee

The time and place for the next meeting was scheduled for New York City just prior to the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
Other noteworthy events are the following:
The MMSA was incorporated in the State of Georgia in 1997
The original membership included 288 Charter members (270 United States, 15 Latin America and 3 Canada)
The first elected officers of the MMSA were:

  • President Libero Ajello
  • Vice President--Antonio Gonzalez-Ochoa
  • Secretary-Treasurer--John D. Procknow
  • Councilor (Canada)--J.W. Carmichael
  • Councilor (Latin-America)-- A. Padilha-Concalves
  • Councilor (Eastern USA)--Leo Kaufman
  • Councilor (Central USA)--George S. Kobayashi
  • Councilor (West Coast USA)--Milton Huppert

The first official newsletter (the called the Bulletin of the MMSA) was published by Morris A Gordon in February 1967 and distributed to members of the MMSA Dr. Jose Ignacio Baldo, advisor to the Department of Chronic Diseases of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Caracas, Venezuela gave the First Annual Lecture titled Toward a better understanding of the mycoses of the Americas. Dr. Lorraine Friedman presented a draft of the Constitution and By-Laws in New York City on April 29, 1967. The first Spanish edition of the MMSA Bulletin was published in October 1968 b Dr. A. Gonzalez-Ochoa The Rhoda Benham Award and Medal was established in 1970. The first recipients were as follows:

  • Jose Ignacio Baldo (April 29, 1967)
  • Chester W. Emmons (May 4, 1968)
  • Norman F. Conant (May 3, 1969)
  • Juan E. Mackinnon (August 8, 1970)
  • Roger O. Egeberg (April 25, 1970)