Thanks, Trini, for 26 Terrific Years!November 21, 2000
A first for SIAM, the September conference on computational science and engineering was the last SIAM conference for long-time staff member Trini Flores, who retired on October 13. Warm greetings from Trini Flores signaled the real start of a SIAM meeting for many attendees.
Trini was responsive to the needs of SIAM members, often going far beyond the call of duty to help them. Meeting attendees marveled at her remarkable memory for their names and institutions and appreciated her warm greetings at the registration desk. Over the years I received many compliments about Trini's performance. I always felt good on hearing the words of praise because I knew how very loyal she was to SIAM and how hard she worked to make every meeting a success. She will be greatly missed by both the staff and the members of SIAM.
Trini came on board in 1974, to coordinate office activity with the organizers of SIAM meetings. In that small office of yesteryear, she also provided secretarial support for SIAM News and our other publications, and she handled annual elections as well. She collected speakers' names and addresses from organizers and followed up with the speakers---in a gentle way---to get their contributions before deadlines; she often went out of her way to slip contributions into programs after deadlines had passed. There were no computers in the early days---just typewriters, paste-up boards, and X-acto knives. As press time approached, we would find Trini at the office long after hours, cutting and pasting up the program for the printer. In the early days, there were just two meetings---the SIAM annual meeting in the spring and the SIAM fall meeting. Trini put together all the program support materials for these meetings, from push pins to lists of advance registrants, from program materials to badges, from the cash box to extra tickets for the special functions, and more. She'd pack everything into trunks for shipment to the meeting; everyone at the office knew that the way to get something to the meeting at the last minute was to sneak it into Trini's trunks.
As time passed, the number of SIAM meetings per year increased---from two to eight or more. For a long time, Trini carried on these same functions and continued to be the coordinator and contact for contributors and organizers. In the mid-80s, she started going to meetings to manage registration activities. As office systems and technology advanced, Trini, with office support, was able to do for all the SIAM meetings what she once did for just two.
She has been a fount of knowledge at meetings. She has made it her business to know what's going on---from changes in programs to the needs of the members, to ensure that, to the best of her ability, members' problems were resolved. She has had the greatest respect for the membership, for the volunteers, for SIAM itself, and for her office colleagues. She has gone about her business with humbleness, dignity, and professionalism. She cares a lot about SIAM and its members. Through the years, Trini has collected many friends among the SIAM membership. Trini knows almost everyone, and almost everyone knows Trini. I often have thought about writing a SIAM history. Trini would be a wonderful resource for such a project.
So, thank you, Trini, for all the good you did for SIAM and for being a good friend and colleague. I wish you the very best of good health and happiness for all the years ahead.
Ed Block, Managing Director Emeritus, SIAM.