April 2012
Volume 53, Issue 4
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Obituary  |   April 2012
Remembering Joanne Angle, 1941−2012
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2012, Vol.53, 2446-2447. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.12-9946
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      Paul L. Kaufman; Remembering Joanne Angle, 1941−2012. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(4):2446-2447. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.12-9946.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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We report with great sadness the death of Joanne Angle, the executive director of ARVO for the past 22 years. After a year-long struggle with cancer, Joanne passed away on March 8 at her home in Charlottesville, Virginia, surrounded by her family. It is impossible to overestimate her importance to IOVS and to ARVO overall. 
Joanne was born in 1941 in St. Helens, Oregon. After her marriage to Thomas Lane Angle, who rose to the rank of colonel in the US Army and with whom she was stationed all over the country, including South Carolina, Georgia, Alaska, Oklahoma, and Kansas, as well as Germany, she settled with her husband and daughter, Paige, in Northern Virginia in 1976. Daughter Christina joined the family in 1982. COL Angle (ret.) died in 1989. 
Educated in Oregon, Joanne obtained a bachelor of science in history from Portland State University. She earned a master of library science from the University of Oregon in 1973 and a master of public administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1977. She worked as director for the National Health Information Clearinghouse and was formerly the executive director for the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. This background—historian, librarian, and public administrator in the health field—would become extremely valuable to Joanne and to ARVO in the future. Joanne remembered everything and knew exactly where to go for additional information. 
Joanne joined ARVO in 1990. Recently widowed, she applied for the position of executive director after reading an ad in The Washington Post. Joanne described her interview with ARVO members Mort Goldberg and Harry Quigley (then executive vice-president of ARVO) as “probably the most fun I have ever had in an interview, with all three of us discussing many opportunities and having a lovely time and a few laughs.” She got the job! 
Never a fan of the limelight, Joanne quietly began the task of expanding ARVO programmatically and geographically, building it into the large, diverse global organization we know today. In 1991, the ARVO membership was just over 7000, and it has since increased to nearly 13,000 (as of the end of 2011), with 42% coming from approximately 70 countries outside the United States. Annual Meeting registration in 1991 was approximately 5400; in 2011, it was nearly 12,000, with over 40% traveling from outside the United States. Presentations at the Annual Meeting increased from approximately 3200 in 1991 to 6400 in 2011. The exhibitor program, which Joanne instituted, included 162 companies last year, providing valuable information to ARVO attendees and an important revenue stream to ARVO.  
The steady growth in attendance at the Annual Meeting, coupled with the limited space in Sarasota, was interfering with the scheduling and hosting ofan expandedprogram, necessitating multiple venues at different, widely spaced locations around the city. Hotel space at convenient locations and appropriate prices was in short supply. Sarasota had no plans to improve either meeting or housing accommodations, so difficult decisions had to be made: to remain and cope with what was rapidly becoming untenable, or to move to a newlocation after 25 years in Sarasota. The members and the Board of Trustees had strong and differing opinions about moving.Working with and, in reality, guiding the Board of Trustees, Joanne led the search for a new venue and negotiated successfully with the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale to bring the Annual Meeting to a facility and city of the right size without losing the warm, oceanfront ambience. Fact-finding and negotiation within the Board of Trustees and the membership itself was complex, but she orchestrated all of it with the skill of amaestro. Since 1995, ARVO hasmoved its headquarters fromMaryland to Fort Lauderdale for 1 week inMay eachyear, somembers can fully experience the vastly expanded and enriched program Joanne facilitated. This event, which has become the major global vision research “event,” fondly and simply became known as “ARVO.”  
Each year, the efficient ARVO “machine” quietly slips into Fort Lauderdale a few days in advance to begin the process of setup. Operating from a suite of second floor offices in theConvention Center, the team provides services to members, while simultaneously keeping the meeting on track. After orchestrating another successful and “uneventful” event, they then return just as quietly to Maryland with a long list of ideas and suggestions for the following year.  
Joanne always appeared relaxed and smiling, but behind that smile was a strong will, toughness, and a watchful eye. She was a skillful negotiator with vendors and suppliers, always professional and able to obtain the best arrangements and terms for ARVO and its members. Additionally impressive was her ability to assemble, organize, and oversee staff and members alike. Always open to new ideas, Joanne presided over many new ventures and introduced important new policies. Under her leadership, ARVO developed a diverse and international membership and became a pioneer among professional organizations in new initiatives. The association's accomplishments, many conceived and all brilliantly facilitated by Joanne, have been astonishing. Just a few examples are the introduction of guidelines for the use of animals in eye and vision research, registration of clinical trials at inception as a precondition for publication in ARVO journals, cofounding of the Alliance, and the National Alliance, for Eye and Vision Research, expansion of global outreach with the Asia-ARVO meeting, cosponsorship of other smaller and more tightly focused subdisciplinary meetings, and the founding of ARVO chapters in countries throughout the world.  
Not only did Joanne expand the organization's international reach, but she also brought its major journal IOVS in-house, thus taking it back from a commercial publisher, so it could be managed more effectively and flexibly, with revenues received directly by ARVO to reinvest into the organization. The journal began to receive electronic submissions in 2001 and, in another insightful innovation for a major journal, backed by meticulous research ascertaining both market conditions and member preferences, became an online-only journal in 2010. Since 2011, the journal has published articles twice a week, rather than the traditional once a month. IOVS received over 2000 submissions in 2011, the highest number ever. ARVO also saw in 2001 the launch of Journal of Vision, one of the first online-only journals in scholarly publishing, and recently announced a third journal, Translational Vision Science & Technology, which will launch this summer.  
Joanne loved and encouraged the participation of young people, feeling strongly that mentoring is more necessary now than ever before. Aware that young researchers around the globe lacked financial resources to travel to ARVO's meeting and realizing the need to establish a secure mechanism to raise funds for additional education and research, she advocated for and facilitated the establishment of the ARVO Foundation in 2001. Each year young researchers are awarded travel grants, allowing them to attend the Annual Meeting, meet with a host researcher, and avail themselves of everything that the organization has to offer. She additionally established a travel grant fund in honor of her family. Fittingly, a travel grant fund has now been established in her name to ensure that future young investigators can continue to benefit.  
Joanne frequently referred to herself as a lifelong student, which was evident in her wide grasp of so many diverse topics, from eye diseases to social media. In addition to keeping ARVO at the forefront in eye research, she also served on the Board of Prevent Blindness America from 2003 until her retirement. She was a former board member of the Kings Park Library in Burke, Virginia, and past president of the Washington, DC, chapter of the American Liver Foundation.  
The ARVO Board of Trustees and major committees are populated with smart, accomplished, and assertive individuals. Joanne managed them without ever making anyone realize she was doing so. She knew everything and was always prepared. What she could not answer immediately she ascertained and followed up quickly thereafter. She was the best executive director on the planet and was the heart, soul, and face of ARVO.  
I had the honor and privilege of working closely with Joanne for 20 years while serving on the Board of Trustees, as president of ARVO, as executive vice-president, and currently as editor-in-chief of this journal. During these periods, Joanne was always available for consultation, guidance, and insight. She mentored me and countless other scientists and staff; she could work with and teach anyone at any level. Recently, I accepted on her behalf The President's Award presented by the American Glaucoma Society for her service to the glaucoma and the wider vision and ophthalmic communities.  
For me, and for many others, she was a dear friend. At every level, we shall all miss her dearly.  
Paul L. Kaufman, Editor-in-Chief  
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