A Letter from Larry Silverman, CFO

Dear Fellow Members, Donors and Friends of FIRST,

Congratulations to all of the staff and volunteers on another great year for FIRST, highlighted by the National Conference in San Diego.  The reach and success of our organization continues to make a significant impact on the ichthyosis community. I want to once again recognize Jean, Moureen, Lisa, Maureen and Madeline, our professional staff, for their continued commitment to excellence and their enthusiastic support services of the organization.  Our President, Jeff Hoerle, has worked tirelessly to improve the quality, stability, and support services of the organization. He, along with all my fellow board members are truly dedicated to fostering the very best results for the FIRST family.

Now, to the state of financial affairs.  The year has produced a gerat number of challenges.  We saw a significant decrease in contributions over prior years and a reduction in investment income with the challenges of low interest rates.  In spite of these financial hurdles, the overall health of FIRST has remained.  The staff and board have made changes in order to reduce various expense areas while maintaining a high level of support for member services.  We will continue to keep a careful watch on ways to keep our financial health strong as we move into the future.  For the period ending September 30, 2016, net assets were down approximately $125,000 primarily cause from a decrease in contributions and investment income.  Despite these constraints, we were still able to provide over $180,000 in research funding this last fiscal year. Once again, the lion's share of contributions are spent on FIRST's programs and services.  Our Investment Committee continues to closely monitor all aspects of our progress and performance with our reserves and asset managers.  Overall our financial health is strong and we have made adjustments to balance the budget for this next fiscal year.

Please feel free to reach out at any time should you have any questions or concerns about our financial affairs.  I wish all of you a continued year full of great health, peace, and contentment.

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