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Syntex Syva Summer Picnic

*The 2021 SSAA Summer Picnic at Cuesta Park in Mtn. View will be held Thursday August 19.

Click here for the event flyer.

NOTICE from Vel Kuftinec
Dear SSAA Members:
We have exciting news to share with you. Since many residents in the Bay Area have been vaccinated, the Covid-19 restrictions are being relaxed and outdoor gatherings are becoming possible. Consequently, the SSAA Board decided to hold our annual picnic this year.
So, SAVE THE DATE. The picnic will take place on Thursday, August 19th from 4 to 8 PM at Cuesta Park, our usual place in Mountain View.
The picnic will be held under the State, County and City guidelines in effect at that time. It is expected that attendees to the picnic will be fully vaccinated and no masks will be required.
We will have food and drinks available at the picnic. However, due to precautions related to Covid-19, we will not offer buffet-style food, which we did in the past. Instead, we will provide safe, individually packaged boxed dinners. There will be two types of boxed dinners: meat (containing baby back ribs plus chicken) or vegetarian (containing a veggie burger and Portobello mushroom). Both choices will include Salad, Beans, Cornbread Muffins and Dessert. For drinks, beers, wines, flat and sparkling waters will be available.
I look forward to reconnecting with all of you. I know it will be a great pleasure for all to share recent experiences.

Roche has made some changes to the Benefits Providers and contact information.
The SSAA is not a source for Benefits information. For member convenience the SSAA does present a list of Benefits contacts on the Useful Links page of this website, including for Alight and OptumRx.
Your primary source for Benefits information is Alight Solutions, the plan administrator.

Alight Solutions

The Roche consolidated retirement plan has a new administrator as of September 1, 2020. The information sent by Roche in their mailer describing the transition to Alight Solutions as the pension and post-employment healthcare administrator is provided in a pdf file here.
Please contact Alight Solutions for any questions regarding your current benefits.


The Roche drug prescription plan provider for non-Kaiser members transitioned from CVS to OptumRx last year. The information sent by Roche in their mailer describing a change in the branded versus generic drug benefits, as of January 1, 2020, is provided in a pdf file here.
Please contact OptumRx for specific questions as necessary.


The Board continues to meet using ZOOM online.
Future Newsletters and Directories are planned to be published, although this will be a great challenge without Gerri. Please send personal news including about how you have been coping with sheltering and social distancing.

Thank you for your continuing membership. As COVID-19 vaccination is becoming widespread and with better understanding of effective therapeutic treatments, we look forward to the time when we will meet again soon.

SSAA Zoom Board of Directors Meeting

2021 New and Continuing SSAA Board of Directors Officers and Members:

Board Officers:
President: Velimir Kuftinec
Vice President: OPEN
Recording Secretary: Mary Mulkins
Corresponding Secretary: Bonnie Wagner
Treasurer and Membership: Carolyn Lyon

Board Members:
Jackie Brown, Linval DePass, David Ellis, Kim Graham, Bonnie Horner, Tom Moran, Larry Reynolds, Rick Salazar (Memorabilia Chair), Kent Stormer, Bill Taylor (webmaster & photographer).

Newsletter Editor - OPEN
The SSAA is seeking a newsletter editor for future editions to be published twice a year. For more information please see a notice about the position in the Fall 2020 Newsletter.
Anyone interested in this position, please contact one of the Board officers or members or e-mail:

The SSAA needs your help!
We are frequently surprised to hear from former Syntex/Syva employees that they have never heard of the SSAA or believe that it is just for retirees (it's for all former employees). The only means we have to 'advertise' is through word of mouth. Please forward our web address,, to ex-Syntexers/Syvas whom you know to inform them of the organization and our activities. Also, if you are attending the picnic or the ARGM, please tell others about the event.

Additionally, if you are interested in serving on the SSAA Board, please e-mail SSAA.

Syntex Syva Alumni Logo

Additional sections of this site:

About SSAA

SSAA Archives

Employee Memorials



Science History Institute

In Memorium obituaries are located in the Members Section.


Syntex Syva Alumni Association
P.O. Box 1857
Los Altos, CA 94023-1857
Phone: (650)598-0249

Syntex Syva Alumni Logo

Members Section: Click here
(Membership is open to ex-employees from any Syntex/Syva entity.)

This private, members only section requires an ID and a Password, both case-sensitive.

This section contains a Members page that provides various information including links to the SSAA Newsletters page and Membership Directory page. The Newsletters page has all of the Newsletters, beginning with issue #1, presented in numerical order as pdf files. The Directory is a pdf file of member contact information in alphabetical order by last name.
Adobe Reader, or a similar PDF reader, is required to open and view the pdf files.

The ID and Password to access this private section are sent to all current SSAA members in each Newsletter. Please look for this information under Useful Information near the end of the Newsletter and save the ID and Password for continued access. If the ID or Password are lost, then contact
If a password change is determined to be necessary in the future, then members will be informed of the new password in the Newsletter prior to the change being made.
To maintain member privacy, please donít share this information, Directory or Newsletters with non-SSAA members.

Members ask how to know if they owe dues.
Look at the mailing label on your Newsletter or Directory envelope. The year through which dues have been paid will be in parentheses after your name. If the number that appears by your name matches the current year, then you've paid. If not, use the form to renew your membership. For lifetime members, the number on the envelope will be 2040.
If you do not have the Newsletter or Directory envelope, send an e-mail with your name to to inquire.
A remittance envelope and dues reminder is sent to those who owe in early January.

Science History Institute Logo

Science History Institute / Chemical Heritage Foundation / Life Sciences Foundation

The focus of the Life Sciences Foundation was to tell the story of Biotechnology. The SSAA collected Syntex memorabilia and the Life Sciences Foundation agreed to archive it as a historical collection and for publications.

In October 2015 the Life Sciences Foundation merged with the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Their statement: "CHF continues to collect, preserve, and exhibit historical artifacts; engage communities of scientists and engineers; and tell the stories of the people behind breakthroughs and innovations".
As part of this merger the Chemical Heritage Foundation became the Science History Institute in February 2018. They cover the history of the life sciences and biotechnology together with the history of the chemical sciences and engineering. Their website is here.
The SSAA continues to work with the Institute on preserving the history of Syntex/Syva.

The Institute has an interesting series of films titled Scientists You Must Know.
One segment is about George Rosenkranz that can be viewed at this link.
Another segment is about Carl Djerassi.
There is also a segment about Larry Knox, an Afican-American with a PhD in organic chemistry from Harvard University. In the late 1950's Larry took a position with Laboratorios Syntex S.A. in Mexico City. From 1960 to 1965 he coauthored 10 papers and was awarded over 40 patents related to steroid chemistry.
Also, a keyword search of 'Syntex' gives several other interesting articles.

Laszlo Tokes, a scientist with a long career at Syntex, has written an article that will be of interest to the general SSAA membership. Although the article has sections that are oriented to scientific specialists (just skip those), there are several sections that capture engaging aspects of Syntex history.

The Board wants to know if SSAA members want another activity.

Please click here to send us an e-mail and tell us of an activity that would be of interest to you and whether you would volunteer to be the activity leader.

Possibilities include, but are not limited to: *VMWare tour; *Filoli Gardens Tour; *Golf Tournament; *Rosie the Riveter Museum; *Asian Art Museum; *Casino Bus Trip; *Beach Blanket Babylon; *Wine Country; *Treasure Island; *Symphony/concert; *Monterey Bay Aquarium; *Financial Planning seminar; *Biotech lecture; *USS Hornet.

Please direct website comments to

Last Updated July 22, 2021

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