It is hard to believe that another twelve months has passed and a new year is approaching. I entered 2012 with great optimism and a diary full of major events on both a personal and business level and have not been disappointed.
As a “Brit” it all seems so long ago that we celebrated our Queen’s diamond jubilee and, of course, the International Olympic and Paralympic games. All these events left their own special memories and contributed to a sense of well-being and achievement that, at least for a time, made the world a better place.
In May, I was proud to assume the role of EPDA President, something I take very seriously. I have endeavored to oversee the continuous development and evolution of the EPDA with the support of a terrific team of Board members and staff. My first message was sent to you way back in May, and in that time regular monthly messages have kept you updated on the progress we have made in areas such as communication, business and market intelligence, the creation of a new role of Raw Material Liaison and not least the introduction of the State of the Nation survey.
Your EPDA Board met in early November in Amsterdam for a final year-end review and to discuss initiatives for 2013. The approach was to look at the EPDA with an open mind in order to determine just what it is that is relevant today in our association, what is affordable given the limited financial and volunteer resources and what positive changes could be made to re-energise the interest of all members.
The outcome is that the conference format will again evolve and new dynamic sessions will replace the traditional committees, designed to facilitate a greater level of positive interaction. Another change is to the publication of the newsletter, which will be issued in an improved format and on a quarterly basis, including the results of the State of the Nation survey. News articles will continue to be posted to the website as and when released.
Membership is the lifeblood of any association and the Board of Directors will focus on membership recruitment and retention. Country Ambassadors will continue to serve in their capacity but will now report directly to the Board.
I am currently in planning mode, thinking about areas to develop in 2013, setting objectives and goals and how I to achieve them. To that end I would value any direct feedback from you as members to let me know how you feel we are doing as a Board and what we could do better. My direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
It will be another landmark year both personally (I turn 50 in January!) and professionally (my first conference as EPDA president), and everything is falling into place for what I hope will be the best conference ever. The EPDA celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2013 and the EPDA Board and staff are working tirelessly to make it a truly memorable event.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued patronage of the EPDA and for putting your faith in the current Board. I wish you, your families and staff a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. I look forward to welcoming you all to Florence in May 2013!