Having survived the December 2012 doomsday scenario predicted by the Maya, I entered 2013 delighted that the world had not come to an end. I have mentioned previously that I am proud to serve as EPDA President and it is a role I take seriously. Therefore, I looked forward to 2013 with some trepidation to my first conference as President, because it was not any old conference, but the 40th Anniversary Conference in Firenze, Italy, no less. I need not have worried as with the support of the Board and staff and you the members, it turned out to be quite the party and worthy of our Association’s anniversary celebration.
Like Barack Obama, entering his second term as President, I, too, entered my second year as President (although I have no delusions of grandeur as to representing a world power!) and have continued to seek ways to not only maintain the standards of EPDA but to improve and oversee its continuous development. Quarterly newsletters have been issued to keep you updated on member activities and Board progress and the members’ only area of the website continues to provide invaluable business and market intelligence.
Your EPDA Board met in late October in Mainz, Germany. I would like to thank SIMONA AG for providing the meeting facilities gratis enabling costs to be kept under tight control. The agenda included several key topics, the first of which was a review of the financial reports. I am pleased to confirm that thanks to the extraordinary attendance and sponsorship support, the 2013 conference broke even and we should end the year with a small net gain in assets and a healthy balance sheet.
The next key topic was the 2014 conference. I am delighted to confirm that the venue will be in the majestic city of Malmö, Sweden. Malmö traces its origins as far back as 1275 AD and has grown to be the third largest city in Sweden. It was a marketplace for the Hanseatic League in the 13th to 17th Centuries and more recently has seen an upturn in fortunes, primarily as a consequence of the opening of the Öresund Bridge, the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe linking Sweden and Denmark over the Öresund Strait. This bridge offers easy access to our accommodation, via a 20 minute direct rail connection to Copenhagen International Airport. The conference will be held in the heart of the city centre, walking distance from all local bars, restaurants, shops and other amenities. Full registration and joining details will be posted soon on the EPDA website and I look forward to welcoming you to Malmö 15-17 May 2014.
The final key topic revolved around the ongoing provision of EPDA management services. It is with some regret that I announce that ASI will not renew its association management contract with EPDA after its conclusion on 31st December, 2014. I would like to formally thank Susan Avery, CAE, and the rest of the ASI team for their support over the years and wish them well for the future. Preparations are well underway to finalise alternative arrangements and to ensure a smooth transition of the account. It is worth noting that this is totally separate from the affiliation agreement with IAPD, although as the original 2003 agreement is largely outdated, this is also being reviewed by IAPD. We will likely add this as an agenda item at the May conference.
As you can see, 2014 is already building into be a busy year. If you have any additional ideas or topics you would like addressed, please feel free to contact me directly or any of the other Board members and staff.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued patronage of EPDA and for putting your faith into the current Board. I wish you, your families and staff a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.