President of EATA (2015–2019)
Active, accessible and attractive. That was my triple-A vision for EATA. It has been an honor to achieve some major results with the support and help of the affiliated associations, of Council, the EATA committees and “my” Executive Committee (EC).
An important element in the early months of my presidency was to strengthen the working relationship with and in Council and between the committees. I wanted to facilitate an environment of trust by promoting permission, protection and potency in all the group processes. With the EC, we hosted several inter-committee meetings. We also started a newsletter for Council, The Council Update.
The ties with our affiliated associations were also important for me and the EC. We have put a lot of emphasis on the relationship between the Delegate for Council and their associations’ boards and stimulated Delegates and Presidents to use the (European) strength of EATA to the associations’ advantage. Where possible, we tried to support those associations that were under national regulatory pressure. One other initiative was the support for a new format for the Presidents’ Meeting, in very close collaboration with the President of DGTA, the German association.
For members and TA-curious people in Europe, we looked at how EATA could make conferences more attractive and accessible. I’m particularly proud of the renewed Conference Handbook. Some of the guiding principles are that every TA field is represented, that sustainability is an important factor and that we introduced a Conference Bursaries Fund.
What I am most proud of is the start of a renewed relationship between EATA and ITAA. I knew Council and ITAA’s Board of Trustees would be working simultaneously in Berlin and I consulted with ITAA’s President on whether a joint EC/BoT meeting would make sense. This seemed like an obvious, small step to me but it was actually quite emotional: the two associations hadn’t really sat down together in many, many years. With Vice President Sylvie Monin, the EC, and Council, we explored how we could intensify the working relationship with ITAA. It was the start of many initiatives, including EATA’s structural support of the TAJ.
I’ve only been able to name a few people whom I worked with during my years, and it would be totally impossible to name everyone, because there were just so many. It was an honor to serve as President. Looking back on all the support, encouragement and help I received from so many people during my years in office, it has been a deeply humbling experience.