On April 1, 2015, Tom Brenna will become the new President of our Society and I will move to Past President for the next 3 years. Richard Bazinet will replace Tom as President-Elect. Upon learning that he had just begun 9 years of obligation to the Society, Richard responded: “My babies will be teenagers.” Yes, it is a long time, Richard, but it goes by very quickly because we have fun!
Change also brings loss. On April 1, Philip Calder will complete his 9 years of service on the Executive and we will lose his regular insightful counsel. Thank you, Philip (please, send Philip your thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org). One of the key elements of Philip’s leadership was to bring more transparency to the actions of the Executive and Board, an element that I wholeheartedly embraced and tried to continue. Members can view the minutes of our Executive and Board meetings on line at ISSFAL.org. Philip’s contributions to the Society began well before his Presidency. For example, he put together an excellent 5th ISSFAL Congress in Brighton, UK in 2004 almost single-handedly. We know Philip will continue to be active contributor to the Society.
As part of transparency, we have recently put all financial transactions of the Society on the website and made them visible to members of the Board. Tom Brenna (and wife Pat Brenna) worked tirelessly and diligently to gain control of our society finances; and I am pleased to say we are now on stable financial footing. Tom has mentored Bev Mulhausler into her new role as Treasurer, after she replaced Seth Baum, who stepped down because of health issues.
Some of you may remember that Philip Calder became President just before our transition to new management with Graham Hauck of Hauck and Associates on January 2011. The change in management was precipitated by the retirement of Ray Rice, who for many years served as Secretary-Treasurer of ISSFAL and coordinated the financial planning of a number of congress meetings. Another reason for the change in management was that we needed to move our funds back to the United States, where ISSFAL is registered as a charity in the State of Massachusetts.
What we did not realize until almost too late was how important it is to have a knowledgeable link between our regular and corporate members. It was a great stroke of luck that our elected Secretary at that time, Peter Clough, had all of the needed attributes and qualifications and agreed to assume many of the roles formerly fulfilled by Ray Rice. With the permission of the Board and acceptance by Hauck and Associates, we amended our contract with Hauck and Associates and signed a new contract with Peter Clough on June 30, 2013. The contract was for a fixed term of six months with the option to continue. The division of management has been a great success and we have continued the option. In his role, Peter has contributed greatly to Society communications and also our financial stability by his work with our corporate members. A new order of business that needs to be undertaken soon is to make this a permanent position of the Society.
The last 5 years have been years of transition for the Society and they have involved a lot of hard work and dedication by members of the Executive. I am pleased to say we have weathered them well and that the Society continues to grow and mature. For example, many formerly volunteer activities have been formalized. The Nominations and Award Committee is new and is chaired by the Past-President. As the first Chair of this Committee, Philip Calder formalized the rules for the Early Career Award and the Alexander Leaf Award, and he and his committee have ensured that we have a slate of candidates for our elections.
It is also time to thank Board members who are rotating off on April 1 – many thanks Hee-Yong Kim and Birgitta Strandvik for your years of service to the Society. Birgitta Strandvik was also the organizer for the very successful 11th ISSFAL Congress in Stockholm last June. The 2016 Congress to be held in Stellebnbosch, Western Cape of South Africa, 6-9 September 2016 (see Save the Date below) is proceeding forward in the capable hands of Marius Smuts, Tom Brenna, Peter Clough, and Graham Hauck. I hope you can all join us there, as it will be ISSFAL's first Congress in Africa!
Many thanks for all of your support of this amazing organization.