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LOUIS ROBERT IS ELECTED PRESIDENT, AND A RESTRUCTURED TEAM TAKES OVER

The AEHT General Assembly took place as per the programme on November 9th in the Banqueting Suite of the Brehon Hotel. Present were around a hundred delegates clutching their proxy voting papers and the three regulation ballot cards in case voting was required.

The General Assembly was chaired by Louis Robert, who had been elected president the same morning, surrounded by his team of vice-presidents; the meeting was held in a spirit of total agreement, beginning with the approval of the minutes of the previous General Assembly held in Kemer/Antalya in Turkey in 2005.

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In his speech marking the end of his period of office, the outgoing president Alfonso Benvenuto gave an assessment of the three years of his AEHT presidency. He explained that several factors had prevented him from carrying out his mandate exactly as he would have wished, but emphasised the work carried out especially by his team – General Secretary Nadine Schintgen and vice-presidents Louis Robert, Neeme Rand, Adolf Steindl, Michel Gaillot, Bogusława Pienkowska, treasurers Hans Russegger and Klaus Enengl, not forgetting translator and interpreter John Rees-Smith, Sibylle Schoch who worked on the ACCOR placements and ‘Mother Christmas’ Christiane Keller.
He also mentioned that the AEHT’s financial situation had been regularised through reductions in expenditure as well as through new membership subscriptions and through professional membership; he expressed regret that he had not succeeded in creating a satisfactory network bringing together schools and higher education establishments, nor in offering placement opportunities to students, nor in identifying a prestigious location for university-level programmes aimed at young people leaving our hotel schools. This was a ‘dream’ that he entrusted to the new team. He concluded by thanking most warmly the Killarney team and in particular Mary Owens for the excellent organisation of this 19th Annual Conference in Killarney.

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The vice presidents took turns to outline briefly their areas of responsibility. Louis Robert spoke of his achievements as vice-president in charge of fixed events – the Annual Conference and Christmas in Europe – one of the AEHT’s leading events which had a great impact, he emphasised while thanking Christiane Keller to loud applause. And still on the subject of the Annual Conference he mentioned that we were producing of a set of guidelines which would shortly be published on the internet. ‘We do not wish to impose any constraints,’ he said, ‘but rather to help the organisers’. He spoke next of the work of the competitions sub-committee and thanked the four sub-committee members for their efficient and essential work. In the longer term the AEHT wants to standardise the forms used, from registration at the Conference to when the participants leave, decreasing the amount of paper used through use of the internet, and thus making operations more reliable, quicker and cheaper.


The meeting was shown the presentation – a truly excellent piece of work - of the AEHT on a promotional CD; Louis Robert took the opportunity to emphasise how useful such a tool is in discussions with potential professional partners.

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New Presidium

Bogusława Pienkowska, the vice-president responsible for ACCOR placements, gave a brief account of the ‘Trainees’ Charter’, and warmly thanked Sibylle Schoch for her work in the past; she informed the meeting that in future the placements would be organised from her school in Warsaw. Michel Gaillot also highly praised Sibylle Schoch’s excellent work: ‘The work she did for us was remarkable, rigorous and painstaking’ he declared, underlining the fact that the collaboration between the AEHT and ACCOR was as solid as ever. In relation to the Higher Education portfolio for which he was responsible, more efforts were needed in order to recruit members from this sector.


DSC06231.JPGFrédérique Poggi (of the ACCOR Human Resources Directorate) who has taken over from Gilles Honegger, took the opportunity to give some statistics on the placements which had been organised in 2006: more than 40 teachers took part in a placement while around a hundred such placements were on offer. The average age of teachers on placement was 41; more than 50% were language teachers, the remainder being teaches of practical subjects. 39% were placed in IBIS units, 22% in NOVOTELS and 17% in MERCURES. France and the United Kingdom were the two main receiving countries. Most placements last one week, usually in July and August, and the departments concerned are mostly front office and rooms division (47%) and F&B (36%). Lastly 68% of the teachers would like to participate in another placement in another unit; contact with the hotel’s management team was by far the most positive component of the placement.

For his part Adolf Steindl appealed for members to offer to organise new seminars; but he also explained that he had not completely retired and was still working part-time. As he reached the end of his last mandate Adolf pointed out that he, together with Michel Gaillot, Louis Robert and Alfonso Benvenuto had served three periods as vice-president. ‘I wish to thank all those I have worked with. They are true friends, it was a great pleasure for me and my heart still belongs to the AEHT.’


Neeme Rand, vice-president responsible for communication gave a presentation of the new AEHT website which can be accessed via three URLs, namely www.AEHT.eu, www.AEHT.org, www.AEHT.lu . It had been decided to redesign the website in order to make it more attractive and dynamic, especially through the inclusion of a chat room, and to make it easier for Nadine Schintgen to manage. Neeme Rand concluded his presentation by inviting members to visit the site, a page of which was projected onto the screen in the meeting room.

THE FINANCES IN GOOD SHAPE

Turning to the matter of the AEHT’s finances, Klaus Enengl gave a succinct presentation of the financial operations which had been carried out in 2005, with more schools taking out membership and more professional members. And most important of all, a positive outcome of 14,812 euros. He thanked Norbert Richartz from Diekirch for his work as a ‘really helpful accountant.’

Jürgen Clausen and Danielle Snauwaert had audited the accounts and Jürgen Clausen read out a statement describing the three hours which the two auditors had spent checking the accounts. ‘Norbert Richartz answered all our questions and we found the accounts to be in good order’, he said. The two auditors agreed to carry out the task for a further year.

Klaus Enengl presented the budget forecast for 2007, which was almost the same as the 2005 budget and had been set with great prudence. He then pointed out that the post of treasurer, who until now had been appointed rather than elected, would from now on be an elected, vice-president’s post. The proposal was readily approved. Finally the vice-president-treasurer announced that this year there had been no exclusions, but six resignations and 33 new memberships representing schools or professional members, these latter being recommended by member schools.

Louis Robert proposed that all members of the Presidium should be declared by acclaim to have carried out their mandates.

APPOINTMENTS TO HONORARY POSTS AND NEW PROJECTS

Michel Gaillot requested the floor before he finally left the AEHT stage, in order to pay heartfelt homage to Jean Paul Bernard, AEHT founder, to Sibylle Schoch, Christiane Keller and John Rees Smith ‘who have given the AEHT its sense of direction’. He spoke with emotion of the ‘extraordinary times he had spent within the AEHT’. ’We are returning to the heart of Europe, to Luxembourg. It is up to you to maintain the skills and the ethic … Good Luck to the AEHT.’

After this moment of emotion Louis Robert thanked all those concerned for all their work and then had the pleasant task of announcing a number of decisions that had been made, namely several appointments as honorary presidents or vice-presidents: Adolf Steindl, Michel Gaillot, Jürgen Clausen, Willy Creten, Roy van Sassen, Ottavia Madaro. Kemal Topaloglu was made honorary member.

Anna Paula Pais, the Portuguese national representative and newly-elected vice-president, introduced herself in a few words, stating simply, ‘I’m ready to work.’ Meanwhile Alfonso Benvenuto, who now resumes a vice-president’s role, continues his work ‘with the critical mass of Italy behind him.’

As for the AEHT’s ‘areas of work’, Louis Robert identified several of them:
• Developing links with Higher Education
• Consolidating the number of members and increasing in the number of professional members
• Establishing contacts with the European Union
• Drawing up guidelines and procedures to enable events to be organised more easily.


And without mincing his words the new President expressed his regret that we had been unable to find enough teachers for the judging panels. ‘The AEHT Annual Conference isn’t only about going on excursions,’ he said. Referring to that morning’s Presidium elections, he said that there had been six candidates for four posts. ‘Many thanks for presenting yourselves as candidates’.


Nadine Schintgen gave the highlights from the calendar of forthcoming events:
Budapest March 26th-31st 2007 – Springtime in Gastronomy
Cingoli – Farmyard animals: an ancient source of wealth, a precious dish, an alternative source of protein in today’s diet
Vieste November 20th: culinary event
Faro April 18th-21st 2007: International Festival of Sport and Health, on the theme of tennis
Giulianova – Hotel Reception competition
Kołobrzeg March 22nd-25th: New pathways for horse-riders and horseback excursions – the creation of a new tourism product
Rzeszow in October: workshop on succulent game
Senigallia in spring 2007: Seminar on ice-cream
Black Sea: culinary festival March 27th-30th 2007
Christmas in Europe: in Örebro in 2006, Semmering in 2007, Château-Chinon in 2008.
Annual Conferences: Lido di Jesolo (2007), Kuressaare (2008), Dubrovnik (2009), Iceland (2010) Poznan (2011), Portugal (2012), Greece ( 2013 tbc), 2014 (Italy)….


NEXT YEAR IN LIDO DI JESOLO

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Following a well-established tradition, the presentation of the next in the series of Annual Conferences, the 20th, to take place from October 16th – 21st 2007, was given by Laura Troiero (member school I 38), a language teacher at the Elena Cornaro school in Lido di Jesolo; Laura projected a superb video showing the irresistible attractions of this beautiful region of Italy. Her presentation was enthusiastically applauded, and she concluded with the words, ‘We look forward to seeing you and send you warm greetings.’ One can’t say better than that!


There was one last agenda item – Any Other Business. But as no one else asked for the floor, the President declared the General Assembly closed at 15.00.
12th - 17th November 2018 in Leeuwarden
13th to 18th November 2017 - in Oostend
23rd to 28th October 2016 in London
5th to 10th October 2015 in Cervia

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