A TURNING POINT IN THE LIFE OF THE AEHT
In the AEHT as elsewhere, one General Assembly seems much like the next. The Assembly held on Thursday November 20th took place in the Crowne Plaza’s Atlantic Room, in the presence of the delegates from the schools, each of them duly carrying the famous green, red and yellow cards to be used for voting.
At the start of the meeting President Ana Paula Pais greeted the delegates and asked for their approval for the 19-item meeting agenda and for their adoption of the minutes of the previous General Assembly held on November 13th 2013 aboard the Costa cruise ship. Both points were unanimously approved.
In her President’s Report, Ana Paula Pais, in the first year of her presidency, spoke of a number of objectives and achievements. In order to improve relations with members, each member of the Presidium had been allocated a certain number of countries, and it was his or her responsibility to strengthen links with the national representatives.
Furthermore, in addition to the Starwood Group, our partner for placement for teachers, the AEHT is delighted to welcome a new partner, namely the Portuguese group ‘Pestana Hotels and Resorts’, a chain of 51 hotels across the world. There is now a new partner in addition to Villeroy et Boch, Casadelladivisa and Grand Marnier, namely the NH and R company which specialises in teaching and learning kits for the hospitality profession. The President expressed her warm thanks for all this support.
Next year should see the organisation of a seminar on the subject of world-wide trends in the field of tourism. In addition, the aid of certain members was requested in order to improve the promotion of the AEHT among young people, especially using Facebook.
Klaus Enengl, Vice-President responsible for competitions and other events, announced that the next Annual Conference would take place in Cervia in Italy, and that in future the competitions would take place only in English, but that the two official languages would remain English and French for all other purposes (just one yellow card was raised here, indicating an abstention). Moreover the head judges would be invited – expenses paid by the AEHT – to a meeting in Italy in March 2015, to put the finishing touches to the competitions on the spot; this would provide an extra guarantee of professionalism.
Replacing Remco Koerts who was busy elsewhere, Klaus Enengl announced on his behalf that the Youth Parliament, which had already been held in Austria, Iceland and Croatia, would take place in 2016 in London, and that the London Dockland Academy company would be providing accommodation in London for this purpose.
Bogusława Pienkowska, Vice-President in charge of occasional events, reported that of the 14 events scheduled since 2013, eleven had taken place and had attracted a total of 971 participants. She also rapidly ran through the various events planned for 2015, including the Annual Conference in Cervia on October 5th-10th, Christmas in Europe in Prešov in Slovakia, and 2015 Christmas in Europe in Luxembourg on December 2nd-8th.
Finally Mrs Yasegul Yesildaglar, Director of the ‘Docklands Academy London’ group, created in 2011, and including 20 restaurants in London, a kind of NGO which is not-for-profit and which offers three levels of training in English, business, reception, travel, tourism and food and beverage studies, gave a convincing presentation of her Group. Moreover, projects with the AEHT were on-going, for example with the Youth Parliament.
Herman Siebens, Vice-President in charge of teacher placements, expressed regret that only six or seven teachers had completed a placement with the Starwood Group, and announced that unfortunately Mrs Ellas has left her post and is no longer a director. He reported that he would be making contact with the new Director and commented that he would like communication to be more active and dynamic; and he announced already a new seminar for next year on the subject of ‘management change’.
A break of a quarter of an hour had been planned, but this ran for half an hour until the General Assembly resumed for the second part of the meeting.
When the meeting resumed Neeme Rand, Vice-President in charge of all aspects of the AEHT’s internet presence and website, reported that since there had been a lot of changes, a complete update had been carried out starting in March. Moreover, as was usual, he gave a series of statistics regarding the number of hits, the traffic, the numbers of visits per country (the highest scores being from Italy and France) and some ‘mysteries’ such as the visits from the USA for example. Young people mostly consult Facebook. He informed the meeting that the new database and data management URL is https://www.aeht.eu/db
Treasurer Klaus Enengl took his turn next, to present the accounts for the year just finished, showing the expenditure and income balanced at €192,666.44. The figures had been checked by the auditors Danièle Snauwaert and Jürgen Clausen on July 15th 2014, and the auditors had no comments to make. Moreover, their remit had been renewed for the 2014/2015 financial year. In discussing the exclusions, Klaus Enengl emphasised that the AEHT was very flexible in cases of financial hardship and appealed to the national representatives to help him in ensuring payment of the annual subscriptions, even allowing an month’s deadline extension in cases of late payments.
The provisional profit and loss account for €161,500 was adopted, including the sum of €20,800 in the form of the subsidy from Luxembourg, for which the meeting expressed its gratitude.
Natalia Komanicka, who moreover was providing interpretation of the proceedings, presented the RETOUR programme intended to teach the Russian language, with partnership from the AEHT.
Various contributors then took the floor to give brief presentations of a number of events:
- Marek Sotak for Christmas in Europe in Prešov (Slovakia) from December 7th-13th 2014; he also invited those present to Eurocup in November 2015;
- Filipe Rocha for his seminar in Ponta Delgada (Azores) entitled ‘Ten Chefs – Ten Countries’ on June 18th-27th;
- Elisabeth Reisen, Director of the Diekirch School, for Christmas in Europe in Luxembourg on December 2nd-8th 2015;
- Carla Maria Gatti, Director of the Cervia School, together with Francesco Aligi Lanzioni, to present the setting in which the 28th Annual Conference would take place in 2015.
Before the General Assembly concluded, the meeting unanimously voted to give discharge to the Presidium and its members. And as no matters were raised under ‘any other business’ the President declared the meeting closed at 12.15pm.