THE EXECUTIVE BOARD IN SESSION
The National Representatives came together on Tuesday October 25th at the head office of the Docklands Academy for one of their twice-yearly meetings, this one being the session which preceded the following day’s General Assembly. It is the opportunity for the representatives to have an accurate impression of the work carried out by the President and her Vice-presidents. We should mention that this time an important person had been invited to the meeting - Michel Lanners, chief government adviser at the Ministry of Education, Childhood and Youth of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, with responsibility for overall coordination. Michel Lanners emphasised that he had come to London not only to represent his ministry, which has been supporting the AEHT since 2000 with a substantial subsidy, but also to ensure continuity in collaboration with the AEHT in one of the three large countries where EU institutions have their headquarters. His mission was to make an assessment of the work carried out by the AEHT and to judge the usefulness of a larger subvention which was being considered by Luxembourg for the AEHT.
A GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHERE CONSENSUS REIGNED
On Wednesday October 26th, again at the headquarters of the Docklands Academy, the General Assembly was held. This meeting brings together both the national representatives and the school directors present at the Conference. The operation was conducted briskly and efficiently by the Presidium, headed by the President Ana Paula Pais, at a meeting that seemed to be more thinly attended than usual. No doubt this was caused by transport difficulties, and by the fact that some members were involved in judging panels.
After the customary greetings to the participants and warm thanks to the management of the Docklands Academy for organising the 29th Annual Conference, the President expressed her regret at the absence of Vice-President Herman Siebens who had been unable to attend because of illness, and at the absence of Remco Koerts who had been called away to ensure that the competitions ran smoothly. She asked the meeting to vote on the approval of the agenda of the General Assembly – approved nem.con. The minutes of the Cervia General Assembly in 2015 were also unanimously agreed as an accurate record of that meeting.
In her President’s Report Ana Paula Pais explained that it was no longer necessary to hold an extraordinary general assembly to change parts of the statutes, since the Luxembourg government was now continuing, and may even increase, its grant to the AEHT.
In addition the Presid
ent emphasised the importance of extending the AEHT’s activities towards Higher Education in order to attract new member schools. In this connection, the next such HE seminar would take place in Portugal. Referring to the elections in 2017 the President outlined the various stages involved, both for the election of the National Representatives and for candidates for the Presidium. She also recommended that everyone should check their data entered on the AEHT database (https://www.aeht.eu/db).
Finally she expressed her pleasure that two new Professional Partners had joined that AEHT, namely the ‘Gruppo Spaggiari Parma’, a provider of services and multimedia for education, and the ‘Butler Search Group’, an American organiser of professional internships for European management students. To conclude her report Ana Paula Pais emphasised that all efforts on the part of National Representatives to identify new Professional Partners would be very much appreciated.
Vice-President Klaus Enengl also thanked the management of Docklands Academy for organising the 29th Annual Conference. He also expressed the wish that in relation to the ‘head judges’ it would be a good idea to limit their numbers to one per country. He also asked for volunteers for the future: ‘Working with Head Judges enables the AEHT to have high standards in order to avoid problems before the start of the competitions. Remco Koerts has been deeply involved in the preparation of the competitions, and has already proposed a workshop to ensure an improved flow of information for next year.’
This time wearing his Treasurer’s hat, Klaus Enengl talked the meeting through the exclusions, resignations and new admissions to the AEHT. Thus 45 schools had not yet paid their subscription for 2016, representing a total loss of €15,070, and he requested all these schools to bring their payments up to date in order to avoid eventual exclusion. He pointed out that ‘if this list gets longer from year to year, the situation is regrettable and could become a problem in the long run.’ He then emphasised the importance of all schools ensuring that they identify their payment using the correct school membership code.
Moreover a third reminder would be sent out to the 28 schools which, failing payment by December 1st, would be excluded by a unanimous vote of the Assembly. In 2016 eight schools had resigned from the AEHT and 18 schools had taken out membership.
The global financial report for 2015 was succinctly presented to the Assembly by Klaus Enengl, who provided an ad hoc commentary on the various budget headings. The accounts kept by AMS-Alpha Management Service had been checked by the usual account auditors, namely Danielle Snauwaert and Jürgen Clausen on June 9th 2016 in the presence of General Secretary Nadine Schintgen and of the accountant Stephanie Marion-Cortès, who provided all the necessary documentation. Their conclusion was that everything is in order. The account auditors were again reconfirmed in their posts for 2016. The Assembly voted unanimously to grant discharge to the Presidium.Vice-President Boguslawa Pienkowska, who is responsible for professional placements for teachers, announced that the AEHT is continuing its collaboration with the ‘Prestana Hotels and Resorts’ group. In addition the previous month she had started talks with the ‘Hôtel Louvre’ group and had negotiated the same terms which had previously applied to the collaborative scheme with the ACCOR group. Boguslawa Pienkowska was currently preparing a contract with this group, and the scheme should come into effect next year.
She reported that in 2014, 856 people had taken part in ten AEHT events, while in the period October 2015 to October 2016, 889 people had taken part in nine events.
Next the programme for forthcoming events in the AEHT’s calendar was projected onto the screen. The representatives of the Eastern Mediterranean University – EMU – in North Cyprus gave an extensive presentation of their university where the 5th edition of the Youth Parliament would be held from May 2nd to May 6th in the city of Famagusta.
|March 15th – 17th||4th edition of the Fish & Cooking Festival in Aveiro (PT)|
|March 28th – 30th||12th Bartender G&T Cup 2017, Bled (SI)|
|April 6th – 8th |
(to be confirmed)
|Flavour & Cinema - Algarve’17, Faro (PT)|
|April 6th – 9th||19th edition of the Bartolomeo Scappi International Competition (bar, sommelier, pastry, cooking competitions), Castel San Pietro Terme (IT)|
(date to be defined)
|Seminar for teachers and directors (for EQF level 5 and up) focusing on ‘Sea, sun & culture’ organized by the hotel schools from Douro-Lamego and Estoril, Lisbon (PT)|
|May 2nd - 6th||Youth Parliament on “Slow tourism and mass tourism: Can the two meet?”, Eastern Mediterranean University - Faculty of Tourism, Famagusta, North Cyprus, Famagusta (TR)|
|May 4th – 6th||Culinary arts and bar competition "A dish with white gold (sweet salt of Cervia)”, Cervia (IT)|
|June 22nd - July 1st |
(to be confirmed)
|10 FEST AZORES 2017 – 10 days, 10 chefs, Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island (PT)|
|October||Seminar for The WSET® (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Level 1 and 2 Awards in Wines and Spirits, Maribor (SI)|
|October 25th - 27th or November 8th-10th |
(date to be confirmed)
|EUROCUP 2017 – 25th Junior bartender competition (special jubilee contest), organized in collaboration with the Cognac Academy, Prešov (SK)|
|October or December||AEHT Youth Tourism & Gastronomy Workshop, Eastern Mediterranean University -Faculty of Tourism, Famagusta, North Cyprus (TR)|
|November 13th - 18th||30th AEHT Annual Conference organized by the network of Flemish member schools in Ostend (BE)|
|December 2nd - 8th||26th Christmas in Europe, Fatima (PT)|
Another conference would also take place at the University of Famagusta from July 10th to July 15th in collaboration with Washington State university (http ://www.ahtmm.com) on the subject of ‘7th Advances in Hospitality and Tourism Marketing and Management Conference’.
In relation to the 2017 edition of Christmas in Europe Nadine Schintgen announced that as for previous editions she would be submitting a fresh Erasmus Plus application.
The calendar for the forthcoming Annual Conferences is as follows: 2017: Ostend/Belgium, 2018: Leeuwarden/The Netherlands, 2019: Split/Croatia, 2020: Lithuania, 2021: Austria, 2022: Barcelona, 2023: Diekirch.
The forthcoming Christmas in Europe events would take place in San Benedetto del Tronto in 2016, in Fatima in 2017 and in Riga (Latvia) in 2018.
As usual Neeme Rand, the Vice-President responsible for the ICT aspects of the AEHT, used graphs to present activity on the AEHT website. The website was redesigned in March 2016, and now provides greater security and more compatibility with the new mobile phones and tablets. The site received 47,412 visits in the 2015/2016 academic year, compared with 32,513 visits in 2014/2015. He gave a breakdown of the number of visits per country, the number of visits of the first ten countries, the origins of the visits, etc. He produced a similar analysis for the Facebook account, where there was an increase from 1894 to 2255 ‘likes’ between October 2015 and October 2016. The site was even able to identify the age bracket and sex of those visiting the site. Neeme Rand also gave some pointers for the future, particularly the introduction of ‘Office 365 cloud’ in 2018.
Sanne Huygens, Director of the GO !TA Campus Wemmel and co-organiser of the 30th Annual Conference in Ostend, in a jubilee year, presented the broad outline of the 2017 event to take place from November 13th to 18th. There would be the usual ten competitions, breakfast would be served in the various hotels, lunch would be in the Casino Kursaal and dinner in the Vayamundo Hotel. Various excursions were planned. Registration fees would be €640 per person for students, €750 per adult in a double room and €835 in a single room. For the Andromeda hotel delegates would have to pay slightly more.
In this connection Antun Perusina, Director of the Dubrovnik school, commented that the prices were increasing year by year, and that in the long run a number of schools, including those from Croatia, would have to leave the AEHT, while this was the most important event for AEHT members. The Presidium members agreed with this observation and asked the organisers to find additional sources of funding in order to lower the prices for 2017: ‘We don’t hold the Annual Conference in order to give people the pleasure of staying in up-market hotels, but rather to give the students the opportunity of meeting each other and competing together.’ Sanne Huygens promised that she would do her utmost to lower the prices. For her part, Aysegul Yesildaglar suggested that it may be possible to obtain funding from Erasmus Plus.
Under the ‘any other business’ item, former AEHT President Louis Robert made a detailed intervention about holding an Extraordinary General Assembly to consider changes to the statutes. This had been much talked about (editor’s note). Louis Robert declared that such an Extraordinary General Assembly was not necessary, but that it would be wise to develop strategies to find the necessary funding, and to this end to ‘start by halting the loss of members; another way is to keep an eye on expenditure.’ He reminded the meeting of the history of administration within the AEHT: first there had been Sibylle Schoch, then Christine Hurinville, then John Rees Smith and finally Nadine Schintgen. ‘In 2000 the Luxemburg government had made a grant of €30,000 when the AEHT Head Office had moved from France to Luxembourg, and several years later it had reduced the grant to €20,800. This funding had been used in order to professionalise the AEHT. Unfortunately, he said, not everyone is aware of all the work that Nadine Schintgen carries out day after day.’ He reminded the meeting of the problems that had been experienced with the former director of the Diekirch school, where the AEHT has its head office, and reported how the situation had returned to normal thanks to the work of the new director Mia Aouadi. Louis Robert was pleased to highlight that Michel Lanners, representing the Luxembourg government (and present at the AGM, editor’s note) was doing his best to increase the grant to €26,800 for 2017 and to €30,000 for 2018.
‘Everyone knows Nadine Schintgen, but no-one realises how much the Association has grown and how many activities have developed, and that is thanks to her work,’ Louis Robert concluded.
Ana Paula Pais was grateful for this reminder of AEHT history, and explained that ‘It seemed necessary to discuss certain changes, but this is no longer the case since the situation has changed.’ Nadine Schintgen pointed out that the AEHT had been granted a subsidy of €3,000 from the Luxembourg Ministry of Tourism for Christmas in Europe in Diekirch in December 2015, and that in addition she had met Jacques Santer, the former President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, in order to explore possible new income streams.
Helena Cvikl from the Maribor school said she would like further details about the need for an Extraordinary General Assembly; Ana Paula Pais replied that the question had been discussed at the Executive Board meeting and that it was not appropriate to bring it up again.
The next meeting of the General Assembly would take place in Ostend on November 16th 2017.
WORKSHOPS AND MASTERCLASSES
While in the past one or two workshops had been held, this year the Docklands Academy had pulled the stops out. You may judge for yourselves:
- Masterclass at Redbridge College for culinary arts students, given by Marcus Hallgren
- Masterclass for ‘the others’ given by Robert Bosma
- Guided tour of London for students studying ‘Tourist Destinations’ led by the coordinator Aslihan.
- Workshop on effective teaching and classroom management, given by Sarah Bub
- Cocktails being created by MacNamara
- Wine-tasting demonstrated by Antonio Jullienne, John Sabido and Simon Guile
- EU Funding by Aysegul Yesildaglar
- Service to the consumer by GGT solutions
- Employability in the United Kingdom by GGT solutions
- Training. The opportunities in Flanders by SOK
According to Aysegul Yesildaglar, a total of more than 200 people attended the masterclasses and workshops.