GENERAL BRIEFING MEETING
Presided over by AEHT President Remco Koerts, the first briefing meeting planned for head judges, judges and teachers took place on the evening of November 12th. There was an atmosphere of concentration as those present took down the latest recommendations before the competitions, due to start the following day.
MEETING OF THE PRAESIDIUM
If circumstances so require, the members of the Praesidium use videoconferencing, but it goes without saying that at the Annual Conference they meet face to face, as was the case in Leeuwarden on November 13th at Friesland College. Traditionally this meeting is held behind closed doors, but during a break it seemed the right moment to take a photograph of the membership!
MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
On the following day, November 14th, it was the turn of the members of the Executive Board, that is the representatives of each country, to attend their meeting, again at Friesland College; this is a biannual meeting during which the members had the chance not only to listen to the ‘good word’ from the Praesidium, but also, of course, to contribute their own experiences from the ‘coal face’, or even to raise more specific grievances. The proceedings were all conducted in an excellent atmosphere.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: unanimity on (almost) all the agenda items
The Annual General Assembly was held at Friesland College from 09.00 am on Thursday November 15th.
AEHT President Remco Koerts was flanked by his Vice-Presidents Nuria Montmany, Neeme Rand, Michel Lanners, Ray Cullen, Ana Paula Païs and by General Secretary Nadine Schintgen; he took pleasure in greeting the assembly, in particular the two ‘elders’ Jürgen Clausen and Roy van Sassen; he then delivered his President’s report for the year just ended. The only absentee was Treasurer Klaus Enengl, unable to be present for health reasons. Before this, the minutes of the General Assembly held in Ostend on November 16th 2017 were unanimously adopted as a true record of that meeting.
The Vice-Presidents then gave an account of their achievements during the 2017/2018 period; below is a summary of these:
Neeme Rand explained the launch of the Office 365 suite, and emphasised that future events ought to be presented more attractively. As for the redesigned conference registration platform, it should be operational by March 2019.
For her part Nuria Montmany raised the matter of the reorganisation of the Higher Education Group within the AEHT. For example 207 schools, that is more than 50% of the AEHT member schools, are requesting more specific information in order to increase the effectiveness of these groups. The seminars should be better suited to the needs of teachers. The next seminar will be held in Oporto in March 2019. We are looking for organising schools for 2020 and 2021, she concluded.
Michel Lanners opined for his part that an academic programme should be introduced, for example by collaborating with Steve Hood (Senior Vice-President for Research and Founding
Director of Share Center) to set up a working group to develop a more ambitious programme. Several countries had expressed an interest in taking part in such an initiative.
For his part Ray Cullen, responsible for developing partnerships, was glad to announce a total of nine professional partners – he had met their representatives at a dinner on November 13th, arranged for an exchange of views. All of these partners are prepared to exert their influence in the hotel and culinary arts sectors. Moreover the AEHT’s partners are in addition paying partners. A major Belgian sponsor could become an AEHT sponsor. The President and Ray had met representatives of World Skills and had agreed to an exchange of judges at competitions.
Ana Paula Païs, responsible for coordinating the network of school representatives for each country, raised the matter of the efforts required in each country in order to change the educational systems. And the efforts needed to participate in exhibitions and international professional fairs in order to make the AEHT better known.
Treasurer Klaus Enengl had been unable to attend the conference and had sent his report which was presented by Ana Paula Païs. The report contained many constructive points, notably on the matter of changes in the numbers of member schools. Thus the AEHT currently has 365 member schools, nine others have been definitively excluded, 11 would be excluded if they were to fail to pay for a period of two years, and finally 35 schools have not yet paid their 2018 subscription.
On July 3rd the account auditors Jürgen Clausen and Danielle Snauwaert had visited the head office of Alpha Management, the firm responsible for the AEHT’s financial accounts. Jürgen Clausen delivered his report – in French – on this visit, stating that, although there was nothing to report as far as the keeping of the books was concerned, he should make the assembly aware of the fact that the reserves had diminished by €20,000 between 2016 and 2017. The two account auditors’ remit was extended for 2018.
By a big majority the General Assembly granted discharge to the Praesidium; Anna Paula Païs expressed the wish to have more professional partners and hoped that in 2019 there would be a positive financial outcome with the €26,000 that was expected.
There followed a whole series of presentations on forthcoming events:
The 2019 Annual Conference in Split, November 11th-16th 2019. Ivo Bilic introduced his team and provided information on the event, to which he invited all the member schools. Everything would take place on one site (loud applause) and all relevant information is available at www.aeht2019.hr . A video was shown to illustrate the presentation.
Christmas in Europe will take place in Barcelona in the first week in December and will be organised by the Sant Ignasi school.
Jordi Xavier Romero presented the wine seminar to take place on March 11th-15th. Between 12 and 15 participants could be accepted.
In Maribor there would be an international seminar for teachers and students in September 2019, for WSET levels two and three.
Castel san Pietro Terme: April 8th-11th, a maximum of 22 schools and four participants per school (two teachers and two students). More details next month via the AEHT.
Youth Parliament: three days at the end of April 2019. Murray presented the broad outline if this event, of which Klaus Enengl was the ‘Father’ in 2009. A minimum of 25 students from eight countries is required.
April 2nd-4th 2019: Bartender competition in Bled (Slovenia)
March 20th-23rd 2019 in Aveiro (Portugal): fish and culinary arts competition.
The Erasmus-funded ‘Green Project’ was presented by Neeme Rand; it may be used free of charge and is available at the following URLs:
https://greenguest.wordpress.com/ - http://greenquest.mosqi.to/en - http://greenquest.mosqi.to/fr/
President Remco Koerts presented a special edition, produced for the AEHT’s 30th anniversary, of a superb book devoted to 300 cognacs; it contains 800 pages, of which 30 are devoted to the AEHT. Every library should own one!
Steve Hood took his turn to present the Experiential Learning module intended for students wishing to obtain a form of certification recognised by the tourist industry.
At the end of the meeting Nadine Schintgen pointed out that some school codes would change in January 2019. For example SLO would become SI and CR would become HR.
The next General Assembly would be in Split in November 2019!