IAF and ILAC members were planning to meet in Tunis, Tunisia in March 2010, as guests of TUNAC, the host for the meetings. However, in January the unfolding events in the country created a dilemma for the leadership of IAF and ILAC. Do we move the meetings or cancel them?
Fortunately, IIOC came to the rescue. Roger Bennett, working closely with the IAF and ILAC Secretaries, was able to arrange for the meetings to be held at the Epsom Downs horse racing track in the UK. The Epsom Downs Conference Center was able to accommodate our group for the same dates and schedule of meetings as was planned for Tunis. IAF made the financial commitment to reserve the meeting rooms and hotel accommodations, but participants were charged a registration fee of $96.00 US a day to pay for the meeting rooms and catering.
By all indications the meetings were a success with well over 100 participants. To my knowledge, this is the first such meeting arranged and managed by IAF and ILAC directly. We were planning to do this in 2012, but had to change plans with the events in Tunisia. So the meetings in Epsom proved the feasibility of arranging cost-effective meetings directly rather than relying upon a host. The Joint Executive made the decision for IAF and ILAC to directly manage a similar series of meetings in 2012. Instead of March, however, we are planning to hold the meetings in the week of 30 April to 4 May. The venue has not yet been decided, but will probably be in Europe near a convenient international airport.
Guenther Beer, the current member of the Board representing users, and the current chair of the User Advisory Committee is retiring in April 2011 so this was his last meeting as a member of the IAF Executive Committee, and so I presented him with a Certificate of Recognition. The IAF TC meeting was also the last meeting for Yoshi Kameyama of JAB, who is also retiring.
- Randy Dougherty, IAF Chair