Almost a year ago, I became President of EuroCHRIE, and even if I did not have very specific expectations, I certainly did not expect all that happened. We have all witnessed the same headlines, experienced confinement, and/or remote work, and we all tried our best to be able to work and look after our loved ones at the same time. These have been challenging times, and I hope the near future that awaits is more radiant.
However, looking on the bright side, I have seen people, institutions, industry, and education reinvent themselves, innovate while being as inclusive as possible. These have been challenging times indeed, but we have been forced to get out of our comfort zone to find new ways of teaching, helping others, and creating a link with people we could not see. While it has certainly not been easy, innovation and inclusivity have become predominant and I believe this has set a new cornerstone.
During this year, EuroCHRIE has launched its new website to be more user-friendly. We have started a series of Small Group Meetings to make sure our members can meet and talk about Hospitality related topics, anywhere in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. We have also started doing webinars to keep in touch with our members while answering some of their requests on specific topics. We have held many online board meetings as I have always believed that good communication relies on talking to people more than only twice a year. 3 EuroCHRIE members were on the ICHRIE board this year to represent all of our members.
I would not have been able to achieve any of this without the amazing team I have had the pleasure to work with. I have been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by remarkable professionals who did all they could to help because they care. Together apart we stand: this has been true for the beginning of this year, and I hope this will continue. I would love though, for this motto to become Together in Aalborg we stand: if you can, then we will be more than happy to welcome all of you for our annual conference in Aalborg, Denmark from October 5th until 8th 2020. We would also be delighted to welcome you on the board, especially as now board members can attend most meetings online with no obligations to travel anymore, apart from the conference.
This is the time where I take my hat off and hand it over to Xander Lub, who will be sworn in as President on July 23rd, while I will become Immediate Past President. I wish him and his team all the best in this quite unique experience.
Stay safe and keep innovation going,