The MAABN held its Annual General Meeting at the World Trade Centre on November 17th. The meeting was well-attended.
Co-Presidents Richard Bower and Pamela King presented a report on the association’s activities in 2016, proposed a strategy for the development of the MAABN in 2017 and presented the accounts for 2015. The Presidents’ report, the proposed development strategy and the accounts were all approved by the Assembly.
Below is a summary of the presentation made by Richard Bower.
The MAABN – A way forward
Where are we now?
Today we have over 20 paid-up sponsors and more than 40 paid-up members, plus a large number of non paid-up regular attendees at events. We can also count on the support of around 10 partner organizations. Our website and newsletter have reached a level of professionalism that few associations can boast of. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all operational.
Events are looking good with interesting content, good venues and a lot of variety over the last two years. In 2016, we have seen our events take place at the MUCEM, the Villa Gaby in Marseille, Sciences-Po Aix, the Institute for American Universities, the World Trade Centre and at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis. We are well-established, with more than 10 years of activity behind us, but a lot needs to be done to ensure the sustainability of all that has been achieved.
Indeed, MAABN actions take time and effort. If we want the MAABN to have a sustainable future, we need to improve our organization, focus on things we can achieve and not “bite off more than we can chew”. Below is a list of those actions we have been developing, we need to develop or maintain, or which are new ideas that could help take the MAABN forward. I have included a short appreciation of each, with reference to the person or people who have been connected with the action. New teams will need to be formed.
- A new generation of Language Aperos are now being developed with COWORK’IN World Trade Centre, the first one having taken place in October. Some long-standing members really miss these events so this is a way to keep that part of our identity.
- A small team has taken charge in Aix, putting together a program with the Institute for American Universities but also looking for other venues to introduce variety and more opportunities for basic networking.
- Another team is focusing on the Digital Economy Forum, with US Consulate, UKTI and Ville de Marseille interest. The aim is to establish the MAABN as a community with stronger links to the digital world and the new economy.
- One member of the team, Nicolas Geoffroy, has an idea for helping start-ups develop their international ambitions and proposes organising the MAABN “Digital Pitches” where selected start-ups could pitch before an English-speaking audience. This would help build up the MAABN’s presence in the field and would be complementary to the Digital Economy Forum.
- Very importantly, we are looking at the creation of an MAABN Business Club, with quarterly meetings (with speaker) over lunch in prestigious venues. Two of our sponsors, Nick Hill and Andrew Robinson, have taken the lead on this.
- The MAABN should continue to partner both the US and British Embassies in their respective actions in the area. Relations with both are good and this year has seen us work with the US Consulate on video conferences about the digital economy and with the British Embassy and UKTI during their events in Marseille (visit by the Ambassador to Euroméditerranée in May and a major UKTI event during the Euro 2016 football championship).
- Similarly, the MAABN should continue to partner the Ville de Marseille in its actions. Relations are good and this year saw us advise and accompany the Ville to London. We will be at their disposal for a forthcoming mission to Miami in 2017.
- More work needs to be done to redevelop a relationship with the Conseil Départemental , who were for a long time an active partner of the MAABN’s.
- More should be done to further relations with the FBCCI and AmCham in Paris, possibly also with the ‘CCF en GB’ in London. Ideas are needed on how to do this concretely.
- With Pamela King, we have focused on the development of the Friends of the MUCEM, which held 3 events in 2016 and currently counts nearly 60 members. It established a project with our partner, the OIB Lycée St Charles, proposing volunteer work for students. In 2017 we will concentrate on developing communication (newsletters) and will continue increasing membership.
- The two annual parties continue to be popular. The two current venues, Palm Beach and Camargo, are greatly appreciated. A lot of work goes into the organization of these two events, but this year’s Christmas Party has unfortunately had to be cancelled owing to a problem of dates. An Events Committee needs to take on the organisation of these two events.
Co-President Richard Bower also said that an MAABN objective should be to increase membership, with a long-term aim of having over 100 members.
How do we move our organization forward?
The board is currently made up of 10 members, most of whom are very long-standing. Regular work is carried out by five or six core members. We are now fortunate to have a number of additional team members who are making valuable contributions to the running of events.
A number of Board members wish to stand down or change their status.
A new governance structure is possible, with two tiers:
- A strategy-determining Steering Group
- appointed by the AGM of the association;
- Members: including the co-presidents and vice-presidents, honorary presidents, invited VIPs and senior executives of sponsors (Gold or Corporate) and partners;
- Activities: approve and support actions proposed by the management committee; explore budgetary opportunities; determine strategy guidelines;
- Regularity: meeting once a year, with possibility of extra-ordinary meetings if and when required;
- A management team
- Members: motivated members ready to dedicate time and effort to the running of events and actions, coordinated by the co-presidents;
- Activities: work in dedicated teams to achieve the MAABN priorities listed above
- Regularity: meeting quarterly. General coordination by email and phone.
The list of members below, having been approved by the Assembly, will form the Steering Group:
- Richard Bower – Co-President
- Pamela King – Co-President
- Martin Pachy – Vice-President
- William Peterson – Honorary President
- Julie Chenot – Camargo Foundation
- John Evans – KPMG
- Nicholas Hill – Real Land / Arthur Loyd Méditerranée
- Eric Lelouch – Groupe Accord – Palm Beach Hotel
- Erwan Maigret – Findr, Blippar, Curious Hat
- Pippa Maille – Currencies Direct
- Andrew Robinson – ICA Patrimoine
- Christophe Sogliuzzo – Ville de Marseille
- Michèle Solari – UK Vice-Consul
- A representative of the US Consulate (name to be confirmed)
- A representative of the MUCEM or the Amis du MUCEM (name to be confirmed)
A key element in taking the MAABN forward will be the composition of the Management team. An appeal is made to interested members to get more involved in the life of the association.
We need more of you, in particular to:
- Form an “Events Committee” dedicated to the social and “festive” events
- Look after social media
- Help with back office and general support
The Co-Presidents are delighted to report that at the end of the meeting a number of members offered their time and skills to help the association develop.
The accounts showed a positive result on our activities of €2750 in 2015. The accounts are available for consultation on application to the co-presidents.
Looking forward to a successful 2017,
Richard Bower and Pamela King