These two years in the Executive Committee flew by. They will remain in my heart for ever. It is difficult to summarise the emotions and the things we accomplished these last two years. When this adventure started in Cyprus, Susan Bhatti, the previous EMWA President, and me met to discuss EMWA's situation and its objectives. We realised that EMWA is an excellent organisation with a great reputation and a clear strategy for its development, thanks to our previous presidents and Executive Committees.
Because we met most of our objectives we have a bright future. Thanks to excellent work by the Executive Committee and Head Office, we have improved the branding of EMWA, renewed the website, installed a new voting system, carried out several surveys, revised bank and insurance agreements, improved the productivity of Executive Committee meetings by adding winter and summer face-to-face meetings, increased the distribution of the journal, and added member benefits by building agreements with software vendors and other professional associations. By adding new sponsors, more members, and greater attendance at conferences, we have been able to maintain the annual fee and to offer discounts for those referring new EMWA members. This healthy situation, together with the great work of the Head Office, have also allowed us to begin planning conferences all the way until 2017, to create e-learning modules, and to put into place a new 3-year plan. Our collaborations with the European Medicines Agency and other professional associations show that EMWA is clearly a reference organisation for medical writing in Europe.
I will conclude by saying that governing the wonderful Executive Committee and Head Office has been a great pleasure. They have worked hard, but always with a smile, to make all of this happen.
I am more than confident that the new Executive Committee will continue the initiatives to better serve our members and the organisation and that Julia will be a great president!
I look forward to meeting you all in Florence.
Thank you, Andrea, for guiding me through the past year on the Executive Committee and for preparing me for the role of President.
First, a little about my background and what I bring to the position of EMWA President. I am a PhD pharmacist who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry and medical communications for 25 years (how scary is that?). For the last 10 of these years, I have been freelance and have enjoyed a good work-life balance as a medical writer, stand-in editorial director, and out-contracted publication manager.
I have been a member of EMWA for 15 years and gave my first workshop in 1999. Although I spent several years on the EMWA Professional Development Committee, my last year on the Executive Committee has been a true education on the complexity of the organisation and the dedication and commitment of our Head Office and my fellow committee members.
EMWA is already a successful organisation as evidenced by our recent spring conference in Budapest, which included an excellent symposium on transparency, comprehensive educational programme, and smooth logistics. We also have the impressive new website, a highly regarded journal and, of course, our growing public relations offerings. As the new President, I want to build on this success by supporting membership growth, expanding our association into e-learning and new media, and promoting links with other professional organisations. I am keen to ensure that EMWA can meet the needs of the membership now and in the future. I have already presented the vision for EMWA over the next three years and am currently working on the key areas and action points.
Our autumn conference this year will be in Florence (Andrea's home town!) – a fantastic opportunity to combine a beautiful and cultural setting with education, networking, and fun. I look forward to meeting even more of you there, but if you do want to get in touch before November, I would be delighted to hear from you.