After the euphoria of receiving the President’s chain of office from Roger Messenger at the Telford conference on October 4th, I was quickly introduced into the role of President attending the Association Representatives Meeting on the last day of Conference in the Conference hotel.
It was really heartwarming to be welcomed and appreciated by so many Revenues and Benefits professionals, with whom I had previously been a counterpart in the very same meetings. Immediately after the meeting, I arranged a planning meeting for the year ahead with the Chief Executive, David, at a secret venue in Oxfordshire on the Monday 8th. Here I received diary dates of known events, and looked at identifying future Council Meeting dates. I also advised my charity for the year would be Rossendale Hospice, and agreed to set up a Just Giving site to facilitate any donations. Apart from that initial flurry of activity, I enjoyed a relatively quiet month in October and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, it was simply business as usual or so I thought?
November the 8th saw my first official function, where I flew out to Rome to attend the Tegova (The European Group of Valuers Association) Conference and General Assembly, a three day event in the beautiful historic and ancient capital of Italy. It was truly an experience to hear the interpreters grappling with valuation terminology delivered through our headsets as we listened to though provoking papers from across Europe. I had to check sometimes that I was on the correct language channel, and I have to say, pronouncing IRRV is difficult in any language!!
One thing became very clear, how really well thought of the Institute is within these European circles, of course there is no higher testimony to that than the fact that Roger Messenger is the current Chair of that Association. I was made to feel very welcome and soon found that I knew more about valuation than I had thought, I also realized there were very real opportunities to expand both the membership and influence of the Institute across Europe.
My worst memory of the trip was the 6 hour delay I endured at the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport, for the return flight, which meant I now landed in Manchester at 2:30 in the morning, with a train booked for my first Council Meeting in London departing at 7.30am. Of course I advised my Chief Executive that I may possibly be late or even stuck in Rome for my very first Meeting chairing the Council!
As it happened I managed 2 hours sleep before boarding my train to London and chairing my first Council on the 12th November. The same week on the Friday I attended my first Association Dinner, in honour of Andrew Solley the President of the East Midlands Association (see right) at the Casa in Chesterfield. A wonderful event at one of the best hotel venues on the circuit. There were 125 guests in attendance and the time went so fast it was 1.30am before I knew it. (My wife Phyl, later told me it was 1.30am we retired, by the way).
I now have two weeks rest (and back to the day job at Rossendales), before my next two Institute events both in Scotland in December, (hope it doesn’t snow) and more of those in my next update.