When I took over as managing Director of Ecole Supérieure Internationale de Savignac, an old friend told me that I had to join EuroCHRIE and engage myself onto the board, to meet the best educational institutions and the nicest people throughout Europe…this man was Gilles Honneger who had co-created EuroCHRIE and has been involved in the Association for a long time, contributing to its great success.
EuroCHRIE is without doubt a story of friendliness, empowerment and excellence. Seven years later, as I step into the role of EuroCHRIE President I feel proud for the Ecole de Savignac and for myself, as both have been growing thanks to the EuroCHRIE experience.
EuroCHRIE conferences gave me the opportunity to exchange ideas, visions, experiences, and be aware of other schools’ visions to help make Savignac’s strategy more efficient and distinctive. EuroCHRIE conferences have also been fantastic opportunities to meet professors who are now part of our teaching body. EuroCHRIE conferences were also the place where we have initiated many of our partnerships with foreign institutions, such as Brighton University in UK, Angell Academy in Germany or Centro Superior de Hosteleria de Galicia in Spain…a development which has enabled Ecole de Savignac to position itself as a leader in the European Educational industry…many other projects are in the air. I have personally also taken a lot from EuroCHRIE; as a professional hotelier coming from the luxury hotel industry; I have learned a lot about the academic side and finally decided to start a PhD at the Centre National de Arts et Métiers in Paris (CNAM)!!
As a researcher in the field of multicultural management, I could also benefit from the know-how of hundreds of hospitality and tourism researchers from all over the world.
I have also met many senior executives from major companies, a great opportunity to check that our programmes are always meeting industry needs and expectations.
Last but not least I have met these great, open minded, engaged and passionate people Gilles was talking about,…”des bons vivants et une vraie famille” as he said.
EuroCHRIE is without doubt the best place for networking because the spirit of friendship and sharing of knowledge is something special there, something that I could not find in any other association.
As a result of Maureen Brookes’s presidency altogether we have been able to develop our organization providing our members with the best benefits; research activities and partnerships, international networking, a mentoring program, opportunities for teaching exchanges and staff development, joint projects and of course strong connections with the industry.
To stay in touch with our 160 members we have been implementing our website and E-letter and have appointed a EuroCHRIE Federation Administrator, Rai Shacklock, to be even more proactive with our members.
Our board has been recently elected and I would like to congratulate Jan Willem Meijerhof from Saxion Universities of Applied Sciences (Netherlands) who was elected as Vice President and also welcome the officers who have joined the Board : Belinda Nwosu from Wavecrest College of Hospitality (Nigeria) Anders Justenlund from the University College Northern Denmark, John S. Lohr from American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (USA), Jean-Pierre van der Rest from Hotelschool The Hague (Netherlands), Damien Julia from Le Cordon Bleu Paris (France).
I want as well to thank les “rearguard”, those dedicated people that have been building EuroCHRIE reputation far away from Europe : Jouni Ahonen, Christian Perette, Risto Karmavuo, Bill Samenfink, Robert F. Wetterauer, Kevin Nield, Liz Ineson, Rai Shacklock, Peter Bohan, Dominic Dillane, Patricia Cuevas, Susan Fournier, Eda Gurel, Steven Rhoden, and of course Paul Jackson who was for years la “clef de voute” of our organization and Hervé Furnier who held “la clef du trésor” with a Swiss sense of discretion.But EuroCHRIE is a large family that goes far beyond Europe’s borders. Since 2011 EuroCHRIE has officially represented the Middle East and Africa. During my presidency I would like to encourage academic development in these regions and make diversity a pillar of our Association.
In this context, the mentoring program that we have been implementing with Maureen Brookes and the other board members could become not only a way to transfer specific skills and knowledge, but also become a process to empower a new generation that will make EuroCHRIE go further.
I would sincerely recommend to anyone who is involved in undergraduate and post graduate education to join EuroCHRIE. On behalf of the EuroCHRIE Board and the Conference Organizing Committee, I have therefore the pleasure to invite you to the 31st EuroCHRIE Annual Conference in the beautiful city of Freiburg, capital of the Black Forest (Germany) from 16th to 19th October 2013.
The conference hosted by Angell Akademie Freiburg, a major player in the private educational industry in Germany will be on the theme of “Cooperative Education & Research for Hospitality & Tourism Educators”. For more details visit the website conference http://www.eurochrie2013-freiburg.de/cms/ This conference is going to be an amazing experience, due to the quality of the participants, the great destination but above all thanks to our host, Robert Wetterauer, a recent EuroCHRIE President who will without doubt introduce German hospitality at its best…don’t miss it !!
I look forward to welcoming you to EuroCHRIE 2013 in Freiburg.