Having accepted my appointment as the new Chairman by the newly elected shop-sa board, I feel it is important to convey the reasoning behind it. From a Board perspective it was felt that the Chairman should be somewhat independent, yet have an understanding of the Industry.
I, on the other hand, have always enjoyed being part of the industry. Following my ‘retirement’ and subsequent sabbatical I am pleased to be able to again make a small contribution to the Association. Also, sitting outside, looking in, puts issues into a slightly different perspective.
THE IMPORTANT MESSAGE today is the following:
It became clear, during the first Board and Strategy meeting a few weeks ago, that the challenges facing shop-saare enormous and quick action was required to ensure that the Association remains financially viable.
Eugene Kleynhans, the incumbent Executive Director, presented the Board with the Financial ‘state of affairs’. It was clear for us to see that Eugene and his new team had worked hard to find solutions to the problems that they had inherited. The conclusion from that meeting was that a Finance Committee would be set up to find quick solutions to the problems.
At the subsequent Finance Committee Meeting, Eugene proposed the following to improve the financial position of the association: a.) Voluntary Retrenchment of a number of staff members including himself and b.) Curtailing other variable costs/expenses.
The proposal was then discussed at an emergency meeting of the Board and it was agreed to accept the offer of Voluntary Retrenchment put forward by Eugene Kleynhans and Trish Swanepoel.
We certainly owe Eugene and Trish our gratitude in putting the welfare of the Association first!
The remaining staff members have been fully briefed and are committed to keep the back-bone of the Association going.
A working committee, consisting of: Ryan Bidgood, Gary Pickford, Bill Bayley, Allan Thompson and Herman Botha plus the undersigned, has been formed. Their task is to:
– Manage and support the shop-sa office
– Set priorities and propose short and medium term objectives
– Allocate specific tasks to Committee and Portfolio members.
The key components to sustain shop-sa, apart from financial health, are:
The magazine, which without advertising support is not viable
b.) Paying Membership (without Members, there is no Association).
The industry and general environment has changed but we believe that it is now even more important than ever to maintain a forum to the benefit of all players.
The Board is committed to go the extra mile!
However, without the support of new and existing members, the Association will not continue to serve the best interests of our industry into the future. I therefore appeal to all members, readers and all advertisers for your on-going support in our efforts to revive and re-vitalise our industry Association.