Peter J. Berry
The ILAE Headquarters Office is located in Brussels and staffed by Nele Devolder, Assistant Administrative Director and Sofie Peeters, Membership Services Coordinator. Nele and Sofie report directly to me as Administrative Director. I am based in the ILAE Financial Office in Hartford, CT, USA.
The ILAE Headquarters Office was established in 2002 in order to centralize the League’s administrative functions, to enhance the relationship and day-to-day communication with the chapters and to support the members of the Executive Committee. This has afforded the League’s leadership the opportunity to spend more time developing new programs and services.
The ILAE office in Brussels is continuously working to improve communication with all 98 chapters of the League, the commissions and task forces, and the Executive Committee. Increasing the visibility of ILAE with the chapters and external organizations is also a high priority.
The main activities of the ILAE Headquarters Office over the past year have been:
Support to the Management and Executive Committee
The ILAE Headquarters Office staff provides support to the Management and Executive Committees. We assist in organizing the meetings of these bodies by coordinating the logistics, preparing and sending out the agenda and related materials, and producing the minutes of the meetings.
In 2006, staff provided support for the Executive and Management Committee meetings. The Executive Committee met in Brussels in both March and October. Management Committee meetings were held in Helsinki during the European Congress; in Guatemala at the Latin American Congress; and in Kuala Lumpur at the Asian and Oceanian Congress.
The ILAE Headquarters Office cooperates with the Secretary-General and provides background information and assistance to persons in different countries who are interested in creating an ILAE chapter. In 2006, contacts were established with Cameroon, El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, Kuwait, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Oman, Puerto Rico, Republic of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Yemen.
Staff and the Secretary-General developed chapter guidelines for countries applying for chapter status. The guidelines have been approved by the Executive Committee.
Increased External Visibility
The ILAE Headquarters Office continuously interacts with stakeholders, pharmaceutical companies, and third parties who seek information on epilepsy. Staff also participates in meetings of the International Bureau for Epilepsy. Requests from patients and individual members are serviced from Brussels as well.
Chapter Conventions have become a solid tradition during International and Regional Congresses. In 2006, Chapter Conventions were organized during the Regional Congresses in Helsinki, Guatemala and Kuala Lumpur.
These meetings are a great opportunity for chapters to exchange views and ideas on how they work. It is also a good platform to improve relations and communication between the chapters’ officers, the League’s officers and staff. Headquarters organizes the meetings and coordinates all logistics.
Participation at Congresses
Staff attended the 2006 Regional Congresses in Helsinki, Guatemala, and Kuala Lumpur. At these occasions, several chapter members took the opportunity to visit the ILAE booth and to meet with staff in person. These occasions are an excellent opportunity for staff to establish contacts and relationships with existing chapters and to introduce the ILAE to a broader audience.
Chapters also have the opportunity to inform all on their activities, share knowledge, and to promote their meetings and events by distributing promotional materials at the ILAE booth.
Central Point of Contact for Chapters
The new SQL Database is operational now and the chapters were requested to update their information online. Several chapters have already done so and their members are now able to directly receive the latest information about the League’s activities, publications, and congresses. Also, chapter members won’t miss important information published in Epigraph, which is now distributed electronically. We encourage all chapters to keep the online contact information updated so that their members can stay informed!
We thank the ILAE officers and chapters for their support and cooperation in the past year and we look forward to working with all of you in the coming year!
Peter Berry, CAE