Peter J. Berry
In 2001, due to the increasing
ILAE administrative needs, the Executive Committee made the
decision to open an administrative office dedicated to the
day-to-day management of the League.
The ILAE Headquarters Office was established in January 2002
in Brussels, Belgium. Delphine Sartiaux, Assistant Administrative
Director, who is supported by Nele Devolder, staffs the Headquarters
office. Both report to Peter J. Berry, Administrative Director,
who is located in the U.S. Financial Office. Both Delphine
and Nele were already familiar with the management of associations
as they are employees of Ernst & Young Association Management.
E&Y is one of the leading association management companies
The Ernst &Young office offered several benefits, which
convinced the Executive Committee to select them. The office
is able to respond to the international membership with a
staff that speaks multiple languages, is sensitive to cultural
differences, and is located in a politically neutral country.
This new office provides services that were either previously
not available, or offered only on a volunteer basis. The objective
is to centralize the League's administrative functions in
order to improve membership services to Chapters while allowing
the Executive Committee more time to focus on the objectives
of the League.
The aims of the ILAE Headquarters
- To be the
central contact point for all chapters
- To become
the central repository for all League correspondence and
- To provide
administrative support for all Executive Committee functions
and to staff their meetings
The main activities for the past
year of the new ILAE
Headquarters office were the following:
Centralization of All ILAE
The first task undertaken by the new
office was to centralize all files, which were stored in the
offices of previous Executive Committee members. At the opening
of the office, the Headquarters office staff along with the
Administrative Director, went to the offices of the past Secretary-General,
Peter Wolf, in Bielefeld, Germany in order to collect all
files and archives of the ILAE. These files were reorganised
and are now available upon request.
Assistance to the Management
and Executive Committees
is present to provide all necessary support to the Management
Committee Officers — President, Secretary-General, and the
Treasurer. The Headquarters Office provides assistance for
the various meetings and for the monthly telephone conferences.
The administrative office made all
necessary arrangements for ILAE Executive Committee meetings
organised in 2002. Together with the Administrative Director,
they prepared the agendas, coordinated the meeting room facilities
and took the minutes of the meetings. The first meeting attended
by Delphine Sartiaux was in December 2001 in Philadelphia.
She and Peter Berry participated in the Executive Committee
meetings of March 2002 in Basel, Switzerland, August 2002
in Venice, Italy, and December 2002 in Seattle, U.S.
Support to Commissions'
In addition to the
assistance provided to the Executive Committee, the Headquarters
staff is also available to provide support to the activities
of all ILAE Commissions.
More than 40
Chapters from all over the world were represented at the Chapter
Convention held in October 2002 in Madrid, Spain. The purpose
of the convention was to discuss new services that can be
offered by ILAE for the benefit of the Chapters and to exchange
views on specific issues previously raised by the Chapters.
For instance, the
staff helped organise the Commission for European Affairs
meetings held in Brussels in March 2002 and in January 2003.
The Headquarters Office has a variety of small and large meeting
rooms available for ILAE meetings.
The Central Point of Contact for Chapters and Their
An important part of the work of the
Headquarters staff is to serve the Chapters. In January 2002,
the first step for the Headquarters office was to gather accurate
chapter contact and membership information in order to support
the League's effort to increase contact with, and provide
services to, its chapters. Chapter contact information was
entered into a new database, which is now continuously updated.
This information is available on the Chapter section of the
ILAE Website where all information about each Chapter is accessible.
Updated mailing lists from each Chapter helped the ILAE keep
members informed on congress activities and to receive the
Help to Increase the External
Visibility of the ILAE
The Headquarters office is also the
contact point for professionals who expressed interest in
forming a Chapter. Together with the Secretary-General's office,
the necessary information was provided to the appropriate
contact. New chapters from Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Nicaragua,
Costa Rica, Cyprus, and South Africa have been provisionally
accepted and will be approved at the next ILAE General Assembly
meeting in Lisbon. The Headquarters Office has also been in
contact with representatives from Hong Kong, El Salvador,
Uzbekistan, Uganda, Mongolia, Ghana, Yemen and Niger.
In addition to the contacts made with Chapters and their
members, the Headquarters office developed external relationships
with other partners involved in epilepsy by participating
in meetings with other organisations such as IBE and WFN.
Headquarters also replies regularly to various requests from
patients, pharmaceutical firms or individual members asking
for information on membership, Website, contacting details,
activities of the League, publications, and so forth.
Organisation of the First
Chapter Convention in Madrid
For the first time, ILAE invited all
Chapters to participate in a Chapter Convention held in October
2002 in Madrid, Spain during the 5th European Congress on
Epileptology. More than 40 Chapters from all over the world
were represented at this event. The purpose of the convention
was to discuss new services that can be offered by ILAE for
the benefit of the Chapters and to exchange views on specific
issues previously raised by the Chapters. ILAE is planning
to organise this type of meeting on a regular basis. The next
Chapter Convention will be held in October 2003 during the
next International Epilepsy Congress in Lisbon.
Participation in Congresses
The participation at regional congresses
gave the Headquarters staff the opportunity to meet chapter
members. The ILAE booth was prepared and staffed during the
congresses. Staff attended the following events: AES Annual
Conference in December 2001 in Philadelphia, U.S., the Asian
and Oceanian Epilepsy Congress in September 2002 in Nagano,
Japan, the European Congress on Epilepsy in October 2002 in
Madrid, Spain, and the AES Annual Conference in December 2002
in Seattle, U.S.
In the future, the Headquarters
office hopes to add more services to this list. All Chapters
are invited to exchange ideas and to provide feedback on how
to provide new services and improve or expand existing services.
Peter Berry, Delphine Sartiaux and Nele Devolder would like
to thank the ILAE Executive Committee, the Chapters, and their
members for their time and efforts in the past year. We look
forward to building upon the foundation that has now been