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Headquarter's Report

 

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 in Europe.

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 Office are:

  • To be the central contact point for all chapters
  • To become the central repository for all League correspondence and archives
  • 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 Files

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

Headquarters staff 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' Activities

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 Members

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 publication, Epigraph.

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 established.

 

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