Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you read this, I am probably sitting in my office in Brisbane, Australia, looking out on a hot and sunny afternoon because in Queensland in the southern hemisphere the weather is beautiful one day, perfect the next. And this warm weather brings me back to the wonderfully warm summer days of last August at our seminar in Kansas City, Missouri. What a grand event that was. What a fantastic job everyone did. We owe much to all those who worked so hard to make our 61st seminar such a success.
I would like to thank President Glen Ebersold of the NCRC, their board, their members and in particular the on-site committee, including our VP Rick Greenwood, for having done such a fine job hosting the conference. I should not forget the presenters who gave their time and expertise delivering a very high standard of training. The feedback I received from delegates was positive and very complimentary. I would also like to thank the good people of Kansas City for welcoming us to their fine city. What a lovely place to have held our conference.
I am deeply humbled and proud to have been elected to the office of President of IAATI. I look forward to being able to serve the membership over the next twelve months. As it happens, I am the 61st President to take this oath of office. A 61-year history of fine training and professional cooperation is an extraordinary testament to any organizationís achievements let alone one with an international membership.
I believe that IAATIís most important strength is its membership and for our organization to grow, we must acknowledge the needs and requirements of our members. For this reason you will all receive a survey in the mail soon. I urge you to participate in this survey which will ask for your input as to how we can better serve you, how we can improve, how we can move forward.
The core business of IAATI is training and not only do we conduct our international training seminar each year, we also assist our regional branches and chapters with theirs. Not bad for an organization of volunteers; organizing and running over 10 training sessions each year around the world.
IAATI is one of the best kept secrets of our era. There are so many police departments, insurance agencies throughout the world who do not even know we exist. One of my goals this year is to reach out to them. Letís be proud of our associationís achievements. Letís stand up and demonstrate to the industry who we are. Letís take our professionalism and reputation to the next level.
We also need to focus on membership and increasing our numbers. I believe the way to do this is to look to what we do best: training, sharing knowledge and networking. If we focus on these, membership will grow. You will find that the investigators in Europe experience much the same issues as the investigators in America, Canada and so on. By simply attending the regional or international conference you have the opportunity of meeting new people within your industry and making new contacts, exchanging knowledge and learning from your peers.
I would also like to extend a personal challenge to you all, to put your hands up as a presenter in our conferences, to share your knowledge amongst your peers. IAATI has a database of professional speakers from around the world and if you have a professional expertise, let us know and we may include you on the database. As you would appreciate however, that as a volunteer organization, we are generally unable to offer travel incentives and most speakers within our organization are either self funded or funded through their own agencies.
We are always looking for industry specific topics, information and technological changes that would be of interest to our members so your articles for our print media, the APB and E News are always welcome.
How proud we are this year to welcome our brothers and sisters from the new Latin American Branch. We have truly progressed as an international organization. I recall one of our investigators from NICB seeking information on a job they had in Argentina and now they have that contact. IAATI is the link that brought them together.
This year, IAATI, in its commitment to expanding around the globe, will be setting up an Asian Development Committee which will be along the same lines of the Latin American Committee. We hope to have a one-day conference in Malaysia sometime next year.
We are also excited about our plans for a new professional journal. It is in the first stages of development and has yet to have a name but it will be a professionally printed journal specifically targeting technical and industry issues on auto theft related topics. Your Board voted on this initiative in Kansas City. We will, of course, retain the APB which will be used as information sharing between branches and chapters. The new journal will be used to showcase our association for what it is: experts and professionals in the field of auto theft investigation. In order to do this, IAATI will be entering into a partnership with a company known as 911 media, a leading marketing and publishing company within the law enforcement world.
In closing, I would also like to thank Past President Joe Brosius as well as all of our past presidents for the work they have done in molding IAATI into the fine organization it is today.
And finally, as I embark upon this yearís challenges and goals, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge those who supported me over the past years: the Australasian Branch. They have supported me and encouraged me all the way. Thank you!
I served the Australasian Branch for three years as their national president and for me to serve today, as the IAATI President is really quite humbling. It also allows me the opportunity to say thank you and to give something back to this organization from which I have derived so much and about which I am so passionate.
And to the membership of IAATI: thank you for this opportunity.