Happy New Year!
I like to think about the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to look back, and celebrate what was accomplished as well as to see what there is to learn. It’s also a good time to look forward and dream; to decide which are the challenges I want to take and what are the things I would like to accomplish. So, I would like to do that in this letter; not with my personal reflections, but with those that concern the IEA. This message will include news about the initiatives and also about the IEA board; some changes and the 2014 Executive committee, including our new President-Elect!
First, let’s celebrate!
In an organization like ours, where everyone works on a voluntary basis, it is an honor to have such a good team as the one we have. The IEA needs have changed and we have to adapt to them, and we now have new initiatives that require different sets of skills. So, during the July in-person meeting – we have two each year – we did some re-structuring, resulting in many board members changing their responsibilities. We also have three new board members who joined the team this year, and two board members who left at the end of 2013 after many years of service. I want to highlight here the members who joined and left during 2013, but you can find more detail about the board members in the IEA website at http://www.internationalenneagram.org/the_board/index.html.
The new board members…
Angie Arendt (US, living in Canada) joined the board in July, 2013 and is leading the Membership task group, with a strong focus on building connections with the different parts of the Enneagram community while taking care of the value delivered to our members through our initiatives.
Dirk Cloete (South Africa) also joined our team in July, 2013, and his main responsibility is to create a new website for the organization, that takes into account the new times and the needs of the members. This is one of our main projects.
Patrick Kayrooz (Australia) joined us in November, 2013, so he is the newest board member. Although his responsibilities will be fully identified during the next in-person meeting, he will most likely work on the book publishing initiative and Marketing.
The board members who are leaving us…
CJ Fitszimons (Ireland, living in Germany) was on the board since 2009. He was the IEA Vice President for 2012/2013, and as the job description says, he has to do whatever the President asks him to do, or something along those lines. And he did that and more! Being the head of publications, he oversaw the Journal, Nine Points and the Book Publishing. He was involved with the website, product development and is also a wonderful advisor. His contributions were significant and he was instrumental in many of the developments of the last few years. He will be missed.
Gail Barber (United States) has been on the board since 2008, and was the Treasurer for most of that time. Her role in making this organization financially sustainable was fundamental; I don’t know where we would be without her. Her ability to nicely challenge ideas, forcing us to think things through to an appropriate level of detail, helped as come up with much more robust initiatives. She will be missed as well!
When I think about the things we started in 2013, the first thing that comes to mind is Nine Points. We went from having a handful of people read it every three months, to hundreds each week, from 72 countries. Peter McNab has done a fantastic job, and the community has responded amazingly; many members are contributing and reading. And there is room for many, many more!
The 2013 conference was a great success. There is a lot of work behind it to make it happen and to make it such a wonderful experience; we should all be very grateful to conference committee chair Kathryn Grant and IEA administrator Sandy Hatmaker for their tireless efforts. We had an “Integral” track that many people liked, a new Proposal selection process that involves blind readers, and an atmosphere that was appreciated by the attendees.
We also continued with things that had started before, such as the Accreditation program, the book publishing and the Enneagram Journal, which are all growing and being reviewed on a permanent basis in order to improve and document the processes and communicate them better.
The Affiliates and Chapters are maturing; they are hosting some regional and local conferences, which are exposing different parts of the world to the Enneagram and making the community grow.
What did we learn during 2013?
I would say that the most important thing that we learnt is that we need to communicate with the members more. We make important efforts to fulfill our mission and to do a good job, but many times we don’t communicate enough; about the things we do, why we do them and how we do them. This is something that we are definitely going to focus on in 2014.
What’s coming in 2014?
We will tell you more about the activities for the 2014 and beyond after our in-person meeting at the end of January, but we would like to share with you that the 2014 IEA Executive Committee is formed by:
President – Maria Jose Munita (I will continue as President until the end of 2014)
Vice President – Peter McNab
Treasurer – Melanie Gerlich
Secretary – Angie Arendt
And the President-Elect is Lynda Roberts!
We have a nominating committee whose responsibility is to select candidates for all positions and make nominations to the board. This time, they nominated Lynda for the position of President Elect and the board unanimously approved the motion.
I am thrilled to announce this, as Lynda is someone I deeply respect in terms of her technical skills, which have helped improve the organization’s professionalism through her work on Knowledge Management, as Treasurer, and in everything else she does. But it’s not only that; she has demonstrated a balanced approach to leadership during her time on the board, showing commitment to the organization, a sense of fairness and also openness to question what she and others think.
I also look forward to working closely with the new Executive Committee (Peter, Melanie, Angie and Lynda), and truly appreciate their willingness to serve in these important roles.
I believe we are off to a very good start this year. We will build on the successes and learning of the past, and work with passion to continue to make this community grow.
We need your help on this; it’s not something we can do by ourselves. Please give us feedback, let us know if you would like to collaborate in some of the initiatives, and tell us what your dreams are, what you would like to see happening in the IEA community in 2014 and beyond.
We look forward to hearing from you!
All the best for 2014.
María José Munita
President, IEA board of directors.