The past few months have seen some big changes at STEP. While we have announced them all separately, I thought it might be helpful to provide a summary of what’s what.
First, it is a great honour and privilege to be writing this as the new worldwide Chair of STEP. I was elected in October and took office on 1 January 2017 for a one-year term. I have taken over from Edward Buckland TEP, who served as Chair for two years and dedicated enormous time and effort to leading the Society. He is going to be a hard act to follow.
I will be ably supported by my two Deputy Chairs, Simon Morgan TEP (Jersey) and Paul Seal TEP (England and Wales), who were elected in December 2016 and took office, like me, on 1 January, again for one-year terms.
Simon is one of five new Board members who joined myself and Paul as of 1 January: also joining us are William Ahern TEP (Hong Kong), Nancy Golding QC TEP (Canada), Dayra Berbey de Rojas TEP (Latin America), and David Russell QC TEP (Australia/Dubai), all of whom will serve a three-year term.
I very much look forward to working with all of my new colleagues, and I would like to pay tribute to the Directors who have just come off the STEP Board, having given tremendous service to the Society. Edward Buckland TEP, George Lyall TEP, Nick Jacob TEP, John Lawrence TEP and Angelo Venardos TEP have all acted tirelessly, and in the best interests of the Society, over many years.
Earlier this week we also made another important announcement, welcoming George Hodgson as STEP’s new Chief Executive, responsible for the overall management and delivery of the Society’s strategy and activities. George is well known to STEP members across the world, having been Deputy Chief Executive and served as Interim Chief Executive since the departure of David Harvey in June 2016. His appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process over the last six months of 2016.
We have also announced a number of other appointments over recent weeks and months, with new members Assad Abdullatif TEP (Africa & Arabia – replacing Tanya Cohen TEP), William Fowlis TEP (Canada – replacing John Poyser TEP), Ian Macdonald TEP (Scotland – replacing Paraic Madigan TEP), Alan Milgate TEP (Caribbean – replacing John Lawrence TEP), Toby Crooks TEP (England & Wales – replacing Christopher Lintott TEP), Lorraine Wheeler TEP (Jersey – replacing Edward Buckland TEP) and Babetta von Albertini TEP (USA – replacing Larry Heller TEP) joining the wordwide Council as of 1 January 2017.
In addition, Rita Bhargava TEP has been elected Chair of STEP’s England and Wales Regional Committee; Cecile Vuillier TEP and Felicity Keller TEP were elected co-Chairs of the Swiss and Liechtenstein STEP Federation, and an election is currently underway for a new Chair of the Caribbean and Latin America Regional Committee.
I would like to congratulate everyone on their election and thank all those who have stepped down. I look forward to us all working together to take STEP forward. Last year saw us celebrate the first 25 years of STEP. Now the Society is moving into the next 25 years in its history we need to build on the firm foundations that have been laid for us by the founding fathers of STEP. We will take the very best from their experiences, and then continue down the right path for the Society, aspiring to be the leading worldwide professional body for those specialising in advising families across generations.