As of 16th October 2017 in Athens, and with the approval of the Membership, I have been appointed the first Chairperson of IAMI's new European Chapter.
I sincerely thank the Membership and the past Steering Committee for all the trust placed in me. I am aware that for now this is only a credit, and I hope to be worthy of it, by integrity and action. I will be driven by sincerity, openness and the wish to serve the Membership.
As you know, my appointment comes at a time of change and transition. The idea of IAMI Europe has existed since 1996 when Martin Åberg, Peter Clark and Peter Siegfried got involved in,the then NAMI, a USA based association. European members have benefited greatly from this long held association and vice versa. Nevertheless, IAMI Europe is as of now, a separate Chapter of IAMI Inc, governed by its own By-Laws, and at this time we are in the process of changingour organisational structure significantly.
The one foremost challenge is to arrange for a proper incorporation of IAMI Europe. The structure and seat of the new non-profit organisation has yet to be worked out. It is important that this is done, amongst others, within the organisations funds. Having said that, thanks to generous support by our sponsors and due to careful, almost austere handling of finances, IAMI Europe is starting with a very good bolster of savings. This we must keep up for tight times.
However, these are by far not our only challenges. IAMI is an association driven by the spirit, networking and international collaboration of the Law Enforcement ranksfrom all over the worldand the very good support received from that community. At this time IAMI Europe has only a handful of Law Enforcement officers left in the membership. Especially with the support of Vlaho Lujo, member of our current Steering Committee, and member of the IPA we hope to improve.
Furthermore, and as many of you know, demand to form a "Members' Enquiry Committee" has risen, and this formation has been approved by the Membership. The structure of this committee is important in order to address and resolve enquiries in a just, dignified and efficient manner.
The Traditional IAMI Europe Conference, the 21st one, planned for October 2018, is - again - a very special one: It will be the first conference arranged by the Chapter of IAMI Europe.
I sincerely ask all members, be it from Europe or be it from oversees, to make an effort to join.
After Athens I have noted some critical suggestions, especially by the younger delegates. It is yet another challenge to repeat presentations, year in year out, and not to bore some delegates. I hope that we will present the delegates next year with some refreshing surprises, good solid training and witheven more hospitality. The Steering Committee will soon announce date and location of the 2018 Conference and thoughts for the 2019 one. Bear with me for a short while.
As pointed out, IAMI Europe has strong historical, educational, and contractual ties to IAMI Inc. One important tie is the joint Certified Marine Investigator program. The CMI is a coveted and much honoured degree in the USA and each year dozens of members over there aspire and work hard in order to become a CMI. One of our challenges is to make the CMI more known and visible in Europe - not easy with such a Babylon of languages and traditions. However, being a member of the CMI Committee myself, I hope to be able to contribute to this end.
I would like to extend here my best regards to the IAMI Inc Membership, embodied by President Kerry McCook, for a long lasting partnership.
My thanks go to the European Reconciliation Committee, who worked hard for IAMI Europe and the dedicated committee members, led, next to Martin, by Brian Ripley - both past presidents.
Tommy Hanssen has stepped down from the Steering Committee to tend to other matters. My thanks go to him. He will be missed on the Steering Committee.
Our dear past chairman, Simon Lofting, is very special to this organisation. I wish him all the best, and, thank him for his readiness and willingness to support the present Committee when required.
As you know, Gabriela Stárková has replaced dear Christina Haid as our new Executive Administrator. I wish to thank Christina for her excellent past performance and to Gabriela for taking on this post at such times.
I have briefly mentioned our sponsors above. Sponsors cannot be mentioned often enough and I thank them once more warmly and sincerely, we count on their valuable continued support in future.
Let me conclude by reminding us all that we have taken on the torch in this relay race and let us carry it with the best of our efforts - together.
Feel free to reach out to me at any time with your questions, suggestions or concerns.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or +90 (533) 516 6006.
Dr. Yusuf Civelekoğlu, CMI
Chairperson - International Association of Marine Investigators - Europe