In this current spirit of our shared hope, allow me to regularly (once every quarter) update you personally on the ongoing developments in the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group that may be of interest to you.
Amongst the many lessons learned last year, the most meaningful may be that we do not need to meet in person to carry out our important work. By making good use of our digital platforms, we managed to yield excellent results.
Firstly, I want to thank all members for their continuous support to this foundation in 2020, and in particular during the election period in November. Thanks to your engagement, I can now proudly present the new EHEDG Foundation Board, EHEDG Advisory Board and EHEDG Executive Committee.
On behalf of EHEDG, I herewith want to thank the leaving EHEDG Advisory Board members Matilda Freund, Hugo Piguet, Hein Timmerman and Paul Wirtz for their valuable contributions to the development of this organisation. They make way for the new Advisory Board members Anne-Claire Carrere, James Hartley, Georg Kalss and Frederik Wellendorph (while Matilda takes on the role of EHEDG Treasurer and Hein becomes the new chairman of the EHEDG Sub-Committee Product Portfolio as of 1 april). Thank you all, for your support and advice and for contributing to a great team effort!
Meanwhile, the new EHEDG Foundation Board has already held its first meeting this year. The Advisory Board will meet on January 27, and the first EHEDG Executive Committee meeting is planned on March 17. All meetings so far are taking place online of course.
Congratulations to the EHEDG Transition Team, led by Piet Steenaard and our new Operations Director Adwy van den Berg, for completing the move of the EHEDG Secretariat in Germany to the new EHEDG Head Office in Naarden (The Netherlands). This transition will enable EHEDG to operate independently and with retained efficiency. By establishing this new Head Office in Naarden, with an Operations Director in charge, and with a team of communication and online experts, EHEDG will considerably enhance its ability to initiate and drive our strategic objectives.
A special thank you goes out to the much-appreciated Susanne Flenner and her departing team at the former EHEDG Secretariat in Frankfurt, for their many years of excellent professional work and outstanding service to the EHEDG community. We wish you all the best and hope to see you again in good health. Last but certainly not least, I want to express the gratitude of the entire European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group to our longstanding EHEDG Treasurer and Secretary Piet Steenaard, for his truly exceptional commitment. Dear Piet: thank you so much for your dedication, expertise and insights, and for help shaping EHEDG to what it is today. Thank you, Piet, you did a truly great job over the past 25 years. We will all miss you!
Despite all disastrous humanitarian and economic developments of last year, our European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group continued to grow larger in 2020. As of 2021, EHEDG now has 607 company and institute members (compared to 561 a year ago), with 6 of the 46 new members being companies of the two largest categories. We also established two new EHEDG Regional Sections, namely Portugal and Chile, which means that EHEDG is now represented in 38 countries around the world.
Another fact worth mentioning is that the number of active EHEDG Certificates has recovered from the temporary decline that resulted from the introduction of the new recertification format. As of January 1 of this year, over 200 certificates are active and more than 100 certificate applications are in process.
As a result of the membership growth, and the lower spending on events and travels last year, and despite of a considerable one-time expense on the Transition Project, the financial health of EHEDG is excellent. The balance sheet stronger than a year ago, and even stronger than ever before.
The financial strength of EHEDG enables us to continue and even to intensify the development of tools and services for our membership. In 2021, we aim to further develop the value of your EHEDG Membership, with new services and new (online) opportunities to connect, to exchange expertise, to network and to collaborate in various new projects. Together, we continue to raise awareness for the benefits of hygienic engineering and design, with guidance and solutions, expertise and networking platforms for hygienic engineering and design experts from all over the world.
Thank you for your continued engagement, and while we join our efforts to beat the virus, let’s also continue to innovate so that we can emerge from this pandemic stronger and wiser than before. In the meantime, follow the guidelines of your respective companies and authorities, connect with us online on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube) and be safe and prosperous!
With best regards,