We welcome the latest news from our Zone Chairmen, and members of the International Council of Management – Stephen Hipple (Americas), Michael Tamburri (Asia Pacific) and John Nicholas (Europe Africa)
AMERICAS - StePHeN Hipple
I am pleased to announce that the Americas Inc.'s board of directors has approved the formation of three new branches. They are Burlington branch in Ontario, Canada (who have already held their inaugural event, reported earlier) with 18 members, Jupiter branch in Florida with 15 members and the Gulf Stream branch in Florida with 17 members.
Americas Inc. is reorganizing its pages on the www.iwfs.org website making it much easier to navigate and find the information the members want. The public page is being enhanced with new photos and copy describing the benefits of membership. With the redesign we are targeting the 30 and 40 year old audience. We are also working on the members page which is designed to provide leadership with the tools they need to operate their branch effectively. Please watch out for more updates.
ASIA PACIFIC – Michael Tamburri
In November 2022 I was delighted to travel to the Philippines to attend the 40th anniversary of the branch foundation. I was honoured to present 8 white medallions to members for their voluntary exceptional service to the IWFS. My sincere gratitude to President Jay Labrador for coordinating an incredible wine and food experience. I also attended the Manila Ladies branch and was hosted by Vice-Chair Christine (Tina) B. De Jesus and fellow committee members including Glenda Barreto who is the pioneer of Filipino cuisine.
We’re now looking forward to the proposed Sydney festival from the 18 – 22 October 2023, which is to be hosted by the New South Wales branch Chaired by Jim Anderson and his team. The branch is finalising arrangements for the festival and please look out for updates on our APZ website.
All the APZ branches and members have received the latest Monograph – A Guide to Modern Madeira, 2023 vintage guides and IWFS gift bags. The content of our IWFS web App is constantly being reviewed and I encourage all our members to download the members app to facilitate better use of our website at: https://www.iwfs.org/membersapp.
I’m looking forward to the full resumption of activities amongst our APZ branches. I’m planning to visit branches in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan in April to further build relationships given the challenging times experienced. I’m delighted with the encouragement from our Exco members Eddie Hu and Dominique Levy from our Taipei branch who nominated a successful opening of a new branch being TaoChuMiao under the leadership of Dr Chih Shan Coralie Yuan. I welcome them to the IWFS family and look forward to sharing great food, wine and friendship.
My sincere thanks and appreciation to the voluntary contribution of our APZ Board and Executive Committee Members for their continued commitment to the advancement of the APZ.
EUROPE AFRICA – John Nicholas
2023 is looking exciting - Our London branch is holding a 90th Society anniversary event at Windsor Castle, all members are welcome. As members continue to give up their time for the Society their efforts are now being realised – with three festivals scheduled, two new branches have opened in 12 months and the second catering college competition in the North is planned. We also continue to recognise the efforts of members with our own Exceptional Service Medallion and our friends in hospitality with our Branch Excellence Awards.
Some reflections from the last 12 months - The turmoil of the last year is in my view a consequence of the “perfect storm” of the last few years coming together – the uncertainties arising from Brexit in the UK (whichever point of view you may hold), followed by Covid and the aggression of Russia threatening not just Ukraine, but the whole Western Alliance in Europe. The consequences of this perfect storm, some poor decision making by politicians in many countries and weak exchange rates for Sterling and the Euro have damaged European economies in particular raising inflation to levels not seen for many years.
The impact on Europe Africa is a marked increase in the cost of events, hospitality venues and travel. Nevertheless, branches are again organising a full range of events. Europe Africa have three showcase events planned for 2023 as set out in the Dates for the Diary below. An event organised by London branch at Windsor Castle and the Atlantic Ocean crossing are in celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the inauguration of the Society in November 1933.
The voyage across the Atlantic to New York reflects that taken by André Simon in 1934 after the first event of The Society held in London. By the time he returned to Europe several branches had been founded in the US. I hope that all our branches will find a way to honour and celebrate the pioneering efforts and vision of our founder. Let us know your stories and the best will be published.
We are very pleased to have formed another branch in London – Capital branch. This follows the launch of a new branch in Cheshire last year – Vale Royal branch. We continue to support people interested in founding a new branch. We are also encouraging members to join events in other branches or to organise events jointly with other branches. The Northern Group of IWFS branches are cooperating to organise the second annual catering college competition [See above].
It is important that we recognise the efforts of all those who voluntarily contribute to the activities of the Society. We have made several presentations in recent months of the Europe Africa Exceptional Service Medallion and also of the Europe Africa bar added to the Society Bronze medallion for continued efforts on behalf of the Region. I would like to thank all of those who contribute to “making it all happen”.
In Europe Africa, we have also recognised that there are some people and organisations who provide great service to IWFS and its branches, so we have now rolled out the Branch Excellence Award. In return for this recognition, we ask that the venues publicise the award received from IWFS on their websites and social media.
I do hope that your experiences over the next few months with IWFS enable you to enjoy life and forget, at least for a short time, the travails besetting the world today.