I hope every single one of you had a positive outcome from our 45th annual conference! As you know, we had record attendance, with a considerable increase over the past few conferences. This is good news for the association of course, while at the same time, it sets a precedent and a new bar to our board of directors to continue to work for the benefit of the community that ATA represents.
Please let us know your thoughts – both good and bad -- on what you saw at the congress held in Budapest last week. This feedback is highly important!
As the president elect this year, the weight of what that represents didn’t sink in until Wednesday morning on my way to the airport, heading back home to northwest Arkansas, U.S. I had separate conversations with Kelly (treasurer and former president) and Filip (president), both long-time members of ATA and its board of directors. They both made me realize the great responsibility that having to lead this association carries.
During the ride back to the airport, immersed in my own thoughts, I came to realize that Budapest is such a multicultural city. The music playing on the cab driver’s car stereo was an old, yet traditional Mexican song, sung by the Spanish singer Julio Iglesias. For those younger members of ATA, you may be a little more familiar with Julio’s son, Enrique Iglesias.
I mentioned that to the cab driver and he knew very well both the song and the singer. The next song was by Andrea Bocelli, singing in Italian. Neither the composers nor the singers were Hungarian, and yet, my Hungarian driver loved that music! The universal presence and influence of music are what prompted me to reflect on my previous conversations with Kelly, Filip and ATA’s membership, in the sense that ATA is a network of individuals who connect multiple nationalities, pretty much encompassing all continents. That “borderless” concept is something natural, and our board of directors, consciously or not, has always been able to bring us together year after year. And yet, this ubiquity of ATA membership needs to remain and even increase for an even more balanced sense of multiculturalism. And the best way to achieve this diversity of ideas is by keeping the board of directors informed with your feedback.
So again, please let us know your likes and desires for the next congress in Abu Dhabi as soon as possible! Your feedback is highly valuable to the programs our board of directors puts together every year, and Abu Dhabi is no exception.
We look forward to continuing to work for the benefit of our customers: the animals that require safe transportation – meeting their needs, from emotional support and service (pets), medical (laboratory), food production (livestock), and of course the horses (for whatever they do for us ;)). As the proverb goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and ATA has demonstrated its inner strength thanks to each one of its members who voice their feedback to the board of directors to find new directions and opportunities for continuous improvement. Let’s keep it that way!
Alberto Torres, ATA President-Elect