1977, 20 years old, 3rd year of university, no idea what I would do with my Combined Honours Degree, if I got it, I embarked on my year’s Industrial Training; an impressive term for what I thought would be “jack of all trades” in a company close to home!

How wrong was I?

After 3 weeks, I was called to a meeting with, no less than, the CEO for Europe, 4pm a Friday afternoon, to be asked:
“Are you available to go to Belgium”?
Simple question, simple answer!
“Yes, when”?
“Monday morning”
You can imagine my surprise, but that is how it all started.

After my mandatory year and a sabbatical and several journeys between the UK, Belgium, France and Germany, I returned to finish my university courses and more besides; whilst returning to France on a monthly basis to do the accounts; a busy but rewarding three years, where “in the real world” I finally understood what accounting, budgets, cash flows, etc. were.

This is how met Luc Bourdalé, some of you may remember him, he was our auditor at that time. Luc was a Board member of Eurorevision and played a major part in the merger of Eurorevision with ICC in 1997 at the AGM in Boston.

I joined his office in 1985 and had the privilege and pleasure of working with him and accompanying him to many, what is now IGAL, meetings as a delegate. Our 17-year partnership ended amicably in 2002 and, of course, the ICC meetings, when I decided to spread my wings.

However, call it fate or whatever you like, afterall, I am not Queen Elizabeth II, someone remembered me, Pascal Guillot, Board Member of ICC. He called me on a sunny lunchtime, I was out shopping in Carrefour, to ask if I was interested in taking over the position of Deidre Jones as Administrator of ICC. Not only was I very flattered but also elated at the idea.

A meeting was organised very quickly with Maarten Veldhuijzen and Howard Radley in Dordrecht and although I was very excited at the prospect of the job, I knew that the interview was crucial and that I was up against tough competition, I opted for “que sera sera” attitude but can assure you my fingers and toes were crossed.

And here I am, 20 years later. This experience has opened my mind; enabled me to learn about different cultures; although diplomacy is still not my biggest virtue, I have learnt how to compromise.

It is now time for me to step down. I hope that my successor will reap all the riches that IGAL has to offer; respect, humanity, friendship and loyalty; nothing is more precious.

Thank you IGAL            

Beverley Leonache

IGAL Administrator