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!
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