The 43rd AITAA Governing Board Meeting (GBM) was held on 22nd November 2014 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Manila, Philippines. The opening ceremony was graced by the presence of honorable guests including His Excellency Fidel Valdez Ramos, the 12th President of the Philippines, His Excellency Prasas Prasasvinitchai, Ambassador of Thailand to the Philippines, His Excellency Dr. Subin Pinkayan, Chairman of AIT Board of Trustees, Professor Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, AIT President, Professor Ricardo Palabrica Pama, AIT Hall of Fame alumnus, together with the delegates from AIT Alumni Association (AITAA) headquarters and National/Regional Chapters. Representatives from 16 out of 26 AITAA National/Regional Chapters attended the GBM. The opening session started at 9:30 am with a welcome message delivered by AITAA Philippine Chapter President Mr. Joseph Paul Sianghio conveying his appreciation and gratitude to the individuals and AITAA Chapters who had contributed to the fund drive for the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan that occurred exactly one year ago. Following Mr. Joseph, AITAA President Mr. Thanin Bumrungsap also welcomed all the participants and expressed his appreciation for the good attendance at 43rd GBM from 16 Chapters. He stated that the primary objective of the 43rd GBM was to find ways for AIT stakeholders to join hands in helping our beloved Alma Mater.
Ambassador Prasas thanked AITAA for the invitation to the opening session of the 43rd GBM. He committed his office’s continuous support through the AITAA Philippine Chapter. H.E. Ramos welcomed the dignitaries and the delegates to the Philippines. He said that it is great to be reunited with AITAA of which he has also become a member since 1998. He emphasized the importance of this big annual gathering and recommended AITAA to play its role in communicating, educating, transferring knowledge and demonstrating best practices from its alumni following the principle of “Giving Back” to the “One World, One Family, One Community” in the global society. He assured that the AIT roadmap with the focus areas on water, food, energy, information technology, and infrastructure is correct. H.E. Ramos also donated the set of books with compilation of his essays. Host Chapter President Mr. Joseph presented the commemorative book “AIT Alive at 55” to President Ramos for signing on the master copy of the book.
The morning was also marked with an elaborate photo session with H.E. Ramos.
The session continued with the approval of the minutes of the 42nd GBM by the Governing Board (GB). And AITAA Executive Committee Members and National Chapters’ representatives presented their annual reports. AITAA Public Relations Officer, Dr. Ranjna Jindal presented 16 nominees for the Distinguished Alumni Awards and 1 Nominee for the AITAA Honorary Membership Award and moved the motion for Governing Board’s approval. The motion was seconded with no objection.
During the afternoon session, Dr. Subin, stated that he is attending the GBM as an alumnus not as the Chairman of AIT Board of Trustees. He presented AIT’s situations during the previous few years along with his 5-year plan for AIT to come out of the current financial crisis. He informed that besides the 200 million Baht support from the Royal Thai Government, AIT needs to raise an additional 300 million Baht a year to meet its operational budget. AIT President Prof. Worsak presented financial performance and other key figures of AIT graphically. National Chapters and AITAA HQ Representatives had questions and answers session with Dr. Subin and Prof. Worsak.
AITAA President Mr. Thanin presented a brief history about the establishment of the Friends of AIT Foundation (FoAIT) and invited the nominations from National Chapters for the alumni to serve in the board of the Foundation. Mr. Thanin discusses the matter on reactivation of some national chapters. He cites some reasons why some have become inactive. He adds that it requires at least ten (10) alumni to form a Chapter. He emphasizes that a good database of alumni’s emails is necessary. He encourages each chapter to keep updating their databases, and he confirms that the AITAA HQ is committed to help revitalize the various chapters and share the database.
The GB agrees that HQ has an authority to dissolve inactive Chapters, and re-establish them in case there are groups of alumni in the particular countries interested in the reactivation
AITAA HQ Auditor, Mr. Taweechai Termkunanon, presented a proposal to establish a permanent Disaster Relief Fund as a separate account, with an annual contribution of minimum USD 200 from National Chapters for the timely delivery of financial assistance to the Chapters affected by unforeseen natural disasters. Delegates discussed, proposed and support that it be made voluntary and implementation guidelines on the nature and amount for which financial assistance will be released should be agreed upon.
Mr. Thanin suggests and the GB agrees to withdraw the Disaster Relief Fund proposal after hearing the responses of the members.
Mr. Sunimal Weerasooriya, AITAA Sri Lanka Chapter President, reaffirmed his National Chapter’s offer to host the 44th GBM from 30 October – 2 November 2015 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This was marked through the handing-over ceremony of the AITAA insignia from Philippine Chapter to Sri Lanka Chapter. Cambodia Chapter affirmed their offer to host the 45th GBM in Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2016. Taiwan Chapter reconfirmed their offer to host the 46th GBM in 2017. Representatives and delegates exchanged souvenirs.
The GBM adjourned at 6:50 pm.