The day started with travel delays both by car (nearly an hour to get through the Blackwall Tunnel) and train (severe delays, and Kings Cross Tube Station closed due to severe overcrowding) so it was a good job I allowed plenty of time to get to the British Library for today's Socitm meetings!
Prior to the AGM, Adrian and I gave a briefing on the work undertaken in reorganising the Society to date, which included a couple of slides about my intended agenda, as President, for the year. The presentation slides will be available to all Socitm members through the web-site.
Following an early lunch, the AGM was convened, but there were then delays while we marshalled enough full members and individuals holding proxies to ensure a quorum. Our articles of association require a quorum of thirty voting members to attend AGMs in person in order to pass resolutions.
Only full members are able to vote, and most organisations only have one full member (the Head of Profession) with other members being "associates" and ineligible to vote. We will definitely want to change this at a future Extraordinary General Meeting, probably to be held at the annual conference in October, as part of a new membership model to suit the planned expansion of the Society to cover all those who work in IT in the public and third sectors.
Thankfully, we achieved a quorum, and all resolutions were passed, unanimously I think, which included my elevation to President, returned Steve Hopson and Steve Palmer as Vice Presidents, and appointed Jos Creese as the third Vice President. Rose then presented me with the President's Chain of Office, and she received a Past President's badge from me, which I understand includes conferral of life-long membership of the Society.
Rose thanked colleagues, including officers, affiliate members (who have provided their services free in support of the reorganisation) and the President's Team. I thanked Rose for doing a great job and, particularly, for having recognised the need for, and instigated, urgent reorganisation to address a host of problems that were threatening our future viability.
The AGM was followed by an EGM to change the Society's constitution. We now have a board of up to 12 Directors but, initially the board comprises just one Executive Director – Adrian Hancock, the Acting Managing Director – and five non-Executive Directors – the President's Team. Our board will decide upon the appointment of further Directors to ensure that it includes all the requisite skills to run Socitm effectively.
In the afternoon those board members who were present met with affiliates and our Auditor to discuss advice on measures immediately required to ensure that we achieve a balanced budget in the current company year, and to ensure that we're very well-positioned to complete the programme of change, modernise and revitalise the Society with its expanded remit.
We agreed immediately to act upon 12 urgent measures, which I will report to the membership upon in the coming weeks.
My first impression of being President is that it's exhausting! At the end of these proceedings I felt thoroughly tired, but glad to have made a good start on the job in-hand. I also feel honoured to now be President of such a well-respected organisation that has achieved so much in its history, and optimistic about our future and the many achievements on behalf of the Membership to come.
Oh… and my identity was not, after all compromised! Apparently Morgan Stanley, with whom I have a credit card, has changed its name to the Goldfish Bank.
They probably wrote to me about this; in fact, I think I remember receiving a letter with a goldfish on the envelope – but I get an awful lot of junk mail that I shred without reading. OK – I am a bit embarrassed after yesterday's proclamation. I still don't know how or why photo-gifts were purchased from an account with Truprint opened in my name, 'though, but my credit rating appears intact…