From the President – March 2013

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Welcome to my first Making Waves message, as I pick up the baton and say my thanks to the work of the outgoing President, my good friend Andy Woolgar. IMCA’s role in the industry has been an important one and there remains much for us to do. We have come a long way since our beginnings as AODC and DPVOA and grown massively across the last 10 years under the stewardship of Hugh Williams, to reach current membership numbers in excess of 900.

With a change of President and Chief Executive and the end of 2012, it was felt right to take stock of where IMCA is and where we are planning to go. A strategy day took place on 5 February to commence mapping of a five year plan for the future of the organisation, and give the new Chief Executive some challenging targets. To ensure the process was an objective one, the day was run by an external facilitator and views were canvassed from membership and the secretariat to present as wide a range of views and ideas as possible.

The brief was primarily to imagine where IMCA would be in five years’ time, agree collective objectives and try to outline ways to deliver them in an efficient and effective manner. The detailed write up of the day is being delivered as this article is being written, but there were a number of clear outcomes that can be reported back to members.

Firstly, there was a consensus that IMCA does a pretty good all round job. While there are service improvements that could be made, we members get a valued and valuable service from the organisation.

Secondly, it was evident that we need to pay more attention and give more support to the international membership, particularly (but not solely) in the US. To this end, arrangements are being made for the new Chief Executive to conduct regular visits to meet with members and trade associations, as well as developing and enhancing our relationships and status in Washington and with organisations such as the Coast Guard.

I would like to say a few words about refocusing our attention, not only on the US, but in all other areas, especially the emerging ones. IMCA needs to foster our members in these locations to raise our profile as the pre-eminent provider of services to the marine contracting supply chain.

More importantly, there is a need for IMCA to discover a voice on the global stage. The work the members are engaged in allows energy in all forms to flow across the planet, with a resultant stimulus to the economies of countries across the world. Whilst our foundation is at an operational level, based on standards, risk management and safety, our value is strategic.

We need to make that strategic voice heard, and voicing it should increase our relevance to the senior management to promote enhanced support for what we are achieving at IMCA.

The time and effort donated by all members is recognised, appreciated and vital to our goals, so I will end with thanks to all for the contributions made, and those to come.

Massimo Fontolan,
Saipem

IMCA President 2013