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ISST Treasurer's Report for the Executive Board Term 2018 to 2020

by Eckhard Roediger

The treasurer is in charge for all formal issues concerning following the Society’s purposes laid out in the statutes. This includes the financial management as well as building up the organisational set-up in terms of office management and organization of payments (including e.g. maintaining the PCCI compliance level for customer´s protection).

After the last GMA in late 2018, some formal changes had to be made with a notary´s help at the German law court. We settled the Dual Membership regulation which allowed us to offer reduced ISST membership rates to members of a national schema therapy society that is affiliated to us.  So far this has been applied to members of the Dutch and Brazilian Societies.  At the present GMA we are not calling for any further changes to the ISST statutes as our current statutes are catering well with our current needs.

The report about the last two years is twofold. Let me start with the positive side of the coin, the financial situation:

  • The INSPIRE Conference inAmsterdam in 2018 was a great success from all perspectives. We attracted more than 1000 participants from all over the world and had an exciting and stimulating event in a magnificent venue with lots of significant contributions. The final balances revealed that we made a gain of about 44.000,-€. Thanks are due to all who contributed to this excellent outcome!
  • The ENLIGHT Workshop Conference in Edinburgh in 2019 resulted in a small financial loss. We could have attracted more participants, but we were limited in the size of the auditorium. Nevertheless, the program contained many innovative workshops; the organisation was close to perfect and the atmosphere in Harry Potter´s hometown enchanting (thanks to Travis, Susan, Angeles and Sara for their organisational expertise).
  • The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 brought significant changes for all of us, and of course impacted us in the ISST. Making a long story short: Travis´ idea of filling the gap resulting from postponing the INSPIRE-Conference in Copenhagen to 2021 with a virtual summit this year kept most participants registered and thus reduced our financial risk. Whatever will happen next year we seem to be prepared – technically and financially. Travis deserves our utmost gratitude for organizing the summit. Again, it ran very smoothly despite all the technical challenges. Postponing the one event and creating another resulted in a very  challenging situation. A seemingly endless number of emails flew back and forth (and there were online meetings too) between the board members and the participants, as well as the Tivoli in Copenhagen, the intended venue for the conference there. Angeles in the office almost got drowned in the flood – but I will come to this part later. Right now, I just want to thank her for her relentless efforts to keep the ship afloat, efforts that exceeded her responsibilities by far. She worked far beyond the hours we contracted her. We owe her a lot and she deserves our gratitude and respect.
  • Fortunately, we were able to put on hold the already contracted ENLIGHT Event in Melbourne in April 2021 and will get our firsts down payment back. We plan to move the event to 2022, but as I write this there is still considerable uncertainty with respect to how viable international travel (and even local travel) will be for months ahead and nothing can be settled under these unpredictable conditions.
In a nutshell: this board term was financially very successful and we managed to navigate our ship pretty well through the troubled waters. The balances for 2018 and 2019 and the auditor’s reports are available separately on the 2020 General Membership Assembly Information page on the FINANCIAL AND AUDITING REPORTS button.

Now to the more critical developments:

As I introduced in the beginning, the office organisation so far has also been another task of the treasurer. In 2018, it became obvious that the increasing number of members, certification applications and the growing events require more office staff. In summer 2018, we tried to employ additional local office staff, but we could not find somebody fulfilling our expectations. This sheds further light on the multitude of tasks Angeles was dealing with all the time. Meanwhile our membership grew up to about 1800! This is exciting – but also a tremendous challenge to deal with!

The solution was contracting Volunt, an Association Management Company (AMC) who promised to support us in developing our office infrastructure and building up a more individualized Customer Relation Management tool (CRM). However, progress was disappointingly slow, and it was slowed further by attempts to link it to the conference tool for Copenhagen.  By March 2020, however, we realized, that the recommended CRM was not running smoothly and repeatedly breaking down. So we decided to terminate the contract, hired a project manager and tried to set up a new platform using Salesforce.  This, however, proved to be much too costly. At this point, Volunt announced that they were withdrawing entirely and terminating their contact with us. With respect to the CRM,  Travis once again stepped in as our “saviour” taking the lead in getting consultants who can customize to our needs Wild Apricot, our web platform, that was already serving as our CRM in the background.  In this way we will gain additional virtual office power. I can hardly express what kind of relief that meant to me (and Angeles, of course)!  Meanwhile we still need to address the question of what further office staff we need to run everything efficiently.

Looking back, with respect to developing our administrative infrastructure, we have lost 2 years. I seriously apologize for all the inconveniences and the delays this caused for you as our members and for Angeles who sacrificed herself to keep our services running as best she could. I personally will leave the board after 12 years now, as required by the ISST statutes. Supporting Travis I will do my best until the end of this board term to leave my successor a clear table in terms of a well working CRM and office staff. Travis and I will continue serving backstage as a member of the new found Administration Advisory Board to contribute the knowledge we accumulated in the past years, while we clear the front stage for new faces carrying the torch further into the future. It´s time to say good-bye now and I wish them the very best!

Looking back, I feel deeply enriched by the insight I gained while contributing to building up our society from scratch, the stimulating encounters with people I learned to know along the way and the personal growth I received as a gift in return – especially in my term as the President from 2014 to 2016. Thanks to you all!

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