The CEO Network took the opportunity to meet during the 26th International Epilepsy Congress, which took place in Paris at the end of August 2005. The meeting was attended by Executives from 14 IBE Member associations in X countries including:
- Australia: Judith Blades, Jacinta Cummins, Robert Cole, Russell Pollard and Keith Roberts
- Belgium: Brigitte Willaert
- Denmark: Jutta Houmøller
- Finland: Sari Tervonen
- Iceland: Jonina B Gudmundsdottir
- Israel: Yosay Unterman
- Norway: Andreas Habberstad
- Scotland: Susan Douglas-Scott
- South Africa: Noéline de Goede
- Uganda: Augustine Mugarura
The meeting was Chaired by Jutta Houmøller, Chief Executive of the Danish Epilepsy Association, and Tina Mose from the Danish Epilepsy Association took the notes.
Apoligies were accepted from Philip Lee (UK), Mike Glynn (Ireland), José Lopes Lima and Francisco Sales (Portugal), Denise Crépin (Canada), Stanculescu Gelu (Romania), Eric Hargis (US) and Nora Perez (Jamaica).
Jutta Houmøller opened the meeting by welcome all those present and encourage discussion on the issues that formed the meeting agenda. She also encourage communication between meetings in order to maintain good momentum and noted the importance of meeting at the 27th International Epilepsy Congress in Singapore 2007.
What are the biggest problems faced by CEOs?
- Working with an Executive Board whose members also have other responsibilities that they have to address.
- National legislative issues that can be time consuming to address and which are often illogical.
- Working alone: the possibility of personal support from other CEOs could lessen the loneliness of being solely responsible for day-to-day decision-taking.
How can the CEO Network help to improve the management of an organization in order to achieve a better quality of life for PWE?
- It would be helpful to see how other CEOs work. This might be achieved through a programme of visits, with individual CEOs arranging to spend time at the office of other members of the CEO Network.
- Sharing ideas for programmes and new initiatives, and advice on grant applications etc.
- Sharing organisational strategies.
- Sharing strategies for successful lobbying of national politicians and, in the case of Europe, Members of the European Parliament
- Fundraising strategies.
It was agreed by all those present that, in order to make the CEO Network efficient, there must be some focus on the network itself. There were different views as to why networking is important and which aspects should be taken on board. The following elements were agreed as the most important:
- The possibility of being able to draw on other peoples resources.
- The social aspect was seen as important.
- The provision of the CV of each member of the network, which would outline key points about each CEO. This would facilitate in identifying which CEO was most appropriate to approach, depending on the information being sought by another member of the Network.
How to gain maximum benefit from the next Network meeting?
There were different opinions on getting the maximum benefit from the next meeting. The following were suggested:
- Have intense workshops on a specific topic. This would require presentations to be prepared by speakers in advance of the meeting.
- Arrange to have an informal gathering at the beginning of the congress to allow members to socialise and become acquainted. A more formal meeting could take place towards the end of the congress.
- The possibility of submitting topic suggestions for consideration as part of the official programme of the congress in Singapore.
- CEO Network meetings were for the leaders of epilepsy organizations.
- Ongoing contact would be by email, prior to the next face to fact meeting in Singapore.
- Sherman Goh would take responsibility for arranging the meeting in Singapore and suggestions for the agenda would be decided by email.