Making the AAPA more socially relevant to its members was the main theme of our 2014 Annual General Meeting, held on Dec. 17 once again chez John Morris, our doyen member.


Opening the meeting, President John Keating reported to some 30 participants that the AAPA had had another successful year, noting that membership had expanded, we remain in robust financial shape, and our activities are on the rise. A main task that faces the future committee over the coming year will be to foster social contacts among the members, he said.

Treasurer Barbara Casassus reported that we have an aggregate positive balance in our current and reserve accounts of over 15,000 euros thanks to our policy of eliminating the cost of events to members where possible and careful cash management. Our solid finances allowed us to host two convivial and non-paying gatherings for members in 2014, and to exceptionally reduce the price of our annual Gala last June.

Secretary-General Axel Krause then gave a more detailed account of our activities in the past year, citing 12 premium events for members, including a very successful and well-attended tribute held for John Morris at the Hotel Scribe last September.

He noted that membership had expanded by three since the previous AGM and now stands at 113, and in accordance with the Statutes he read out the names of our new members.

AAPA members in festive spirit at the AGM/Christmas party

Axel received a heartfelt and lengthy ovation as he leaves his post after 21 years of loyal service as Secretary-General and many more years serving the AAPA in other capacities, including that of president.

The election of officers and committee members produced the following management board for 2015:


President: John Keating

Vice-President: Rory Mulholland

Vice-President: Sara Llana Miller

Secretary-General: David Pearson

Treasurer: Barbara Casassus

Syndic: Eleanor Beardsley


Mark John

Lisa Bryant

Jamey Keaten

Scott Sayare


Clare Byrne

Ben McPartland


After the elections, the floor was opened to a lively discussion about how the AAPA can become more attractive to Anglo-American correspondents in Paris, and how to innovate and expand our activities. There was agreement that, while members often meet up at our more formal events with guest speakers, we need to make it easier for them  – as well as non-members – to get together in a more relaxed, social context to exchange news, tips and ideas.

With this in mind, Vice-President Sara Llana Miller and Committee Member Lisa Bryant have been given responsibility for Social Affairs. Their goal is to make it easier for members to meet, and to help newer arrivals integrate and benefit from the experience and knowledge accumulated by our well-established crew.

The AAPA already has its own private Facebook page with 35 participants, but it deserves to be more popular. Vice-President Rory Mulholland and Committee Member Scott Sayare will endeavor to build up a critical mass for this important media for members to share experiences, news about themselves and story ideas. All members are invited to sign up.

AAPA President John Keating gives his report to the AGM

Rory will take on the additional role of Recruitment Officer, and Scott will also look after Community Affairs, liaising with Sara and Lisa.

Several members asked for more direct communication about upcoming events, saying active journalists get dozens if not hundreds of emails every day and some tend to get overlooked. We will experiment with sending text messages to help improve our response rate.

The meeting then broke up for a convivial and lively Christmas party, with champagne and canapés beautifully organised by Coordinator Maria-Vincenza Aloisi, and once again enjoying the boundless hospitality of John Morris and Pat.


David Pearson