Our Annual General Meeting, held Nov. 12 and once again hosted by Member John Morris Nov. 12, elected a new slate of officers and committee for 2009-2010.
Virginia Power was unanimously elected president, pledging to lead actively and creatively, following a successful tenure of the co-presidency of Georgina Oliver and Gregory Viscusi, who will remain as ex-officio members for the new term.

Eleanor Beardsley and Anne-Elisabeth Moutet were elected Vice-Presidents; John Davidson was re-elected Treasurer and yours truly Secretary General. John Keating was elected Syndic.

The incoming committee appointed by election is: Crispian Balmer, Charles Bremner, Mildrade Cherfils, William Diem, Steven Erlanger, Vaiju Naravane, Catherine Nolan and David Pearson. And, amid a round of applause, Maria Vincenza Aloisi was confirmed as our hard-working coordinator.

The Association’s finances “are in much better shape than they were a year earlier,” the Treasurer said in his report e-mailed to the membership. Our investment nest-egg remained intact, and expenses have been significantly reduced. The sound financial situation has enabled the committee to vote a budget for the professional design of a new Web site, which should be on-line by the end of the year.

We gained and lost members in roughly equal numbers during the 2008-2009 term, and our roster of active and associate members now stands at 127.

Introduced and welcomed were new members who briefly explained who they represented: Millie Cherfils, Global Post; William Martz, Paris Magazine; Francois Picard, France 24; Brent Gregston, Radio France International; Mary Papenfuss, Newser and Eleaine Cobbe, CBS News.

The outgoing committee organized 14 events over the past year, compared to 16 a year ago and 20 in the previous year. Costs to members were reduced significantly by, for example, preferring breakfast events to lunches, and by meeting our guests in locales such as embassies, ministries, the OECD, UNESCO and the CAPE, the foreign press center.

The incoming officers and committee members are gearing up for another active year of activities, with some events already in the pipeline, including a meeting with a top executive of Renault.

——- Axel Krause