I vividly recall my first meeting with Roland, at Eurocontrol, at a time when my Association was, how shall I put this, rather ambivalent about joining the club. Appearances can be deceptive, and I soon came to recognise a consummate diplomat, who is passionate and energetic about promoting European Aerospace Harmony.
Over the past five years Roland has not only been a colleague, but has become a good friend.
He has been the driving force behind the development of ESAM, to its present position of having every significant national aerospace medical organisation as a member, and recognition by EASA. I believe that every Aerospace professional in Europe owes him a great debt of gratitude.
So, he will be a hard act to follow. I do not aspire to being Dr. Vermeiren, despite his clear, and beneficial, influence on my dress sense. I hope to bring different skills to the job of President, to allow ESAM to go from strength to strength during what will be a very challenging period. Those of you who know me will be aware of my highly developed sense of humour, and those who know me less well could easily make the mistake of thinking me a bit of a joker!
Let us be absolutely clear on this, you should never make the mistake of believing that I do not take job in ESAM seriously.
I have been infected by Roland’s passion, and will add to this my own determination and organisational skills, to see ESAM develop and prosper over the coming years.