Date: 6 June 2015, 16:00-17:45 CET
Meeting: Conference Call (Skype)
Jean-Pol Francois (4/5)
Carla Sue Hanson (5/5)
Robert King (5/5)
Vedran Milat (4/5)
Absent: Kimmo Lahtinen (4/5)
Ute Gessmann (2/5)
Antero Joki (3/5)
Petar Bojovic (2/5)
Per Westin (0/5)
Financial Matters. The Board reviewed AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Vedran.
Vedran and Rob presented 2014 financial statements for AIDA International, prepare by Pluscom, AIDA’s independent accountants (the same as for last several years). The 2014 financial statements include: journal, general ledger, income statement and balance street. Vedran and Rob both reported that there were no unusual transactions for 2014. Vedran and Rob also reviewed all material transfers of funds on AIDA’s bank and PayPal statements for 2014, and reported that all were in the ordinary course (i.e. for AIDA purposes, not for any other purpose). The Board discussed a number of items on the financial statements, with respect to increasing the efficiency of the use of AIDA resources.
The Board voted to approve the 2014 financial statements, and to recommend them to the Assembly for review and approval. These materials will be delivered to the Assembly in early July, shortly after the conclusion of the 2015 AIDA Pool World Championships.
The Board also discussed the importance of having AIDA’s financial statements prepared by professional accountants. One of the factors that allowed for the large-scale theft of AIDA funds under the previous AIDA Board (2005-2009) was the failure to have financial statements prepared by independent accountants. The Board voted to request that the Assembly require AIDA to have financial statements prepared each year by independent accountants. This request will also be delivered to the Assembly in early July (with the financial statements).
The Board reviewed an item on the balance sheet: membership fee receivables. Under the previous Board, those membership fees were stolen (i.e. not used for AIDA purposes). The current Board stopped the theft, and reduced the annual member fee to zero for 2015; the Board plans to recommend that the annual member fee remain at zero. For those reasons, the Board determined that it will not attempt to collect those unpaid fees.
Vedran and Rob reported on funds received from the Swiss government in repayment of the amounts stolen under the former Board. Vedran and Rob will provide a report to the Assembly on this subject in early July (along with the financial statements).
Vedran and Rob reported on PayPal fees. EBay recently spun off PayPal as an
independent company, and PayPal has already raised its (already high) fees. Vedran and Rob noted that a way to reduce PayPal fees--for those paying money to AIDA from within Europe—is to have AIDA accept electronic funds transfers (EFTs). Vedran and Rob will provide additional information on this topic as soon as possible.
Translations of AIDA Competition Rules. The Board would like to thank Claude Chapuis and AIDA France for translating the AIDA Competition Rules into French (for free). The Board received bids to translate the Rules into Spanish: one bid from a translator in Miami for approximately €1,000, and a second bid from AIDA Venezuela for €600. The Board noted that AIDA Venezuela is knowledgeable about diving terminology (the Miami translator is not), and voted to approve €600 to have the Rules translated by AIDA Venezuela into Spanish.
2015 AIDA Individual World Championships. The Board discussed numerous matters relating to the 2015 AIDA World Championships. The Board voted to approve €600 for room and board for Carla Hanson in Belgrade, and the same amount for room and board for Carla in Cyprus; Carla will be onsite for AIDA providing media coverage, as she has been for the last several AIDA world championships. The Board also voted to correct the amount approved for Carla’s airfare to Cyprus, to actual expense, not to exceed €1,600.
There will be subsidized judges course offered in both Belgrade and Cyprus, at a total cost of €70 per student; this is intended to end predatory pricing of judge courses at AIDA world championships, and allow judge students who must pay for travel to and hotel at world championships take an AIDA judge course at a reasonable price. In order to keep this fee as low as possible (i.e. €70/student), the Board voted to waive the normal certification fee (€50/student) for each of those courses. Robert also noted that there will be judge Continuing Education (“CE”) courses in both Belgrade and Cyprus (like the one held last year in Cagliari).
The Board plans to hold Open Meetings in both Belgrade and Cyprus, as have been held at the last three AIDA world championships. These meetings will be opportunities for Board members to review important AIDA activities, and, more importantly, opportunities for athletes, coaches and others to raise and discuss issues important in their countries. The Open Meeting in Belgrade will be hosted by AIDA Board members Carla Hanson, Vedran Milat, Petar Bojovic, Antero Joki, Jean-Pol François, and Mario Zuzic. If you’ll be in Belgrade, please feel free to join the Open Meeting.
2016 AIDA World Championships. Rob noted that the Assembly unanimously approved the proposal from the Finnish Diving Federation to host the 2016 AIDA Pool World Championships. More information about this event to come later this year!
The Board noted that the proposals to host the 2016 AIDA Team World Championship are due not later than 30 September. Please ask interested organizers contact AIDA International for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sport Office. After discussion, the Board voted to approve promotion for judge Filip West (Belgium) to Level D, effective upon his attendance at an upcoming continuing education course in Belgium. The Board voted to approve AIDA judge continuing education courses in Belgium (presented by Jean-Pol François) and Germany (presented by Ute Gessmann); contingent on the IOP proposal being approved by the Assembly, the Board approved credit for these courses equivalent to those offered in Belgrade and Cyprus. These courses will focus primarily on
changes to the AIDA Competition Rules that became effective in 2015.
Following a comment on the IOP proposal from AIDA Romania, the Board voted to recommend that the Assembly approve a technical correction to the IOP: granting credit for judges who intern at a judge course (similar to credit given for attending a continuing education course). If the IOP proposal currently before the Assembly is approved, the Board will ask the Assembly to vote on this technical correction.
Card Printing. As previously noted, printing of plastic cards (for students, judges and instructors) represents a significant expense for AIDA; the use and shipping of plastic cards is also detrimental to the environment. In line with procedures of other dive agencies, AIDA has stopped the annual reprinting of plastic cards for existing instructors and judges; new instructors and judges still receive plastic cards. AIDA is likewise in the process of migrating to eCards for students. All relevant information about students, instructors and judges will be available on AIDA’s website (and in eCard format on mobile devices).
Medical & Science Office. Medical researcher Erika Schagatay has completed the first draft of the study on freediving and chest squeezes; this study was funded in part by AIDA International. Due to issues relating to professional publication of medical research, Erika is preparing a distributable version of this study for AIDA (i.e. distributable before the research is officially published). This version will be available for the 2016 AIDA Depth World Championship in Cyprus, and Erika plans to present her findings in Cyprus. All persons at the world championship in Cyprus are invited to attend Erika’s presentation, and all officers and directors of AIDA Nationals who will in Cyprus are requested to attend.
Education Office. After discussion, the Board voted to approve Oli Christen (Switzerland/Indonesia) as an AIDA Instructor Trainer. Jean-Pol reviewed initiatives in the AIDA Dive Center program. The Board noted that two key initiatives are monthly billing for dive centers, and volume discounts for higher-volume programs. Jean-Pol and Vedran will work on these items, and report back to the Board at its next meeting.
Further Information. If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member.