West Riding Blog

AGM Chairman’s Report

West Riding Section Annual General Meeting

Chairman’s Report 2010-2011

This has been a difficult year for OCCA and with changes at Central Office and continuing national financial worries. This is a difficult time within the chemical industry generally and rapidly increasing raw material pricing within the coatings industry. I have moved further away from the coating industry but try to bring some of the innovative ideas and new business developments in contact with the coatings industry. 

Our Advances lecture in October 2010 was cancelled due to poor attendance figures, this is the first time this has happened since the introduction of the Forum events which are usually well attended. The committee has discussed the possible causes of the failure which was due to a combination of several factors. We have put in place measures to mitigate the problems identified for future events.

On more positive points, the Student Showcase, November 2010, continues to grow and receive on-going support from Leeds andBradfordschools. I would like to thank theUniversityofLeedsstudents and lecturers who made the event a success. Algy Kazlauciunas and his team have worked very hard at contacting schools to bring new schools in for the Showcase whilst maintaining the original schools’ participation. The event has had lots of positive feedback from those attending and is an excellent example of what the Association can do to increase the interest in science education.

The annual OCCA Dinner and Dance, November 2010, was pared down from previous events to reduce costs. Godfrey Alderson put in another huge effort to book the venue and entertainment, the organisation on the night was faultless. However, the work to make this event the success it was entailed many hours in chasing hosts, pushing attendance up and encouraging participation. Godfrey should be congratulated on an excellent event, with increased attendance and even an increased (if small) profit. We look forward to the next one.

We have just had a very successful Fundamentals of Pigments and Nanotechnology forum at PPG, April 2011. I would like to thank PPG for hosting and sponsorship of this event which ensures we can continue providing a valuable service to the members, and this also encourages new membership with 6 signing up at the event. Attendance was lower than expected, and we need to get word out about these events more efficiently and effectively. Everyone at the event found it informative and interesting. Special thanks to Rob Lewis who did the bulk of the work, and Bill Harvey who made everything work well from PPG.

We are looking forward to some interesting talks at the Advances in Pigments and nanotechnology in October. 

Simplifying registration to events, better publicity and a wider committee base have been identified as areas where we need to improve. These should be major aims of the Association as a whole, with West Riding showing the way.

The changes within the central organisation have been a large distraction over the last two years and have still not been fully resolved. West Riding Section and Manchester Section are now in regular conversation as to how we can work together at promoting each others events, hosting join events and building OCCA membership and profile throughout the Northern regions.

Sandy Gunn, Chair

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