President's Report - 2014/2015 - Clare Taylor

2014/2015 AGM President’s Report

The last twelve months have flown by in whirlwind of events, activities and a few challenges thrown in for good measure!

I will do my best to summarise the stand out moments and events over the last year.

The Highlights

Parties and Special Events

The first major event for the board to organise was the Annual Summer BBQ in May and was to be held at an ‘untested’ venue in Herrliburg. What a beautiful and charming venue it turned out to be. We were blessed with beautiful weather and a spectacular vista of the mountains. Many members gave outstanding feedback and we will be there again this year. 

We had amazing attendance at the Halloween and Christmas parties, with both being sold out events.

A record number of children visited Santa at the WAC, while the new "Priority-A" red post box to the North pole, created by Louise Gooding,  proved an exciting new addition in the run up to the party.

Social Events and Groups

Our Potluck Club evenings proved to be very popular for another year, and provide a great meeting point for all-comers. The last twelve months have seen the themes expand, with Paleo, Harvest and Christmas dishes from around the world, being some of the highlights.

The "Dinner Clubs" under the organisation of Susan Junod have branched away from Uster, with trips to restaurants in Rüti, Dübendorf, and both on and over the hill to Zürich.

Sue Mailley-Smith's craft evenings continued to knit-one-pearl-one, going from strength to strength, with multi skilled members knitting, crocheting, jewellery making etc. and welcoming new members with the offer of sharing their craft skills.

The Afternoon Café recently made a welcome return thanks to Stacy Streuli on a Tuesday afternoon. The Café is open to all, serving homemade cake, good coffee (thanks to our new machine) and good company on a relaxed Tuesday afternoon – should you want a change from Migros Café!

WAC Classes

I am pleased that we have been able to bring back German lessons at the WAC, offering our community the tools to integrate into the local community. Carol has worked tirelessly to ensure that the classes continue across both skill levels.

The Ballet classes under the direction of Miss So-Young have been enjoyed by many of our little members.

The Book Club continued to meet on a Wednesday, once a month, with a rotating leader. The Girls' and Boys' Club under the untiring direction of Jana Parkin and Marijam Egli-Rohr  are an integral part of the WAC for our older children, offering great opportunities for them to experience, learn, discuss and explore together.

New Website

The website has not had one but two facelifts this year, making it professional and easier for the user to navigate. There was a recent change in the platform as the website was difficult to administrate. Special mention should be made of Stephanie Weber who has worked hard in making the improvements to the website, answering every question quickly and we had lots!

The Lowlights

Dumpsters

The Board, like Boards before, has been busy trying to improve the ongoing situation with our unsightly neighbours. We were unable to obtain funding from Migros to help with the high costs of relocating them. We have therefore looked at other alternatives, and have obtained quotes to have a metal gate fitted over the entrance to improve the safety and appearance. We have secured some financial assistance from our landlord, EPIC and are now liaising with the companies that share our building for their permission to have the gate fitted and are awaiting some ill-timed repairs to the concrete walls to be completed.

I.T.

Various IT issues with a broken computer, phone lines being down, emails not working; have all contributed to a challenging year for the office staff – thanks for your continued patience and understanding.

Cleaning

Our cleaning company, Enzler has underperformed over the last twelve months; classroom and clubroom cleanliness and general attention to detail have been particularly disappointing. We have had a number of meetings with them this year, and should the situation not improve, an alternate service provider will be sought.

There are a few people I need to mention… The Board and Committee

Sima Xie - Vice-President

Sima almost completed her second year as our "legal guru", before embarking on a two year secondment to the Philippines. Her big smile and drive for seeking out solutions to any problem, will be greatly missed.

Annie Foster - Treasurer

Annie has demonstrated great business acumen and a good aptitude for figures. Although, she prefers the financial side of her Board role, she is always one of the first to volunteer to help out at an event or any other task asked. She has organised games, Easter egg hunts and prepared crafts. She has valiantly started working on compiling an Operations Handbook for the WAC, which will prove to be invaluable in the future.

Swapna Patil - Secretary

The calming influence of Swapna has kept the Board in check for a second year. She has consistently produced minutes in record time. Her fountain of knowledge, particularly about previous events, has also been a valuable resource.  

Sirine El Houry Mignan - Membership

Sirine has been a compassionate and invaluable member of the Board. She has conducted welcome meetings without a fuss, with offering to help in any other task when able. Sirine introduced sending out a farewell letter to those members leaving us and including a request for feedback. I am pleased that she will be staying on the Board for another year, returning to Business, which will be her third year, both on the Board and as a member of the WAC!

Cornelia Beckett - Business

Conny has been a professional member of the Board and provided a voice of reason. She has been happy to take on extra tasks, finding and arranging for an excellent carpenter to fit panels to the club room mirrors and repairs the fence.

Monika Kopriwa - Marketing

Monika has been a great asset to the Board, very honest in her opinions, infectious in her enthusiasm and always brimming with ideas. Monika worked hard on improving our presence a new parenting fair in Zumikon in May and at the Uster Day in September. With Sirine’s assistance, we now have a professional banner to use for such events.  She has had an especially busy year beyond the WAC, with the birth of her second child, a son Dorian and has still so much to contribute to the Board in the capacity of Secretary.

I must mention Francis Junnier who smoothly stepped in to cover Monika's maternity leave and did well to keep everything running smoothly whilst in Monika’s absence.

Manikya Lakshmi – I.T. Support

Manikya has had a testing year with the series of IT issues that she has faced, attending the WAC at short notice and doing well get to the bottom of our various IT issues. She has also assisted with the back workings of the website. Thank you for agreeing to stay on.    

Stacy Streuli - Publications

The WAC on Track becomes impressively more professional in its appearance each month, thanks to Stacy's eye for design and her continued commitment. She is full of great ideas to continue improving the content and layout and widening its circulation. I am excited to see what further changes will be made over the next months.

 

 

Laura Horlacher - Library

The library has been looking ship shape under Laura's control. She has admirably put in extra hours reorganising shelves, selling books and DVD's to fund the purchase of new ones. The Library is certainly in safe hands.

Christina Stewart - Special Events

Christina's assistance with last May's BBQ was invaluable in liaising with the new venue to ensure not a stone was left unturned with the endless questions posed by us. She has recently had other commitments, with her moving further away from the WAC and juggling her home life, with starting a new job. This position will be a shared role for the coming year, and I hope we find someone to fill the second vacancy for this role.

Cameron Pantellini - Playgroups

The Playgroups have benefited from having a consistent and committed leader with the assistance of Francis Junnier at the Tuesday group. Cameron dedication spread to her even holding a stall at the WAC Flea Market to sell off the playgroups unwanted toys.

Heike Adler - Business

Heike has quietly continued to work extremely hard, looking at expanding our classes at the WAC and meeting with potential people to offer these new classes. She is a valuable member of the WAC family, always going above and beyond of what is asked of her. We’re very lucky that Heike is continuing for another year in this position.

Andreea-Nicoleta Militaru - Interiors and Exteriors

Andreea has taken on the role with gusto, travelling to the WAC by bus on weekends and evenings to tidy the cellar, fix, paint the walls of the clubroom and looking for bargains in order to replace broken items or source new ones.

I would like to thank all those I have mentioned for your commitment and have enjoyed working with you all over the last year.

And we can’t forget our paid Staff

Carol Conzelmann who is only just about to reach her first anniversary as our Club Office Manager, quickly settled into her role, proving to be a very approachable and highly capable member of the WAC staff. She is always willing to take on extra workload when able and has the extra understanding of having been a member of the Board and the challenges faced as a volunteer.

Our fantastic School Director, Ida Imbach and her talented team of teachers have worked hard, proving to be as ever popular with their students and ensuring the school is the first class place for our children. A long service award was introduced this year to acknowledge their invaluable contribution and awarded to staff completing 5, 10 and 15 years of service. Thank you Ida for your support and many words of wisdom.  

Liz Weidmann, our Bookkeeper has kept a keen eye on the finances and has coped with the changes in the databases.

I must thank Lulu Harmstorf-Pearl and Lorna Sugden of the Nom. Com. for their unrelenting work on recruiting members for the Board and Committee vacancies. It is not an easy job and can make you a little unpopular at times!

I would like to thank all the many volunteers who keep the WAC operating. The WAC is a family for many of its members, a place for our families to learn, have fun and gain life-long friends and support.

The WAC has been like my third child for the past year and I have greatly enjoyed cherishing it and seeing it grow. I will be happy to babysit until a new President is found and then I will let go of the reins. I think the new Board members, along with Sirine and Monika will be an exciting group and I look forward to working with them and hearing their ideas.