Members and guests gathered early at the reception area of the Conservatory at the Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City in the evening of 19th of May, 2011 to begin mingling with friends, old and new. Business cards were exchanged as people got introduced to one another by common friends and business associates. As drinks were served and music began to fill the early evening air, it was evident that everyone in attendance was excited about the event that was unfolding. Everybody was aware that history was about to be made. At the official call, sixty one attendees moved into the meeting room in unison for the first Annual General Meeting of the Philippines Norway Business Council.
The meeting was called to order by NTC-Manila’s Stein Eriksen, the interim President of the PNBC. He presented the accomplishments of the interim Board of directors, who were voted into office at the close of 2010 to establish the organization as an official entity. He informed the body that PNBC has been duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Board had been meeting regularly once a month since December 2010 in order to lay out the foundation. As a result, an official logo has been adopted and the PNBC website has been launched as spearheaded by Jan Andre’ Heggem of SMSGlobal, together with letterheads, business cards and presentation templates.
Four working groups have also been established, namely: The Energy Working Group headed by Rodolfo Azanza of SN Power-Philippines, the Tourism Group headed by Nila Layug of Royal Nordic Airline Services Agency, the Shipping Group headed by Lars Bleymann of NTC-Manila, and the Corporate Social Responsibility Group also headed by Rodolfo Azanza. Members were invited by Mr. Eriksen to volunteer and join the working groups that they are most interested in.
Jannicke Steen of Grieg Shipping, in her capacity as Vice President for Internal Affairs, presented the registered members of PNBC, and the news that there are now a total of 40 corporate, regular and individual members consisting the Council was met with immense applause. A presentation of the financial status of the organization was given by Capt. Victor Del Prado of Klaveness Maritime Agency.
The election of the new board followed, and the process was chaired by His Excellency, Ambassador Knut Solem. As chair of the election committee, Mr. Solem recommended that the term of the interim Board be extended for one full year, and with the manifestation of two (2) interim board members that they would no longer be able to serve as members of the board, he also recommended that the 2011-2012 Board would only be composed of seven (7) members, namely: Rodolfo Azanza, Victor Del Prado, Stein Eriksen, Jan Andre Heggem, Jens Hansen, Jannicke Steen and Ole Stene. Mr. Solem’s recommendation received no opposition and was deemed unanimously carried by the body.
The AGM was closed by Mr. Eriksen, and everybody queued up for a splendid buffet dinner. Conversations that started at the cocktails area were resumed at the dinner table. As music filled the air once again, it was evident from the vibrant interactions that history has indeed been made, and the first PNBC AGM was a big success!
As two of the members of the interim Board will soon be leaving the Philippines, PNBC would like to thank Ms. Cesilie Tveit and Mr. Kristian Haraldseth for their excellent work, and we wish them all the best for the future.