TIACA held a Media Day on 30MAR21, reviewing the past year and outlining its plans for 2021. The association has been busy restructuring and setting itself up to best serve its members. The call was led by TIACA Chairman, Steven Polmans, and its new Director General, Glyn Hughes.
Financial sustainability, the association’s relevance for its members and a strong association set-up are the three key elements on which the transformation is founded, Steven Polmans explained to the audience. In just the past 6 months, remarkable progress has already been made on TIACA’s transformation to bring it out of a financially challenged situation and fortify it for the future. “We want TIACA to be fit enough to take up future challenges and positions in the industry,” he declared, illustrating that much work had gone in to revising the association’s mission and vision “to align with our members and today’s world”. Members had been contacted to understand what their priorities were, membership categories had been revised, as had the association’s strategic focus and priorities. All this required consistent communication and was therefore structured in a governance model.
Diversity, inclusion, and representation
“We didn’t want to create an army with too many generals and no soldiers”, Steven Polmans underlined, as he recounted the internal scorecards, KPIs and procedures that are being put into place to ensure efficient governance, and to avoid that “too many people working on same issues”. Clear responsibilities were needed. TIACA made changes to its bylaws and governance structure, working on a handbook and code of conduct to structure these. Most importantly: “more inclusive representation and an agile board” were required, to suit today’s needs. A greater focus on fairness, neutrality, and better investment in the TIACA team so that they have the tools they need to carry out their job. In addition, “more opportunities to have closer interaction with members,” to really remain on the pulse of industry.
More seats and movement in future
The greater representation and diversity were to be reflected in the association set-up, which looks to become much larger than before. “We have strong Director General with full authority – like a CEO. We have an extended and diverse Board of Directors with very clear mandates and strategy, also representing the global industry. We have an increased number of seats for the Board and are reserving seats for each stakeholder type and also regional representatives,” Polmans outlined the new set-up, pointing to a very colorful slide showing up to 22 Board of Director seats, of which eight will form an Executive Committee acting more closely with the Director General. Four new Board of Director members names had been published just that morning. “At all moments, we, as the Board, truly have a global focus and represent the entire industry,” is the aim. The Board has fixed terms – each member can run for max. 2 terms of 4 years. This ensures that fresh ideas keep coming in.
Walking the talk
TIACA processes are going paperless wherever possible, and communication has been streamlined: the website updated, parallel communication processes removed, and communication simplified, made digital and relevant. A member portal called “Glue Up” has been created allowing members to network amongst each other, thus “really enhancing membership value as we go forward”; Glyn Hughes explained. TIACA currently has just over 400 members today, across the supply chain and across the globe, with a good mix of global multinationals and local, smaller companies. “TIACA really can represent the views from the entire supply chain,” Hughes declared this as a strong USP for the association, and TIACA will continue to work to expand the number of members going forward.
“Any successful industry needs to be a mirror of the society it is serving,” Glyn Hughes emphasized, detailing the industry priorities that TIACA has decided to focus on, following input from members: digitalization (for efficient, paperless processes), partnership and collaboration (bringing players together to create an environment of trust, respect and shared values), sustainability (according to the UN SDGs), safety and security (top industry priority with zero tolerance for unlawful behavior), (promoting the) value of air cargo, liberalization (promoting fair air cargo and ground services, open economies and effective border management), and, last but not least, training (reskilling, upskilling, developing talent for the future, and continuing the ICAO partnership.)
Call for awards and the Executive Summit 2021
In co-location with the transport logistics Americas event, TIACA is currently planning to hold the Executive Summit in San Francisco, USA, from 21-24SEP21, pointing out that “it could be the first event to physically take place post-Covid-19”, Polmans is hopeful. Two known agenda points already today, are the award ceremonies: TIACA’s third Air Cargo Sustainability Awards (for which the call for entries has already been made – see article that follows), and the traditional “Hall of Fame” Nominations which honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the air cargo industry, demonstrating innovation and leadership. Nominations can be sent in until 15JUL21 for the Hall of Fame, and applications for the Sustainability Award will be accepted until 15AUG21.
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