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The Exchange - Newsblast

Message from the President 

President’s Report April 2016

In a newsletter update in August 2015 I wrote about the unique offering LESANZ provides with its blend of business, intellectual property, legal and professional services content and membership.  That continues to be the case. 

In 2015 our 350 plus members continued to enjoy the benefits of membership, including an outstanding annual conference in Melbourne offering first class speakers and a breadth of topics that offered content of relevance and interest.  In addition to the conference, members and other friends of LESANZ had the opportunity to attend nearly 40 individual events, seminars and workshops hosted across all regions, and covering topics spanning the commercial, licensing, legal, IP and technical, with an aggregate attendance of nearly 1,000 people.

Our members continue to comprise a broad selection of commercial, business development, contract and IP, licensing, patent, trade mark and legal professionals, providing us all with the opportunity to be exposed to different perspectives and different disciplines – a unique characteristic compared to many other professional associations.  What’s more, these offerings are provided in a friendly, supportive environment, where those less experienced are able to learn from the experience, expertise and generous counsel of others.

As you also know LESANZ is essentially a volunteer organisation, with all of the executive, regional chairs and committees providing their time (and often the resources of their organisations).  As I noted when I spoke at the previous AGM, the conferences, events and other benefits would not be possible without such contributions.  However, I also firmly believe that participating in this manner provides such volunteers a significant return in terms of development of their own management and other skills essential to business (and personal) life, as well as establishing business and personal networks.  Thanks to all those who participate in this way, and particularly those on whose time we place particular demands such as the LESANZ Executive, trustees, regional chairs and committee members.

I encourage all members to grasp the opportunities offered by LESANZ, including particularly the face to face opportunities where networks and long term relationships are built.  Also I remind members of the global nature of the LES family and the scope to make use of LES international conferences, and local networks wherever you find yourself in the world.  The ability to make an introduction on the basis of your membership of LESANZ is an important and sometimes undervalued benefit.  In my experience you will find a welcoming, generous attitude in response to any approach.  

At this conference we will also have the opportunity to announce an expanded offering for members in the form of online video content.  This project has been assiduously pursued by President-elect Albert Ferraloro, for whom significant thanks are due.  I’m hopeful this will provide members with another useful means for accessing LESANZ content where attendance at seminars or events is not possible, and adds to the ‘digital’ offerings of LESANZ.

2016 was a successful year financially for LESANZ as will be outlined in the Treasurer’s report, with an increased focus on regional events (and considerable hard work by regions), a profitable annual conference, appropriate spending restraint and cost savings flowing from previous investments.  Membership numbers do continue to slowly decline, which is of concern, and attendance for annual conferences is also somewhat down, reflecting perhaps the continuing pressure on budgets and memberships, and the ever expanding offerings in the digital world.  I thank members for your continued support by membership which provides a base for all of our activities, and encourage you to make an effort to introduce colleagues and your networks to the benefits of LESANZ.  We continue to investigate options for membership classes and offerings and welcome members’ input in this regard.

As always I wish to thank our Secretariat, lead by Beth Benson, which continues to provide an essential platform of support and corporate knowledge.  The executive, regional chairs and I, greatly appreciate Beth’s always ‘on-call’ approach and responsiveness, as well as her significant effort (together with Anna Johnston conference chair for 2015 – thanks Anna) in organising the annual conference as an additional task. 

Thank you also to Peter Lightbody, an outgoing trustee-at-large, whose term completes at this conference.  Peter is also due significant thanks for taking on the role of conference chair for this current conference – Peter will stay involved we are sure, thanks for your contribution.

A further thanks to our annual conference sponsors, including many who have consistently supported LESANZ over many years, as well as new sponsors.  Your support makes our annual conference possible.

I’d encourage you to engage with LESANZ in the coming year, and to help LESANZ engage with those outside of the organisation.  Enjoy the opportunities to learn about new things, and new people, and use the unique offerings of LESANZ to develop your skills, contacts and experience.

I’ll look forward to catching up with old and new members at this conference and events throughout the year.

Philip Heuzenroeder
President, LESANZ Inc


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