Strategic changes under discussion


February 21, 2007 World ORT Board of Directors embraces strategic changes World ORTs top lay leaders have approved in principle the key recommendations of a special committee which has been reviewing the organisations governance. The Strategic Task Force (STF) steering committee chaired by World ORT Deputy President Dr Jean de Gunzburg presented a series of recommendations to the Board of Directors meeting in Geneva that, if accepted by next years General Assembly, would be implemented from 2008. Our proposals are aimed at making World ORTs governance more accountable and more transparent, Dr de Gunzburg said. The structure that exists today can certainly be improved. A major recommendation is the establishment of a Board of Trustees that would be the organisations accountable body. Its members would be elected by the Board of Representatives, a structure similar to the actual Board of Directors. The Board of Representatives would also conduct annual reviews of World ORTs activities. Other proposals include the establishment of an Allocations Committee to recommend the allocation of funds for designated projects and the clarification of the division of responsibilities between the Finance Committee and the Control Commission. The details will be subject to discussion and refinement by Board members via a secure website over the coming months. The results will be presented to the World ORT General Assembly in June next year for final discussion and approval. World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter and Board of Directors Chairman Robert Sill thanked the STF committee members for their commitment. They said: The strategic planning process merits our special attention because of the incalculable benefits it promises the entire ORT family in meeting the challenges of the 21st century. It is clear that no stone is being left unturned in our bid to make ORT a model in openness, accountability and efficiency. Tomer Weinberg, Rivana Tendler, Board of Directors Chairman Robert Sill, Dorene Berger, Keren Weinberg, World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter. In other business, the Board approved the budget for 2007 and elected some new members to its ranks: Doreen Hermelin, widow of a past President of World ORT, David Hermelin, former World ORT Director General Joe Harmatz, Dr Radam Salamonovic of ORT Czech Republic, and former World ORT Deputy Director General Gideon Meyer. At the meeting, Mr Sill paid special tribute to ORT Switzerland whose growth over the last three years had exceeded even the wildest of expectations and thanked its President, Robert Equey, and Director, Vanessa Cholat, for the outstanding job they had done. You have raised ORTs profile to an unprecedented level and I am sure that the great work that you are doing will only ensure that this trend continues, he told them. Mr Sill again thanked Mr Equey, this time for opening his home for a gala dinner for The 1880 Society, whose 70 members are World ORTs biggest financial supporters. Over the weekend, Board members were inspired and moved by the chance to meet some special guests from Israel. ORT Braude College of Engineering student Tomer Weinberg, who survived the Hezbollah ambush that sparked last years war, was in Geneva helped by his sister Keren. Also making a presentation was Rivana Tendler, whose daughter, ORT graduate Keren, was killed in action over Lebanon last year. Keren Tendler, the first woman to qualify as a flight mechanic on the IDFs Yassur helicopters, became the first Israeli woman to be killed in action since the Yom Kippur War.