12 November, 2005 was a historic day for PABC when 19 member associations attended an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) followed by an Annual General Meeting (AGM). Ten countries were represented: Brazil (Celso Wolf), Barbados (Roger Thorpe), Canada (Wayne Sommers), Cayman Islands (Balan Murugesu), Jamaica (Vishu Tolan), Mexico (Jose Noria), Peru (Gustavo Salazar), Puerto Rico (Pedro Blach), Trinidad and Tobago (Ronald Clarke) and USA (Cliff Peters). The other nine countries represented by proxies were: Chile, Costa Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Surinam and Uruguay. Also attending were IBF Chair of Events Committee, Paisan Rangsikitpho (USA), PABC Vice-President since 2003; Bob Cook (USA), PABC Chief Operating Officer; and Mohan Subramaniam (USA), IBF Development Director for Pan-Am.The special guest was IBF Executive Deputy President, Punch Gunalan who was attending as an observer. He was en route with Gustavo Salazar and Paisan Rangsikitpho to visit PASO (Pan-American Sports Organization) in Mexico and also Guatemala.
The meetings were chaired by Mervyn Gordon (Barbados), PABC President since 2003 and General Secretary, Federico Valdez (Peru).
On a 17 to 1 vote the EGM accepted the new proposed PABC Constitution. This meeting was followed by an AGM to make amendments to the new Constitution and elect new officers. It was a very active meeting and the members discussed and made suggestions freely. Mervyn Gordon chaired the meeting very professionally and ensured that the meeting went smoothly. The constitution was set to make PABC more professional in outlook and more effective as an organization in line with the IBF.
The AGM also elected the new office bearers:
PABC Executive Committee:
Gustavo Salazar (Peru) - President and responsible for
Cliff Peters (USA) - General Secretary
Jose Ramon Noria (Mexico) - Vice President responsible for
Raul Anguino (Guatemala) - Vice President responsible for
Ronald Clarke (Trinidad & Tobago) - Vice President responsible for
Celso Wolfe (Brazil) – Vice President responsible for
Wayne Sommers (Canada) - IBF Director responsible for
Finance Committee and
Paisan Rangsikitpho (USA) - IBF Director responsible for
Technical and Tournament Committees
Vishu Tolan (Jamaica) - Chair of Tournament Committee
Jean-Guy Poitras (Canada) - Chair of Technical Committee
This committee would take office till 2007 when an AGM would elect new office bearers for four years.
Following the election, as a sign of solidarity, new elect president, Gustavo Salazar invited both out going PABC President Mervyn Gordon and General Secretary, Federico Valdez to sit with him while he gave his introductory speech as PABC President. He stressed on unity and a more futuristic centered PABC. He focused on effective and consistent communication and the importance of development programs.
The Gustavo-Mohan development team also took time to reveal a more integrated development structure and program which would involve more experts within the Pan-Am regions, separate the focus on high performance and elite junior development, inter-continental projects, development of the second series of PABC hard copy magazines which would cater language needs following the successful inaugural magazine launched during the 2005 World Championships in Anaheim. Both Gustavo and Mohan stressed that development would be customized to member association and regional needs. The Executive Committee also agreed that tournaments would also be more coordinated and assist the development process.
At the closure of the EGM and AGM, Punch congratulated the new committees and thanked the out going office bearers on behalf of IBF. He said that Pan-Am has great potential and PABC needs to look at the future meticulously and maintain a business like approach. He also stressed that meeting PASO president, Mario Vazquez Rana, has put PABC in an even stronger position. PASO has earmarked substantial funds for Special PASO Projects in the under-developed Caribbean countries, coach education and athlete development within Pan-Am. He also added that the future looks very promising for Pan-Am. He based his comments on PABC’s development set-up and programs, the success of the 2005 World Championships
which was well organized, and the timely achievement of Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach (USA) winning the Men’s Double Gold Medal. Pan-Am has really shown improvement over the last two years. What more can you ask?
Well, everything looks exciting from 2006 and beyond! Pan-Am is set to join the front runners.