ACOCI’s 7th Annual General Meeting

At ACOCI Annual General Meeting: “Certificate of Intellectual Property Residence” Announced

 

20 April 2011 (The Valley, Anguilla) – An unexpected announcement was made at the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry Annual General Meeting. The Keynote Speaker, Mr Lynwood Bell, Managing Director of not-for-profit organisation ANGUILLA-COUNTS, announced an innovative means to bring financial support to our small nation through registering of intellectual property residence. He spoke about the uniqueness of Anguilla as a tax haven stating, “­We have a blank canvas in cyber space and because we are small, it will be easier to create the laws and regulations. Today’s announcement clarifies “residence” and is another key step toward creating new industries as well as more sources of public and private revenue for our Island.”


Over 20 members of the Chamber of Commerce alongside guests were present to hear the announcement of a first “Certificate of Intellectual Property Residence” at the seventh AGM held on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 at the Anguilla Community College. The annual meeting began with a call to order and an adoption of protocol and agenda introduced by Mrs Arlene Ross-Daisley, Director and Secretary of the Chamber’s Board of Directors followed by an invocation from Mr Carlton Pickering, Sr., who is also a Director. Mrs Ross graciously welcomed the Chamber membership, members of the press, and specially invited guests including the Governor Alistair Harrison, Chief Minister Hubert Hughes, Minister of Home Affairs Walcott Richardson, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism Hayden Hughes, Opposition Leader Evans McNeil Rogers, and Opposition Member Othlyn Vanterpool. During the AGM, reports were given and business was conducted as follows:

 

 

President’s Report

Mr Keithley F.T Lake, President of the Chamber gave the President’s Report. In his opening remarks, he stated, “Here we are again at another Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry Annual General Meeting. It pleases me to report on where we are in the Anguilla business community.” Mr Lake said, “ While there has been some improvement in our tourism product – which we understand is attributable to the coming on stream of the Viceroy Hotel – direct foreign investment, financial services and construction continue to under perform. Consequently, our members continue to bear the brunt of this economic reality.” He commented on the recent passage of an interim stabilisation tax that has only served to complicate the economic misfortunes of our membership, a survey of the influence of foreign business and the local environment which disputes the commonly held perception, as well as the financial services industry continuing to lag behind because of Anguilla’s statues not being up to date, and the construction industry under performing due to closure of several development projects.

 

“To be fair”, he stated, “­the solution to these problems lies not only with the Government but also to a large degree the Chamber itself and the population in general. Our membership has the responsibility to spur on development.” Mr Lake emphasised, “Everything is not doom and gloom. Notwithstanding the economic reality, the Chamber has had moderate success driving its strategic initiatives in 2010. We experienced a growth of 32% in our membership, and have also decreased our general and administrative expenses. The Chamber remains confident and optimistic of the future of business in Anguilla.” He also said, “We challenge the Government to forge a more meaningful partnership in their efforts to spur economic activity, and our members to become more involved in this work of the Chamber.”­

 

Auditor and Treasurer’s Reports

Mr Ranjith S. Kumara of Merit JVS Associates read a statement of the Auditor’s Report. He said, “In our opinion, the financial statements referred to present fairly, in all material aspects, the financial position of the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd as of 31 December 2010, and the results of its operations, changes of equity and its cash flow for the year then ended in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.” Mrs Felicia Hill, Treasurer and Director of the Chamber, presented the Treasurer’s Report and Accounts. She stated, “This year was indeed a challenging year. Today as I discuss the accounts you will see a decrease by almost 20% in revenues. Our net profit for the year 2010 was US$2,906 versus a loss of US$19,601 in 2009. All members are encouraged to say on board as we continue to face economic challenges.”­

 

Election of Directors and Membership

Nominations for election of the Chamber’s Directors for the year 2011/2012 took place. As there were no new nominees, a vote was taken from the members in good standing to re-elect the existing Board of Directors. A consensus was that they would serve for another one-year term. The seven persons who are currently serving on the Board include Dr Louis Bardfield of Anguilla Vision Center, Mr John Benjamin Esq. of Caribbean Juris Chambers; Mrs Felicia Hill of Hillcompsec Consultancy, Mr Keithley F.T. Lake of Keithley Lake, and Associates, Mrs Vida Lloyd-Richardson of Lloyd’s Guest House and Da’Vida Restaurant, Mr Carlton L. Pickering Sr. of Kreative Communications Network, and Mrs Arlene Ross-Daisley of Webster Dyrud Mitchell.

 

 

There were 45 Members in good standing for 2010. This number does not include the 18 news members who joined the Chamber last year. Today, ACOCI has a membership of over 60 local businesses and organisations that includes, but is not limited to the following industries – artists, aviation services, banking, book stores, communications, construction, consulting services, education, electrical services, farming, financial services, health and fitness, hotels, insurance brokers, law firms, property management, real estate, restaurants, retail sales, social services, and tourism.

 

Acknowledgments

Ms Palmavon J. Webster, Managing Partner of Webster Dyrud Mitchell congratulated and recognised the Board of Directors for volunteering as they have many other commitments. She said, “We would like to see an effort on all the part of the members” and asked if anyone would like to work with her that she would lead it in. Mr Lake acknowledged the efforts of persons who contributed to the Chamber’s success. First and foremost, he gave thanks to the Almighty God. He also thanked the ACOCI Directors, Members and Staff as well as the Anguilla Community College, Government, Keynote Speaker, Press, and each person who made time to attend today’s meeting. Special acknowledgements were given to Mrs Wilma (Davis-Vanterpool) Broaden, Executive Director, who has brought energy and direction to the daily activities of the Chamber and to Mrs Lily Warning-Moses, Administrative Assistant who single-handedly kept the Chamber going during the unfortunate absence of Mrs Broaden.

– Contributed by Ms Kay M. Ferguson, Professional Writer & ACOCI Volunteer

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