Varna 2013 Post
European Conference 2013
Thank you for coming - thank you Varna!
We were very happy to see all members (and some non-members) at the PTPI European Conference. It was for the first time held in Bulgaria - and with a great success. In total 114 people from 19 countries took part in the various events.
For the first time, a Leadership Seminar was held in conjunction with a European Conference. Twenty-seven participants in all ages from 12 chapters attended the two day seminar "Beyond Borders". During the seminar, among other things the concept of Peer Group Councelling" was introduced and practiced. Based on interest from the participants, subgroups were formed in which among other things, the following were discused and possible solutions and recommendations were offered:
- Membership recruitment and retention
- Transition of Leadership
- EU vs non-EU countries
- NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming)
- Volunteering - time priorities
- Questions, issues and problems as PTPI leaders
- Creating visibility and positive image
- Creating value for members
The results were compiled and also served as base for continued discussions during the Friday World-Café workshop.
The hosting chapter has over the years successfully organised Humanitarian Programs and fundraising efforts. On Thursday afternoon, the participants could either visit the School for Visually Impaired or take part in a Christmas Card making workshop. The Dolphins has supported the school by selling Christmas cards and from the proceeds refurnishing a room in the school; buying computers, a TV, sofas, washing machine and toys. During the visit, the participants were shown the school by school director Julieta Petkova, learned about the opportunities for the students. For the garden the European Conference had sponsored the school with plants, which also were planted in a joint effort.
The past years, the Dolphins have created and sold hundreds - and thousands - of Christmas cards. In 2012 cards were sold for more than 6.000 euros. Along with the support to the School for Visually Impaired, support was also given to the daycare center for children with mental deficiencies in Varna. During the workshop, conference delegates created cards for next season and humanitarian efforts.
In order to learn more about Varna and to get to know each other, the Dolphins offered an interactive City Walk (May 31). The planned baseball game was unfortunately cancelled due to rain. There were thus many participants at the World Café which was held in the top floor of Cherno More Hotel - overlooking central Varna and with an excellent view of the Black Sea. The themes and table hosts of the Café were discussed and assigned during the Leadership Seminar. The results can be downloaded here.
The Council Meeting (June 1)was held in the Auditorium of Varna University of Economics. There were 23 council chapters and five visiting chapters. Highlights the meeting:
- Regional Chair and member of Board of Trustees, Valeria Magistrelli opened the meeting
- Special welcome message to the city and university was given by Professor Violeta Dimitrova
- The European Executive Committee presented the past year. The reports and finances were approved.
- As new PR Officer, Katarina Romanova of PTPI's Kharkiv, Ukraine was elected.
- Chapter reports were made by
- Chalks Coriette, Brussels, Belgium
- Dessislava Vassileva, Pravets, Bulgaria
- Elena Hristova, Nicole Pophlebarova and Tsvetiana Zaharieva, Varna, Bulgaria
- Mary Eisenhower made a presentation of PTPI staff and announced her resignation as active Chief Executive Officer within PTPI. She will remain as president and a strong supporter of PTPI.
- Simeon Kostov, Varna Bulgaria, brought up issues, suggested changes and aimed results regarding financial, intercultural, political and structural matters. The matters were discussed among the meeting participants. No decisions were made, but both the EEC and PTPI European Office promised to review the matters and respond to Simeon.
- The hosting chapter members, informed that they raised 530 Leva (265 Euros) selling Christmas cards during the meeting and 510 Leva (255 Euros) during the Thursday charity concert.
- The next European Conference will be held in Tirana, Albania June 6-8.
- The traditional Chapter Fair marked the end of the Council Meeting.
Each evening the guests - and hosting Dolphins - were offered dinners, music and dance in Varna. The Dolphins made sure there was entertainment and offered among other things a musical performance together with friends.
North of Varna, there is the beautiful Kaliakra Peninsula off which the Dolphins (the real ones) were finally seen in the Black Sea. During the Sunday Excursion, we also visited Balchik Palace and Botanical Garden.
Thank you Bulgaria - Thank you Varna - Dolphins and all Participants; During the Saturday Bulgarian Evening, chapter awards were presented along with special thanks to all positive Dolphins for their fine work! Antoaneta Pophlebarova, chapter adult advisor received well deserved recognition from all.
Thank you Mary - for coming, for supporting and for now being a Dolphin! Welcome again!
Mary received a book from the Dolphins with contributions from all conference participants.