SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  17 January 2013
Volume 14 Issue 1

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A Fond Farewell and Thank You to Dave Arnold

Peter Campbell, Immediate Past President, SETAC Europe

After completing his agreed three-year contract, Dave Arnold officially retired as SETAC Europe Executive Director on 31 October 2012. I have had the pleasure of working very closely with Dave over the last three years during my time on the SETAC Europe Executive Committee and would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye on behalf of SETAC Europe. Of course Dave’s SETAC career goes well beyond the October 2009 starting date for his recent executive director role. Dave’s SETAC career actually spans 23 years and includes holding various SETAC Europe Executive Committee roles, including president and treasurer. This depth of experience served Dave well during the last three years in terms of both the successes that were achieved and the challenges overcome during his leadership.

Dave led the organisation and delivery of the three most successful SETAC Europe annual meetings to date, starting with Seville, followed by Milan and of course peaking with our most successful meeting ever in Berlin this year. In addition to these annual meetings, Dave also led the delivery of several successful SETAC Europe LCA meetings as well as several SETAC Europe Special Science Symposia (SESSS) in Brussels, such as the Risk Assessment for Endocrine Disruptors, Mixture Toxicity, Biocides, Risk Assessment for Plant Protection Products and Ecosystem Services. Through the organization and delivery of such successful meetings, Dave has further helped enhance SETAC Europe’s excellent scientific credentials. Such successful meetings when combined with the new accountancy procedures that he introduced and led ultimately also strengthened the financial status of SETAC Europe and ensured a sound financial platform for the future.

One of the real challenges Dave faced during his time as Executive Director was leading the Brussels office through a very difficult period, which included the loss of key staff. Dave managed these issues sensitively and proved himself to be a supportive manager. He subsequently led the successful recruitment of Roel Evens, Sarah Spanoghe and Valerie Verstappen, and he can take great credit and comfort in being able to pass on to his successor Bart Bosveld—an office team which is well organized, effective and motivated.

Dave took his global responsibilities seriously and actively supported the campaign and launch this year of SETAC Africa as a new Geographic Unit. In doing so he further pledged organizational and financial support from SETAC Europe to SETAC Africa during this first early period of its transformation. In addition, he worked closed with Audrey Barletta- Bergan to introduce and champion the SETAC Europe “Trees for Life” charity initiative that raised money via membership and annual meetings to contribute towards restoring deforested areas of Africa and thus alleviating the associated environmental problems in those regions. Dave also took on a technical leadership role within the office for leading the EU-funded ENNSATOX nanotechnology project where SETAC is leading on information dissemination, enhancing the international reputation of SETAC’s science.

Of course this testimonial would not be complete without mentioning the enthusiasm, humour and friendship that Dave brought to the SETAC Brussels Office, SETAC Europe, SETAC World Councils and many others in SETAC who were lucky enough to have worked with him. So it is with some sadness that we now say goodbye and thank you to Dave, but the good news is that although he intends to spend more time with his two grandchildren, he does hope to remain engaged with SETAC in the future.

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