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WPSA Appoints New General Secretary

02 September 2008

GLOBAL - Long-time General Secretary of the World's Poultry Science Association (WPSA), Dr Piet Simons, has stepped down. Dr Roel Mulder will take over the role.

Dr Roel Mulder - new General Secretary of WPSA, starting in January 2009


Dr Roel Mulder

Roel Mulder (62), The Netherlands, studied chemistry at Delft University of Technology and obtained his PhD at the National Agricultural University in Wageningen, The Netherlands. He then worked in several different positions (last position as acting director) at the Spelderholt Centre for Poultry Research, Beekbergen, before he took up the position of Manager International, Research and Public Affairs for ID-Lelystad and the Agricultural Research Organisation at Wageningen. He also spent 3 years in Brussels, Belgium, at the European Commission Directorate General Research, COST Agriculture and Biotechnology. After that, he started his own consulting business in 2002.

For WPSA, Dr Mulder has been active since the 1980's, when he was involved in organising several symposia for working groups of the European Federation of WPSA. In 1992, he served as the chairman of the scientific committee of for the World's Poultry Congress that was held in Amsterdam. In recent years he has served as assistant secretary and director of communications for WPSA.

In his new position, he expects to work closely with the Board of Directors, and to continue the work of Piet Simons, who started to give WPSA more visibility and exposure at conferences and exhibitions. He will also continue to build good relations with industry and other professional personnel and organisations.

Dr Piet Simons Stepped Down as WPSA General Secretary at World Poultry Congress


Dr Piet Simons

Dr Piet Simons who has served the worldwide WPSA extremely well for the past 16 years formally stepped down from his General Secretary’s position at the Closing Ceremony of the 23rd World's Poultry Congress in Brisbane, Australia. His term of office will officially conclude at the end of 2008, and he will be succeeded as General Secretary by Dr Roel Mulder, who was elected to serve the WPSA as General Secretary during the Councillor’s meeting. Dr Mulder is also from the Netherlands.


Dr Simons' Farewell Address as WPSA Secretary at the Closing Ceremony in Brisbane

Ladies and Gentleman:

First, I want to thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to speak at the end of the 23rd World’s Poultry Congress here in Brisbane, Australia, and at nearly the end of a period of 16 years as respectively your President and General Secretary of WPSA.

It has been a wonderful Congress, well organized; good speakers; friendly people meeting in an ideal climate for the whole poultry family. We are here to exchange poultry knowledge and possible other social information. No politics involved and that is good. That is the best way to make progress.

On behalf of the WPSA I heartily thank our host, the Australian Branch for arranging this excellent event. Special thanks on behalf of the entire WPSA membership must go to the chairman of this event, Dr Bob Pym, but also to the numerous other members of the various organizing committees.

Twenty-eight years ago Dr Rupert Coles, the then General Secretary of WPSA, phoned me from Malta and asked me about the possibility of organizing a World Poultry Congress in The Netherlands for 1982, because the venue of the 17th World's Poultry Congress that had been planned for Poland in that year had to be changed, as Poland was under martial law.

In those days, I was Secretary of the Dutch Branch. A discussion with the Board of WPSA in Paris, in which I participated, led to a postponement of the 1982 World's Congress for 2 years, and the Finnish people who where organizing a European Conference changed their meeting to the 17th World's Poultry Congress that was held in Helsinki during 1984.

My plan was then to get the 18th World's Poultry Congress to be held in Amsterdam in 1988, but I lost out against Japan, and got the 1992 Congress instead. During the 1980s, I was already busy with getting support from the poultry industry and I was able to attract almost €1.3 million for sponsoring the 1992 Congress. At the Amsterdam Congress, I became President of WPSA. The WPSA membership at that time was about 3800 with 37 or 38 Branches. WPSA's financial situation was miserable in 1992.

Because of that situation, I began soliciting money for WPSA, just as I had done before for the World's Congress, and was again successful in doing so. From 1996 until now, I have served WPSA as its General Secretary, and during that time WPSA has more than doubled its membership and its number of Branches. The financial situation for WPSA is now also very good. For all these efforts, I was given the McDougall Medal at the 12th European Conference in Verona, Italy. I am very proud and thankful to all of you for that honour.

WPSA has been able to spend about $50,000 for travel grants to bring young scientists and students here to the Congress in Australia. Over the past 10 years WPSA has given many grants to students, and it has funded numerous speakers to developing countries to bring those countries new knowledge about poultry. WPSA has also started many new Branches in developing countries and has supported them. Our organization, the World’s Poultry Science Association, is a wonderful organization. We bring people from the poultry industry and from poultry research worldwide together and they exchange knowledge about poultry.

I have worked together with four Editors of the World's Poultry Science Journal (Chris Hann, Jim McNab, David Martin and Lucy Tucker), with Secretary Rose Marie Wegner, with two Treasurers (Wade Brant and Francine Bradley), and with four WPSA Presidents (Yukio Yamada, Anuradha Desai, Peter Hunton and Rüveyde Akbay). I thank them all for their cooperation. During the whole time that I worked internationally for WPSA I was assisted by Dorien Kleverwal. Her great help and expertise is also very much appreciated. Nearly daily I have worked in some way together with Dr Roel Mulder, Dr Francine Bradley, Mr David Martin and now Dr Lucy Tucker, and of course Mrs Dorien Kleverwal. We formed a kind of tandem. I sincerely thank them all for their fruitful cooperation.

Ladies and gentleman, Dr Bob Pym is now the new President, Dr Roel Mulder is the new General Secretary and Dr Francine Bradley continues as the Treasurer of WPSA. They certainly will do a very good job. I am prepared to continue to help them especially with getting support from the industries and hope that I can continue to serve WPSA in that manner for many years to come.

I very much appreciated the confidence I received from all of you over the years. Thanks to everybody, I wish you all good luck. Have a safe journey home and I look forward to seeing you again in a very nice place somewhere around the world.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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