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AFBA General Assembly: A Look Back and Forward

The Aruba Food and Beverage Association (AFBA) recently held its General Assembly, with an impressive two-thirds of members demonstrating their commitment to the organization. The CEO, Miriam Dabian, addressed the gathering, outlining the association's achievements from the past eight months and charting a course for the future.

Key Initiatives and Progress:

  • Industry Forum: In February, AFBA hosted a successful forum on improving work permit processes for foreign workers. This event brought together industry stakeholders and government institutions, with plans for further collaboration.

  • Job Fair: Demonstrating its commitment to industry growth, AFBA facilitated connections between employers and job seekers through a well-attended job fair.

  • Strategic Planning: A multi-day strategic session yielded a comprehensive marketing plan, providing a clear roadmap for AFBA's future direction.

  • Membership Surge: AFBA achieved a significant increase in membership, although ongoing efforts will strive for even greater industry representation.

  • Collaboration and Advocacy: The CEO represented AFBA in key meetings with the Central Bank, Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA), and the Ministry of Labor. These discussions focused on tackling industry challenges like work permits and personnel shortages.

Achievements (2021-2023):

  • Promoting the Industry: AFBA collaborated with ATA to position Aruba as a culinary destination, including involvement in the "Autentico" Aruba Culinary Festival.

  • Investing in the Future: The association partnered with educational institutions to create opportunities for Aruban youth in the food and beverage sector.

  • Championing Members: AFBA advocated for its members by working with government agencies to address work permit issues and personnel shortages.

  • Keeping Members Informed: AFBA ensured members were kept in the loop through detailed reports on key meetings and initiatives.

New Leadership Elected:

The General Assembly concluded with the election of a new board to lead AFBA forward.

The membership voted for the following individuals:

  1. Chairman of the Board: Kevin Slangen

  2. Vice Chairman of the Board: Pierre Kock

  3. Treasurer: Bram van der Voorn

  4. Board Member: Nathalie Moore

  5. Board Member: Bailey Pablo

  6. Board Member: Steffan Legger

  7. Board Member: Patrick van den Berg

Looking Ahead:

The General Assembly concluded with a positive and energetic atmosphere. The election of a new board, led by Kevin Slangen as Chairman and Pierre Kock as Vice Chairman, signifies a united front moving forward. With a clear vision, a strong leadership team, and an engaged membership, AFBA is well-positioned to tackle future challenges and propel the Aruban food and beverage industry to even greater heights.


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