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Change in CEDA presidency & other changes in the board of directors


During the Annual General Meeting last week at the CEDA Innovation Event at Europort, Polite Laboyrie, Witteveen+Bos Consulting Engineers, The Netherlands announced his intention to step down as CEDA president.

Polite After more than 8 years of serving as President of CEDA, I believe it is the right time for me to step down from this position. Let me emphasize that this decision is not because I do not like the role or the work we have accomplished together. On the contrary, I have thoroughly enjoyed being President and I feel privileged to have been part of such a dedicated and accomplished organisation and working together with all our passionate members and their organisations. However, I strongly believe that fresh perspectives and new ideas are essential for the growth and continued success of CEDA. When I started as President in 2015, I had a clear set of goals in mind, and when I look back I can say that we have accomplished a lot of them. I want to assure you that my stepping down as President does not mean I am disengaging from CEDA. On the contrary, I am committed to remaining involved and offering my support in any way I can. I believe my experience and knowledge of CEDA could still be valuable if needed. Together, we have built a strong foundation, and I have no doubt that under new leadership, CEDA will continue to flourish.”

At the same time, we are very excited to announce that the membership accepted the board nomination to elect Kathleen De Wit, International Marine & Dredging Consultants (IMDC), Belgium to become the new CEDA president.

Kathleen: “Being passionate about dredging since my student years already, it has always been a clear thing to me that that was the direction I wanted to go. Working in this industry sounded to me like the chance to discover broad horizons while playing  a bit around in soil and water, and though this idea might’ve been a bit naïve then, I still don’t regret for a moment that I got involved. While it took me a while to get a dredging contractor convinced to actually send me abroad as a superintendent on a real dredging vessel, it was already in 1998 that, thanks to IMDC, I got in contact with CEDA. Young and curious, eager to find out as much as I could on dredging, I found in CEDA many answers and, even more important, a warm, well-supported organisation carried by and pushed forward by a large community of members who all shared the same passion for dredging. Inspired by their enthusiasm, I got kind of naturally involved more and more in the organization myself. From the very beginning, I felt really privileged to be able to work together with so many knowledgeable people on different dredging-related themes, and this is still the case today. So it is with great proud and thankfulness that I will take over this CEDA presidency from Polite. He did a fantastic job and will be hard to replace but I’ll do my very best to carry on in the same positive spirit and continue to show CEDA’s added value to all those who like playing around a bit in soil and water.”

Polite: “I am very pleased with Kathleen De Wit as next President of CEDA. Kathleen is already active in CEDA for more than 20 years and I know her as an enthusiast, dedicated skilled “Dredging Lady”. She has the skills and the motivation to bring CEDA to a next level together with all the dedicated active members. This makes it possible for me to step down as President next year with a good feeling for the future.”

The handover will take place at the CEDA Dredging Days taking place from 27-29 May 2024 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Other changes
According to the official rotation schedule, the following members of the Board were due to retire in 2023:

Michael Costaras, Jan De Nul, United Kingdom
Kathleen De Wit, IMDC, Belgium
Polite Laboyrie, Witteveen+Bos, the Netherlands
Dirk Defloor, DEME, Belgium
André Kik, DE Klop BV, the Netherlands

All above listed members, have accepted nomination by the Board for another term and this was accepted by the membership. 

Claudia Flecken informed us last year that she would like to retire from the board but she agreed to remain a member until a suitable replacement has been found.

In the last year, both Wim Klomp and JanVandenbroeck resigned from the board. The following members have been nominated by the board & accepted by the membership for replacement:

George Peters, Royal HaskoningDHV, the Netherlands
Aymeric Hamon, DEME, France

Other additions on the board, not related to elections, are:

Maurice de Kok, Van Oord, the Netherlands - new chair of the Dredging Management Commission
Jan-Berend Koster, Dutch Dredging BV, the Netherlands - new chair of Young CEDA

Due to the passing of Cees van Rhee, the position of secretary/treasurer became vacant. The board would prefer his replacement at the TU Delft to take over this role. Until a replacement has been found, Rudy Helmons, Associate Professor, will temporarily represent the TU. Current board member Rogier Kalis will act as secretary/treasurer.

Furthermore, due to non-payment of membership fees over 2021 and 2022, the board had to take the decision to suspend the African Section and therefore, Miloud Abudib, is no longer part of the board of directors.