At the meeting, outgoing chair of the ACA board James Barty reported on the ACA’s activities during the preceding fiscal.

Barty said that "the winds of change in the industry continue to blow at gale force".

"The rate of change [is] ensuring that the industry has found itself in a constant level of flux, at both a global and South Africa specific level," he says.

The new board of directors for the 2019/2020 fiscal:

Before discussing ACA activity over the year, Barty commended Mathe Okaba — who was appointed CEO during the period — for the manner in which she has settled into the role and for embracing the structures and practices of the association.

During the period under review, the ACA initiated a new relationship with the AAA School of Advertising and the MOU was put in place following the sale of ACA's previously prized asset.

Barty reconfirmed the ACA's commitment to assisting the AAA to deliver courses and content that meet the standards expected by the industry. In terms of the relationship, Barty singled out Sarah Dexter and the education portfolio team, which Dexter leads, for retaining a working relationship with the school and for continuing to hold high one of the industry's primary roles: driving education and skills development.

Additionally, Barty reviewed changes that have and will impact the industry. He thanked Odette van der Haar and Gareth Leck for their commitment to building the APEX Awards as the programme transitions to the Effie brand.

Change was also seen within the self-regulation framework, with the transition of the ASA into the new ARB. Here, Mike Gendel was acknowledged for his contribution in representing the best interests of the profession in the establishment of the new body. He was also acknowledged for the commitment he demonstrated in the pivotal area of industry self-regulation.

In terms of transformation, Barty said that the topic remains a key area for the ACA, both within the organisation and externally.

"Transformation remains at the forefront of the ACA’s activities, and it is pleasing that we are making continued headway in this area," says Barty. "I am very pleased that, today, the profession’s employee base stands at 60% female and 54% 'of colour'."

"There are challenges that we still need to overcome; however, I encourage the next generation of industry leaders to become active within its structures and help drive not only transformation forward, but all the objectives of the association," he adds.

Barty thanked the secretariat for their ongoing professionalism and dedication, Professor Piet Delport for his ongoing guidance and counsel throughout the year and bid farewell to ACA CFO Russell Cory, who, after 27 years of service to the industry, would be retiring.

In closing, Barty thanked the Exco and the Board at large and wished the new incoming board well, noting that they would be inheriting an association that was "robust, hard-working and held in high esteem within the communities it serves".

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