Danièle VRANKEN is the Secretary General of the FAIB, the Federation of European & international associations based in Belgium, helping its 300 members international associations – representing some 40.000 members of their respective sectors – to establish and operate in Belgium.
Danièle’s know-how is based on a 29 years career as Director Finance & Administration for the European cosmetics industry association (Cosmetics Europe, formerly Colipa) and Management assistant education. Her previous assignments were mainly abroad, hence her multilingual skills (French, English, German, Dutch, some Italian and Spanish for the fun!)
She took over the management of the FAIB in 2010 on a voluntary basis and puts all aspects of her professional experience, and personality at the service of the Federation.
1. Why are you investing your time & expertise in (an) association(s) and its advancement?
When I took early retirement 10 years ago, I felt that my experience (gained during my former employment with a large European trade association) could benefit the international Associations Community with which I had a strong bond and where I had many friends.
2. In your experience, what are the 3 success factors for advancing associations?
- Be aware of your members’ needs. Put yourself in their shoes, using your skills to meet their requests (even if the question is obvious) ;
- Try to anticipate what comes next and be sure to address it accordingly;
- Adapt your working methods to today’s trends, technology, language…
3. Has the AM world changed when it comes to diversity and inclusion?
Tremendously, it looks as if associations are now being recognised by authorities and should work for even more recognition and professionalism.
4. What advice would you give the next generation of association leaders who want to make an impact?
Be aware that the association world has evolved from a « club » spirit to the need for a professional management comparable to that of a commercial corporation. Do not miss any opportunity to learn new mangement techniques, such as those taught at the EMIAM, that illustrate the need for professional knowledge and keep abreast of legislation affecting the associations sector, not only your industry or area.