Chaîne Online News

Actualités en ligne / News On-Line

Mot du Grand Argentier

Grand Argentier Joseph M Girard

In my role as Grand Argentier and a member of President Yam Atallah's International Board I am accountable for the finances of the Chaîne.

Previously, in the Chaîne International Magazine, I have given you an insight into the work and responsibilities that this role entails. Budgeting is a key element.

When predicting what a new year’s results might be, it is very easy for the exercise to end up looking simply at the numbers rather than taking the opportunity for a wider and more forward-thinking plan for the future. What is supposed to be a planning process that includes generating a budget as one part can end up as a budgeting-only exercise. The problem is, of course, there’s only one thing worse than having a budget and that is not having a budget!

So, deciding what the Society needs to accomplish, the Conseil d’Administration agrees a strategic plan. With these goals for the coming year and beyond, I am able to prepare the initial draft budget and then with every revision can continually monitor that the goals and the budget remain synchronized.

Nevertheless, while I am a great one for planning, I also well remember the famous General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s quote: “in preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

What we actually do will be a function of how things go once the year starts and it is never a case of once the budget is completed it is set in stone and cannot be altered. A budget is but a necessary statement of quantitative targets that an organization aims to achieve and a strategic direction it hopes to move in. However, in business as in life, situations occur that will cause a deviation in the plan. What separates good organizations from great organizations is their ability to react to these challenges and adjust their plan accordingly.

In addition to my Treasury duties for the Confrérie, another exciting role which I am honoured to have had conferred on me by President Atallah is that of Chair of the International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition Committee.

Since the first International Final held in 2007 in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, the Competition has demonstrated proven success thus contributing to raise the profile of the Chaîne worldwide through the encouragement of Bailliages to enter their young Sommeliers to compete for the prestige of being the best.

It has been my great pleasure to have had many opportunities within our society. The words of Albert Einstein often come to mind when I reflect on what I have experienced along the way ... "Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count, really count."

Vive la Chaîne et toujours une Chaîne !

Joseph M. Girard
Grand Argentier
Chair, International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition Committee