Letter to members – 9th November 2020

Dear All,

I am writing to let you know that ISCO Secretary, Matthew Sommerville, has intimated to me that he wishes to stand down from his position as the Secretary of ISCO.

As you may know, Matthew operates his own consultancy company – Spectrum Spill Services Ltd. – and, owing to an increasingly heavy workload of consultancy work, he feels that he is no longer able to give ISCO the time and attention commensurate with fulfilling his duties as Secretary.

Matthew wishes to formally announce his intention to stand down at the next ISCO AGM to allow time to identify and transfer the responsibilities to a successor in time for the 2021 AGM. Currently he is working to complete on the accounts for submission to our auditors and is preparing the draft agenda for the 2020 AGM.

Personally, I am very disappointed to have to relay this news. Matthew’s background and experience made him an ideal choice. He has had more than 36 years’ experience in the oil spill response industry. He worked with the UK Government’s Warren Spring Laboratory for nine years on spill response research projects and over many years has attended many of the world’s largest oil spill incidents. He also gained valuable industry experience and has held senior positions with Briggs Marine, NRC, OSRL, Aramco, IOPC Funds and Shell. He also served as Chairman of the IMarEST Marine Pollution Special Interest Group and has represented ISCO at IMO (MEPC and PPR meetings) and at IOPC Funds.

It is not going to be easy to find a successor for Matthew. ISCO does not have the funds to pay a salary and is only able to cover travel and other expenses incurred in fulfilling duties of the position. The job demands high qualities of leadership and the ability to develop new initiatives to grow the value of ISCO membership. There are also several administrative tasks, including correspondence and website management. Perhaps it will be necessary to split the responsibilities between more than one individual.

The Secretariat has now begun the process of looking for nominations for the appointment of a new Secretary. Members are invited to submit proposals.

Regarding the 2020 AGM, in the current situation a face-to-face meeting will not be possible. Options could include an online meeting (Zoom or similar). The Secretariat is working on this and more information will be released as soon as possible.

With best regards,

John McMurtrie, Member of Executive Committee

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