The American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (AmCham) have announced four new board members and one renewed member during the organization’s annual general meeting held last night at Raffles Hotel.
The five elected board members were (in order of most votes received):
- Casey Barnett President of CamEd Business School
- Zhiger Atchabarov Chief International Operations Officer of ABA Bank
- Moniveark Sou Owner and Managaing Director of ChemDry Cambodia
- Devin Barta Country Manager AHF Products (reelected for second term)
- Joseph Telfer Managing Parnet, Founder of DataU Academy
The new board members will join Anthony Galliano, Pily Wong, Christopher McCarthy, Kim Tol Tan, Ing Rina, Michael Berg. While, Ashley Irving and Matt Van Roosmalen have retired from the Board.
There was a total of 15 candidates for the five placements that were decided by members voting via an electronic voting system for the first time. The chamber increased the number of board positions from 9 to 11 this year due to “increased membership and candidates”.
According to AmCham regulations, candidates are elected by members to the board of governors annually with a two-year term limit. Board members must step down following two consecutive terms for a period of one year before becoming eligible to run again.
The board will vote on Friday for the key positions of president, vice president and treasurer.
Newly elected AmCham governors to revitalize the board
Speaking to Cambodia Investment Review, Casey Barnett President of CamEd Business School (who received the most votes) said it was an honor to be elected to the board by AmCham members.
“As an AmCham board member, I will work to advocate pro-business policies, promote our members’ “products and services, and promote good corporate citizenship,” Casey said.
“To sustain trade with the US, it is important for the Cambodian government to hear the authentic voice of American businesses. I will support AmCham to become an effective platform for that voice,” he added.
Joseph Telfer Managing Parnet, Founder of DataU Academy told Cambodia Investment Review that Post covid-19″ could be one of the most important moments in Cambodia’s contemporary history.
“The choices we make and actions we take in the next 12-24 months will define the trajectory of our growing nation,” Telfer said.
“Digital skills acceleration underpins the government’s i4.0 strategy and I aim to assist the chamber and the members to increase adoption of digital skills and digital transformation agendas for the benefit of all of Cambodia,” he added.
Strong 2021 as AmCham Cambodia celebrates 25 years of continued operations
The AGM was also an opportunity to highlight the chamber to celebrate 25 years of continuous operation since being founded in 1996.
Anthony Galliano, AmCham President said in his keynote speech that the chamber commemorated the milestone with one of the strongest years in its history.
“The chamber celebrated record membership, its healthiest financials, broadest advocacy and reach, solid and extensive executive management team, and the fortune of having a hard-working Board of Governors who contributed so much of their volunteer time to make this year a milestone in the Chambers history,” Galliano said.
The increase in board positions also coincided with an increase in chamber membership which has reported a year-on-year increase of membership from 122 to 175, representing a 45% growth. Membership growth, membership engagement, and advocacy are considered three of the four AmCham pillars.
“AmCham has expanded and is now more impactful is now more than ever ambitious to support its members to prosper in Cambodia as it thrives and flourishes,” Galliano said.
“Despite the Covid-19 challenges faced, AmCham and the Board of Governors showed their strength and commitment to support its membership which grew 45% reaching a record 175 members,” he added.
Corporate Social Responsibility is the chamber’s fourth pillar mission with the chamber itself also contributing to goodwill activities. During the year AmCham members contributed to the ad-hoc committee in the fight against Covid, in a series of events, donating computer equipment, medical supplies, and foods.
Bretton Sciaroni founding member of AmCham Cambodia remembered
The AmCham community also had a moment to remember the passing of AmCham’s Chairman Emeritus position of Mr. Bretton G. Sciaroni who died from an illness earlier in the year.
Sciaroni was considered one of Cambodia’s most respected legal professionals and was considered the voice of the international business community.
He represented interests such as the Government Private Sector Forum (GPSF) and as co-chair of the Working Group D on Law, Tax, and Governance. His work was considered a driving factor to promote foreign investment into Cambodia during the early 2000s.
“His passing was a great loss to not only AmCham but the Kingdom of Cambodia and US community, he was such a big part of and contributed too,” Galliano said.
To recognize special long-term service to AmCham, the board had established “emeritus” board positions, which are granted for life. To date, only two of these titles have been granted – the other was awarded to Member Emeritus position to Mr. Michael Hayes.