International Vocational Education and Training Association

Incoming IVETA President's Message

15 Dec 2016 6:56 AM | IVETA (Administrator)

I'd like to begin by thanking the membership for your vote and for the honor you have bestowed on me by electing me President of IVETA for 2017-2018.   I hope to return the favor by continuing the positive atmosphere and productive work environment we've experienced under the leadership provided by Carmel Thompson, our immediate past President.

As we begin the new year, it's important to keep our strategic goals in focus:
•    Consistently increase membership benefits and membership for the organization.
•    Increase the involvement and relevance of the IVETA Executive.
•    Improve financial sustainability and accountability.
•    Review, revise, and redesign the organization's professional learning program.

(the Strategic Plan can be found at
We will continue to keep these goals, the strategic initiatives, and the progress indicators as a guide to our work in the coming years.
This has been a very active year for the IVETA Executive Committee with an enormous amount of work being accomplished, much of it behind the scenes.  Our new quarterly Executive Committee Skype meetings have afforded us the opportunity to work more effectively, refining processes and procedures for the benefit of the organization.  I'd like to mention special thanks to those on the Executive Committee who have worked especially hard to structure our new documents, including our Executive Secretariat Christine Gardner, General Secretary Margo Couldrey, Executive Director Mari Kontturi, and of course our Past President Carmel Thompson.  I have the distinct advantage of starting this two-year term with a streamlined constitution and bylaws, a more effective system for reviewing and establishing regional offices and other partnerships, a refined application for the TVET Innovation and Improvement Fund (TIIF, previously the Microgrant) and a renewed focus on a more effective business model to keep the organization solvent and growing.
While we are well on our way in addressing our strategic goals, there are numerous tasks that remain to be accomplished to keep the forward momentum.  In her 2016 in review, Carmel Thompson recently summarized some of the challenges moving forward.  I'd like to highlight a few areas to focus our efforts for the forthcoming two-year period:
•    Identifying membership needs and increasing member benefits
•    Increasing the size and diversity of our membership
•    Keeping the website current and active
•    Opening more regional offices, appointing Liaison Officers, and providing more active support
•    Encouraging more active involvement among the Officers as well as the membership in general
•    Further revision and refinement of the conference business model and associated documents
•    Planning for 2018 and 2019 conferences
In the last few years we've accomplished our work through the effective use of subcommittees and task forces consisting of small numbers of Executive Committee members.  Building on that model, I'd like to see greater use of tasks forces, with active involvement by not only all Executive Committee members, but also from the membership at large.  Over time, we will be announcing the formation of task forces and issuing calls for volunteers.  Joining one or more of these committees or task forces will be a great way to increase your connection to and service to the organization, expand your IVETA network, and to begin your ascendency into the next level of IVETA leadership.  Your contribution to this effort promises to be greatly appreciated by the membership, and personally rewarding for yourself.
I recently attended the Association for Career Technical Education (ACTE) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.  This year we embedded the IVETA conference as at IVETA track within the overall larger conference.  We had five dedicated international sessions within the conference. This is the approach that was taken by IVETA in the early days of the organization.  The advantage to this approach is that it affords the opportunity for the IVETA membership to attend among the multitude of additional sessions offered at the ACTE conference.  The ACTE conference, by the way, had over 4,500 attendees, hundreds of sessions, and an enormous number of vendors to visit.  By way of disadvantage, our international attendance in the IVETA sessions was fairly low, and it did not give us the opportunity to meet as an organization.  The presentations we did have, however, were very good.  Thanks to all of those who attended and especially to those who presented.  Our presentation topics and presenters included the following:
TVET in Developing Countries
o    David Fretwell
TVET in the 21st Century
o    John Gaal
o    Sandra Poirier and Mary Ann Remsen
TVET and the Impact of IT
o    Ilhan Gunbayi
TVET and preparing global educators
o    Vera Jacobson-Lundeberg
o    Christina Terrell
TVET and preparing for future skills
o    Davison Mupinga and Maria Phillips
o    Winston Fletcher
This year's IVETA International Conference is scheduled for 13 - 14 September, 2017, in Queenstown New Zealand.  The venue is the Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, with some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Queenstown is widely known as the Adventure Capital in New Zealand.  The conference website is  Please bookmark this website.  You'll surely want to make it to this conference.  The call for presentation proposals is open until 28 February 2017.  We strongly encourage our IVETA membership to submit proposals.  For submission information, visit
For conferences beyond September in Queenstown New Zealand, some preliminary discussions have begun, but we are still open for proposals for the 2018 International Conference.    As well, the Executive Committee will be discussing other options for the annual conference held in the United States of America.  Stay tuned.  For further information, contact your Regional Vice President or myself.  Speaking of regions, as always IVETA is strongly supportive of regional IVETA conferences.  Many have been held in previous years, but it seems fewer in recent years.  However in 2016 there was a successful gathering among the European membership.
Finally, this has been a transition year for the IVETA Journal.  We apologize for the tardiness on getting this journal out to you.  The editorship for the journal has transitioned from Dr. Davison Mupinga at Kent State University in Ohio to Dr. Robert Clark and Dr. Liz Richard from the Centre for Professional Development for Career and Technical Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, USA.  I'd like to thank Dr. Mupinga for his many years of service editing the journal, and thank Drs. Clark and Richard for taking-on the responsibility.  The journal website is  We expect to release the next issue of the International Journal of Vocational Education and Training in late January or early February, 2017. 
Thank you everyone for your ongoing and continuing support of IVETA.  I look forward to seeing this vibrant organization continue to grow and continue to contribute to the field of Technical Vocational Education and Training.
With warm regards,
Bob Mahlman
President, IVETA, 2017-2018

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