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At the opening plenary session of the EAS/WAS co-organised AQUA 2018 event in Montpellier on August 25th, the European Aquaculture Society gave its Distinguished Service Award to Dr. ir. Margriet Drouillon MBA, Aquaculture Business Developer at Ghent University in Belgium, for her commitment and contributions to the objectives and activities of the Society. AQUA 2018 was attended by 3003 participants from 109 countries.

Björn Myrseth, EAS President 2016-2018 introduced and presented the award in front of a packed auditorium at Le Corum in Montpellier. He explained the fact that although the award is made to those that have shown outstanding service to furthering EAS and its objectives, it is not just for those that have given many years of their life to EAS, but it is also about effort and impact.

Margriet Drouillon EAS AwardFrom Ghent University in Belgium, Margriet Drouillon succeeded Peter Bossier as EAS Treasurer in 2012. Her financial background and job in business development for the University were ideal attributes for the role.

Although Margriet was “only” treasurer for 6 years (the maximum mandate for consecutive terms of Board members), she has been instrumental in changing the way that we prepare and report our finances and has provided substantial inputs into the pension scheme and the liability of EAS as an employer. She developed a new template for financial reporting of the EAS accounts (profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow), making the quarterly and annual reporting easier to understand by Board members and by members at the General Assembly.

In recent years, this was complemented by working with our Executive Director to put in place a contributory pension plan and liability insurance that we put in place for the Board to cover the responsibility for EAS finances, until they are removed by approval of the annual General Assembly.

As he presented the award, Björn added that he was personally very pleased to make the presentation and that “Margriet definitely merits her place as one of those few special people that have given their time and energy in abundance to further the objectives of EAS and to contribute to its development”.

Photo caption: Margriet Drouillon with EAS Executive Director, Alistair Lane at the opening plenary session of AQUA 2018.

The EAS Distinguished Service Award

The EAS award for Distinguished Services is destined for individuals that have devoted very significant effort and time to the development of EAS and its objectives. The Award for Distinguished Services has only been presented four times in the 40-year history of EAS. The first time was to Prof. Guido Persoone, who was one of the “founding fathers” of EAS, its President from 1980 to 1982 and its Treasurer for 6 years. The second awardee was Prof. Niels de Pauw, EAS secretary for 4 years. More recently, it was presented to Yves Harache (in 2014) and Selina Stead (2016) for their very long service on the Board of Directors and as President of the Society.