GFG Fall 2007 Conference in Paradise




The GFG Conference brings its work ethic to paradise…

GFG Group Administrator Rachel Marchant reports back from the Fall Conference in the Bahamas, 16 – 19 September 2007.


Welcome to Wonderland…

On the northern tip of New Providence Island, Bahamas is Paradise Island, rising like a salmon pink mirage out of turquoise seas. This was the surreal setting for the GFG’s fall conference in September 2007. The Kerzner resort certainly draws your attention when you first approach it, whether you arrive in the daylight or at night.

By day, the soft pastel colours of the village and the pink of the main buildings promise a calm, relaxing stay for parents and fun for kids. By night, the myriad of lights on the towers and throughout the resort hinted at the fun of the casino for the adults. However, the GFG members were there to work as well as play, for the annual obligatory conference. There are worse obligations!

IMGP3865   IMGP3920a
Pastel shades in a paradise setting  

Illuminations transform the view.

Junkanoo to finish off the BOD evening…

The Board of Directors met for dinner on Saturday night at the deservingly recommended Seafire Steak House in Marina Village. Good food and great company were given a grand finale by the surprise arrival of the Marina Village Junkanoo troop. IMGP3900

A Sunday of contrasts…

Members took full advantage of the conference location, arriving throughout the weekend in order to appreciate the hotel’s amenities.

However, Sunday saw the Directors meeting for business rather than the pleasure, as they settled in for their day long meeting focussing on a full agenda of GFG matters. The Directors’ agenda included a review of the recently reviewed Articles of Association, member attendance at meetings, collection items, second members and changes within the Board of Directors.


Cocktails by the Lagoon…

The GFG events for the full membership started, as customary, with the cocktail party in the Water’s Edge Private Dinning Room, with its patio area overlooking one of the many lagoons. Members were able to catch up with old friends and meet the new members, while they ate, drank and made merry in the beautiful setting. The patio overlooking the lagoon added an extra dimension to the indoor space with members able to mill around outside and enjoy a little warm evening air.



Business as usual…


On Monday morning members gathered in the Poseidon Rooms for the General Assembly – for the first business event of the conference.


The room was punctuated by the turquoise splashes of the host gifts from ARI Shipping, the host for the conference.


GFG President, Marina Marzani greeted members before leading them through the agenda. Issues covered were the revision of the Articles of Association, collection matters, members’ adherence to standards, possible second members being appointed, membership expansion and future conferences.


Voting Matters…

The other official issues voted upon included Membership Advancements, President and Treasurer re-elections, Director re-election, future conference locations. The results were as follows:

ACSA Srl in Argentina and Cargo Plan International (BD) Pvt Ltd in Bangladesh successfully moved from Observer to Full Member status.

Continental Global Cargo S.A.C. in Peru, D. Kratt International Inc. in Illinois, USA and Hisar Lojistik Turizm in Turkey, progressed from Observer To Aspirant Status.

Congratulations to all the companies who have achieved the necessary support and vote of confidence from the members to enable them to advanced in status.

The Board of Director Re-elections saw Marina Marzani voted upon to continue as President, Richard Cope as Director and Treasurer and both Nita Palhota and Romas Krilavicius continue as Directors. This again reflects the membership’s confidence in their Directors and the good job that they do for the GFG.

Future Conference Locations – Eagle Express in the Philippines, won the honour of hosting the Fall 2009 conference. The Fall 2009 will coincide with the 20th Anniversary of Eagle Express, which will be worthy cause for celebrations.


New Member Submissions…

Eager to start business with the GFG members, were the new members attending their first GFG confere. they were Cargo Express SA from Venezuela and Hisar Lojistik Turizm from Turkey. You can read intereviews with the new members via this link.


Left: Mr Javier Villalobos addressed the membership to introduce himself, his colleague Arturo Gonzales and his company, Cargo Express, as the new member for Venezuela.


Right: Hakan Ozgen introduced himself and his mother Yuksel Dikmen to the members. Hakan and his wife, Ozden, had attended the casual conference in April 2007 and met approximately half the members representing their company, Hisar Lojistik Turizm Ins. ve Dis Tic. Ltd. Sti., Turkey



Sponsor Presentations…








Magaya Corp kindly sponsored the GFG lunch on Monday and were present to address the membership. They informed the members of their company software, giving a very clear demonstration of the programme.


Photo Right: Mr Gabriel Ruz, Magaya Corp.


Ramon Inc also provided sponsorship for the GFG conference although Ms Iris Arden was unable to stay for the General Assembly.



If your company would like to sponsor a future GFG event, please follow this link for more information. Sponsorship opportunities are limited so please make your interest known as early as possible.


Sales Meetings and Smart Shirts…

Tuesday welcomed the continuation of the individual sales meetings. With over 600 meetings to fit in during Monday afternoon and Tuesday, people were working hard to complete their schedule.

The individual sales meetings are clearly the main benefit of the conferences, enabling, as they do, over 60 companies to meet with each other with only one travel expense. The Global Freight Group’s members have developed strong personal relations and so individual meetings do not necessarily need to be a formal event with many happening on an ad hoc basis in various locations throughout the resort. Such is the nature of the group that business and pleasure can easily mix.

IMGP3961 This year’s GFG shirt was a cool white with the GFG embroidery on the front and the two sponsors’ logos on the sleeves. The Tuesday T-Shirt Day saw the majority of members proudly wearing their shirts.



 Back to the Lagoon to round off events…

The buffet meal offered various delights from savoury to sweet and, with a full bar for the evening, there was also no shortage of liquid enticement.

IMGP3983   IMGP3984
The Israel member socialises with the host families of ARI Shipping.   Members from Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Angola and Colombia enjoy the evening.


Rewarding those who make a difference…

After the meal, Marina presented the President’s Award to ACSA Srl of Argentina for their excellent input into the group. Despite being relatively new members, having joined in 2005, they have attended every conference, contributed to the group fully, integrated completely and received excellent reports of service from other members. Furthermore, they have already offered to host – and been selected to do so by the members – the Fall 2008 conference in Buenos Aires.

The Operator of the Year Award was again awarded to a member of Helka Express International. On this occasion it was Wing Lau. PK accepted the award of behalf of Wing. This is now the 5th time the award has gone to a Helka member of staff. That in itself is something that deserves commendation.


After the awards Jimmy Montgomery took the stage to entertain members with his witty observations and word play.


It was then up to the calypso steel band to take over and entertain members.



Wednesday brings adventure…


Wednesday was a chance for members to enjoy a day socializing together while seeing some of Nassau’s places of interest.


The trip was as much about the characters that greeted us as the sights that we saw. From the theatrical performance of the first guide at Fort Fincastle to the Drill Master at the Flamingo Show.

Meet the characters at the local tourist sites.


The passion of Junkanoo was fully brought to life by the waxing lyrical of the representative at the Junkanoo Museum. Junkanoo is a huge part of the Bahamas culture and there are major celebrations each year.

The Queens Staircase offered a challenge to those who chose to descend and climb back up. The gorge had been cut out to supply the stones for building the fort above it but now provided an impressive sight of its own.


Farewell to Paradise…

As official conference events drew to a close, there was still no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the location as several members had chosen to stay a few extra days. There was already talk of the next meeting – the next chance to see each other, proving that it is certainly easy to mix business with pleasure in a group such as the GFG – the Global Friends Group.