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   Vol. 19 No. 72
Friday November 20, 2020
And Now for Something Completely Different
Michael Webber

     We reached back out to our old friend Mike Webber, who predicted Glyn's ascent to the job in FlyingTypers several weeks ago. In that piece, Webber noted that he had applied for the position but was already dismissing the possibility. Webber laughed saying, "a day after that interview ran, I received a form email advising that the selection committee had moved on with other candidates. I'm sure it was coincidental but the timing did amuse me. Once that the TIACA selection committee extended the application period until just after Glyn announced he would be available, I was ready to place my bet on him. Having the eminently qualified Mike White also become available was about all that remained of drama."
     So how does Webber see the choice of Hughes for the position? "Oh, I think Glyn was the obvious choice. Nobody in their right mind will criticize TIACA for hiring Glyn. Not for fear of reprisals but because Glyn has the network and experience that one only gets through working in this industry as long as he has. Remarkably, he has done so without cultivating any antagonists. I have known Glyn through my own past on-call work with IATA and my participation in chairing tracks at the early IATA World Cargo Symposiums and I have nothing bad to say.
     "Had I been chosen, I could readily name twenty people who'd have howled their disapproval, but Glyn is a thoroughly safe choice. If you looked at the LinkedIn announcement about Glyn's retirement from IATA, some of our industry's smartest people - David Hoppin comes to mind - were bemoaning Glyn's departure at such a critical time. Now TIACA will be lauded for keeping him in the game, while getting the benefit of hiring somebody who ran the cargo efforts of a trade association exponentially more influential than TIACA. This is like a CFL Team signing Tom Brady. I'm happy for him and I'm happy for them."
     So do you think that he can save TIACA? "I don't even know what "save TIACA" means and I applied for the job. To what degree is the ACF theirs anymore? That's not a rhetorical question, by the way, but that was their calling card for many years. If you're an airline or an airport operator or a forwarder, there are consequences to not being involved with your trade association. Entities like IATA, ACI and the Airforwarders Association never have to worry about relevance and while relationships between their leaderships have been strained at times, the "worker bees" quietly cooperate well. So claiming to bridge the gap between mostly cooperating sectors isn't as compelling as it may sound on letterhead."
     You applied for the job, so regrets about not getting it? "No, I was just gratified by the surprising number of people who contacted me to encourage me to apply. People who I respectfully consider my peers and who seemingly wanted me to test the process to at least see what TIACA may have had in mind. I submitted similar materials to what I use in project proposals, so my investment was about five minutes. I'm afraid that I can't tell you much about the process though because all I ever received were a couple of form emails thanking me for applying and asking if I was still interested, followed by the one about their going with other candidates. I believe they interviewed five people, so kudos for following the script even if we all knew the ending already."
     You really don't seem at all dejected? "No, not even disappointed. My application wasn't a joke - I wouldn't have wasted my five minutes writing a cover letter or their time reading it but I have consulting clients and other projects that made me conflicted about this. I don't believe that TIACA should be in the consulting business competing against its members, so I would have closed my firm after satisfying any existing commitments. I had some ideas about cooperative efforts - particularly in developing countries - and I thought TIACA might be an interesting vehicle for such efforts. I will pursue such ideas on my own or possibly with one of the development banks. Having the resources of a trade association would have been a luxury, not a necessity. As for being dejected, I live in the coolest city in America and hang out with artists, so nobody needs to send me condolences."
Geoffrey Arend
If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 19 No. 69
CNS Departures Mean Industry Suffers
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Tulsi Mirchandaney, Dart from the Heart

Envirotainer Puts Pharma on Ice
BUD Makes Time for Fun Run

Vol. 19 No. 70
Bubbling Up After Everything Changed
Chuckles for November 2, 2020
Autumn Serenade 2020
Simple Pleasure Returns
James Bond Forever

Vol. 19 No. 71
What Became Small In 2020?
Chuckles for November 20, 2020
Are You Having Any Fun?

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
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