As all of you have noticed we are no longer using the www.naata.org web address. This address has been ours since the inception of the organization and was used in the joint venture with AASA. As you also know we announced in Toronto that we were developing a new site that we hope will be more interactive and of greater service to our members.
We came to learn that a company called Konektix was hosting the site. Somehow, and we do not have all of the facts, Konektix “hijacked” the ownership of the domain name, naata.org and listed itself as the owner. They then contacted us and advised us that if we wanted it “back” we would have to pay $10,000. There are no circumstances under which the organization or the Board would agree to this type of greenmail. Procedures are now under way to get the domain back, but in the meantime, we have opened naatatrade.org and that domain is clearly ours. We intend to use this domain going forward. You can contact us at email@example.com.
We have also taken steps to ensure that other individuals will not be permitted to trade under the NAATA name in North America. That process takes some time but it is underway and my thanks to Wouter Von Essen and his staff for moving quickly on both of these issues. NAATA will be a registered trademark in the U.S. and Canada. We will also seek registration in the EU.
From this day forward please go to naatatrade.org for your NAATA related information. We are still in the process of enhancing and changing the site which takes some time and as soon as it is ready we will launch the new site.
On a much happier note we have designated April 6, 2018 in New York City as the date and place of the annual meeting of members as required by our by-laws. This meeting will be used to bring Members up to date on current events and to also elect a slate of Directors. As you know we now have staggered terms of Directors and three of our long serving members will step down allowing for new Directors to take their place. Our By-Laws provide that we may increase the Board membership. Our intention is to increase the Board from 7 to either 8 or 9. The Board will nominate a slate after the first of the year and of course any member who wishes to serve or wishes to nominate someone, may notify us and such names will be added to the candidate list. This will be an open process and voting is encouraged.
In addition, at the annual meeting we will have two speakers who have already confirmed. I am pleased to let you know that Special Agent in Charge Sean Willman, Department of Homeland Security and Supervisor Noel Moloney, US Customs and Border Protection, Port of Newark will both present valuable information. Both of these men are familiar with the issues that both our industry and law enforcement face. We will include adequate time for your questions.
More information about this meeting and the events surrounding it will be sent to you after the first of the year. So that we may best serve you and secure a suitable location for the meeting, we will be asking you to let us know if you plan to attend.
We continue to propel NAATA in a new direction and need the participation of all Members in order to accomplish our goals.
Please enjoy a joyous and safe Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all of you.