Less than a month until Christmas! Hard to believe that 2015 is almost coming to a close. Unfortunately this letter brings with it the announcements of the loss of two very important individuals to ATA - John Good and Eddie McMullen. The ATA is a very unique association in that its membership consists of a relatively small group of individuals and companies in a very specialized field. As I have stated before, many of the relationships formed within our association become lifetime friendships, so when we lose a member, many of us are touched by that loss. Our sympathy goes out to both of their families and friends. Please watch this space for tributes written by two of our board members and friends of Eddie and John in next week's Migrations edition.
As I write this, it has been almost three weeks since the downing of the Russian jet and one week since the attack on Paris. Currently, Brussels is in a state of high alert and Mali is trying to deal with their tragic attack yesterday. I have friends and colleagues in all of these locations and have visited traveled to many of the areas under threat. The nature of our jobs allows us to see the world in a way that many people never have the opportunity to. It also brings the tragedy and fear of these attacks much closer to home in a very personal way - even from afar. I am sure, like myself, you have found yourself checking in on friends in those areas and questioning the safety of travel in the coming weeks. For those of you who live in those areas, please know you are in the thoughts and prayers of all us. For those of traveling in the coming weeks - keep safe! I struggled on including this in my presidents letter, but I truly felt I would be remiss not to as it affects so many of us. May 2016 truly bring peace to our world.
On a lighter note - With the new year quickly approaching, our 2016 conference is also quickly gaining on us. April in Lisbon! We are beginning to confirm speakers and topic tracts, so please be sure and send suggested topics and speakers our way.