The European Vending Association elected Erwin Wetzel as the new EVA director general at the EVA Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. He will take up his new post on Jan. 1, 2014, and will replace Catherine Piana who has managed the association since 1997.
Since the adoption of a new wider EVA strategy at the AGM, Wetzel will be responsible for representing the interests of the vending industry, but also the office coffee service segment and water technology companies. He is highly motivated and enthusiastic to serve as director general, and believes that the best way of doing so is to fully understand the relevant issues in individual national markets. Wetzel has already stated that he plans to increase contact with members, and promote further cooperation between the national associations, according to the release.
Wetzel, who has been deputy director since September 2012, studied Political Science at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and at the prestigious College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. He has experience working in the European Parliament, as well as Head of Office for the Austrian Association of Municipalities in Brussels. He speaks fluent English and very good Spanish in addition to his native French and German.
Wetzel takes over from Piana who, over the last 16 years as the head of the EVA, has successfully managed to encompass the whole vending industry under a common umbrella, and has developed the EVA into a widely respected trade organization to lobby the European institutions. Piana will now work as a consultant for the EVA, primarily in the development of the annual Market Report, and the coordination of the EVA Coin and Banknote Group.
Both Piana and Arnaud van Amerongen, who has stepped down after 6 years as EVA president, were honored at the EVA AGM by the new President, Jan-Marck Vrijlandt, who thanked them sincerely for their long and successful service in their respective roles, and presented them with a token of appreciation marking their achievements.