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Records broken at DFK Asia Pacific’s silver celebration

Emma Tran (incoming DFK Asia Pacific Executive Offier) & John Mann (outgoing DFK Asia Pacific Executive Offier)

A record number of delegates helped mark the 25th anniversary of the DFK International Asia Pacific annual conference.

Nearly 100 people attended the conference which was hosted by Folks DFK in Penang, Malaysia, including 73 delegates from DFK International member firms.

The silver anniversary event also marked a changing of the guards as John Mann bid farewell as Executive Officer of DFK Asia Pacific, as the DFK family welcomed Emma Tran in his place.

John first attended the Asia Pacific annual conference in Singapore in 1991, and delayed his retirement by a year in order to bring his role with the association to an end immediately after this year’s 25th Anniversary event.

Emma, a chartered accountant and auditor with international experience, joined DFK International as a quality and business support manager in early 2014 and will be based in Hong Kong in her new role.

Emma admitted she has big shoes to fill in taking over from John.

“A lot of our most established members in the Asia Pacific region came back to the conference to mark the 25th anniversary, some of whom had attended the first conference 25 years ago and returned to say goodbye to John,” she said.

“It felt like a really close knit family coming together – you could feel there was a great atmosphere throughout the week.

“John has been part of the association for such a long time and the Asia Pacific region for 25 years, so I would I say I’ve got very large shoes to fill!

“One of our main aims is to build our presence in China, and push the communications between China and the rest of the world. This is a key area for us to focus on.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the members in the region better, and being based in Hong Kong will give me a good platform to be hands on with all our members.”

John hailed the success of the 25th Anniversary DFK Asia Pacific conference.

He said: “This year’s conference was fantastic – probably the best I’ve ever been to.

“We had some really good numbers attend and, right from the word go, there was a tremendous atmosphere. Everyone wanted to be there, and the comradery and friendship really came to the fore from the DFK International family.

“There was a good sprinkling of first timers in attendance and our president Demetris Demetriou was also attending the Asia Pacific Conference for the first time, so it was great to have him with us.

“I worked hard in the weeks leading up to the conference to let everyone know this was to be my last, and although most delegates were due to attend anyway, it was nice to help get a few more people along.”

John is confident the Asia Pacific region is well placed to grow in the years to come.

He added: “My time with DFK International has been extremely rewarding. I’ve made lots of good friends and I believe we’ve progressed the region a lot in the last seven or eight years.

“We now have good quality membership which we’ve built well over the years. The quality of the speakers at our conferences and the quality of the whole programme has also improved a great deal over the years.

“It’s important to have a strong China group and I’m sure that will grow over the next few years. There’s a few countries DFK would like to move into, but they are well on their way.

“You can’t do everything in one, two or three years and the association has goals it wants to achieve and the signs are there the region will be very strong for years to come.

“Emma is really well placed to take over from me. She has a good knowledge of DFK International and will be very good at getting in front of all the members. Give her six months in the job and I’m sure everyone will have forgotten me!”

Navin Patel, Vice President of DFK Asia Pacific, was delighted with the success of the conference.

He said: “It was an excellent conference – the perfect way to celebrate our 25th anniversary and to give John Mann the send-off he deserved.

“We had 92 guests take part, which included a good mix of members who have attended nearly every conference, to members who were attending for the first time.

“The programme events were excellent throughout and we thank everyone for making the celebration a great occasion.”