HARBOR VIEW – The Social Economic Council (SER) celebrated its 5th anniversary on Thursday, May 26. The SER was established on October 10, 2010 when St. Maarten attained country status within the Dutch Kingdom. The board was appointed on May 1, 2011 and celebrated its 5th anniversary this year.
Former Chairmen René Richardson and Arthur Bute were commended by Chairwoman Oldine Bryson-Pantophlet for their contributions during the establishment phase of the SER.
“It is certainly challenging to build an institution, and the new board is grateful to build upon what you left behind,” she stated.
The Chairwoman said that throughout the years SER St. Maarten had developed a working relationship with SER Curaçao, SER Aruba, SER Netherlands, and similar advisory bodies in the region.
Richardson was at the helm of the SER during the first three years of the institution and was succeeded by Bute in 2014. Richardson stressed the importance of the institutions established after 10-10-10. He encouraged the Chairwoman and board to continue with its work. Former Chairman Bute thanked his former colleagues for their support, and stated that it was an honor to serve as a member during the time of the former Netherlands Antilles, and later chairman of SER St. Maarten.
In her speech, Bryson-Pantophlet thanked present and past members, staff, the present and past governments, the media, funding agency USONA, and the department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) for their invaluable contributions to the sometimes challenging startup phase of the SER.
Bryson-Pantophlet stated that the support of the main stakeholders is highly appreciated, and expressed her appreciation for the WICSU/PSU, UFA and WIFOL unions, the Chamber of Commerce and SHTA.
In picture from left to right: former Chairman R. Richardson, Chairwoman O. Bryson-Pantophlet, and former Chairman A. Bute.