Presidential Handover

25. July 2018

Robert McGuire takes over from Nikolaus Renner as AO president at the Trustees Meeting

Outgoing President Nikolaus Renner hands over the presidential key to incoming President Robert McGuire ​

In his final presidential address at the AO Trustees Meeting 2018, held in his hometown of Basel, Nikolaus Renner looked back at what he has achieved over his two-year tenure as president. He spoke movingly of the huge honor, pride, and satisfaction he felt about his time in the post.

Highlights of the period 2016-2018 he chose to focus on included replacing the old vision and mission statements with one mission "Promoting excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders", the launch of the Soft Tissue Initiative (with Ethicon) and the repositioning of the Davos Courses.

He praised the progress the AO has made in governance structure and ethics, CSR, the new CA, and the advances in innovation—embracing the AO's digital future, in part through MyAO, and the valuable work carried out by AO Alliance.

Nikolaus Renner

Taking a moment to consider the qualities required of a president, he said that you need to be visionary leader—able to see not just the 'big picture' but the entire trajectory, you need to be a consummate diplomat, but you also need to be able to relate to people at all levels of the organizational hierarchy—functioning for many as a mentor and teacher, as a trusted coach and friend.

Renner outlined what he stands for—the values he was able to uphold during his tenure as AO President, as being excellence in patient care, in education, and maintaining the AOs reputation as a world-leader in key research areas. He stressed the central role of the AOs volunteering spirit—that it is vital the AO continues to offer its network of volunteers opportunities to contribute, and this is something that MyAO should be part of ensuring. 

His three watchwords are: honesty, transparency, and respect. Renner explained that these are not slogans for show, these are the principles he lives by and what he truly believes in.

Renner concluded his final presidential address by referencing Frederick the Great, whose motto was 'Servir et Disparaitre' (serve and disappear). 

Following a slideshow of Renner's time as president, newly elected AO President Robert McGuire started his presentation 'Looking to the Future' with assurance that we would tweak Frederick the Great's motto—stressing that he considers Renner a valuable ally and asset within the AO, albeit now in a new capacity. 

Robert McGuire​

He said that over the last two years they had the opportunity to work together closely, and that they may come from different sides of the Atlantic Ocean but they share one goal. McGuire highlighted how diverse the AO is, and stressed that this is a clear strength of the organization—we all come from different backgrounds, have followed different paths, have different specialities, but within the AO we are united by our shared values and our shared mission "Promoting excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders".

He looked back at the highlights of the two-day Trustees Meeting, news from different divisions and different geographies of innovative new approaches, and the countless examples of the AO doing what it does best: promoting excellence and pushing for higher standards and better outcomes in all areas of its activity. 

Exploring the opportunities for the coming two years McGuire focused on the importance of mentorship and bringing more younger generations into the AO fold, including through courses and webinars. He also said that transparency will continue to be central to all AO operations—the policy must be one of 'what you see is what you get'. He stressed the importance of continuing with the AORecon initiative and expanding it to include sports medicine, the central place that simulation has in the AO's future, and returned the focus to the AO's education and training programs for low- and middle- income countries (LMICs).​

He closed by thanking the assembled Trustees for their hard work, their support, and looked forward to welcoming them at the AO Trustees Meeting June 12-15, 2019 at Carton House, Dublin, Ireland.​​​​​​​