June 9, 2023: Alfons Westgeest, general manager of EUROBAT, announced on June 5 he was stepping down and Gert Meylemans, previously director of communications, would take over.
Westgeest (pictured above), who tried to retire four years ago but came back, has been a central figure in EUROBAT since his involvement in 2002 and arguably the key creator of the present trade organization.
Westgeest, a well-known and well-liked figure in all sections of the European energy storage industry, said he had enjoyed his time with EUROBAT.
“It’s not just been fun to build up and strengthen the organization but we have achieved real success in helping influence the direction of battery regulation across the EU.”
Marc Zoellner, president of EUROBAT and CEO of Hoppecke Batteries, in a touching speech at the conference dinner, paid tribute to Westgeest’s relentless commitment to building up EUROBAT and its members.
“I will truly miss him and thank him for the wonderful work he has done,” he said.
Meylemans (right), who joined EUROBAT in August 2018, said he had a very tough act to follow but “hoped to continue to build on the great work Alfons has done”.
EUROBAT — the association for European automotive and industrial battery manufacturers and supply chain in EMEA — was formed in 1957 and was originally based in Switzerland.
But it was only when it moved to Brussels at the turn of the century that it became the lobbying and trade body that it is today.
EUROBAT is a non-profit association under Belgian law and is staffed by association management company Kellen. Westgeest became Kellen Europe’s board member for global development in 2022.
Before EUROBAT, Westgeest was the founder and managing partner of Ernst & Young’s association management practice in 1988 in Brussels. He joined EY in 1981 and left the firm in 2004.
This year’s EUROBAT general assembly and convention was held on June 6-7 in Madrid. The next meetings will be held on June 4-5, 2024 in Brussels.