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December 15, 2017 Vol. 72 No. 21 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Department Spotlight: Executive Team


INTA’s Executive Team consists of Chief Executive Officer Etienne Sanz de Acedo and Executive Assistant Maribel Lajara.

In his role as CEO, Etienne works with the Board of Directors and Officers to recommend, formulate, and implement policies and programs for the Association; is responsible for the administrative operation of the Association’s offices and the supervision of all staff; and is responsible for the development and administration of the annual budget.

As Executive Assistant to the CEO, Maribel provides critical executive administrative support through regular contact with senior management, staff, the Board of Directors, Association Leadership, and Committee members, and assists Etienne in the day-to-day operation of the office.

Here Etienne answers a few quick questions from the INTA Bulletin.

How long have you been with INTA?
It feels like it was only yesterday when I joined INTA, but four and a half years have already passed! I joined July 1, 2013, and spent my first few days at the Brussels office while I waited from my passport to come back from the American embassy with my visa.

What does your daily work involve?

Well, every day is different and that’s the beauty of it. However, I do try to begin each day by first looking at what is happening around the world and particularly within our IP community.

As CEO, I’m in a lot of meetings! Every other week we have a senior management meeting, a Rep Office meeting, meetings with HR, Finance, and IT. Once a month we have full staff meetings to update staff on the state of the Association, as well Executive Committee, Finance, Audit, and Planning Committee calls. Between meetings with different staff, I’m responding to emails and taking calls from members. I’m not complaining though, there is so much talent among the INTA staff and membership. They also care deeply about our Association and its mission: collaborating with them is only a pleasure!

And all this is magnificently coordinated by Maribel, without whom I would simply not be able to do my job.

In the quiet time that Maribel kindly safeguards in my schedule, I work on long-term projects, keeping the Association on target to meet the goals of the Strategic Plan and to complete the major projects in the corresponding Implementation Plan.

What projects have you most enjoyed working on during your career with INTA?
There are so many projects, it is really hard to highlight only a few. But let me start by sharing that the first time we had a full staff meeting, which was to prepare for the 2013 Leadership Meeting, I was absolutely impressed by the INTA staff and how professional they all were. That really pleased me and made me feel very proud to be a part of this Association.

In terms of projects that I have really enjoyed I would certainly mention the opening of our two new Representative Offices in Singapore and Santiago, enhancing our interaction with officials in China and India, and around the world, witnessing the expansion of the Unreal Campaign, the publication of INTA’s first impact study, and also entering into new areas of work for INTA like copyrights, designs, and data protection.

And, of course, I have really enjoyed working with the Planning Committee on our new 2018‒2021 Strategic Plan. While it is ambitious, bold, and forward thinking, I am confident that we will make a success of it. The good thing is that we are developing processes and methodologies that will last well beyond 2021 and help strengthen our evolving Association.

Last but not least, I love the interaction with members: 32,000 individuals from all around the world! Sometimes challenging but always rewarding.

What do you do for fun, outside of INTA?

I like reading historic novels. I love sports, particularly tennis, but it’s not easy to practice in New York. I am a big fan of my home soccer team Real Sociedad. I also love to travel with enough time to enjoy and visit places. And, most importantly, I spend as much time as possible with my children Alexia (18 months) and Iñaki (12 years).

What are your favorite trademarks?

Amazon (please change the Alexa brand; it is very confusing with our daughter Alexia!), Apple, Netflix, and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. 

© 2017 International Trademark Association