Dear IEEE Region 9 Members and Volunteers,

I trust this message finds you and your loved ones in good health and high spirits as we approach the close of 2023. As we bid farewell to this year, I wish to convey a heartfelt message to all of you.

The years 2023 and 2022 presented significant challenges following the pandemic, with operating conditions that tested our resilience. In 2022, we commenced with a major undertaking—the celebration of our Region 9 Meeting in Mexico City, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Mexico Section. Throughout the year, numerous activities and congresses, including CONCAPAN in Central America, ANDESCON from the ANDEAN COUNCIL, and ARGENCON in Argentina, resumed in-person operations. Despite the initial adversity, we completed the year with success in terms of membership development, the addition of new senior members, and various other achievements. In 2023, our positive momentum continued with a successful Regional Meeting held in Panama City, Panama, signaling a promising start to the year.

Despite the achievements, I faced a personal challenge in mid-2023, struggling with Guillain-Barré syndrome. This condition left me immobile and affected my facial muscles, preventing me from fulfilling my role as regional director. Gratefully, Jennifer Castillo, our Regional Director-elect, stepped in seamlessly, demonstrating exceptional leadership during my incapacitation.

I extend my sincere gratitude to Jennifer for her outstanding commitment. My appreciation also extends to the entire regional committee for maintaining the high standards of our region within the IEEE community over the past two years, overcoming numerous challenges.

Special acknowledgment goes to the executive committee for their unwavering dedication and invaluable support during this period. Their commitment to excellence ensured the continuation of essential services for our members. I am profoundly grateful for the collaborative spirit that emerged during these challenging circumstances, and I eagerly anticipate rejoining the team with renewed vigor.

A notable highlight of 2023 was the celebration of the IHTC 2023 Congress, organized in collaboration with regions 7 and 8. Breaking away from the virtual format of the last two editions, we successfully presented the event in person. Congratulations to the organizing committee led by Dr. Carlos Lozano making this thing possible.

Once again, I express my gratitude to Jennifer for her outstanding job as a Regional Director and her commitment to leading the region during this challenging period. To the new regional committee, I extend my best wishes for the continued success of our Region. They have my full support, and as my condition improves, I hope to resume serving alongside them. Thanks to everyone who contributed during this period, and I look forward to the possibility of meeting soon.

Warmest wishes for the holiday season and the approaching new year to all.

Best Regards,

Enrique Tejera
Region Director
IEEE Region 9