2012 Midwest Regional Conference Presentations

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2012 Midwest Regional Conference, October 5-6, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio!

The theme of the 2012 Regional Conference was “Diversity in Action.” The Conference challenged attendees to think of diversity in a new light to explore all areas diversity necessary for a strong community.  Sessions focused on how communities and organizations are strengthened through diversity of members, partnerships, funding and skills training.

Speaker presentations are now available for download! New! Check out select videos of the presentations listed below!

Opening Keynote Address:

Video available! Click here to watch it!

  • Deborah W. Foster, Chief Diversity Officer, United Way Worldwide

Diversity within your Community: Partnering with Diverse Networks:

America is still the great melting pot of the world with people from all over the globe calling US cities home. Many immigrants retain strong ties to their ancestral homes and participate in different organizations and events to connect with other members of the diaspora community. There is a natural synergy between sister city programs and these diaspora organizations. Learn more about how your organization can reach out and explore new partnerships with the diaspora community.

  • Geoff Vanderlin, Board Member, Dixon Sister Cities Association
  • Mukila Maitha, Founder, United Kenyans of Chicago

The Why & How of Crafting a Diversity Statement:

What is a diversity statement? Why should my organization have one? Does a diversity statement mean I have to meet certain quotas for my organization? How does having a diversity statement make me a stronger candidate for foundation funding? This session explores these questions and provide resources to develop a diversity statement for your local program. 

  • Reena Hajat Carroll, Executive Director, Diversity Awareness Partnership
  • Mike Robinson, President, Laverdad Marketing and Media

Luncheon Keynote: Engaging Youth in a Global Mindset:

Serving people in over 120 countries serving 45 million members, the YMCA  invests deeply in global education, global networking, and world service.  In the tri-state area, YMCA staff and volunteers engage in service exchanges (Mexico City), international camp counselor placement (YMCA Camp Ernst), student exchanges and support (NKU, UC), and global YMCA events (Prague, Hong Kong). Theyinfuse global learning at 32 CincyAfterSchool & Y locations year-round and on Global Youth Service Day. The YMCA partners with international (Asia Society, YMCA World Service), state (Ohio Department of Education), and local organizations (Sister Cities, World Affairs Council, AMIS) to broaden global awareness among children, youth, and families right here. Learn how your organization can become a part from the creators of this learning curriculum.

  • Rebecca Kelley, Vice President, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati
  • Sara Lewis, Director, Out-of-School Time Program, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati

Creating a Global Classroom:

There are great university study abroad programs and terrific high school student exchanges, yet learning about other cultures and customs should start pre-high school. Bring the world to students through programming aimed at expanding their world views and introducing them to places they most likely have never been.

  • Jenny Buccos, Founder, Project Explorer
  • Kathy Garms, Program Director, AbdelKader Education Project
  • John W. Kiser, Author of “Commander of the Faithful”

Building an International Strategy for your Community:

Economic development is more than just the latest buzz word in the network – it is the focus of many municipalities as they strive to increase their global appeal for business and tourists alike. Hear from experts who are working with their cities to create international outreach strategies to engage overseas. Learn what steps your community can take to begin the discussion and crafting of your own international strategy.

  • Mary Stagaman, Executive Director, Agenda 360
  • Barbara Pratzner, President, Columbus Sister Cities International

Developing your toolkit: Protocol Training:

Few things are as anxiety provoking as the notion of diplomatic protocol. Protocol makes the job of representing your city or Sister City Association easier by facilitating your work as a mission team, making your relationships and interactions within the diplomatic and host country communities more predictable, and by providing a basic social framework and hierarchy to follow. In this session, attendees add the understanding of protocol to their toolbox and learn how they use their expertise in this area to educate local businesses interested in international initiatives.

  • Marja Barrett, Author of “Business Manners for Success”
  • Jacqueline Fonseca de Abreu Tome, Principle, Global Awareness Consulting

Partnership Diversity: Working with Affinity Chambers:

Economic development is on everyone’s mind as the US continues to bounce back from the recession. Leveraging sister city relationships to grow local business and potential exports overseas is a model growing in popularity throughout the country. Local chambers of commerce are finding new and innovative ways to bolster their businesses. In this session, experts from affinity chambers in the region talk about ways sister city members and chambers of commerce can partner on inbound and outbound trade delegation visits and other projects to increase awareness of local businesses, especially abroad.

  • Alfonso Cornejo, Cincinnati USA Hispanic Chamber
  • Marisa Ring, Omaha Chamber of Commerce; Midwest International Trade Association
  • Sheila Spradlin-Reich, Japan-America Society of Greater Cincinnati; Japan Midwest USA Association