Each year IVC Detroit provides sponsorship to assist Faris Alami and his coordination of the Global Trade Mission for Oakland Schools. Faris reports that this year’s March 2012 involvement was at an all time high and included 167 registered students. He is always happy that IVC Detroiters offer their expertise. Again this year Board Members Rona Lum & Molly Swart along with Program Coordinator Imke Baumann generously assisted Faris with his prize winning global trade mission.
The Film Festival Meet & Greet held on Monday, March 19th at the Arab American National Museum and was a unique and well received IVC Detroit event. IVC Detroit welcomed a capacity crowd along with press and official photographers. It was enjoyed by a diverse audience that included: Judge Craig Strong, Millie Hall, Consul of Switzerland Walter Wegmueller from Comerica and his wife Doreen, along with the Honorary Consul of the Dominican Republic Dr. Freddy Sosa & Josie Sosa, Board Member Connie Hogan, Ihab & Reem Zaki, Nader Hamadeh, etc, etc. Besides DTE Energy’s sponsorship secured by Fouad Ashkar the State Department provided a small stipend for the event. On Monday morning Christos Moisides hosted a roundtable discussion at Greektown Fishbones for the film delegation including filmmakers Sue Marx & Brenda Rosenberg. Later Christos arranged for the group to visit Raleigh Studios. Tuesday the film professionals attended sessions led by Robert Young III, representatives from the Detroit Film Critic Society, and Detroit Future Media Youth Programs. The visitor from Saudi Arabia thought Detroit far surpassed his expectations!
The 2012 NCIV National Meeting took place February 15-18, 2012, in Washington, DC. The annual NCIV National Meeting has long served as an opportunity to exchange ideas, develop knowledge, and cultivate skills in support of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and other exchanges. The IVC Detroit chapter was well represented by a contingent of 5 members comprised of staff and board members.
Interesting highlights of the conference included:
- Pre-meeting Capacity Building Workshop with Gail Perry designed to provide attendees with tips and guidance on crafting an effective message about citizen diplomacy
- NCIV Luncheon with the Ambassadors featuring the opportunity for America’s citizen diplomats to network with Washington’s official diplomatic community. In addition, the Keynote Speaker for the Luncheon was Senator John McCain
- NCIV Breakfast on the Hill attended by staffers from Senator Stabenow’s and Senator Levin’s office. In addition, IVC Detroit’s Program Coordinator Imke Baumann, was able to secure Congressman Hansen Clarke as one of only four Congressional Speakers at the Breakfast
The conference attendance was close to 600 and the informative sessions included topics on fund-raising ideas and diverse sources of funding, collaboration with governmental leaders both locally and nationally, regional reports of U.S. Department activities etc. In addition, IVC Detroit staff and Board members attended Receptions at the State Department and various foreign embassies.
For more information, please visit the NCIV website: http://www.nciv.org/National-Meeting/national-meeting.html
Twinkling lights, minarets gleaming in the moonlight and elegant Christmas décor greeted IVC Detroit members & guests as they strolled along the gated walkway of the Royal Eagle Restaurant on the grounds of St Sabbas Orthodox Monastery. Welcoming attendees at the door were staff donning embroidered gowns and vintage crescent headdresses. This intriguing setting was the scenery of IVC’s SOLD OUT yuletide dinner on Tuesday evening December 6th celebrating Russia. On display at the Royal Eagle are antique silver samovars along with portraits of the Romanovs. Many IVC guests including Japan’s Consul General Matsuda and his wife Baoko, Crain’s Mary Kramer with attorney William Volz and Patrick Kerzic & Stephanie Germack Kerzic were delighted to discover this unique venue unknown to them prior to IVC Detroit‘s cultural dinner. Margaret Dobrowitsky and her guests along with Wyatt Sweeney‘s guests were duly impressed with the ambience & Russian cuisine featuring caviar, Russian breads, Ukrainian borscht, stroganoff and delicious apple strudel. Bev & Tony Fritz encouraged their guests Gloria & Ed Freeland to tour the Monastery after dinner guided by the charismatic Abbott who gave a history and explanation of the icons housed in the vault of the Monastery. Py & Jim Wolfe celebrated an early Christmas attending the event along with Judy Kebl, Russian interpreter Irina Jesionowski, Sheryl Kammer (IVC‘s “official photographer” for the event), Bobbie Chapman and Martha Neumann, DTE’s Karen Mitchell, Dianne Healy-Clauss & Carey Chappel, and Joan & Dan Haddad. Many thanks to Board Members: Fern Espino, Connie Hogan, Lady Susan Willis-Reickert, Rona Lum, Sophia Ellis, Fouad Ashkar, Barb Browne, & Gary Marcicano for supporting IVC’s yuletide cultural dinner.
Each year the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV) holds two Regional Meetings to provide an informal environment where participants may explore networking and training opportunities. These meetings focus on strengthening programming capabilities, developing management skills, and growing organizations. NCIV hosted its 2011 Midwestern Regional Meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota on August 24-26, attracting representatives of Councils for International Visitors, National Program Agencies and the Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. IVC Detroit representatives Imke Baumann and Connie Hogan attended the meeting.
Highlights of the conference included:
- Concurrent and plenary sessions that provided excellent knowledge of U.S. public diplomacy and the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, understanding of current U.S. foreign policy and its impact on local communities, and how to strengthen the programming skills of NCIV members, their public sector partners, and other leaders in the field of international exchanges.
- Opening reception at Mount Rushmore with a presentation by the Hon. George McGovern.
- Dinner hospitality in the homes of volunteers in Rapid City.
- Excellent opportunities to network with colleagues.
- Optional trips to Historic Deadwood and the Black Hills.
Business and pleasure mingled at this year’s Annual Meeting which took place at the beautiful Franklin Hills Country Club on June 22nd. IVC Detroit Vice President Matthew Kasle once again did us the honor of hosting the event, which he calls a “wrap party” for the fiscal year. Members and friends of IVC Detroit socialized over cocktails before the business portion of the evening as well as during dinner.
This was an occasion to celebrate the many successes of the year and to plan for the future. Some highlights of the year were the 2011 Gala, the World Music Celebration, the wine tasting at the Lark and our many cultural events, not to mention successful programming for more than 120 international visitors! IVC Treasurer Colette Sirhal added that this year the budget deficit was decreased due to the successful World Music Celebration along with Gala proceeds- a significant accomplishment at a time when many non-profits are struggling.
Another achievement was manifest in one of our new guests. A goal of our ongoing Strategic Plan is to make IVC Detroit more visible in the community with our new website. Invited guest Rhiannon Lewis, an international relations and political science major at Wayne State, discovered IVC by typing “international-detroit” into Google!
After the election of Officers & Directors we were pleased to welcome Dan Milan to our Board of Directors. He is a financial Advisor for AXA Advisors, LLC and the Principal and Founder of Estate Planning Strategies and Implementation Law Firm at the Law Office of Daniel J. Milan, PLLC. IVC recognized Faris Alami, Fouad Ashkar, Connie Hogan and Sue & Bill Ahlstrom for their service and promotion of IVC.
Attendees came from a wide variety of communities, and this year we welcomed new IVC Detroit Business Member Miller Canfield with representing attorney Tim Andersson. New IVC Detroit members are Ken & Kristin Enborg introduced to IVC by Connie Hogan.
International Visitors Council of Detroit (IVC Detroit) celebrated its 39th Anniversary at a Gala Friday night June 10th honoring Michigan Supreme Court Justices (past & present) for their support of citizen diplomacy.
IVC Detroit President Dr. Fern Espino welcomed special US Department of State dignitaries from Ghana invoking a Blessing. Co Chairs Colette Sirhal & Barb Browne recognized Chief Justice Robert Young, Justice Mary Beth Kelly, Justice Stephen Markman and former Justice Maura Corrigan (now Director of the Department of Health & Human Services appointed by Governor Rick Snyder) with a plaque that will hang in Lansing in the Michigan Hall of Justice. Bonnie Brennan, Senior VP of Sotheby’s New York served as Auctioneer for the 2nd year encouraging bidding on a Comerica Suite for a Detroit Tigers Game and several other premier items.
The Gala was a stellar event that included Lebanon’s Acting Consul General Hussam Diab & Oscar winning producer Sue Marx among the attendees. Simone Vitale’s band & singers provided musical entertainment and guests enjoyed a solo by IVC veteran supporter Dr. Yvan Silva. The weather didn’t cooperate so guests enjoyed cocktails & appetizers on the beautiful porch of the Little Club in Grosse Pointe Farms overlooking Lake St. Clair. Dinner tables were decked with navy/yellow & white Spring flowers that were enhanced with international flags.
IVC Detroit’s Gala is only two days away! Make your reservations today!
IVC Detroit is excited to welcome 12 delegates from Ghana at our Gala this Friday, June 10th. The participants are invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State participating in an International Visitor Leadership Program focused on “Local Government Administration & Public-Private Partnership in the U.S.”, for a 4-day visit to Detroit.
The Gala honoring Michigan Supreme Court Justices (Past & Present) at a private club in Grosse Pointe overlooking Lake St. Clair, will feature cocktails on the veranda, dinner & dancing to Simone Vitale’s Band, a brief honoring ceremony and a fabulous auction by auctioneer Bonnie Brennan of Sotheby’s New York.
Premium Auction items include: Katy Perry Concert Tickets, Tony Bennett Concert Tickets, a Suite at Comerica Park, a Persian Rug, and a “Fabulous Evening Package” including Summer Cruise Tickets on the Ovation Yacht, a Lark Restaurant Gift Certificate and a Townsend Hotel Stay, plus various other items!
IVC Detroit’s June 10th Gala is only one week away! Make your reservations today! Ticket information can be found on the IVC Detroit website.
Plans are well underway for the Tribute honoring Michigan Supreme Court Justices at a private club in Grosse Pointe overlooking Lake St. Clair. Several Justices (present & past) will be attending the Gala. Cocktails on the Verandah, Dinner & Dancing to Simone Vitale’s Band and a brief honoring ceremony will be part of the festivities.
Planning Chairs: Colette Sirhal & Barb Browne assisted by Sue & Paul Nine, Lorna & Nick Abraham, Connie Hogan, Dennis Archer, Justice Maura Corrigan, Ellena Gatzaros, Anne & Brian Green have secured Gala Sponsorships and Auction items.
Bonnie Brennan of Sotheby’s New York has again volunteered her auctioneering skills.
“Fabulous” was the word Ed Bartley used to describe IVC Detroit’s Spring wine tasting at The Lark Restaurant. Marilyn & Ed Bartley came from Grosse Pointe-across town- to enjoy the beautiful Spring night on the Lark’s patio chatting with friends from metro Detroit hailing from all parts of the city & suburbs. Scott Brills thanked Co Chair Connie Hogan who spearheaded the SOLD OUT event along with IVC Board Member Jonathan Swift. Connie chose Monday May 9th along with Kay Wilson & Adrian Lark as the date for the wine tasting hoping that the herb gardens and patio would be open for the guests. The weather cooperated and Adrian shared that it was the official opening of the Lark’s patio. Everyone enjoyed the guitar music entertainment by Terry Stevenson with a bit of sing a long and dancing. Sally Gerak from Birmingham/Bloomfield The Paper was covering the event. Gail Fisher from HOUR Magazine joined the festivities. Most of all attendees enjoyed the outstanding wine selection and Lark appetizers. Voted most popular hors d’oeuvres were the marinated lamb kebobs and lobster bites along with the key lime desserts and triangle pecans. Didier Blanc Fume de Pouilly 2008 won the top choice for the white wine selection while a Napa 2006 Alpha Omega was the popular red selection. Wine sales were robust. IVC was happy to welcome new & veteran supporters. IVC promoted the upcoming Gala on June 10th honoring Michigan Supreme Court Judges. A fabulous certificate from The Lark Restaurant will be included in the Auction offerings.