Monday, August 5, 2013

Sister City International Newsletter 7.18.2013

Sister Cities International


2013 Annual Conference: A Recap

Sister Cities International Part of the U.S.-China Strategic Dialogue Outcomes

Sister Cities International Welcomes New Board of Directors Members

Webinar: IMG Insurance

Important Information on Sister Cities International's Business ExtrAA Account

July 20, 2013
Denver Takayama Sister Cities: Tanabata Fundraiser
August 5-9, 2013
8th Annual Chicago Sister Cities International Festival
August 26, 2013
Sister Cities Association of Wilmington: Ambergris Caye


2013 Annual Conference: A Recap

www.sistercitiesconference.orgThank you to all the 2013 Annual Conference attendees, sponsors, volunteers, speakers, and the City of San Antonio! Your participation and enthusiasm made the Annual Conference a success.

Over 500 attendees from 25 countries came together in San Antonio last week for the Sister Cities International 57th Annual Conference and 2013 Urban Environmental Accords Summit. The opening session featured Mayors from San Antonio’s sister cities, Regional Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme, Amy Fraenkel, and former Mayor of San Antonio, Honorable Henry Cisneros. Expert-led sessions on communications, exchanges & partnerships, fundraising and economic development throughout the Conference provided the nuts and blots on strengthening sister city programming. On Friday, Pan-Pacific Summit sessions served as a platform for sharing best practices and new ideas on strengthening U.S.-Asia relationships.

The Conference also starred distinguished keynote speakers throughout, including David Houle, America’s leading futurist, who discussed his perspective on “Entering the Shift Age”. The opening keynote on Saturday featured four Consul Generals from Norway, India, Germany, and Russia, each providing a national perspective on sister cities and how to grow and strengthen the citizen diplomacy movement. The Saturday luncheon keynote speaker, Carola McGiffert, President of the 100K Foundation, stressed the importance of youth exchanges in strengthening U.S.-China relations.

This year at the Conference, over 50 students from all over the country participated in a Youth Leadership Summit. The Summit engaged youth in the Sister Cities International network while exposing them to important international challenges and the ways in which different national experiences drive international cooperation on critical issues. The students met with representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the Embassy of Japan, Consul Generals of Norway, Russia and Germany, as well as the Ambassador from Indonesia.

On Friday evening, Mayor Julian Castro hosted a reception for the Conference attendees. The reception showcased traditional performances from all of San Antonio’s sister cities! On Saturday evening, award winners were honored at the Lou Wozar Annual Awards Dinner and Ceremony, which ended with entertainment by Grammy Award winners , Max Baca & Los TexManiacs.

Thank you again for an exciting, action-packed week! Panelist and keynote speaker materials will be posted to the members area of the website in the coming weeks, as well as conference photos. Also, watch this space for more information on the 2014 Annual Conference in San Jose, CA!

Sister Cities International Part of the U.S.-China Strategic Dialogue Outcomes

Sister Cities International is honored to be a part of this year’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue outcomes. This past week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi chaired the Fifth Round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue where they discussed major bilateral, regional, and global issues.
As part of the specific outcomes on the issue of sub-national relationships, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sister Cities international and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries was recognized. The MoU was signed at the China International Friendship Cities Conference in September 2012. The press release from the U.S. Department of State states:
“This MOU formalized the ongoing partnership to collaborate to create new sister-city and sister-state/province relationships between U.S. and Chinese communities to promote mutual understanding and prosperity in their respective communities. SCI and CPAFFC are working together to plan the U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference in 2014 in the United States.”
Sister Cities International welcomes the two countries’ recommitment to deepening strategic trust and expanding practical cooperation. There are currently over 200 U.S.-China sister city relationships and they are the fastest growing number of partnerships in the Sister Cities International network. Sister Cities International looks forward to continuing to strengthen and grow sub-national exchanges and partnerships between the two countries while working closely with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.


Sister Cities International Welcomes New Board of Directors Members

Following a membership-wide election, 11 delegates were chosen to the 24-member Sister Cities International Board of Directors. The appointments were formalized during Sister Cities International’s 2013 Annual Business Meeting which occurred in conjunction with 57th Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX.
Newly elected Board of Directors members who will serve three-year terms include Bill Behrens of Washington, D.C.; Jane Gehlhausen of Indiananpolis, IN; Robert A. Greninger of Prescott Valley, AZ; and Lawrence Uebner of Omaha, NE. The following Directors were re-elected for their second consecutive three-year terms: Dr. Carolyn Bishop of Atlanta, GA; Carol Burdette of Anderson, SC; and Norris Hermsmeyer of Boulder, CO. 
Councilman Ash Kalra of San Jose, CA and Dr. Joshua Walker of Alexandria, VA were elected to two-year terms. Dr. Walker will also serve as the Young Professional Representative to the Board of Directors. Holly Lazzerini of Belvidere, IL was elected to a one-year term.
Dr. Jane Cahaly of Pendleton, SC was appointed as the State Coordinator Representative to the Board of Directors, Carolina Rendeiro of Miami, FL was appointed to fill a one-year vacancy, and Jason Tilghman of Rio Dell, CA was appointed as the Youth Representative. They will all serve one-year terms. Dr. Carolyn Bishop and current Board of Directors member Neal Burnham and Stephen “Tim” Quigley were elected to the Executive Committee.
Sister Cities International congratulates the new and returning board members and looks forward to their leadership and vision in the upcoming year.

Webinar: International Medical Group (IMG) Insurance

Wednesday, July 24, 2:00p.m. EDT

International Medical Group®, Inc. (IMG®), a worldwide leader in designing, distributing and administering global health care benefits, is now offering its international medical insurance products to members of Sister Cities International. IMG’s international medical insurance products provide short and long-term coverage for individuals, groups and families traveling, living and working abroad. A representative from IMG will be providing members with an overview of the products offered to help you find the right one!
  • To join us for the webinar please click on THIS LINK. Select the "Enter as a Guest" option, enter your name and email address and simply click on "Join Meeting." (Do not select the "Register" option)
  • To call in using your phone, please dial: 1-719-325-2630, access code: 839510. Please note that the webinar will be an audio-visual presentation. We encourage members to join us using a computer.
  • Please note that no registration is required. Simply follow the instructions for joining the webinar at 2:00p.m. EDT on July 24.
  • A recording of the webinar will be available for members on our website.


Important Information on the Sister Cities International Business ExtrAA Account

Sister Cities International has started its American Airlines Business ExtrAA Travel Awards account! When booking travel, please enter account number 843298, along with your personal AAdvantage account information.

Rest assured, you will receive AAdvantage miles while also supplementing airlines miles for Sister Cities International award travel. This will help reduce Sister Cities International employee and program travel cost.

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