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  • 14 Sep 2019 7:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September is the month when SIETAR USA begins its search for Executives and Board members for the ensuing year. It’s nominations time! That process is honchoed by the Immediate Past President, Holly Emert. She sets the schedule, publishes the announcements, ensures transparency, makes sure that deadlines are met, and helps insure that we have good candidates for each position. It’s a big job but people willing to serve SIETAR USA on the Board or the Executive Committee are the life blood that keeps it alive.

    What is important to know if you are considering applying for a position on the Board? Yes, there is a time commitment. SIETAR USA is a volunteer organization, which means you are devoting a portion of your life to something that is important to you. The Board of Directors is a working Board. We have a paid Administrative Officer (thank goodness!) who handles the books and many other tasks that are essential. The Board meets by Zoom 11 times a year (one summer meeting for July and August). The virtual meetings last from one to two hours. We meet two times a year in person: a 3-day retreat meeting in February or March and one full day prior to the conference. Those meetings are compensated.

    The Board consists of Portfolios and each Portfolio has a Director. All initiatives or projects are carried out by the Directors and their committees. For example, the webinar series was initiated by Julia Gaspar-Bates, Local Groups Director, who felt that this would be a benefit to the Local Group members not all of whom can get to the national conferences. This way they still get to hear from speakers with special expertise and it is a benefit to all members. The work on such initiatives might take 4-6 hours a month, depending on what is needed. Directors have some specific tasks but by and large, select their own goals based on what they want to work on.

    An interesting way to think of association governance is as a culture. There are norms and values, and behavioral expectations. We work as a collective for the good of the association and independently on our own projects. Some of us are definitely rule makers while others are rule breakers (to use Michele Gelfand’s cultural dichotomy), which keeps it interesting.

    For me, the satisfaction of dedicating time and thought to an association that I’ve participated in for so many years and making it hum is my reward for the hours put into it. It is giving back. It is connecting with people I’ve known over the years and new people who step forward to serve. It is working to keep the SIETAR USA spirit alive as well as its body. Is there a right time to add a Board position into your busy schedule? The answer is: there is never a “right” time. Everyone on the Board has a full-time job, families, homes, colleagues, and days and nights full of the things that take time but make life worthwhile. I like to think that the time anyone would spend on SIETAR USA also enriches their already rich lives. It does for me.

    Join us to help SIETAR USA move forward. I know you can do it!

    Sandra M. Fowler
    President SIETAR USA

  • 14 Sep 2019 7:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Making your flight reservations for the Atlanta Conference? Please take advantage of our special arrangement with Delta and obtain a good discount. You have to call Delta to get the discount; not your own agent. The Delta Phone Number is +1-800-328-1111.

    The Locator Number is NMT5U and the contract number is 432440.

  • 14 Sep 2019 7:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The Marriott Gateway Hotel at the Atlanta Airport was chosen for its convenient airport location and its good fit for a SIETAR USA conference. In a spirit of fairness, we plan the conferences to move around the country to provide nearby locations every few years. We were in San Diego in 2017 and now on the East Coast in 2019. In 2020, we will be in the center of the country. You will find the Marriott experience one to enjoy. Their hospitality is world-renowned.

    The lobby is newly updated. When you arrive, there will be helpful staff waiting to check you in. You will see SIETAR USA people sitting and chatting in the lobby or perhaps in the lobby bar—both good places for sitting and catching up or meeting other attendees.

    When you have checked in, you may need some way to relax. Consider a swim or some exercise. The hotel has a salt water swimming pool (pack a swimsuit!) and an adjacent fitness center.

    The traditional wellness program will begin at 7 AM on Thursday morning but you are welcome to use the fitness center and pool whenever they are open.

    Perhaps you are a person who likes to rest after a flight and you can expect very comfortable beds in your assigned room. You ask, “But near one of the world’s busiest airports?” The SIETAR USA Board of Directors held its annual retreat meeting at the Atlanta Marriott Gateway to check out the noise level. We were all amazed at how quiet it is. If you really listen hard, you could be aware of airplane noise, but we found that it is quieter than a hotel near a freeway. Noise should not be an issue for any of us, whether sleeping or listening to a Master Workshop or concurrent session presenter or keynote speaker.

    SIETAR USA conference goers know that we do serve a lot of food so no one leaves our conferences hungry. If you need something first thing in the morning—before the rest of us are awake—you can find food and Starbucks coffee to buy in the Terminal East Market off the Marriott lobby. There will be a morning break with food and beverages, lunch in the middle of the day, and an afternoon break with food and beverages. Friday—and only Friday—is a special morning because we will provide a full breakfast for you. It is also the annual business meeting that is required by our By Laws. Do plan to come and find out more about the State of SIETAR USA. Meet the scholarship awardees, meet the Board of Directors, learn how you can get involved. Find out about the SIETAR USA Academy Leadership Program.

    What about the meeting rooms? They are off this corridor—another good place to mingle between sessions, after lunch, during the breaks. We wanted to make sure that hotel offered the opportunity to run into someone you’ve been meaning to connect with or look at the exhibits or sit for a few minutes with an old friend and this is it! Picture it full of SIETAR USA people from across the country and the globe.

    The ballroom—picture it without the long tables. Put in round tables where you can listen to a keynote speaker. At lunch you can sit here too. This is the hub of the conference where there will be the opening session, opening keynote address, meals, the closing keynote and closing session.

    Register today and join us for an exciting SIETAR USA conference! 


  • 14 Sep 2019 7:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Time for a Little Fall R & R at the SIETAR USA National Conference

    While I hope you leave feeling rested and relaxed, I am thinking of a different type of  R&R. 

    Fall has always been a time of reflection and renewal for me. Reflecting on the end of summer (a big moment for those of us in northern climes) and reflecting about what the new school year brings.  What forms of renewal, new learning, and retooling will I discover?

    This year, I invite you to embrace this idea of R&R as you head to Atlanta for the 2019 SUSA Conference.  There will be many opportunities to reflect on your role as an interculturalist and where you are on your personal journey of development and renewal.

    Look through the program schedule and see where there are sessions that might introduce you to a new perspective or help develop new tools to employ in your work, life, family, and community.  Think of the splendor of fall color as an array of all that SIETAR has to offer.  Brilliant colors, crisp fresh air, an invigorating step, an abundant harvest.  Yes, there will be plenty at the SUSA Conference for making this fall in Atlanta the best Fall R&R you can imagine.  Embrace the change - what's around the corner for you?

    See you there!

    Karen J Lokkesmoe

    SIETAR USA Conference Chair

  • 14 Sep 2019 7:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it. (Nelson Mandela)

    5 Ways Your Participation in the 2019 SIETAR USA Conference 

    Empowers You


    The SIETAR USA conference is the largest one in the United States dedicated to intercultural education, training and research.


    Presenters at this conference are at the cutting edge of intercultural communication. The wide variety of presentations includes workshops, panel discussions, NED (named for Edward T. Hall) talks, and keynote speeches.

    3. NETWORK

    Attending the conference puts you in touch with the best in the intercultural field. You can learn about latest trends in training, education and research and meet with interculturalists from all over the world. It is also the place to connect with new colleagues and re-connect with the people you know from previous conferences.


     The program will include sessions that target your particular intercultural specialty or client group be they students, business professionals or other like-minded professionals. In addition, you can branch out and explore some new ideas and add to your repertoire from areas that you have not explored in the past.


     Exhibitors at the conference provide information on the latest versions of assessments, books, and training programs. Talk with the innovators and professionals who are the creators and distributors of products that speak to the work interculturalists do.

  • 14 Sep 2019 7:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Growing and Developing Diverse Leaders: 
    A Practical Model for Companies, Organizations and Communities

    Soumaya Khalifa

                Empowering is a very popular idea and it is a tricky one. How do you do it in a way that does not feel like a top-down action done from a position of a well-meaning but unexamined privilege?    Developing leadership skills within underprivileged or marginalized populations has been a challenge for many groups and organizations.  There are dozens if not hundreds of leadership programs across the country that bring together leaders at every level and sector of society, including faith and culture, for training and networking.  But for many minority and immigrant communities, there needs to be specific approaches to leadership development.

    In Atlanta, I was fortunate enough to lead a team that designed, created and executed a Leadership Institute for the Muslim Community (it was open to all). 

                Recognizing the significant need for leadership development both within the organization and in the greater community, in 2018 ISB (Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta) launched ISBLI (ISB Leadership Institute). The institute was created with a clear purpose:  to cultivate and train highly competent and effective leaders to serve throughout Georgia.  ISB envisioned a program that would lead to a more vibrant, inclusive, and interconnected civic environment. To meet those goals, ISBLI was imbued with a set very specific core values:

    EXCELLENCE – Embrace accountability for excellence in planning, effort, and outcomes. 

    INTEGRITY – Adhere to truthfulness, honesty and “walking the talk” of the leader. 

    SERVICE – Put the needs of those we serve above our own personal needs and desires. 

                By keeping these values in the forefront, ISB set expectations for all facets of the institute, from creating the overall curriculum, establishing a recruitment, nomination and selection process for participants, and involving leaders as trainers and facilitators to pulling together the logistics of the nine-month program.

                We were very successful creating a model where participants attended a one Saturday a month session for 9 months to develop their skills on topics ranging from personal leadership, to transformational leadership, to diversity and inclusion, to running a non-profit and many other topics.  In addition to the Saturday sessions, each cohort was assigned a team to work on a project.  The projects included developing a public service announcement about Georgia Muslims. 

                Every workshop was facilitated by Fortune 100 facilitators or key people in their field conduct the workshop.  In addition, every month we invited key leaders from across industries to speak to the class.  This provided an opportunity to network with key leaders and also give them exposure to the Muslim community and its young talent. 

    Our goals for the LI included breaking down barriers between different communities, increase their skill set and provide an opportunity to work together and learn together.  We also wanted to prepare these young leaders for other leadership programs across the state. 

                Our results from the inaugural class were amazing.  Several people were promoted or landed new jobs.  Two of the participants were accepted in mainstream leadership programs and they specifically mentioned that our ISB Leadership Institute was key in getting accepted.  Another positive outcome, we were approached by CIFAL, a United Nations Organization, asking us if we can partner for the next class.

                There were many lessons learned from this initiative (1) it takes a lot of work and connections to make such an initiate work (2) I was absolutely delighted to see my fellow interculturalists come forward and help this initiative be a reality (3) there Is a tremendous need for developing leaders and talent in our community and it was not done before.

    I want to take this opportunity to thank my interculturalist colleagues Jeremy Solomons, Rita Wuebbler and Vicki Flier Hudson.  Without them, the dream of the Leadership Institute would not have come to fruition. 

    Soumaya Khalifa is the President of Khalifa Consulting, an Atlanta-based intercultural, leadership development consulting firm.  Soumaya specializes in the US culture and Arab cultures along with Muslims in the US workplace.  She also founded and started a non-profit in Atlanta, the Islamic Speakers Bureau (ISB).  In 2019, Soumaya joined the Atlanta YWCA Academy of Women Achievers and was named by the Atlanta Magazine’s Women Making a Mark.

  • 14 Sep 2019 6:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Working Globesmart: 12 People Skills for Doing Business Across Borders by Ernest Gundling, 2003, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 376 pages.

    What Is Global Leadership: 10 Behaviors that Define Great Global Leaders by Ernest Gundling, Terry Hogan, and Karen Cvitkovich, 2011, Intercultural Press/Nicholas Brealey, 240 pages.

    Reviewed by Craig Storti

    This month we review two books by Ernest Gundling, probably better known as the founder and co-president of Aperian Global, the people who bring you the GlobeSmart tool and an extensive suite of other tool and services. Besides highlighting Gundling’s work, our other agenda here is to highlight the publisher Nicholas Brealey. There used to be something called Intercultural Press, which many readers will be familiar with; at one time it was one of the very few publishers of books in the intercultural field. It was started years ago by David Hoopes, George Renwick, and Peggy Pusch; the multi-talented Peggy was also the founder, first president, and executive director of SIETAR-USA while she helped steer the ship at Intercultural Press.

    Then some years back an Englishman named Nicholas Brealey bought Intercultural Press, retaining the name as an imprint under his company, which published books on a variety of other, mostly business, topics. Two years ago the giant publishing house Hachette, with many imprints, bought out Nicholas Brealey Publishing, also retaining that name as an imprint. Now Hachette/Nicholas Brealey continue to publish books in the intercultural field. If this is news to you, you should definitely go to their website www.nicholasbrealey.com to see what they have on offer. (Full disclosure: Your humble Book Review Editor’s books are published by Nicholas Brealey.)

    Now to the books. The appeal of these two books is, as their titles suggest, their emphasis on skills and behavior, as opposed, that is, to knowledge or cultural information. As Gundling himself makes clear, we need both: after all, the skills and behaviors he is talking about have to be applied and practiced in global and cross-border contexts, so they need to be supported by awareness of cultural differences. The other appeal in these two books is Gundling’s solid business background which makes the two books almost automatically practical. Gundling can’t go on for more than two or three paragraphs without drawing business inferences from what he is saying. You will be informed by these books, to be sure; but you will also use them.

    Working Globesmart: Here is Gundling’s case for the skills book “The single greatest cause of difficulties in global business transactions is not a lack of technical expertise, hard work, or good intentions—it is a lack of people skills for relating successfully with counterparts from other countries and cultures. The number of people involved with global business has increased dramatically over the past decade, and now, with the advent of virtual teams, global people skills have become a daily necessity in many professions.”

    Gundling divides his 12 skills into three subsets—interpersonal, group, and organizational—and identifies them as follows:

    • Interpersonal: establishing credibility, giving and receiving feedback, obtaining information, and evaluating people
    • Group: building global teamwork, training and development, selling, and negotiating
    • Organizational: strategic planning, transferring knowledge, innovating, and managing change

    Each skill is then developed in a chapter or half a chapter, full of examples that highlight cultural differences, describe the challenges of global teams, analyze common mistakes (mostly his own, he notes), and place the skill in context. There are a number of great tables in the book and a lot of great stories, my favorite being one about Americans training Russians how to negotiate.

    What Is Global Leadership? Gundling says the goal of this book is to describe what is different about leading in a global context. “Rather than applying the word “global” to a model that originated in one country,” he writes, “we sought to make this research project ‘global from the start.’ We eventually interviewed more than 100 leaders from 14 companies based in several regions who were identified by their employers as their most successful expatriates. These leaders were from 26 different countries of origin and had been on international assignments in 32 countries…. We explored in depth with each of them what they had found distinctive about working in a global context in comparison with their prior domestic roles, and summarized these findings in the global leadership behaviors described in the SCOPE model.

    The SCOPE model has five elements and under each element are two of the 10 “key behaviors” the book is all about:

    Seeing differences: cultural self-awareness and invite the unexpected

    Closing the gap: results through relationships and frame-shifting

    Opening the system: expand ownership and develop future leaders

    Preserving balance: adapt and add value and core values and flexibility

    Establishing solutions: influence across boundaries and third-way solutions

    There are five chapters for the 10 behaviors and then three additional chapters on training, coaching, and teaming the 10 behaviors. “The best part of the book,” Gundling says, and I wholeheartedly agree, “is the pithy wisdom of the interviewees.” And not just “pithy” but also very insightful.

    In the space we have here for our Bookmarks column, it’s not possible to do justice to one book, much less two. Our goal this month was not so much to describe two books but to introduce readers who may already be familiar with the Globesmart tool to other treasures this organization offers.

  • 14 Sep 2019 6:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ernest GundlingThe Bookmarks interview with Ernest Gundling.

    1. Why did you write these books?

    Working GlobeSmart: We felt that there were many people talking about the dimensions of culture but insufficient practical application for everyday businesspeople. Our goal was to address useful skill areas such as Establishing Credibility, Giving and Receiving Feedback, Obtaining Information, and Evaluating People. We also wanted to go beyond intercultural communication on an interpersonal level to address other more team-oriented or organizational topics such as Selling, Negotiating, Innovation, and Managing Change.

    What is Global Leadership? Many people were slapping the label, “global,” on to models that appeared to us to be culturally bound. In particular, U.S. companies and consultancies were exporting models featuring more extroverted, direct, and task-focused leadership styles that resonated in some cultural contexts but not in others. We sought to step back and examine the question, “What is different about leading in a global context?” and to identify specific behaviors linked with success in global leadership roles that aspiring leaders from any background could leverage.

    2. What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from these books?

    Working GlobeSmart:  This book brings intercultural skills to daily management tasks such as assessing talent, running a global team, integrating a merger, or rolling out a change initiative. The “My Mistake” examples are autobiographical…

    What is Global Leadership? This is a roadmap not only for global leadership but for a successful assignment abroad. The best part of the book is the pithy wisdom of the interviewees themselves, who are quoted at length in each of the core Chapters 3-7. What interculturalists learn about seeing and adapting to difference is the doorway to effective global leadership. Anyone can cultivate the global leadership behaviors the interviewees so richly describe.

    3. Name one or two books in our field that influenced you the most, that you think all interculturalists should be familiar with? Why?

    George Renwick has been a key influence on the lives and careers of both Aperian co-founder Ted Dale and myself, and the privilege of seeing him in person is better than any book! I’ve also been influenced by a wide range of other sources including Nancy Adler, Clifford Geertz, Frank Reynolds, Tom Rohlen, Peter Senge, Jack Condon, E.T. Hall, Geert Hofstede, John Kotter, Daniel Kahneman, Janet Bennett, and Clifford Clarke.

    4. What is one of the most significant, most memorable cross-cultural experiences you have had?

    Going to Mexico as a 15-year-old foreign exchange student was the first step on a career path that at that time didn’t have a name. I was suddenly using the Spanish I’d been learning in school and encountering a culture that was radically different from my own. I found it fascinating, difficult, embarrassing, and exhilarating all at the same time. My head hurt at the end of each day because I was learning so much. There were aspects of the culture that I loved as well as others that I was shocked to see. I could never go back to quiet small-town life after this.

    5. If you could pass on only one insight/one lesson learned to others about crossing cultures, what would you say?

    There is always a rhythm and a way of getting things done, but it takes a readiness to watch and listen in order to understand the visible and invisible currents shaping events.

    6. This newsletter goes to nearly 1,000 readers, folks who are either in or interested in the field of intercultural communications. If you’d like to say something else to these folks, something we have not asked about in this questionnaire, feel free to add your brief comments here.

    Our field is changing now more rapidly than at any time I can remember in terms of media, language, client priorities, and broader social and environmental pressures. We need to change, too, while preserving the basic value of bridging differences to create a better world.

  • 14 Sep 2019 6:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Three SIETAR USA Local Groups have started their Autumn programs. Their activities offer SIETAR USA members and local members an opportunity to gather, learn, and network.


    Yuko DeNeuville, SIETAR Florida reports that they held a virtual meeting in August as a “Get Together—Back to School” session. The goals of this call were:

    To meet with every member and friends. Many new members joined in 2019!

    • To explain what is SIETAR Florida mission
    • To brainstorm new ideas and suggestions from existing and new members
    • To seek for new volunteers in this wonderful organization
    • To share about upcoming webinars and social gathering events in Florida.
    • To have fun!

    Our latest SIETAR Florida Newsletter includes our next events and it is a busy upcoming 6 months, which is great! Also many of us will be at SIETAR USA Conference and some of us will present:

    Neil Goodman:

    Friday, Nov 1, 2019 R5 10:30-11:30 AM "Challenges and Opportunities of Running a Cross-cultural Practice" Presentation - 60 minutes

    Yuko Deneuville:

    Friday, Nov 1, 2019 R3 2:00 PM 3:30 PM 90 minutes workshop about "How Energy can reinvent Interculturalists work & maximizes impact and awareness"

    Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 R1 1:45 PM 3:15 PM
    Ned Talk 10 minutes " Which BOX are you in?"


    Laurette Bennhold-Samaan, who has been involved with SIETAR for decades, has recently joined the SIETAR DC leadership team. In partnership with Georgetown University, SIETAR DC has conducted a study in an effort to revitalize the local group and capitalize on the incredible intercultural talent in the DC area. The report was summarized at the September meeting.

    They launched the new season with a book reading with author Michelle Gelfand, who has recently published "Rule Makers Rule Breakers." Her talk became the subject of animated conversation for the rest of the afternoon.

    For our next meeting we have October 10 the Senior Vice President of partnerships and executive editor for Time magazine coming. This will be both interesting and topical!

    The SIETAR Minnesota Group meets monthly at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the campus of the University of Minnesota. They serve light refreshments and start with networking, introductions and training tips.

    September Topic:

    Tuesday, September 17, 2019

    Hubert H Humphrey International Fellows: A Panel Discussion

    Discover a broader global perspective on intercultural education, training, and research. Hailing from around the world, the University of Minnesota’s newly arrived Humphrey International Fellows will get together early in their stay to discuss the role of interculturalists in their respective countries.

    Panel facilitated by Karen Lokkesmoe, SIETAR-Minnesota member, Fellows advocate, and support coordinator.

    October/November Preview

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    Show and Tell: Icebreakers and Energizers

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    Understanding the Roles of Corporate Global Mobility & The Interculturalist

  • 14 Sep 2019 6:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Dr. Neal Goodman

    Unconscious Bias Training and Implications for Interculturalists

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    11:00am-12:30pm ET

    From the corporate and educational to governmental and non-profit sectors, the case for unconscious bias training is gaining traction given the increase of workplace discrimination in the news. From high profile cases, such as Starbucks, to micro-inequities and micro-aggressions that occur on a daily basis across organizations, it is clear that, as interculturalists, we need to cultivate the knowledge and skills to address this growing problem and its impact on workplace inclusion.  Join us for this highly interactive webinar, during which Dr. Goodman will present the case for unconscious bias training. We will also explore the impact of neuroscience in creating bias, the most common types of biases and their mitigation, and best practices for interculturalists to address unconscious bias in their work.


    Dr. Neal Goodman, founder and president of Global Dynamics, is an internationally recognized authority in international human resource management and organizational development. He has spent a lifetime promoting intercultural understanding through research, writing, activism, academia. Over the years, Dr. Goodman has taught over 10,000 students and trained over 100,000 corporate leaders. He has served on the faculty of St. Peter’s University, where he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2004. Dr. Goodman has been a member of SIETAR since 1978 and was the recipient of the 1995 SIETAR Interculturalist Achievement Award for his lifetime contribution to the intercultural field.


    Kelli McLoud-Schingen

    Experiencing Civil Rights: My Story

    Kelli McLoud-Schingen simply and powerfully told the story of her connections to the Civil Rights Movement. Born in 1968, the year that Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were killed, she told us that thefight for civil rights is a personal story for her and her family, as well as for most African-Americans in this country, and one which has shaped her work in the intercultural field. Her aunt was a Freedom Rider, her uncle was a Black Panther and her grandfather served in World War II and was welcomed home, not as a soldier, but with racism and violence.  While Jim Crow laws were abolished decades ago, our current climate shows that there is still a lot that needs to be accomplished to eradicate discrimination and inequities and to heal the racial divide in the U.S. In preparation for the SIETAR USA conference in Atlanta, home of Martin Luther King and the birth of the civil rights movement, she shared her perspective and passion to fight for racial justice, explored the history of the movement, and what we as interculturalists can do through “trance-formative listening” to support anyone living under the cloud of prejudice, bias and discrimination. The link to the recording of her webinar can be found on the member section of the SIETAR USA website.

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