The Conference Chair WelcomeS You!

I look forward to welcoming you virtually, where we will explore the theme:

Moving Ahead: Learning from a Global Crisis


Deborah Orlowski

Whe we began this year's conference planning, we were expecting to be in-person in Omaha, NE. Who knew that there would soon be a global pandemic, a global economic crash, and a global social justice and anti-racism movement - all happening at the same time?!

These are exciting, tumultuous times, and as intercultural and DEI practitioners, we are all called upon to ride with, guide others, and sometimes make waves that enable us to be "Moving Forward: Learning from the Global Crisis." Change in this environment is inevitable, and our conference is no exception. The entire Conference team and I would like to thank you in advance for your tolerance and patience as we assemble the first-ever virtual SIETAR USA conference. We look forward to networking, learning, and sharing with you.

Deborah Orlowski
2020 Conference Chair

About Deborah

Deborah Orlowski,Ph.D. is the founder of Dahlia Keynotes and Workshops, a firm dedicated to bringing eye-opening insights to individuals and groups through dynamic and engaging conversations.  Previously as the Senior Learning Specialist in the department of Learning and Professional Development at the University of Michigan, she was known for her ability to reach across all levels of staff to create interactive, fun and inclusive professional development classes, mentoring and consulting. She served for over ten years as the department’s lead for conference and special events, a task she particularly loved. One of the first people profiled on the UM Diversity Matters website, she is an invited presenter at the annual Women of Color Career Conference. A graduate of Wayne State University’s Multicultural Experiences in Leadership Development (MELD) program, as well as New Detroit’s Cultural Immersion program, she served as a faculty member in the off-campus program at Central Michigan University teaching "Diversity and Multiculturalism in the Workplace" and "Women and Politics."  Deborah holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Michigan; an M.P.A. from Eastern Michigan University and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her dissertation examined how intercultural friendships develop and flourish. She also sits on the board of Jazzistry, an educational program which weaves together American culture and history using jazz as the connecting thread.

Meet Your Conference Planning Team

by Deborah Orlowski

Who are the performers who have been spending all their “free” time working to bring you the SIETAR USA 2020 Virtual Conference? They are 13 of the most talented, dedicated, fun and hard-working individuals I’ve ever met, and believe me, I’ve met and worked with a lot of people! They are teachers, professors, consultants, business owners, parents, spouses, partners, musicians…you name it. They are juggling consulting gigs, home-schooling, developing and teaching online courses, working on other conferences, serving on the SIETAR USA Board as well as boards for other organizations. Somehow they find the time to throw one more ball in the air and plan the 2020 SIETAR USA conference. 

Your team magicians are:

  • Deborah Orlowski: Conference Chair and Ringleader
  • Tatyana Fertelmeyster: Conference Co-Chair and Voice of Reason when I’m starting to lead the team off a cliff.
  • Karen Lokkesmoe: Conference Oversight Director, Past Conference Chair (2019(, who is taking virtual leadership to a new level as she busts her baksiden to keep the entire Conference team on the straight and narrow - from her new home in Norway!
  • Kwesi Ewoodzie: Proposal Process Co-Lead and Guru who can translate my muddled ideas into a better and more clear vision while shuffling proposals and balancing plates.
  • Wandi Steward: Proposal Process Co-Lead who can coax the proposals into order, no easy feat.
  • Sue Shinomiya: Invited Workshop and Keynote Planner, and General Conceptualizer whose cool idea generating brain never stops.
  • Sherri Tapp: Invited Workshop, Keynote Planner and General Conceptualizer who adds just the right shazam to bring the diverse ideas into being.
  • Rashmi Kapse: PR and interviewer extraordinaire.
  • Hamilton Cruz: Sponsors, Exhibitors and Advertisers and “Meet Your Sponsor Happy Hour” conjuror who can also stretch our bodies as well as our minds.
  • Jon DeVries: Sponsors, Exhibitors and Advertisers and Conceptualizer of demonstrating  how SEAs can magically feel concrete even when they really don’t have a booth to sit at.
  • Brett Parry: President-Elect, Communications/PR and all things tech. A man who has attended more virtual conferences and platform demos than anyone should be asked to attend, ever!
  • Karen Fouts: SIETAR USA staff and ball juggler who can attend conferences with Brett,  answer anyone’s questions at any same time and all with a smile. That is real magic.
  • Debra Freathy: Health and Wellness Coordinator is so captivating that she can make us move our bodies and stay healthy.
  • Bob Boyce: Scholarships and assuring anyone, especially students, can join us.
  • Monica Mumford and Rob Pusch, Creative Consultants who were ready with answers, feedback, and hands-on help as needed throughout the process.
  • Sandy Fowler: SIETAR USA President who can pull, suggest, prod, push, change direction, be delayed, be rushed and generally be expected to be all things to all people and who can do all of that with grace and good humor.

2020 Conference Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Friends of SIETAR USA

Sandra M. Fowler

Wild Apricot theme design and development by Webbright