Sister Cities on Diplomatic Mission to Russia

Fort Worth, Texas – Delegation visits Russia to find connections

Fourteen delegates are currently visiting Russia May 27-June 8 on a twelve-day diplomatic mission to Russia to learn more about the country and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation consists of representatives from business, education, and finance sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Moscow, Kolomna, St. Petersburg and Maryino.

Special meetings are set with Consul General Tom Leary from the St. Petersburg Consulate and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Delegates plan to discuss current issues in Russia and how US and Russian citizens can connect on a diplomatic level.

“We are exploring a new part of the world and learning about Russia,” said Michael Hyatt, Director Emeritus of Fort Worth Sister Cities International (FWSCI). “Pursuing new relationships like these is needed now more than ever. There is tremendous potential to grow a global movement of citizens committed to deepening ties in the face of forces pulling us apart.”

The delegation will be led by Michael Hyatt, Director Emeritus; Tim Quigley, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities International (SCI); and Mae Ferguson, President/CEO. Other delegates include FWSCI board members Rae Hyatt, Ronda and Walter Stucker, and Melissa Thompson; SCI board members Mimi Barker and Carol Robertson Lopez; as well as Allen and Teresa Dunaway, Barbara and Rick Walker, and Jon Wilcox.

Other missions to connect Fort Worth internationally are planned this year to Hungary and France. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Danielle McCown at 817/632-7100 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

Mayor’s International Dinner Big Success

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities Recognizes Global Award Recipients

Mayor Betsy Price and Dinner Chairs, Joanna and Michael Crain, lead the crowd of nearly 400 through an evening of international cuisine and entertainment as Sister Cities recognized and honored individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to citizen diplomacy, global understanding, world political stability, and international commerce.

Awards were presented to:

Bell – THE GLOBAL NEXUS AWARD

Rotary International – THE GLOBAL CITIZENS AWARD

Bell received the Global Nexus Award as good representatives of Fort Worth to the world, creating commerce and a healthier community for all. Rotary International was given the Global Citizens Award for their strong representation of Fort Worth by creating a positive view of the U.S. through educational and humanitarian initiatives.

The event was made possible by the Fort Worth Sister Cities 2018 Members Circle, a network of individuals, organizations, corporations and community leaders committed to expanding global relationships for peace and prosperity at home and abroad. Funding and in-kind support from the City of Fort Worth plays a key role in its mission, but most work is made possible through public support through the Members Circle.

The dinner was held May 24 to celebrate 33 years of service by Sister Cities to the City of Fort Worth. Entertainment was provided by La Pompe, Fort Worth Scottish Pipes & Drums and Arts Fifth Avenue.

Click here to see photos from this year’s event.

Fort Worth Elects Global Leaders

Fort Worth, TX – Sundance Square’s Johnny Campbell Leads Sister Cities

Newly elected officers at Fort Worth Sister Cities International’s 32nd Annual Meeting, are Secretary, Casey Dyer Oliver, Texas A&M University; Treasurer, Frank Tilley, SeatonHill; Development Chair, Julie Johncox, JP Solutions; Government Relations Chair, Michael Crain, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty; and Exchanges & Outreach Chair, Dr. Sheryl Harris, Tarrant County College.

New board members include: PJ Budler, the Cattle Market; Mark Davidovich, JP Morgan; Vishal Gandhi, Hillwood; Ratna Goenardi, Sugar Biscuit Cakery; Andrew Johnsen, BNSF Railway Company; Cindy Milrany, Freese & Nichols; Andy Roseliep, Bank of America; Andy Taft, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.; and Libby Watson.

The Bob Bolen Award for Outstanding Board Leadership was awarded to Greg Irwin.  The Fort Worth Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas and Women’s Policy Forum were awarded the Eisenhower Award for Organizational Involvement and Sherri Whiting was awarded the prestigious Volunteer of the Year award.

Tim Quigley, Chairman of the national office of Sister Cities International in Washington, D.C., spoke to the Members Circle about the importance of sister city relationships and the close connection with Department of State priorities. “When public policy fails, citizen diplomacy is our connective tissue,” Quigley told the crowd.

Board members returning for a 2nd term include: Veronica Chavez Law, Michael Parker, and Lu Pham. City chairs include: Ratna Goenardi, Bandung; Greg Jackson, Budapest; Nommo Donald, Mbabane; Libby Watson, Nagaoka; Tom Law, Jr., Reggio Emilia; Anette Soto, Toluca; and Hannah Behrens, Trier. 

Fort Worth Sister Cities celebrated raising $300,000 for its annual Members Circle campaign with the help of Campaign Chair, Bob Jameson, and is setting a launch for the 2018 campaign for January 2, 2018. 

The Members Circle is a thriving network of individuals, organizations, corporations, and community leaders committed to expanding global relationships for peace and prosperity at home and abroad. For information on joining the Members Circle, contact Danielle at 817-632-7106 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

Mayor’s International Dinner & Global Awards Announced for 2017

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities honors global award winners & donors

Mayor Betsy Price and Dinner Chairs Becky & Henry Borbolla will lead the annual Mayor’s International Dinner on June 1 at the Omni Hotel as Sister Cities honors individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to citizen diplomacy, global understanding, world political stability, and international commerce.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics will be awarded the Global Nexus Award recognizing businesses that are connected globally and are good representatives of Fort Worth to the world creating commerce and a healthier community for all.

Catholic Charities Fort Worth will receive the Global Citizens Award which is given to organizations that are connected globally and are good representatives of Fort Worth to the world creating a positive view of the U.S. through educational, humanitarian, or cultural initiatives.

“Much of our work encompasses our call to ‘welcome the stranger,’ and we are honored that this award not only reflects our passion to serve the vulnerable and marginalized, but also that it gives a platform and a voice to those who have become our neighbors here in Fort Worth,” said Heather Reynolds, President & CEO of Catholic Charities Fort Worth. “We are committed to work within the laws of our land and in conjunction with our city to continue to show what global citizenship can be when we partner together- a mutually beneficial experience.”

Bob Jameson, President and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau will be honored with the Global Impact Award. This honor is given to individuals who have made significant efforts to promote Fort Worth globally and establish international partnerships. 

The dinner is made possible by the Members Circle which is comprised of individuals, businesses, and organizations who support the mission of Sister Cities with a financial contribution. For more information about the Members Circle, please visit weblink.donorperfect.com/memberscircle. If you would like to attend the dinner or get involved with the Members Circle, please contact Katie Wharry at 817-632-7101 or katie@fwsistercities.org.

German Connections on the Rise

Fort Worth, Texas – Business and educational opportunities abound 

Fort Worth City Manager, David Cooke, and Fort Worth Sister Cities International Chair, Johnny Campbell of Sundance Square, recently returned from an economic, cultural, and diplomatic mission to Trier, Germany, along with a delegation of eighteen.

The focus of the delegation visit included: (1) Municipal and governmental connections for economic growth (2) Small business connections (3) Education on the refugee crisis in Germany and (4) Connecting Trier and Fort Worth through health-related activities such as Fit Worth and Blue Zones.

“Fort Worth is committed to growing educational, business, and cultural connections with our partners around the world and we know this is needed now more than ever.  We must nurture these relationships to grow them,” said Campbell.

A presentation focusing on the results of the mission and next steps will be made by Campbell and Hannah Behrens, Trier Committee Chair, Feb. 7 at the Fort Worth City Council meeting at City Hall beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Trier was signed as Fort Worth’s second sister city in 1987.  This partnership has resulted in many programs including: high school and university exchanges; partnerships with artists participating in Main Street Arts Festival; exchanges with the Fort Worth Fire Dept.; internships in the Sister Cities’ office, as well as local law firms; cultural exchanges; and hunting expeditions into the mountains of Germany and across the plains of Texas.

Trier Mayor Leibe and an official delegation will visit Fort Worth Oct. 1 – 5, 2017 to continue the progress made by the Fort Worth team.  To learn more or to get involved, call Danielle McCown at 817/632-7100 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

 

Global Connections Thrive in Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas Fort Worth Sister Cities International Kicks Off 2017 Members Circle Campaign 

Led by Bob Jameson, 2017 Campaign Chair and President of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, the 2017 Members Circle is a thriving network of individuals, organizations, corporations and community leaders committed to expanding global relationships for peace and prosperity at home and abroad. Lead donors to this year’s campaign will be recognized at the Mayor’s International Dinner at the Omni Hotel on June 1.

Due to the generosity of corporate and individual donors, Sister Cities is starting the year with $180,925 in Members Circle commitments and is on its way to meeting a $400,000 goal.  This early support comes from Sundance Square, as the Platinum member; the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rae & Michael Hyatt, and Texas Health Resources as Premier members; Bennett Benner Partners, and Linebarger Goggan Blair & Simpson, LLP as Global members; Alcon, Cook Children’s, The Law Office of Greg Jackson, Mary Palko and Tarrant County College as Presidential members; as well as 100% of the Sister Cities’ board of directors and many others.

After a very successful 2016, Fort Worth Sister Cities continues to promote Fort Worth globally and enrich the local community through international education, exchange and commerce.  “We had a warm welcome from the community last year and loved sharing our story with a record number of people,” said Johnny Campbell, Board Chairman. “Our business is people-to-people relationships.  We do it well and want to do even more to benefit Fort Worth.”

Funding and in-kind support from the City of Fort Worth (4% of Sister Cities’ total budget) plays a key role in Sister Cities’ mission, but most work is made possible through public support like that received through the Members Circle.

To support Fort Worth Sister Cities and join the 2017 Members Circle, contact Katie Wharry at 817-632-7101 or katie@fwsistercities.org.

Fort Worth to Celebrate 30th Anniversary With German Partner

Fort Worth, Texas – City Manager David Cooke and Sister Cities Chair Johnny Campbell leading group to Germany 

portanigraapsis1Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke and Fort Worth Sister Cities International Chair Johnny Campbell of Sundance Square will lead a delegation of eighteen Fort Worth Ambassadors to Trier, Germany November 30 – December 8 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the partnership as sister cities. The mission’s purpose is to build economic, cultural, and diplomatic ties between Fort Worth and Germany.

3220406_1_Weihnachtsmarkt-Trier-G6B58CTU1.1-ORG“Fort Worth is eager to recommit to this important relationship with Germany and looks forward to many more beneficial exchanges between our two cities.  Our commitment to growing our educational, business, and cultural connections must remain a long-term priority for sustainability of our relationship with Trier,” said Johnny Campbell.

trierpanoramapallienWhile there the delegation will visit local sites of interest including the famed Christkindl markets, as well as a local refugee clinic. The exchange will also include visits to Heidelberg, Cologne, and the neighboring country of Luxembourg.

The delegation is being led by Johnny Campbell, Chairman of the Board; Hannah Behrens, Trier Chair; Michael S. Hyatt, Director Emeritus; Mary Palko, Director Emerita; Mae Ferguson, President/CEO; David Cooke, City Manager; Rae Hyatt, Board of Directors; Greg Jackson, Budapest Chair; and Michael Parker, Board of Directors.

ttm_basilikatrier2Trier was signed as Fort Worth’s second sister city. Signed in 1987, this partnership has resulted in many programs including: high school and university exchanges; partnerships with artists to participate in the Main Street Arts Festival; municipal exchanges with the Fort Worth Fire Department; internships in the Fort Worth Sister Cities’ office, as well as local law firms; cultural exchanges featuring regional cuisine and customs; and hunting expeditions into the mountains of Germany and across the plains of Texas.

Fort Worth Elects International Leaders for Sister Cities

FORT WORTH, TX – Sundance Square’s Johnny Campbell Takes the Reins

sc-3640Newly elected officers at Fort Worth Sister Cities International’s 31st Annual Meeting, are Board Chair, Johnny Campbell, Sundance Square; Chair-elect, Veronica Chavez Law, Brackett & Ellis, LLP; Secretary, Lu Pham, Dowell Pham Harrison LLP; and Treasurer, Walter Stucker, UBS Financial Services. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price serves as Honorary Chair.

New board members include: Mitzi Chollampel; Robert Chu, Jr., MD; Jeff Davis; Casey Dyer Oliver; Kelley Eubanks; Stacey Guillén; Jay Horn; Tom Law, Jr.; Richard Lowe; Mike Micallef; Patrick Miller; Tricia Nguyen, MD; Judy Schmeltekopf; Fredrick G. Slabach; and Melissa Thompson.

sc-3589Kids Who Care was awarded the Eisenhower Award for Organizational Involvement presented by Mark Nurdin, Bank of Texas and last year’s recipient, and Julie Johncox was awarded the prestigious Bob Bolen Award for Outstanding Board Leadership presented by last year’s recipient Ann Rice.

sc-3598“The annual meeting is a time to review accomplishments and recognize those responsible for our successes,” said Michael Bennett, Bennett Benner Partners, outgoing Chairman of the Board. A few of the year’s accomplishments were highlighted by President and CEO Mae Ferguson who said, “This year we sent delegations to Japan, China, Cuba, and Mexico. We coordinated youth exchanges to seven cities for over 100 students and welcomed 165 students and educators to Fort Worth creating a $14 million economic impact on the city of Fort Worth.”

Other elected officers include: Richard Casarez; Travis DeVault; Staussa Ervin, EdD; Ashley Freer; Greg Irwin; James Meintjes; Pat Miller; and Mary Jo Polidore. City chairs include: Hannah Behrens; Michael Crain; Paul Geisel, PhD; Sheryl Harris, EdD; Greg Jackson; Michael Roemer, PhD; and Anette Soto.

 “We have many things to look forward to next year. We’re going to Cuba in February, Jordan in April and Swaziland in September; we’re welcoming new mayors from Germany and Japan; and we are recruiting students currently to go to each of our sister cities on educational exchanges,” said Campbell. “We do this because we’re citizen diplomats. We care what the world thinks about the U.S.A. and we want to know more about the rest of the world all in an effort to create friendly relations which is needed more than ever.”

Sister Cities Leads Group to Cuba

Fort Worth, Texas – Delegation visits Cuba on educational mission

cuba photoTwenty-six Fort Worth Sister Cities International delegates will depart Friday on an eight day educational mission to Cuba to learn more about the country and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation will consist of representatives from the business, education, arts and tourism sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, the Viñales Valley and Havana.

unesco-world-heritage-cuba-trinidad-valle-lose-ingenios-002.jpg.rend.tccom.1280.960Special meetings are set with the U.S. Embassy staff in Havana to discuss the current political climate of the country. While in Havana the delegation will also meet with Professor Carlos Alzugaray Treto on U.S./Cuba Relations. Professor Alzugaray is the Former Cuban Ambassador to the European Union and former Director of the Institute of Foreign Relations in Havana.

“Fort Worth is looking for new opportunities to connect with the world. We are not actively seeking a new sister city at this time but a city in Cuba could be a possibility in the future,” said Michael Bennett, Board Chair. “With diplomatic relations now established between the U.S. and Cuba and travel restrictions being lifted soon, a relationship with Cuba could be of benefit to Fort Worth residents.”

unesco-world-heritage-cuba-valle-de-vinales-pinar-rio-province-005.jpg.rend.tccom.1280.960Sister Cities is working with Cuba Cultural Travel, an operator under a “People to People” license required by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury who sets regulations for any American citizen wishing to travel to Cuba.

The delegation will be led by Fort Worth Sister Cities board members Mike and Rae Hyatt, Ann Rice, and President/CEO Mae Ferguson.

Sister Cities Elects New Leadership

FORT WORTH, TX – Membership celebrates 30 Years of Service to Fort Worth
Mayor Price
Honorary Board Chair Mayor Betsy Price
Newly elected officers at Fort Worth Sister Cities International’s 30th annual meeting were Board Chair, Michael Bennett, Bennett Benner Partners; Chair- Elect Johnny Campbell, Sundance Square; Secretary, Lu Pham, Dowell Pham Harrison LLP; and Treasurer, Walter Stucker, UBS Financial Services. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price serves as Honorary Chair.

New board members include: Michael Crain, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty; Ashley Freer, Balcom Agency; Sheryl Harris, PhD, Tarrant County College; Drew Herring, Broadway Baptist Church; and Walter Stucker, UBS Financial Services.

Michael Bennett
Chairman of the Board Michael Bennett

“The annual meeting is a time to review accomplishments and recognize those responsible for our successes,” said Johnny Campbell, Chair-Elect of the Board. A few of the year’s accomplishments were highlighted by President and CEO Mae Ferguson who said, “This year we celebrated our 30th anniversary. We sent delegations to Italy, Germany, Vietnam and Mexico.  We coordinated youth exchanges to seven cities for nearly 200 students, welcomed 165 students and educators here, and made a $2.3 million economic impact on the City of Fort Worth.”

Ann Rice
2015 Bob Bolen Award for Outstanding Board Leadership recipient Ann Rice

Sister Cities also presented two awards at the annual meeting. The Bank of Texas was awarded the Eisenhower Award for Organizational Involvement presented by the DFW International Airport and Ann Rice was awarded the prestigious Bob Bolen Award for Outstanding Board Leadership.

Other elected officers include: Ann Rice; Greg Irwin, BBVA Compass Bank; Michael Hyatt, UBS Financial Services; Staussa Ervin, PhD, TCC; Travis DeVault, BNSF Railways, Richard Casarez, ONCOR; James Meintjes, JP Morgan Chase and Mary Jo Polidore, DFW International Airport. City chairs included: Paul Geisel, PhD, Greg Jackson, Michael Crain, Michael Roemer, PhD; Veronica and Tom Law; and Anette Soto.

 “We have many things to look forward to next year. We’re going to Cuba in January and China in June; we’re welcoming new mayors from Italy and Germany; and we have nearly 100 students going to each of our sister cities on educational exchanges,” said Campbell. “We do this because we’re citizen diplomats. We care what the world thinks about the U.S.A. and we want to know more about the rest of the world.”