Every year the members and the guests of San Antonio Council for International Visitors gather for the Membership Luncheon, which provides recent updates and opportunities for current and potential members. This year, Keynote Speaker, Dr. Katherine Brown, President & CEO of Global Ties US, reflected on the value and impact of international professional exchange in San Antonio community.
There was also a unique opportunity to welcome an international delegation of 12 visitors, participating in an IVLP program on “Regional Responses to Refugee & Migration Issues”, from Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and Turkey at our membership luncheon this year.
Attendees were pleased to hear from Dr. Brown, who addressed them with an impressive presentation on what it means to be a part of global family. Dr. Brown outlined the great impact those relations have for each local community and for the country. She shared how the federal budget we spend on exchange programs was considerably small, but the impact is huge, now, and for future generations.
SACIV was happy to welcome new members interested in making a difference in San Antonio through their personal involvement in welcoming foreign delegations, coming to grow their knowledge the world we live in.
One of the most touching moments was celebrating the great input of Mrs. Irma Reyes, Founder of SACIV, who received a certificate from the Office of International Visitors of the U.S. Department of State for her 30+ year work with the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Mrs. Reyes served twice as the Executive Director of SACIV, once having been brought out of retirement to run the organization, and now as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors.
"For decades, Mrs. Reyes was the beating heart of the organization and kept it alive over the years with her vision and commitment to the mission. As a leader in her own right within our community, she has a profound passion for meeting and hosting international visitors, and has always strived to go above and beyond to welcome and introduce them to San Antonio and the South Texas region, providing citizens with invaluable global perspectives”, said Cecilia Cross, Executive Director of SACIV.