International Citizen of the Year 2014
The International Center honored Mayor Greg Ballard and First Lady Winnie Ballard as dual recipients of its 2014 International Citizen of the Year on September 9, 2014 at a special dinner and program at the Indiana Roof Ballroom.
Pictured above from left to right is Diane Thomas, President and CEO of The International Center; Michael Overdorf, International Center Board Chair; Mayor Greg Ballard; Mr. P.E. MacAllister; Mrs. Winnie Ballard; Robert Vane, Event Emcee; Erica Ballard; Greg Ballard, Jr.; and Melissa Proffitt Reese, Event Chair.
The International Citizen of the Year award was established in 1985 to honor individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the globalization of Indiana in business, culture, education, government, medicine, research, media, sports, or community service. The Ballards join an illustrious list of prominent community leaders who have been honored as past International Citizens of the Year for their contributions in one or more of these areas. Former winners include Senator Richard Lugar; Congressman Lee Hamilton; Governors Mitch Daniels and Robert Orr; Mayor William Hudnut; Jim Morris; K.P. Singh; Sidney Taurel; Christel DeHaan, the late Rev. Fr. Boniface Hardin and Dr. Martin Jischke, among others. The 2013 award recipient was Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company.
“The Mayor and Mrs. Ballard were the unanimous selection by The International Center’s Board of Directors as our 2014 International Citizen of the Year honorees,” said Michael Overdorf, board chairman. “They embody, through their values and their actions, a spirit of cultural diversity and inclusiveness; of global leadership; and of the mutual benefits of global trade and investment. We look forward to bringing together friends of The International Center and champions of the Ballards to honor them for their substantial achievements.”
Join ACSI and The International Center at the Indianapolis Ivy Tech campus for the first event in our new China Seminar series. This seminar will feature speakers from The International Center to cover appropriate etiquette, protocol and cross cultural communication when in China or working with Chinese colleagues.
Mark Van Fleet of Converge Ventures will share insight on Chinese business experience stemming from his 20 years of service in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce serving as the Vice President for Asia, Director of International Business Development, and policy and program leader for China.
Seminar Participants Will Be Provided With:
• An overview of Chinese culture
• Instructions on business etiquette and protocol in China
• An understanding and appreciation of intercultural differences
• Intercultural communication tools
• Information about how culture influences perceptions, values and beliefs
• Insights on Chinese business experience
Date: Friday, November 7, 2014
Time: Networking Breakfast: 8:30-9:00 a.m.
Seminar: 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Location: Indiana Fall Creek Building / Room 210
Ivy Tech Community College
2535 North Capitol Ave.
$60 per person / $30 for ACSI Members includes materials and continental breakfast
To register, click here.
The International Center Hosts a Group from China
Since its establishment in 1970s, The International Center has been dedicated to strengthening Indiana’s global connections. The most recent example of their activity in this area was a training program on American business and culture from July 27th to August 7th, organized jointly by The International Center and Pathway Higher Education Service, and participated by ten college professors from China.
The program was largely made up of themes and topics about which The International Center itself has multiple programs. The center’s own Global Competency Officer, Ansuyah Naiken and Protocol Officer, Peter Kirkwood presented on cross-cultural communication, including an introduction to the state of Indiana and American etiquette. The lecture on Business English Language Pedagogy, one of the most important topics to the internationally-driven professors, was presented by Beth Barich and Christine Burns, who represented The International Center's International Visitor Leadership Program. The International Center also invited professors from both IUPUI and IU Bloomington to give lectures on language teaching and research to improve teaching and research techniques for Chinese professors.
In order to enrich the professors’ knowledge about American business culture and apply it within their own classroom, The International Center not only invited two professors from IUPUI Business School to present topics on International Business Environment and the Global Workforce, but also arranged the delegation’s visit to Butler University Business Consulting Group and the Kelley Business School at Indiana University Bloomington. During their visits, the delegation had many engaged discussions with business professors, students and staff on business education models between the U.S. as well as China and Chinese business students career development in the U.S. Toward the end of their visit, the Chinese professors continued their training by visiting two American businesses with global experience, Elanco Animal Health and Telamon Corporation. The visitors were also able to visit a number of local restaurants and partake in local activities like the Connor Prairie Interactive History Park and their evening outdoor concert.
"They cherished their visit very much and were so eager to learn!" said Lei Wang, The Center's Project Manager - China. "All the instructors were very impressed with their fluent English and thoughtful thoughts. Sometimes, the discussions were so engaged that I, as a time keeper, hated to stop them!"
“I have learned so much about cross-cultural communication and this experience really enhanced my awareness of American culture. It will be very helpful in my teaching!” One Chinese professor said. Another professor added, “I wish I could stay longer to learn more!”
Now accepting applications for the 2014 Festival Fund grant program.
To learn more about this grant program, please visit our Festival Fund page for information about qualifications, guidelines, and materials for your application.
If you are curious about festivals and events we have supported in the past, join us in congratulating and thanking our 2013 Festival Fund awardees! For a full report of these events click here.
The International Center, in partnership with the Indianapolis Foundation, is excited to spend another year supporting this program and as a result, the enrichment of cultural diversity in our community.
Please contact Kaitlyn Neel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Portuguese Major and Romanian Editor for Dinner? Must be Friday.
“Hosting State Department dinners is one of my favorite things, so of course I said yes when asked…even if the party was on Friday, and it was already Wednesday afternoon. I did my grocery shopping Thursday after work, prepared the soup and vegetables, then set the table before heading to bed. On Friday, I arrived home at 4:30 p.m. and immediately enlisted my friend Jane Gehlhausen, director of International & Cultural Affairs at City of Indianapolis, to cut flowers from the garden and arrange a few bouquets. I put the roast in the oven, cut the bread, prepared scalloped potatoes and got the vegetables ready to reheat. Meanwhile, we opened wine. If I’ve learned one thing along the way, it’s that wine is a great enabler of good conversation, so I always have plenty on hand – unless our visitors are from Muslim countries where alcohol isn’t served.
"Our interns picked up the guests and arrived promptly at six, joined by past International Center Board Chair Florence May and her father. I offered drinks and conversation quickly ensued. For most of our visitors, this is their only opportunity to spend relaxed time in an American home, talking openly and asking candid questions. These guests were particularly lively and, along with the mix of ages, experiences and points of view represented in the room, it was clear we were in for some great discussion.
“The point of this program is to open up each other’s eyes to the world, in a personal way that defies the abstract images we see on television or other media," Diane finishes. “It’s a front row seat to U.S. foreign policy…with wine!”
To find out more about being an International Center dinner hospitality volunteer, click the Volunteer Now button.