Last Week In Review Part I: International Citizen of the Year ’13

On October 2nd, 2013, The International Center hosted one of its biggest events: The International Citizen of the Year Award Dinner. This year’s honoree was Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Company.

The award dinner and program was held at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis: attendance reached 500 guests! Due to the excitement that seemed to fill the room, one can say that it was truly an enchanting evening.

The entertainment portion of the evening included two distinct performances: Evan Bravos, up-and-coming concert baritonist, serenaded the guests as he walked through the aisles. His voice seemed to cast a spell on everyone in the room.

Later in the evening, however, the crowd was captivated yet again! Only this time, Dance Kaleidoscope held everyone’s gaze: their performance was both mesmerizing, as well as, inspiring in that they made the music come to life.

The evening couldn’t be complete without a pleasant surprise for the honoree, of course! As a gift commemorating the occasion, The International Center
presented Mark Miles a gemstone globe featuring semi-precious stones from around the world; a beautiful representation of the impact of Mark’s international work.

As with any other event, there was a lot of work that happened behind the scenes. The preparation of the ballroom started early in the morning, around 9 o’clock, and continued through to the evening. The flags, tables, placement cards and programs, sound system, and the stage had to be in place before the evening program was to begin. Even though some tasks required more time than others to be completed, it was gratifying to see the ending result.

“While the flag setup itself was somewhat burdensome, seeing the ballroom and reception area when it was fully prepared made the work extremely satisfying. Staying in the area afterwards to welcome and register guests was fun, particularly given how friendly and excited they were to be at the banquet. Finally, it was a pleasure meeting and working with the volunteers, particularly one who is a veteran of the internship program here at The International Center!”Gaelen Strnat, International Visitors Leadership Program Intern 

“After completing a summer internship within the Strategic Initiatives Department, I was thrilled to come aboard the ICY train and help coordinate volunteers for the evening. The day started out with the Fall interns helping set-up 195 flags from around the world: this task took almost 3 hours with a crew of 7 interns. Afterward, one commented that this day was a real bonding experience and brought the group closer. All in all, we had 30 volunteers, representing 8 countries: Germany,  Mexico, Russia, Austria, Brazil, China, Japan, and Latin America! From Phil, who assisted with the previous two ICY events, to Alejandra, a previous intern, who came up from Bloomington, to even my own cousin

who joined the charismatic Registration Crew, all the volunteers put on a great effort welcoming the ICY attendees. My favorite part of the evening was just after training and right before the guests began to arrive. Seeing everyone in their positions, empowered to take on the expected rush of people with a smile, is something I will carry with me for a long time. It was a pleasure to work with each and every volunteer!”Maggie Dankert, Marketing and Development Coordinator

The reward for all the hard work that each individual contributed to making this evening program a success was reflected in the expressions of the guests: their smiles illuminated the room. Our team had a good time preparing for the event and it was great to see this excitement be transferred to the guests.

“My highlight as the photographer of the event was seeing the joy on people’s faces and hearing all chatter from conversations and laughter. It looked like everyone was truly having a wonderful time at the event.”CaSondra Shim, Director of Relocation

“I had the pleasure of welcoming guests as they entered the front entrance of the JW Marriott, and was humbled and impressed by the number of local, national, and international leaders who came to the event. It was an honor to meet Mr. Miles: what an accomplished, humble, and gracious leader and family man he is!” — Beth Barich, International Visitors Program Manager

“Having been involved in many events throughout my career, but never an ICY, I had very high expectations for the food, the entertainment, the ambience, the guest list and, hopefully, the feedback afterward. Oh, my…let me just say it didn’t disappoint. Not one thing about it. Everyone who touched this event in any way, shape or form can feel a huge sense of pride for a job exceptionally well done!”Billie J. Fouts, VP of Marketing and Development

“ICY left an indelible mark on the attendees as it left
 them with a true taste of the international.  
Whether from the sights of the flag setup or learning about the international work of Mark Miles, ICY both celebrated the accomplishments of Indianapolis internationally and looked forward towards the bright future.” 
Chris Wallace, Global Competency Intern

“For me, the thorough internal communication that was conducted through and the effectiveness of the collaboration among different departments, volunteers and staff, as well as outside partners will remain the most impressive memory of mine…As it was said by Billie Fouts, VP of Marketing and Development at The Center, this year’s ICY wouldn’t have been as successful as it was without the strong support from each of the members at The International Center. I am glad to be a part of this wonderful team.” Yizhi “Lois” Luo, Asian Learning Center of Indiana Intern

“…during the setup, it was great to see all the departments’ efforts focused on a common project. It really shows what outstanding achievement The International Center can accomplish when they all work together. More importantly, this event could not have been possible without the long hours and incessant work. Hearing the comments and seeing the pictures, I believe that the recognition of Mark Miles was more than spectacular and that we really showed our professionalism with a personal touch.” Dillon Smith, Relocation Services Intern 

All of us at The International Center extend our special thanks to our Global Society Sponsors, table patrons, in-kind sponsors, Maribeth Smith & Associates, interns, volunteers and the staff at the JW Marriott for making this event such a special and memorable occasion!

P.S.: Last Week In Review Part II is here. Check it out!