This has been a busy summer! Congratulations to our CELA friends and colleagues for an outstanding job hosting the 2019 Global Network Summit (GNS) in Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan, June 8-19.  Forty-five SIBF members attended – a record number!  The warmth and the spirit of the people we met during our journey was amazing.  A few highlights… 

  • We received a true immersion into an advanced Academy experience with great takeaways including a session on storytelling and crafting our perfect introductions, design thinking, and appreciative inquiry – a process of starting with what is working rather than starting with a problem (what’s not working).

  • The Network Coordinating Council’s annual meeting brought together leadership of each of the networks to update one another and discuss topics in common. I was struck by how similar the issues are across networks - recruiting, connecting members, retention, programming, and so on. There was great enthusiasm for the new technology platform being overseen by the SIBF Technology team, under the leadership of Mark Lampen (SC, ’16). It was clear that everyone wants to meaningfully connect with other members across the globe. I believe this underscores the importance of our investment in technology and how that will bring SIBF, CELA, MELA and SEALA together.

  • In Tashkent, we learned about business opportunities in the entire Central Asia region including hotel development, the fashion industry and food, and how the government is moving to implement a wide range of reforms to enable broader participation in world commerce.

  • We capped the experience with a helicopter ride to hike to alpine lakes in the mountains outside of Tashkent and side trips to two Silk Road World Heritage sites: Bukhara and Samarkand!

  • The 2020 GNS is hosted by SIBF in Vancouver, and we look forward to hosting our global colleagues, September 13-16!

Of note on membership development, one of the GNS speakers, John Coyle, was so impressed with SIBF and the global network membership, that he has applied to join SIBF!  I encourage you to recommend qualified members for both the direct and Academy paths – this is the lifeblood of our organization and keeps our fellowship relevant.  The 2019 Academy applications accepted to-date are impressive, including CEOs, presidents, partners, and company founders.  From digital branding, cancer research and audio book production – to electrical engineering, medical device manufacturing and technology startups, these candidates have varied interests and industry expertise.  There is strong representation from SIBF’s southern states as well as Pennsylvania, Iowa and Ohio.  The first Academy session begins November 10, so don’t delay!  Email or (direct path) for details on introducing your candidates to SIBF. 

Local programs are booming with more than 52 events scheduled already this year – and we’re only half way through 2019!  Mark your calendars for the 20/20 Leaders Forum: July 29 in Tampa, and July 30 in Birmingham and Dallas.  Executive Director, University of Southern California Dornsife Center for the Political Future Kamy Akhavan, our highly rated, opening speaker from this year’s Washington Briefing, will share insights on the critical political issues facing our country.  Additional details are forthcoming!

The Governance Committee is considering nominations for leadership positions including the next Chair-elect as well as recipients of the awards presented each year at the Summit.  The leadership and enthusiasm in this organization is inspiring!  I hope you will consider how your time, talents and resources can be leveraged to enhance your SIBF experience.  

Anne and I look forward to seeing you at the Summit in Maine!


Warm regards,
Mark Kaiser

T: 404.665.5201
M: 404.694.2664