Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Social Integration at GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays

As explained in Theresa Hafner’s article “Social Integration Support: A Real Need for International Support,” social integration is a component related to one’s personal support that is often overlooked by employers of international hires. A good salary does not ensure an expat’s success within the company. It isn’t difficult to believe that when one is unsatisfied in his or her personal life whether it is a lack of meaningful social reactions or feeling out of a place where he or she is living, it can lead to less productivity in the workplace. As an immigrant moving to another country where perhaps he or she doesn’t speak the same language, these feelings can be exasperated producing less success. Therefore, as an employer, it becomes necessary to assist in the cultural assimilation of his or her employees by providing personal support, specifically in the form of social integration.
              Now, one may ask, “how is this possible for an employer to do?” It can be difficult for them to arrange networking events or opportunities for socialization when it falls outside their dominion. However, the answer may lie closer than you think.
              At GlobalPittsburgh, First Thursdays is the perfect way to help your international hires/ new Pittsburghers turn our city into their home too. For seven years now, we at GlobalPittsburgh have held our First Thursdays event – a monthly, consistently well-attended Happy Evening (because why limit “happy” to an hour?) by providing the venue, the food, and a globally-connected atmosphere in which to meet from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. We create a space where people from near and far can meet, network, and form relationships. With the importance of international hires’ social integration, GlobalPittsburgh offers a perfect solution for providing them with a support system of like-minded people. We encourage you to share this opportunity throughout your workforce. 
In the past year, with the support of our sponsors, Cohen and Grigsby, and UPMC, we have partnered with business and universities around the city for the benefit of bringing co-workers together for this popular event. Members of GlobalPittsburgh and partnering organizations attend these happy hours at no charge and every month, with few exceptions, we host a different group of international leaders to Pittsburgh from all over the world through the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program
Should you decide to partner with us, you will be providing a rewarding evening for relaxing, for establishing new contacts, and even for team-building as we provide optional activities to foster lively interaction. We have heard from past partners that offering these benefits to their group ultimately resulted in their company receiving a valuable benefit in return: a more knowledgeable, well-adapted workforce.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

GlobalPittsburgh to honor foreign-born entrepreneurs, professionals, and immigrant champions

The third annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration & Award Ceremony will be held at the elegant Rivers Club on Thursday, December 13th from 6:00 - 8:30 PM.

A cocktail reception featuring a string quartet from Edgewood Symphony Orchestra will open the evening at 5:00 PM. The event will honor foreign-born entrepreneurs, professionals, and immigrant champions from around the globe that have made an impact on the greater Pittsburgh community.

Forty entrepreneurs and professionals from twenty-seven countries around the world have been nominated for awards in seven categories.

Susanne Cook, Senior Partner and Chair of the International Business Group at Cohen & Grigsby, will present the awards. Susanne originates from Germany.

Feyisola Alabi, Special Initiatives and Welcoming Pittsburgh Manager at the Office of Mayor William Peduto, will be Master of Ceremonies for the event. Feyisola came to the U.S. from Nigeria.

The following distinguished panel of judges will select the finalists for the eight awards: Max Miller, Raise Your Spirits; Kit Needham, Project Olympus, Carnegie Mellon University; Nathan Darity, The Global Switchboard; Yvonne Campos, Next Act Fund; Michael Matesic, Idea Foundry; Kenny Chen, Ascender; Kevin Deacon, eMERL LLC; and Nevena Staresinic, Moderna Relocation.

This year’s award categories include Technological Innovation; Health & Wellness; Social Entrepreneur; Music Education; Rising Star; Immigrant Professional Excellence; and Immigrant Champion.

The evening is sponsored by the law firm of Cohen & Grigsby, Brother's Brother Foundation, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Idea FoundryGerman-American Chambers of Commerce.

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration was launched in 2016 to showcase the talent, tenacity and innovative thinking of the “newest newcomers” who have made Pittsburgh their home and helped to make it a world-class city. Eight foreign-born business owners and professionals received awards in 2016 and seven received awards in 2017.

Tickets and sponsorship packets are available at www.globalpittsburgh.org.

Since 1959, GlobalPittsburgh (founded as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors) has cultivated a local network of resources and created valuable contacts for the region worldwide through its work with federally-funded international professional exchanges. GlobalPittsburgh has a network of over 500 members, volunteers, and citizen diplomats who ensure that visiting leaders and expatriates feel welcome in the Greater Pittsburgh community. For more information about GlobalPittsburgh programs, please visit www.globalpittsburgh.org, call 412.392.4513, or send an email to nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Immigrant Entrepreneur Award Winners 2016-2017


2016 Award Winners:

Dorit Brauer for the Brauer Institute of Holistic Medicine

Dorit came from Germany, via Israel, to Pittsburgh in 1998 and offered her Holistic Medicine Services at the Center for Integrative Medicine at UPMC. She also taught meditation courses for Highmark. In 2013 she founded The Brauer Institute for Holistic Medicine and teaches the only 300-hour Professional Holistic Reflexology Certification Program in the state of Pennsylvania. Programs start every September. She is the author of the award-winning book Girls Don’t Ride Motorbikes – A Spiritual Adventure Into Life’s Labyrinth chronicling her modern-day pilgrimage in which she embarked onto a 7,430-mile solo motorcycle adventure across the US. 



Luis von Ahn, Ph.D. for Duolingo.
Luis is co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, the world’s most popular language-learning platform with over 150 million users. Originally from Guatemala, Luis is known for co-inventing CAPTCHAs, being a MacArthur Fellow and selling two companies to Google in his 20s. He came to the U.S. in 1996 to attend Duke University and moved to Pittsburgh thereafter to get his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon. Luis has been named one of the 10 Most Brilliant Scientists by Popular Science, one of the Top Innovators Under 35 by MIT Technology Review, and one of the 100 Most Innovative People in Business by Fast Company.



Ann Flynn Schlicht for her role in Chatham University's Women's Business Center.
In April 2016, Anne Flynn Schlicht was appointed as Director of Chatham University's Women’s Business Center. Prior to this, she served as Assistant Director for ten years at the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University and seven years as Professor in Entrepreneurship, at the Center for Entrepreneurship Studies, University of Limerick, Ireland. In 2005, Anne was chosen as the second “Rooney International Visiting Scholar” which facilitated her move to the US. Anne has a wealth of international experience as a professor of entrepreneurship, as a business consultant and instructor, a certified Kauffman FastTrac facilitator, and has presented at conferences internationally on the topic of women entrepreneurship and education. She currently serves on the host committee for the Greater Pittsburgh Athena Awards and is the recipient of the NAWBO Volunteer of the Year award, the Pittsburgh Magazine 40 under 40 Award and the Pittsburgh Business Times Fast Trackers Award which recognizes individuals whose creativity, vision and passion enrich the Pittsburgh region. 



Viviana Alteri for Istituto Mondo Italiano
Born and educated in Rome, Viviana Altieri came to Pittsburgh after a $100 bet with two Duquesne students met while she was studying in Russia. Thanks to her business and multilingual skills, her prosperous career in corporate America brought Viviana to work in biotech, banking, B2B e-commerce and international business development where she globe-trotted the world to develop multimillion-dollar contracts and new markets in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Viviana’s entrepreneurial spirit and desire to connect with globally-minded people eventually led her to settle in Pittsburgh and create Istituto Mondo Italiano with the goal of welcoming and satisfying the needs of the Italian community in Pittsburgh and recent newcomers. Mondo Italiano has become “the” point of reference for anyone passionate about Italy and the Italian culture, is the only center in town having achieved the prestigious approval certification from the University for Foreigners in Siena, Italy, and has expanded its services to provide interpretation and translation services in 20+ languages. 


Finally, we honored Mikhail Khail for a whole lifetime of notable achievements. Mikhail has recently passed away, but you learn about his remarkable life in his obituary.




2017 Award Winners:

Yanlai Wu for Yanlai Dance Academy.

Yanlai Wu is an internationally celebrated performer and choreographer whose background, training, and dedication to her artistry are reflected in the values of Yanlai Dance Academy. 
Ms. Wu began teaching in the United States in 2003 at the Mitsi Dancing School in Houston, whose students were recent participants on America’s Got Talent. Moving to Pittsburgh a year later, Ms. Wu founded her own dance academy - Oriental Star Dance School. One of the first instructors to join Ms. Wu was Ying Li, a former classmate at Beijing Dance Academy who was a celebrated prima ballerina with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. Ying Li has since returned to China. Ms. Wu changed the name of the school to Yanlai Dance Academy when she expanded the dance curriculum. Ms. Wu continues to offer students her support and encouragement as she leads them through the artistic world and beauty of many dance forms. 

Image result for Yanlai Wu



In over 23 years in business, AC&NC has installed its JetStor RAID (redundant array of independent disks) systems for over 4,000 clients in numerous locations in the United States, Canada, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, and Australia. A finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, Gene recognizes that risk-taking is an inherent part of running a small business that is in direct competition with multi-billion dollar corporations. The challenge of that competition and the thrill of coming ahead have motivated Gene to develop AC&NC as a nimble company that meets the customer's needs in creative and innovative ways, including his involvement with new partners at the development stages of new products.

Image result for Gene Leyzarovich


Congzhe (Nicole) Xu for uTranslated 

uTranslated also won the Student Innovator Award from Pittsburgh University. Nicole Xu and her collaborator are profiled in this video.

Congzhe Xu


Rosmaria Cristello for the Latino Community Center in Pittsburgh

Rosamaria Cristello is the Executive Director and Founder of the Latino Community Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The Latino Center supports the growing Latino community through Youth Development and Enrichment opportunities, advocacy, leadership, and education. Before launching the community center, Rosamaria directed the Latino Family Center under the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, which focuses on early childhood development. Under her leadership, a Latino Community Assessment for Allegheny County was conducted to better understand the dreams and goals of the more vulnerable Latinos and the barriers they are facing in achieving their goals. 


Ellen Freeman for her immigration-related work in Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP

Ellen Freeman is partner-in-charge of the Pittsburgh office of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP, a large business law firm serving a worldwide base of clients from seven offices across Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. With 18 years of practice in all facets of employment-based immigration, Ellen works with growing organizations to advise on U.S. immigration law, strategy, compliance, and training. Her depth of experience fully supports clients moving through the complex steps of business growth and shifting employment strategy, including the formation of corporate entities, the establishment of U.S. operations and applications for temporary visas through the permanent residence. 

Image result for ellen freeman porter wright


Betty Cruz for Change Agency

In September 2016, Betty launched Change Agency, a social enterprise that serves as a hub for targeted civic initiatives that promote inclusion in our region. The organization’s flagship project is All for All, a countywide initiative guided by an Immigrant Community Blueprint designed by the community. Driven by collaboration with community and cross-sector partners, All for All aims to advance economic opportunity, break down barriers, and increase institutional best practices to further immigrant inclusion across the Pittsburgh region. Betty has received the following accolades: Islamic Center of Pittsburgh for Humanity Day, The Incline as a Community Leader, Peace Islands Institute and Turkish Cultural Center for Public Service, Pittsburgh Magazine 40 Under 40, and Next City Vanguard. She is the recipient of the 2014 YWCA Racial Justice Award in Government and she has been honored by GSPIA as a 4 Under 40 Distinguished Alumnus. In 2015, Governor Tom Wolf appointed Betty to the Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs.


Image result for betty cruz change agency

We'll be celebrating a brand new batch of incredible entrepreneurs on December 13th. If you want to nominate an entrepreneur you know you can use this nomination form
We hope to see in December as we celebrate this year's nominees and all their accomplishments!

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Friday, October 5, 2018

GlobalPittsburgh Announces Call for Nominations

GlobalPittsburgh has announced the call for nominations for the 3rd annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration and Award Ceremony. The celebration will take place at the Rivers Club on Thursday, December 13 from 6:00 - 8:30 PM with a cocktail reception beginning at 5:00 PM. The event will honor immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals from around the globe that have made an impact on the greater Pittsburgh community.

Nominations will be accepted through October 31, 2018, for the following eight categories: Technological Innovation, Health & Wellness, Lifetime Achievement, Immigrant Champion, Social Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Immigrant Professional Excellence, and Entertainment Industry.

Nominations, including self-nominations, can be made here.

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration was launched in 2016 to showcase the talent, tenacity and innovative thinking of the “newest newcomers” who have made Pittsburgh their home and helped to make it a world-class city. Eight foreign-born business owners, professionals, and immigrant champions received awards in 2016 and seven received awards in 2017, including Luis von Ahn of  Duolingo, Ellen Freeman of Porter Wright, Betty Cruz of Change Agency, Masa Uzicanin of Sevenzo, Anne Flynn Schlicht of Chatham's Women's Business Center, and other talented influencers.

Tickets for the 2018 Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration and Award Ceremony will go on sale on November 1, 2018, and will be available at www.globalpittsburgh.org.

Since 1959, GlobalPittsburgh (founded as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors) has cultivated a local network of resources and created valuable contacts for the region worldwide through its work with federally-funded international professional exchanges. GlobalPittsburgh has a network of over 500 members, volunteers, and citizen diplomats who ensure that visiting leaders’ and students’ feel welcome in the Greater Pittsburgh community. For more information about GlobalPittsburgh programs, please visit www.globalpittsburgh.org, call 412.392.4513, or send an email to nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org.

2018 Immigrant Entrepreneur and Immigrant Champion Awards

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

GlobalPittsburgh welcomes new international students at First Thursdays in September!


GlobalPittsburgh hosts its First Thursdays Happy Hour on the first Thursday of every month. Between 5:30 - 8:00 pm, we celebrate everybody and everything global in Pittsburgh and welcome new international visitors to the Pittsburgh region!

For Pittsburgh newcomers, our monthly event is a great way to connect with others who are experiencing or have experienced, being far from home. It is a night of networking and socializing where GlobalPittsburgh members and friends welcome State Department guests from abroad, international students and expatriates from all over the world. It's the easiest way to experience the world without leaving Pittsburgh! 


During our September First Thursdays, we welcomed new ELI students from Yasuda Women's University in Japan and Chosun University in South Korea. Thanks to DigiBooths, our guests, students, and host families enjoyed posing for photos at the complimentary Gif Booth. 


GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays are sponsored Cohen & Grigsby law firm and UPMC. Thank you to our sponsors for enabling these great networking events!


Thank you to DigiBooths providing further entertainment to our event!



To local businesses:
GlobalPittsburgh offers opportunities to businesses and organizations to promote themselves at our events. Please consider setting up a vendor table at the First Thursdays event. We attract 100-150 people every month. If you are interested or would like to donate an item/gift certificate for a prize drawing, please contact me at nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org. 


Sincerely,

Nadya Kessler
GlobalPittsburgh
412-392-4513


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

GlobalPittsburgh to celebrate immigrant entrepreneurs on December 13

The second annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration and Award Ceremony will be held at the Rivers Club on December 13, 2017, from 6:00-9:00 PM. Forty-four entrepreneurs and professionals, from every sector of the local economy and every corner of the globe, nominated by community members, will compete for awards in seven categories. The nominees have come to Pittsburgh from 25 different countries.

The awards will be determined by the following distinguished  panel of judges: Max F. Miller, Raise Your Spirits; Kit Needham, Project Olympus, CMU; Angelica Ocampo, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh; Dorit Brauer, The Brauer Institute of Holistic Medicine; Mila Sanina, PublicSource; Nevena Staresinic, Moderna Relocation; Francois Gau, velocityHUB; Kevin Deacon, eMER LLC; and Viviana Altieri, Istituto Mondo Italiano.

This year’s award categories include Technological Innovation; Startup Business; Arts and Culture; Social Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement; Service Industry; and Immigrant Professional Excellence. A Lifetime Achievement award will be presented as well. A new this year Immigrant Champion category features local U.S. born residents with a significant contribution to the cultural and economic progress of immigrants, a greater public understanding or positive view of immigration.

The evening will begin with a VIP reception from 5:00-6:00 PM presenting Kassia Ensemble with performers originating from Armenia, China, and the USA. Mayor Bill Peduto has been invited to speak at the event.

Tickets are available HERE.

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration was launched in 2016 to showcase the talent, tenacity and innovative thinking of the “newest newcomers” who have made Pittsburgh their home and helped to make it a world-class city. Eight foreign-born business owners and professionals received awards in 2016.

Since 1959, GlobalPittsburgh (founded as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors) has cultivated a local network of resources and created valuable contacts for the region worldwide through its work with federally-funded international professional exchanges. GlobalPittsburgh has a network of over 500 members, volunteers, and citizen diplomats who ensure that visiting leaders’ and students’ feel welcome in the Greater Pittsburgh community. For more information about GlobalPittsburgh programs, please visit www.globalpittsburgh.org, call 412.392.4513, or send an email to info@globalpittsburgh.org.

To learn more about the Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration or to register to attend, please contact Nadya Kessler at nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org or call 412.392.4513.
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Monday, October 2, 2017

GlobalPittsburgh welcoming ten YLAI Professional Fellows to Pittsburgh

GlobalPittsburgh is pleased to announce that it will host participants from the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program in October and early November 2017. As part of the Fellowship, ten young business and social entrepreneurs from Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Sint Maarten, and Venezuela will travel to Pittsburgh on October 7 and build lasting partnerships with local entrepreneurial organizations and companies.   
The five-week YLAI Professional Fellows Program will place business and social entrepreneurs in relevant businesses and startups, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities in Pittsburgh.  The participants will arrive in the U.S. on October 3 and will further develop their business or social venture plans by engaging in skills-building workshops.  They will also have the opportunity to learn from U.S. counterparts by participating in day-to-day operations at their U.S. host organizations or collaborating on a joint project.  YLAI Professional Fellows will develop stronger ties with other participants from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as with their U.S. Fellowship Hosts.  They will use the knowledge gained to effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities.  
To complement the U.S.-based program, up to 45 Fellowship Hosts from across the United States will travel to the region in spring 2018 to learn from the Fellows’ businesses, share best practices, and participate in a project benefitting the local community. 
GlobalPittsburgh has placed its YLAI Fellows at the following companies and organizations: Idea Foundry, Inc.; Treasure House Fashions; Shift Collaborative; Pittsburgh Trophy Company; Bike the Burgh Tours; the Andy Warhol Museum; Homewood Children’s Village; Regency Global Transportation Group; and the Better Business Bureau.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State funded this program.  GlobalPittsburgh is proud to work with grantee Meridian International Center, a premier nonprofit, global leadership organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Meridian is also proud to partner with Atlas Corps and Entrepreneurs’ Organization for this program.  The ylai.state.gov website includes information about the YLAI Professional Fellows Program.
For further information, please contact Gail Shrott, Director, International Leaders Program at GlobalPittsburgh  at gshrott@globalpittsburgh.org/412-392-4513.

About U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges, as well as public -private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us. Visit https://eca.state.gov  for more information.

For information on the YLAI Professional Fellows Exchange Program, please visit https://ylai.state.gov/

For press inquiries, please contact ECA-Press@state.gov.  

About the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors dba GlobalPittsburgh

Since 1959, GlobalPittsburgh (founded as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors) has been developing a local network of resources and creating for the region a pool of valuable contacts worldwide through its work with federally-funded international professional exchanges. GlobalPittsburgh has a network of over 500 members, volunteers, and citizen diplomats who ensure that visiting leaders’ and students’ feel welcome in the Greater Pittsburgh community. For more information about GlobalPittsburgh programs, please visit www.globalpittsburgh.org,
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