Texas Border Business
Recently, Sister Cities International (SCI) hosted their 61th annual conference in Virginia Beach, VA. Every year, hundreds of attendees representing their communities’ sister cities programs, gather to network and learn about some of the best practices and trends on dealing with sister cities relationships.
Luis Cantu, V.P. for the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and recently appointed as Texas State Representative for SCI, attended the annual SCI leadership meeting and international conference.
SCI is based in Washington, DC, and was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. SCI is a nonprofit organization which serves as a hub for institutional knowledge and best practices in the field of global citizen diplomacy through a network of cities around the world. This network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in over 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in 145 countries on six continents.
There were three keynote speeches during this year’s conference including a keynote by Khaled Sedrak of NxtVn Group; a keynote by Foreign Diplomatic Corps Panel paneled by H.E. Ambassador, Stanislav Vodovic, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia; and Typhaine Biard-Hamon, Head of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations, Embassy of France in Washington, DC. In addition, Karim Wasfi, renowned cellist and conductor as well as founder of the Peace Through Arts Global Foundation, led one of the keynotes.
This year’s conference featured dozens of experts in the fields of diplomacy, cities, international affairs, and more. Attendees had the opportunity to attend more than a dozen sessions on the topics of digital infrastructure, building local partnerships, youth engagement, developing arts & culture programs, peer-to-peer fundraising, and municipal department exchanges.
For more information about McAllen Sister Cities or Sister Cities International please contact Luis Cantu at 682-2871 at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.