Connecting San Antonio to the World

SACIV Newsletter | August 2023

Dear SACIV Members & Friends,

Welcome to the August edition of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors (SACIV) monthly Newsletter.

Each month - as part of our work connecting San Antonio to the world - we'll share stories about the international visitors welcomed to our city, information on community events, upcoming membership opportunities, photos highlighting our work, announcements from our partners, and more!

This month, we are shining the spotlight on the leaders and members of our community. We hope you are inspired by the efforts of these fellow citizen diplomats!

Meet our Newest Board Members

This month, we welcomed three exceptional community leaders to join our Board of Directors! We are excited for the contributions they will bring to SACIV through their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Lynne Cossman

Anne-Marie Grube

Geoff Crabtree

Read more about our Board Members on our website here.

Board Member Spotlight: Jorge Canavati

Jorge Canavati, Principal of J. Canavati & Co. LLC and Board Member of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors (SACIV), has received prestigious recognition from the U.S. Department of Commerce for his exceptional achievements in promoting U.S exports to the world. The Export Achievement Award Certificate was personally presented to him by Marisa Lago, the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade on July 21, 2023 at a ceremony in San Antonio.

"I am deeply humbled to receive this recognition," remarked Canavati. "My organization will persist in promoting U.S. exports and trade, which act as a catalyst for peace and prosperity among nations. I believe that upholding and promoting this ideal is all of our responsibility, and it is an honor to do so."

"Jorge Canavati plays a vital role in SACIV's mission of fostering international understanding and promoting San Antonio as a global city," expressed Cecilia Cross, SACIV's Executive Director. "He is a true 'connector' for us. When we bring foreign dignitaries and leaders to San Antonio, Jorge's extensive network becomes indispensable in opening doors and providing exceptional hosting experiences. Through his connections, SACIV leaves a lasting impression by sharing the best of San Antonio to the world."

Jorge Canavati (center left) presented with the Export Achievement Award by Marisa Lago, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Canavati enthusiastically shared his passion for contributing to SACIV, stating, "It's all about building bridges between San Antonio and the global community. SACIV excels at that. It allows me to show off San Antonio's cultural richness, economic vibrancy, and welcoming spirit to visitors from around the world, and that's something I truly cherish. We call this Citizen Diplomacy, and I find it incredibly enjoyable."

Patricia Stout, Chair of the Board of Directors at SACIV, expressed her admiration for Canavati, underscoring how his well-deserved recognition with the Export Achievement Award. "Through his work and dedication to SACIV, Jorge significantly contributes to elevating San Antonio's reputation as an international city. Jorge's expertise helps us connect and showcase the very best of San Antonio on the global stage. I speak on behalf of SACIV, our staff and the Board when I say we are immensely proud of him."

Farewell from Laura Zelic

We were sad to say goodbye to our Program Coordinator, Laura Zelic, who left us this summer to relocate to Phoenix, AZ for her husband's job. Laura joined SACIV in December of 2022 and quickly became an essential member of our small team. She brought valuable experience from her prior roles working in public diplomacy in her home country of Germany, giving a fresh perspective to SACIV’s work facilitating international exchanges. She was instrumental in growing our social media presence, developing creative and effective content which significantly expanded our reach, amplified our work, and furthered our impact via online channels.  

Laura reflected on her role with SACIV, sharing: “In my time here, I have learned so much about San Antonio and its international affairs, our wonderful members, the open-minded and incredibly friendly community, and the synergy within the city. It has been such an honor to help evolve the organization and put my own stamp on the organization through implementing a social media strategy and my personal approach for IVLP programs. I have loved working with Cecilia, our local and national partners, and promoting mutual understanding between the United States and the world.”

SACIV thanks Laura for her positive contributions to our work and we wish her the best of luck on her future endeavors! 

Intern Spotlight

This summer, we were pleased to welcome our Summer Intern, Kathryn “Katy” Kettel. Katy holds an A.S. in Computer Science from Alamo Colleges and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Global Affairs with a minor in East Asian Studies from UTSA. She aspires to work in government within the field of international relations after graduation. We were thrilled to have Katy with us and grateful for her valuable contributions to our programs this summer.

Katy (bottom row, far right) with a delegation this summer.

Here is what Katy said about her internship experience with SACIV: “When our organization hosts an IVLP delegation, I have the incredible opportunity to attend meetings with remarkable local organizations and engage with inspiring international emerging leaders. On days when there isn't a delegation in town, I take on a variety of tasks, supporting my supervisors in areas such as social media management and material organization. It's amazing to apply and expand upon what I've learned in school. School can only teach a person to such an extent, experience is where true learning happens.”

 Our Global Network: Announcements from our Partners

Next month, the City of San Antonio’s Global Engagement Office will partner with Students of Service (SOS) to host the International Youth Orchestra of Darmstadt (IYOD) program with students from our Sister City in Darmstadt. This group will tour our city and participate in a joint orchestra concert with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) from September 11-16.

Students will stay with host families and SOS is seeking volunteers to provide homestays for the students during their five-night stay. Host families will need to provide a bed, breakfast, and morning & evening transportation.

Additional information and the host family application can be found on the SOS website here.

Stay Connected: Follow our Socials!

Stay up-to-date with our latest news and events by following us on 

InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook! We share photos and stories from our events, as well as updates on our international visitors and community initiatives.

Instagram      Twitter      LinkedIn      Facebook

Thank you for your support of SACIV!

We look forward to continue building international friendships,

facilitating exchange of ideas, fostering cultural understanding,

and promoting San Antonio as an international city.