Good Goodbyes and Warm Hellos

10 Sep 2019 7:34 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

It’s that time of the year again when the FIGT community welcome new members to its Board and farewells those who are moving on.

If anyone knows how to farewell with a good goodbye and to welcome with an open heart it is this community. 

In this blog, we ask three of the departing Board members to reflect on their experiences of being on the Board, and we briefly introduce and welcome those who will be taking their place for the next two-year term.


Firstly, Todd Cress who has been our Treasurer for the past two years. Reflecting on that time, Todd reports that he is proud that:

FIGT has successfully held conferences in Europe and Asia! FIGT continues to reach new audiences. I hope the affiliate network and member base continue to grow and become stronger and more diverse.”

As an Officer on the Executive Committee, Todd worked closely with the Logistics Chairs to bring the conferences to life, an aspect he really enjoyed.

He observed, “It’s amazing how much was accomplished at FIGT with so much else going on in the Board members lives (special shout-out to Kate Berger!).”

The position of Treasurer will be filled by LaShell (Shelly) Tinder, who has both personal and professional experience of relocation spanning three decades. Shelly is currently Global Mobility Manger at H&M where she has extensive fiduciary responsibilities.

Logistics Director

Todd gave a shout-out to Kate Berger, who has served on the Board for three years as Logistics Director. During that time, Kate has managed the logistics for three conferences –two in The Hague and the most recent conference in Bangkok. 

Reflecting on those experiences, Kate shared that she was proud and happy:

Sitting around the table (all together in The Hague) or during our monthly meetings and realizing that I am a part of a team of greats! It's been humbling and an honor to think with such passionate, experienced and knowledgeable people. Also, being recognized as a Board member at the conferences has made me feel extremely proud as it has been clear each time that the room was filled with participants who were very positive about all of our hard work.” 

Kate has enjoyed Getting the space to learn and lead as I go -- it's been so much fun and rewarding being able to bring in new ideas, work as a team and learn from one another.”

As Todd referenced above, Kate has been busy with her own new arrival, a beautiful baby boy! As she couldn’t be with us in Bangkok in person, Tanya Crossman acted as Co-Director for Logistics and did an amazing job.

Tanya has now been voted in to the Director role and will take over the Logistics function using skills she has gained over many years of consulting with global youth organisations and International Schools.


Another area within the Board that has seen significant change is Membership. Outbound Membership Chair Deborah Valentine reflects:

What I am most proud of is taking the brilliant work done by my predecessor, in designing the New Membership Strategy and putting the building blocks in place for it to grow further."

The new Membership Chair who will be learning about these building blocks is Mariam Ottimofiore. Mariam has a background as an economist and skills in research and writing.

We will learn more about Mariam and the other new Board Members in a future blog and next month will hear the reflections of the other departing Board members.

For now we will finish with Deborah’s reflections of what she enjoyed most about being on the Board.

"Looking back on two years of being on the Board, reflecting on the discussions we have had - the decisions we have had to make - the people I have had the immense pleasure of working with - the laughter and creativity we were able to unleash, it is very difficult to identify the most enjoyable aspect.

"However, if I must say one thing it would be this: that I have marvelled at, and enjoyed seeing and being part of team which simply came together whatever the challenge, celebration or personal circumstance. To witness how across time zones, support and solutions evolved was simply amazing. I enjoyed that because you knew: there was a team who had your, and each other’s’ back at all times."

See part 2 of our farewells and welcomes as we enter the 2019-2020 year.

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