A showcase of FIGT Members' written work, focusing on the issues we study, the best practices we share, and the strategies we provide to support expatriates and cross cultural individuals and their families. Contributions are a privilege for Small Business and Corporate membership levels only and you can submit up to 3 posts per year. Please use our online form below to submit a blog for consideration or contact blogeditor@figt.org.

  • 12 Nov 2019 10:30 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Stepping up as our 2019-2020 Scholarship Chair is Matilda Criel-Ewoldt, herself a former Pollock Scholar. While researching TCKs’ coping mechanisms, Matilda was losing her own sense of her culture. She shares how overwhelming it was to finally feel understood.

    Can you please briefly describe your FIGT role?

    My role is to select the Pollock Scholars for the FIGT2020 conference — those who represent a missing voice at FIGT, who would be unable to attend without a scholarship. The scholarship is an outright recognition that all voices must be heard, regardless of financial situation.

    As Scholarship Chair, it will be my privilege to be a supportive presence for the Scholars throughout the conference. I want to be their point of reference throughout an overwhelming time, when they are meeting new people yet feeling a sense of belonging. I believe this will be my most important role.

    I’ll also oversee the lucky draw to raise funds for next year’s Scholars! I am excited about this, as it will encourage me to learn more about FIGT members and their contributions to the global nomad field.

    What inspired you to stand for this particular office?

    The first reason was my own experience as an FIGT2019 Scholar. I felt accepted and inspired. I bonded with my fellow Scholars and learned so much about supporting the global community, especially through exchanging ideas with experienced and knowledgeable people. It made me realize the amazing support and resource that FIGT can be. 

    I presented my doctoral research on TCKs and was grateful that, for the first time in my life, I did not have to explain what a TCK was, how they might think differently or have a different identity due to their upbringing — it was already understood.

    I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to experience it through the scholarship.

    Another inspiration was Jody Tangredi. She was the last FIGT Scholarship Chair and my main reference throughout the FIGT2019. Jody was such a helpful presence and a great emotional support, providing me encouragement and guidance and introducing me to so many different people in our community. She made me feel valued and that I belonged. 

    Finally, what inspired me to be Scholarship Chair was my own research background. I am currently working on my doctorate in psychology and my main focus has been on how cultural factors might affect the therapeutic alliance. 

    I want to provide a safe, helpful space for Scholars to discuss their own experiences with culture and their ability to cope with difficult transitions. I believe that such a space for self-exploration is necessary, especially within the socio-emotional focus of FIGT. 

    And I firmly believe that this platform can help us gain greater knowledge of ourselves and how to move forward. 

    Anything you particularly hope to accomplish this year? What do you look forward to?

    I look forward to meeting the 2020 Pollock Scholars in person! I hope that I can provide a space for sharing and be a helpful guide for their FIGT experience. And I look forward to sharing ideas and experiences with the Scholars and FIGT members in general.

    This year, I also hope to integrate with the FIGT community. As a newer member, I want to learn more about the members of this community. 

    Finally, I’ve been discussing with fellow board members many ideas for the Scholars and am excited for what is ahead! 

    Your favorite thing about being a part of FIGT?

    The best part about FIGT is the sense of belonging. After living for quite a while in southern California, I felt lost in my sense of what my culture was and where exactly I fit in within the American culture.

    FIGT gave me the courage to not feel I had to “pick” between my cultures, but rather live within the ambiguity of it all.

    The presence of other people who understand the feeling of not truly fitting in anywhere was an amazing experience. For the first time, I felt heard and understood. I have never had a place to just be; the FIGT2019 was a great place to do so.

    Can you share a random piece of info about yourself please?

    I will be vulnerable and share this... At FIGT2019, the last day when it was all over, I cried! I felt so overwhelmed. FIGT made me feel understood and gave me such a sense of belonging that I was really sad to leave. For the first time, I felt like I had a space to talk about all of the emotions of growing up as a TCK. It just all came out that last day! 

    My favorite place in the world would probably be my grandparent’s apartment in Rome... When traveling all over the world, their home was a constant. It made me feel at peace — no matter how hectic our lives became, their home would stay the same. It gave me some sense of constancy when I felt like my life was turned upside down. 

    Please share some words of wisdom for FIGT members and globally mobile people in general!

    Be okay with being yourself. For a long time I tried so hard to mold myself to new places so I could feel like I belonged. Now, I am working on letting go and just letting myself be. It’s a lot easier said than done and I still have a long way to go! But one step at a time.

    You can learn more about Matilda in the board member bios section. FIGT members can also check out her FIGT2019 poster presentation on TCK coping mechanisms. Don’t miss more from our new 2019-2020 board members! 

  • 09 Nov 2019 9:49 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    It's been a great month to see #FIGTMembers shining all around the world. We round up the news for November 2019.

    Huge congratulations to #FIGTMember Amanda McCue who has been elected as the next President of the ACT Division of the Career Development Association of Australia. You can read more about Amanda’s work in supporting military spouses and advocacy in partner employment here.

    It was great to see that the social media account for The Expatriate Archive Centre on Twitter @WeAreXpats featured two #FIGTMembers as its guest curators. Well done to both #FIGTMembers Cath Brew and Alaine Handa for talking about FIGT during their takeovers.

    We were also really excited to see #FIGTMember Sundae Schneider Bean introduce her Expat Coach Coalition program aimed as a professional development opportunity for coaches, counselors and psychologists who want to add to their toolset to serve those in global mobility.

    Congratulations to #FIGTMember Lisa Ferland for launching the second book in her children series! First came, When The Clock Strikes on Halloween, followed by When The Clock Strikes on Christmas Eve. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

    It is also lovely to see when #FIGTMembers join forces to work together! We are excited to hear that #FIGTMember Melissa Parks and Dr. Sonia Jaeger are working together to create an online community for location independent therapists and mental health coaches. For more information, sign up here.

    Last but not least, we are very proud that alongside FIGT who has been shortlisted for the Forum for Expatriate Management's EMEA EMMA Awards, so have a few of our members too! Congratulations to #FIGTMember Deborah Valentine from ACCESS Netherlands, #FIGTMember and Board Member Dr. Anne Lesle for her research on expatriate spouses and #FIGTMember Alan L. King from King & Mayr for making the shortlist.

    If you have some news to share, please let us know! You can submit your news via the online form or contact membership.
  • 07 Nov 2019 11:03 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)
    Starting off our series of new 2019-2020 board member profiles is Mariam Ottimofiore, Membership Chair. An avid believer in the rich resource that is FIGT’s member community, she encourages everyone to get involved...because “the more you give, the more you'll receive.”

    Can you please briefly describe your FIGT role?

    I am thrilled to be the new Membership Chair for FIGT. My role is to enhance, expand, and shape FIGT’s membership offering and to proactively engage with our membership network.

    I report to the FIGT Treasurer and also work closely with other Board members such as Communications, Sponsorship, and Research & Education to ensure clarity, cohesion, and support towards our overall FIGT mission of serving globally mobile individuals and families.

    What inspired you to stand for this particular office?

    I strongly believe that FIGT’s members are its greatest resource. There is an incredible depth of knowledge and expertise amongst the FIGT community and I believe becoming part of the FIGT members group is a huge opportunity to learn, grow, share, and connect.

    Our members are essential and critical to FIGT’s mission of serving cross-cultural and globally mobile individuals and families, and I look forward to promoting the idea of membership being a two-way street: the more you give, the more you'll receive.

    Anything you particularly hope to accomplish this year? What do you look forward to?

    I am looking forward to interacting closely with FIGT members to understand their needs and develop new privileges that would be of benefit to them. I am also interested in reaching out to potential members to promote our current offerings.

    I am particularly excited about reaching out to individual members such as your average expat parents looking for resources, community, and support that I believe FIGT can provide.

    I am also looking forward to revamping the FIGT bookstore directory to promote books written by FIGT members.

    Lastly, I am looking to expand FIGT and its mission to diversify its reach to include refugee families, immigrant families raising cross-cultural kids, migrant workers who often move while leaving their families behind, and to all others who are part of families in global transition. Transition affects us all, regardless of our status or privilege.

    Your favorite thing about being a part of FIGT?

    I have been a part of the FIGT community for the past three years and without a doubt my favorite thing about FIGT is the connections I have formed both online and offline with people who care passionately about living a global life and living it well.

    I love that, thanks to FIGT, if I have a question on managing dual careers or am looking for resources on how to support my kids through yet another move or how to raise a multilingual kid, I know who to reach out to for answers, help, guidance, and support.

    I personally love the support I have received from FIGT members in my work and the feeling of belonging to the “FIGT Family”.

    Can you share a random piece of info about yourself please?

    Even though I’ve lived in nine countries and moved countless of times, I haven’t developed the global skills of packing a suitcase expertly, reading a map, or remembering which country has which voltage! As a result, I always leave the packing to the professionals, get lost in every new city and country I call my home and always pack a million international adaptors when I move.

    One of my most embarrassing moments happened when I had newly arrived in Copenhagen and did not know my way around the city at all. When my husband left for his first day at work, I went out to explore the city and got terribly lost.

    In the end, desperate, I hailed a cab (obviously I had no clue how expensive cab rides were in Copenhagen) and gave the cabbie the name of the temporary housing we were staying in. I pronounced it all wrong, so the cabbie looked at me confused.

    Then I remembered the street name that I had memorized and written down just in case (this was before the advent of an iPhone). When I showed it to him, he burst out laughing!

    Turns out “ensrettet vej” in Danish means “one-way street.” So, we had deduced that where I needed to go was on a one-way street somewhere in Copenhagen!

    I have never been more embarrassed in my life, but it did provide me with the incentive to start learning Danish immediately.

    Please share some words of wisdom for FIGT members and globally mobile people in general!

    Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and benefit from the knowledge, experience, and resources within the FIGT members group. Always keep space at the table for others.

    You don’t need to figure out this international life all by yourselves. There is a welcoming community out there, the FIGT community, who can make you feel less alone and be your anchor as you navigate the foreign seas.

    Cover photo courtesy of Mariam Ottimofiore.

    You can learn more about Mariam in the Board Member bios section. She's keen to hear from members! Not a member yet but curious to find out what it entails? Learn more about membership.

  • 05 Nov 2019 12:03 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    American Psychologist, Expatriate Archive Centre, and Solebury School — all three sustain the globally mobile, cross-cultural community in their distinct ways. FIGT is lucky to have them as Silver Sponsors this year. 

    We are fortunate to have supportive sponsors and that has been particularly true when it comes to our Silver Sponsors this year. All three sustain the globally mobile, cross-cultural community, each in their own distinctly different ways.

    American Psychologist / Burdick Psychological and Placement Services, led by founder and adult Third Culture Kid Dr. Mark Burdick, is a family-based, concierge psychological services provider, consultancy, and education & program placement agency. Located in Amsterdam, and with four other offices registered in the EU, UK, and US, they serve families worldwide.

    The challenges faced by expat families are varied and sometimes daunting. Many of American Psychologist’s clients have youngsters with learning or emotional issues. Others are exceptionally bright and need a challenge or better educational fit. Still others grapple with addiction.

    Mark arranges for expert placement at treatment centers, while providing continuing support to these at-risk expat families during and after placement.

    The mission of the Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC) is to capture, chronicle and protect the life stories of expats and their families, from all backgrounds and from anywhere in the world.

    Located in The Hague, The Netherlands and independent since 2008, the EAC originally grew out of archival efforts by the Shell Corporation reaching back to the 1990s.

    EAC Director Kristine Racine – a previous president of FIGT – knows firsthand the natural connection between the two organizations.

    “We both believe in a need to provide better understanding of challenges faced by global families.”

    She indicated that the EAC would love to see more researchers using their archives.

    “We are also looking for ways to expand our collection, and are eager to get in touch with people who have documented their expatriate experiences and are willing to share them with us.”

    Solebury School, an American college-preparatory boarding and day school for grades 8-12 located north of Philadelphia, is committed to educating global citizens including students from other countries.

    In addition to attending to earn a full diploma, international students may choose from other options including programs for half-year, one-year, exchange, summer, English as a Second Language, university prep, and post-graduate study. The school also has an exciting initiative – The Solebury School Scholarship for Global Citizens.

    Solebury School came to FIGT by way of Jennifer Morrissey, Solebury’s Director of International Recruitment. Another adult Third Culture Kid, she used her cross-cultural child- and young adulthood to forge a varied career in secondary and higher education international recruitment, admissions, programming, and teaching.

    We sincerely appreciate the partnership each of our distinctive Silver Sponsors shares with FIGT and express our gratitude for their support!

    For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please visit our sponsorship page.

  • 01 Nov 2019 3:45 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    This month, we’re looking at “difficult times” in the many stages of a mobile life and “resilience” to get us through. We’ve dug through our archives and found some gems from our members.

    5 Things to Remember When Circumstances Overwhelm You

    By Norman Viss

    We’re all influenced by circumstances. And global citizens are often more aware of circumstances than those who remain in the routines of home. Contemplating Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl’s words in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Norman Viss offers five thoughts to help us cope with times when circumstances overwhelm us.

    Expat Life, Expat Death

    By Apple Gidley

    Losing our loved ones is never easy but when distance intervenes, too often the heartbreak is tainted with a sense of guilt. Apply Gidley’s tale of losing her father reflects a painful reality of expat life and expat death.

    The Real Stages of Moving Abroad

    By Naomi Hattaway

    The so-called four stages of post-move adjustment is fairly well known — but reality isn’t quite so tidy. One global nomad, Naomi Hattaway, tells us about the real stages of moving abroad!

    ¿Perdido en la incertidumbre? Ever Felt Lost in Uncertainty?

    By Paula Vexlir

    A Spanish-English bilingual post. Especially if you are moving for your spouse’s job, you may have the feeling that you cannot make decisions about your own life. But psychologist Paula Vexlir reminds us that — despite the uncertainties of expat life — each one of us has the ability to determine our own life directions and values.

    Expat Communication with Friends and Family...What We Really Mean by “Fine”

    By Rachel Yates

    One of the hardest things about relocating abroad is leaving dear friends and family behind. If you're finding it difficult to explain how conflicted life is as an expat, Rachel Yates has put together some pointers that you can share with those 'left behind.'

    SOS: Homesickness at Boarding School

    By Rebecca Grappo

    Your child at boarding school calls you to say they are unhappy. What should you do? Educational consultant Rebecca Grappo reassures parents not to panic. The first thing is to assess whether it’s a true crisis call or a reaching out for support, and then act accordingly.

    Reverse Culture Shock. Repatriation. Re-entry. Returning Home.

    By Lindy Chapman

    Moving back “home” is actually not unlike moving to a foreign country. So why is repatriation so hard?! Lindy explains how expectations have a lot to do with it and then provides eight practical tips to help you successfully anticipate and navigate the return “home.”

    The Dilemma of Belonging Everywhere, and Nowhere

    By Jonelle Hilleary

    How do expats grapple with the need to belong when we seem to belong everywhere and nowhere at the same time? Can we ever go “home”? Jonelle Hilleary ponders the question in the years after her repatriation.

    Interested in contributing to the blog for future themes? Small business and corporate members can submit up to three posts a year — submit your article here. Other members: if you have an idea please get in touch with blogeditor@figt.org to discuss.

  • 16 Oct 2019 6:53 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Whether it's your first time or your tenth, moving abroad can be challenging. What can help us get through those tough times? For October 2019, FIGT focuses on the theme of "Dealing with difficult times / resilience."

    Moving abroad can be daunting, challenging, enriching, and intimidating at the same time. This is true not only for first-timers but also applies for seasoned expats who have lived through the good and the bad before.

    There is ample evidence that difficult times can hit us all regardless of how often we have moved abroad. Previous expatriation experience might help in coping with difficult times only in so far as we learned to expect some rough patches (Lessle, 2019).

    While some researchers emphasize that moving abroad is a main stressor itself, difficult times can be triggered in various domains (McNulty et al., 2019). Our own mixed feelings about the move, health or family issues, organizational misunderstandings as well as environmental, cultural, or safety problems--any of these can trigger a crisis and test our limits.

    This month’s topic for FIGT’s content examines the difficult times in global mobility and how to develop resilience in order to master the challenges.

    To access the content: Please join us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Video content will be available for the month and then archived to the members only section of this website.


    • Lessle, A.D. (2019). The cognitive, affective, and behavioral adjustment of expatriate Spouses. A case study. (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.
    • McNulty, Yvonne, Lauring, Jakob, Jonasson, Charlotte and Selmer, Jan, (2019), Highway to Hell? Managing expatriates in crisis, Journal of Global Mobility, 7, Issue 2, p. 157-180.

    (Items with * require FIGT member log-in.)

    From this month's social media

    • Difficult Times and Resilience: From the Archives
    • Interview videos*
      • Mindfulness 101 (Jodi Harris)

      • Emotional Resilience as a Cornerstone of Wellbeing (Linda Janssen)

      • How to Use Self-Compassion to Create a Sense of Home Inside Yourself (Dr Melissa Parks)

      • Managing a Health Condition Abroad (Carolyn Parse Rizzo)

      • What to Do and Helpful Steps to Take if Your Relationship Breaks Down (Katia Vlachos and Lucy Greenwood)

      • Supporting Global Teens: Insights from Two Practitioners (Dr Anisha Abraham and Kate Berger)

    Photo via Pixabay

  • 10 Oct 2019 11:15 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    FIGT welcomes our newest sponsor, Cross Border Financial Planning (CBFP)!

    Families in Global Transition knows the power of both word-of-mouth and our annual conference. Combined, they have brought us our newest Sponsor, Cross Border Financial Planning (CBFP).

    “I was first introduced to FIGT by The International Family Law Group,” explains Edward Cole of CBFP. “Having worked with David and Lucy for several years, they invited me to speak with them at FIGT 2019. That was the start of what led to be a very positive experience. ”

    Cross Border Financial Planning specializes in providing financial advice to globally mobile individuals. Their financial planning solutions provided take into account the tax, currency and legal implications of clients’ current country of residence, as well as past and future plans. They also have a trusted network of professionals across the world that they work with in areas such as tax advice, legal services, immigration advice and property finance.

    “CBFP started as a result of two factors, our skills specialising in this field and an interest from all partners to live and work abroad. Our focus has and always will be to provide financial advice to a large but often underserved group – globally mobile people. Our focus has been advising those moving to or from the UK, US and Australia. However, we’re excited to be working on a new investment service that will allow people across the world to invest tax efficiently in multiple currencies.”

    Edward participated in a Morning Forum panel on financial, legal and tax planning for the globally mobile. He also immersed himself in the conference experience, meeting fellow attendees and learning about the topics, trends and research findings affecting those living and working across cultures.

    “I always relish the opportunity to try something new, but that feeling is often balanced with the apprehension of not knowing what to expect and this was no different. It didn’t take long though to realise that this was a friendly and supportive group that engages with interesting topics not discussed elsewhere.”

    “Having started the weekend thinking, ‘I’m an imposter, I’ve haven’t lived in at least three different continents,’ I ended it believing that this was an exciting, informative and unique group made up of welcoming people from around the world.”

    What does Edward look forward to most at FIGT 2020 in Bangkok?

    “Reconnecting with members and likewise meeting new ones, participating in topic discussions that I wouldn’t normally be exposed to, listening and learning from different stories and viewpoints, and finally, starting the journey of CBFP being a part of FIGT. And the Thai food, of course.”

    “We are thrilled to be joining FIGT 2020 as a Silver sponsor.”

    We’re thrilled, too. We welcome Cross Border Financial Planning, thank them for their partnership, and look forward to seeing them in March at FIGT 2020!

  • 10 Oct 2019 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    The goodbyes and welcomes continue as we thank three more out-bound Directors: Rita Rosenback, Kyoung Mi Choi, and Jody Tangredi.

    Last month we acknowledged three of our Board Members who were leaving the FIGT Board and welcomed the new Board Members who will be replacing them. This month we continue that practice of grateful goodbyes focusing on three more Directors: Rita Rosenback, Kyoung Mi Choi, and Jody Tangredi.

    Vice President

    Rita has served as Vice President for the past three years, supporting two Presidents. In the video below she discusses her memories and her proudest moments with FIGT Communications Co-Chair, Ginny Philps.

    Rita’s role will be filled by Jodi Harris, who has a BA in English and another in Spanish as well as a Master’s Degree in Social Work and has been working with globally mobile communities for over 15 years.

    Research Network Liaison

    We also farewell Kyoung Mi Choi, who has been the Research Network Liaison Director. She describes her proud memories:

    "I was so pleased to see the TCK and CCK researchers from around the world at the last two FIGT conferences…sharing our passion, care and curiosity and generating ideas to better support each other. I am also proud to be part of the research group and of an organization like FIGT that values TCK/CCK research and the researcher’s efforts."

    We welcome Anastasia Lijadi to the role of Research and Education Director. Anastasi has an award-winning PhD and is currently working as a Research Scholar as part of a team working on developing a new human well-being indicator.

    Scholarship Director

    We say thank-you to Scholarship Director, Jody Tangredi, as she tells us:

    “The biggest objective I had when I came to the Board was to create a more objective and less time-consuming review of the scholarship applications. While the existing process was strong with four readers from diverse backgrounds and some guidelines, I knew how to develop a rubric and a process that would help make it more rigorous while taking less debate time. I ran a pilot one year and am delighted to see it’s in use for the third year running, working well.

    “I also found such generosity of spirit and smarts working on this Board that I’m proud to say it was a pleasure to contribute to our award-winning year.”

    The new Scholarship Director is Matilda Criel-Ewoldt who has herself been a recipient of the David Pollock scholarship to attend the conference in 2019. She is currently working toward her doctorate in clinical psychology researching aspects of the TCK experience that might predict healthy or unhealthy coping.

    Thank you to everyone who has given their time, energy, enthusiasm and creativity to the work of FIGT and welcome to those who have committed to working on the Board for the next two years. We couldn’t do this without you all!

  • 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.

  • 09 Sep 2019 12:38 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    FIGT is fortunate to have such supportive sponsors as CrossBorder Living and the Pattersons, who thoroughly understand globally mobile life and its challenges. 

    We are fortunate to have supportive sponsors, and it’s particularly easy when a sponsor like CrossBorder Living shares an intuitive understanding of the globally mobile life and the challenges and stresses faced by individuals, couples and families living and working across cultures.

    Founders, Jennifer Patterson, who has lived abroad more than half her life, and her dual-national husband Jeff Patterson, have raised two tri-national children while working for their own advisory firm for international clients, Patterson Partners.

    Drawn to the mission of Families in Global Transition, Patterson Partners sponsored us for several years, and it was during the many conversations they held with FIGT members and conference attendees that it became increasingly apparent how challenging it was for cross-culturals to gain the financial information and services they required and also find regulated financial services firms able to provide that.

    The globally mobile community is used to having to create the previously non-existent services needed to survive and thrive. So, not surprisingly, Jennifer and Jeff realized that in the face of such gaps in the international financial advising world, they would just have to step in to help close them.

    This led Jennifer to write two books on the topic, the most recent being Financial Planning for Global Living.

    She also went on to found CrossBorder Living, whose Global Institute for Life and Wealth teaches cross-border technical and practice-related topics to financial practitioners.

    Just as importantly, it also provides events and training for the globally mobile to create, grow and manage their financial assets – regardless of how much or how little they might be – in a way that best supports how they want to live cross-cultural lives.

    FIGT2019 in Bangkok saw Jennifer and Jeff once again generously engaged in listening, learning and sharing their knowledge to help participants better understand what they need to know. Because as they well know, these conversations are the inspirational seeds to enhance the structures and tools they’ve developed to help our community.

    We are deeply appreciative of the Pattersons and CrossBorder Living for their continued partnership with FIGT!

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