Event Details

Best Buddies International is excited to invite you to the 2023 Global Staff Forum to be held in Madrid, Spain from Wednesday, October 4th – Saturday, October 7th, 2023! This event aims to bring together respected colleagues from around the globe, learn and share Best Buddies' best practices, and connect with corporate partners. All Best Buddies Global Staff are invited to attend this unique training and networking opportunity.


We will also celebrate the Best Buddies Spain Gala! Invitees include staff from around the world, Anthony Kennedy Shriver, the United States Ambassador to Spain, and CEOs from multinational companies.

Agenda

  • Oct 4, 2023

  • Oct 5, 2023

  • Oct 6, 2023

  • Oct 7, 2023

  • Main Schedule

  • Invite Only Best Buddies Jobs Training

3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Arrival and Hotel Check-In
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Welcome Dinner
Saona
C. del Gral. Oráa, 38, 28006 Madrid

This is a four-minute walk from the hotel.

Saona is a Mediterranean restaurant that employs individuals with IDD.

Speakers

  • Jennifer Allen (Senior Director, International Programs of Best Buddies International)

    Jennifer Allen

    Senior Director, International Programs of Best Buddies International

    Jennifer Allen is the Senior Director of International Programs at Best Buddies International. She has been with the organization for 12 years and oversees the international expansion and global partnerships. She led the expansion of 20 new countries.

    Jennifer has two BAs from Miami University in International Relations and Latin American Studies. In 2017, Jennifer received her Executive MBA from IE Business School. She has Executive Education certificates from Berkeley Haas School of Business and Harvard Business School.

    Outside work, she is a certified yoga teacher and resides with her family in Madrid, Spain.

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  • Alex Borg (Project Manager and Research Associate at The Lisbon Council)

    Alex Borg

    Project Manager and Research Associate at The Lisbon Council

    Alex Borg is currently a project manager and research associate at the Lisbon Council as well as a founding board member of Best Buddies Europe. He previously worked as policy and personal assistant to European Commissioner Helena Dalli, European commissioner for equality. He has served as political officer at the European Union Delegation in Cameroon, a fellow at the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Child Protection section and an independent consultant collaborating with UNICEF and other renowned children’s organisations like Save the Children, ChildFund Alliance and Joining Forces. He holds a BSc in politics and international relations from the London School of Economics and an MSc in violence, conflict, and development from the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

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  • Stephanie Checo (Strategic Consultant)

    Stephanie Checo

    Strategic Consultant

    Stephanie is a young woman with vision, courage, and determination to challenge the status quo and make a lasting impact on society.

    Her interest in impactful initiatives led her to embrace the challenge of becoming the General Coordinator of Best Buddies in the Dominican Republic at the age of 21. In this role, she spearheaded pioneering initiatives for the social and workplace inclusion of individuals with different abilities, including the launch of the country's first YouTube channel and the first inclusive radio segment.

    Stephanie is a strategic consultant and a marketing graduate from the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) in the Dominican Republic. She has completed programs in social entrepreneurship and project management with various universities. She holds a Master's degree in the Creation and Management of Innovative Companies and a Specialization in the Economics of the Common Good from the University of Valencia, Spain.

    Throughout her career, she has been involved in various NGO projects in collaboration with the United Nations. Currently, she serves as a Program Manager at the Social Nest Foundation and is a Co-Founder of the international cooperation consultancy, Casterly.

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  • Samantha Cook (Strategic Communications & Change Management Consultant at Deloitte)

    Samantha Cook

    Strategic Communications & Change Management Consultant at Deloitte

    Samantha (Sam) Cook has been involved with Best Buddies for almost 10 years and held 13 different roles, including serving on the global Board of Directors and local Advisory boards for multiple states. She was the chair of the Young Leaders Council (YLC) from 2016-2018, and continues to provide support as a Global Ambassador and advisor to the YLC. Professionally, Sam works as a consultant for Deloitte, where she is on the national leadership team for the People with Disabilities and Allies Community and has executed the company’s global Disability Awareness Month strategy in 2021 and 2022, reaching thousands of people across the firm. Sam is based in Nashville, TN and loves to travel, watch the Cincinnati Bengals “American” football team & snuggle with her new Samoyed puppy, Layla.

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  • Alexander Dessauer (Vice President, International Programs at Best Buddies International)

    Alexander Dessauer

    Vice President, International Programs at Best Buddies International

    https://www.bestbuddies.org

    Serving as both a Board Member of Best Buddies International and the Vice President of its International Programs, Alex has continuously volunteered in advance of the Best Buddies mission since 1993.

    A graduate of Duke University, Alex has contributed through various evolving positions within Best Buddies, engaging in such organizational divisions as media and communications; special projects; and most recently, during the course of the past decade, developing Best Buddies’ programmatic presence around the globe.

    In collaboration with the dedicated staff of the International Programs Department, Alex has facilitated the establishment of more than 47 accredited-country programs, which admirably represent Best Buddies across six continents. This global outreach, on behalf of persons with intellectual disabilities, has meaningfully supplemented the vibrant commitment that characterizes the Best Buddies movement; mutually benefiting both the domestic and overseas programs with effective fellowship and cross-national educational experiences, while reinforcing the organization as a vibrant collective unit in the service of persons with intellectual disabilities.

    Among the foremost objectives of Best Buddies, by the conclusion of 2025, is the realization of its programmatic presence in 60 countries; which achievement Alex remains dedicated to advancing in support of the Best Buddies mission throughout the international arena.

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  • Christopher Dourov (Director, Best Buddies Jobs of Best Buddies International)

    Christopher Dourov

    Director, Best Buddies Jobs of Best Buddies International

    https://www.BestBuddies.org

    Christopher Dourov began volunteering with Best Buddies over 10 years ago while earning a degree in engineering. After graduation, Chris volunteered at Leadership Conference and was recruited to Miami to be an Employment Consultant. Chris immediately became the job coach of an internship for 12 participants and the coach for 30 others who were already working in the community. After growing the caseload to over 55 individuals and supporting the job development in South Florida, Chris was promoted to the National Jobs team where he oversees the Jobs program policies and procedures. With a focus on the individuals served, Chris has worked towards elevating the best practices of our program, increasing the efficiency of our processes, and providing deeper data analysis for programmatic improvement. Chris also supports with training Best Buddies Jobs staff both in the U.S. and internationally.

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  • Tia Einarsen (Board Member at Best Buddies Europe)

    Tia Einarsen

    Board Member at Best Buddies Europe

    https://www.beatsforrelief.com/

    Marketer | Founder @BeatsforRelief | Musician

    From Chicago to Spain, Tia Einarsen has spent the last eight years crafting a unique blend of marketing expertise, musical talent, and unwavering dedication to social impact.

    With 13 years of global experience in tech, music, and loyalty social impact, Tia's track record is a testament to her sales success and exceptional relationship-building skills. Her work is marked by creativity and authenticity, whether strategizing with clients or engaging with end consumers through compelling storytelling.

    At the helm of Beats for Relief, Tia produces benefit concerts and art showcases that provide vital support to non-profits while celebrating the arts. These events feature a fusion of local and international artists, silent auctions, and branded experiences, leaving a lasting impact.

    As a musician herself, Tia understands the transformative power of music, and her commitment to the arts enriches her social impact initiatives.

    Tia is excited to be one of the founding members of the recently established entity Best Buddies Europe. She looks forward to help growing the movement in this region.

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  • Matthew Fernandez (Program Manager, International Programs at Best Buddies International)

    Matthew Fernandez

    Program Manager, International Programs at Best Buddies International

    Matthew “Matt” Fernandez is the Program Manager, International Programs for Best Buddies International. Matt is responsible for managing Best Buddies programs internationally & assisting with the organization’s global expansion. Prior to joining the International Programs team, Matt served on the Best Buddies Jobs team supporting filling the unemployment gap for people with disabilities. He was responsible for the job retention of our clients, as well as recruiting new employer partners to the Jobs program. Matt has experience delivering Diversity and Inclusion initiatives through various Diversity and Inclusion and Disability Sensitivity training with worldwide companies. A graduate of the University of Florida, Matt received his degree in Education and has also worked in the Special Education setting, paving the way for hundreds of students to receive accommodations, services, and instruction to be included in the classroom. Aside from his passion for Diversity and Inclusion, Matt enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, and visiting Theme Parks. He currently lives in Orlando, FL, and hopes to one day adopt a child with special needs.

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  • Anthony Kennedy Shriver (Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International)

    Anthony Kennedy Shriver

    Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International

    Anthony Kennedy Shriver is the Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International, which he created in 1989 to foster one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Recognizing the tremendous volunteer potential of university students, Shriver first inspired his college peers to personally collaborate in expanding the realm of opportunities that people with IDD should experience.

    Today, through Shriver’s stewardship and entrepreneurial spirit, Best Buddies® has grown into a leading nonprofit entity with increasing international reach across six continents, establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with IDD.

    A graduate of Georgetown University, Shriver has been recognized for his work on behalf of Best Buddies with diverse international accolades and honorary degrees. He is the father of five beautiful children and resides in Miami Beach, Florida.

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  • Monica Mir Bermejo (Country Director, Best Buddies Spain of Best Buddies Spain)

    Monica Mir Bermejo

    Country Director, Best Buddies Spain of Best Buddies Spain

    https://www.bestbuddies.es

    Mónica Mir is a marketing and innovation professional with extensive experience at multinational companies like Diageo, L'Oréal, and Mahou San Miguel. Two years ago, driven by a personal commitment to inclusion and diversity, Mónica transitioned from the corporate world to establish a foundation in Spain. A foundation dedicated to supporting children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping them build meaningful friendships and challenging societal perceptions of disability. That foundation is Best Buddies Spain. In addition, Mónica consults with businesses on inclusive marketing and diversity, combining professional expertise with a passion for positive change.

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  • Natalia Olivares (Best Buddies Ambassador at Best Buddies International)

    Natalia Olivares

    Best Buddies Ambassador at Best Buddies International

    Natalia Olivares has been involved with Best Buddies since 2010 and remains an active ambassador for inclusion in Spain. Natalia works a part-time job, participates in various organizations, and volunteers her time helping children with cancer.

    In 2019, Natalia was selected to speak as the international ambassador at the Annual Best Buddies International Leadership Conference. She spoke to a crowd of 3,000 attendees in English!

    Natalia really personifies the mission of Best Buddies International and we are very excited to have her as our Keynote Speaker for the 2023 Global Staff Forum.

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  • Alyssa Sherick (Deputy Director, Foundations & Grants • State Operations & Programs of Best Buddies International)

    Alyssa Sherick

    Deputy Director, Foundations & Grants • State Operations & Programs of Best Buddies International

    Alyssa has an undergraduate degree of B.S. Business Administration, Marketing and a Masters of Business Administration, MBA, with a concentration in International Strategy. She has been involved with Best Buddies since 2012 and joined as a staff member in 2016. Currently as Deputy Director of Foundations and Grants, Alyssa is supporting the procurement of private, corporate, and community foundation funding to support the operations and expansion of the Best Buddies International Programs Department. Throughout her tenure as staff, she has expanded the reach of programs and operations throughout the Western United States. Serving as Program Manager to Regional Director to Director of Mission Advancement, her experience is in developing partnerships with local and national organizations, planning 5-Star Friendship Walks and Galas, and developing and overseeing inaugural event committees and Advisory Boards. Alyssa has had various leadership roles throughout her time as staff, including serving as a new hire mentor, being selected for the inaugural Leadership Best Buddies class, serving on the 5 Star National Friendship Walk Team, leading programmatic trainings at the International Leadership Conference, and serving on the Curriculum Committee to further the professional advancement of staff.

    Outside of Best Buddies, Alyssa has a passion for global education that started with her studying abroad in Beijing, Shanghai, Oxford, London, and Vietnam. She has worked and volunteered in the Higher Education industry since 2013 supporting University strategy and development, including grant funding, relationship development with local and global communities, and most recently as a faculty member teaching a variety of courses within Business schools.

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  • Lionel Van der Straten (Brand Manager at Rossel)

    Lionel Van der Straten

    Brand Manager at Rossel

    Based out of Belgium, Lio is a marketing expert with extensive experience in digital and cause marketing. Over the past five years, Lio has helped guide NGOs with their marketing strategies. He is excited to share his knowledge with the Best Buddies community.

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Community

Connect with 26 people attending this event

Tickets

Global Staff Forum - Single Room Package

This ticket includes Global Staff Forum conference expenses.

HOTEL
Hotel Room: Single
Hotel Check-In: Wednesday, October 4th
Hotel Check-Out: Saturday, October 7th

MEALS
Thursday, October 5th: breakfast, coffee breaks (AM/PM), lunch
Friday, October 6th: breakfast, coffee breaks (AM/PM), lunch

EVENTS
Outside the conference schedule, this ticket includes access to the Best Buddies International Sponsored Welcome Dinner and Best Buddies Spain Gala

This ticket also includes a welcome package from Best Buddies International.

Standard Price $800
Global Staff Forum - Shared Room Package

This ticket includes Global Staff Forum conference expenses.

HOTEL
Hotel Room: Shared (NOTE: You will be assigned a roommate)
Hotel Check-In: Wednesday, October 4th
Hotel Check-Out: Saturday, October 7th

MEALS
Thursday, October 5th: breakfast, coffee breaks (AM/PM), lunch
Friday, October 6th: breakfast, coffee breaks (AM/PM), lunch

EVENTS
Outside the conference schedule, this ticket includes access to the Best Buddies International Sponsored Welcome Dinner and Best Buddies Spain Gala

This ticket also includes a welcome package from Best Buddies International.

Standard Price $600
Global Staff Forum Day Pass

This ticket includes Global Staff Forum conference expenses.

MEALS
Thursday, October 5th: breakfast, coffee breaks (AM/PM), lunch
Friday, October 6th: breakfast, coffee breaks (AM/PM), lunch

EVENTS
Outside the conference schedule, this ticket includes access to the Best Buddies International Sponsored Welcome Dinner and Best Buddies Spain Gala

This ticket also includes a welcome package from Best Buddies International.

Standard Price $250

Venue

Hotel NH Madrid Príncipe de Vergara

Príncipe de Vergara, 92, 28006
Madrid, Spain

If you have any questions please contact Yelba M. Sosa

Contact Organizer

+1 3053742233

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