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AIESEC Life Founders Circle Retreat 2014- Recap

Monday, September 22, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Karen Thigpen
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Photo above of AIESEC Life Founders Circle Retreat Attendees 2014  in Seattle/Tacoma

(front row sitting on stairs L-R, front row: Lili Hein, Karen Thigpen, Heather Blahnik, Sarah Endline. 2nd row: Andrew Lewis, Jeff Popiel, Connie Gelhaus Kestler. 3rd row L-R: Neils Caszo, Allen Kone, 4th row: Karan Goenka, Frank Foti, 5th row: Jerry Allison, Tiffany Curtiss, Predrag Cvetkovski. Standing, L to R – Adam Mackstaller, Joe Campagna, Edith Gong, Paul Hamill, Jonathan Thigpen.

Each summer, AIESEC Life holds an annual retreat where its Board of Directors, team members and strongest supporters gather for a 3-day weekend of fun and focus on AIESEC Life.  This year, attendees gathered in the Seattle and Tacoma-area from July 24-26 for what was yet another productive, dynamic and energizing time.  Check the weekend's official agenda here.

The weekend kicked off on Thursday morning with a tour of Vigor Industrial (one the nation's leaders in shipbuilding and repair), where AIESEC Life Board and Founders Circle member, Frank Foti currently serves as CEO.  Later that afternoon the group enjoyed various tours of downtown Seattle and reconvened for an afternoon "tech chat" with distinguished and local alumni Pedro Huerta and Mike Smith.  Mike Smith is the current President of Full Circle and Pedro Huerta is the current Director of Kindle for Latin America. Later than evening the group dined at the home of alumnus and Seattle BOA Chair Jim Dickeson eating gourmet food prepared by local alumnu chef Rachel Dubof.  For many, a highlight of the day was meeting  Professor Bud Saxberg, one of AIESEC's original members, who  attended and is a current resident of Seattle.

The following two days, the attendees dove into the official business of AIESEC Life.   Key discussions covered the topics of how to improve member loyalty, how to increase alumni involvement in the traineeship program and how to foster additional career networking opportunities. Additionally, the AIESEC Life Board discussed and agreed to move forward with the planning of a 60th Anniversary celebration for AIESEC US to be held in 2016.  A survey seeking alumni input on the planning process is available here.  What's more, the board applauded the recent accomplishments made by AIESEC Alumni International and the advancements they've made toward coodinating alumni efforts globally.  The rest of weekend included sightseeing in Tacoma, a dinner out for all attendees, and a lively house party that included alumni and students from throughout the Seattle area.

Many thanks to all who attended!  Extra special thanks to Jean-luc Mege, spouse to AIESEC Life Board Member Sarah Endline, for lending us his talents and photographing the entire weekend.  Merci!

A few favorite event photos are below...but click here to see the complete photo story!

Interested in participating in next year's Founders Circle Retreat? Contact Karen Thigpen at

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