InterNations Global Awards 2019 Winners
We are thrilled to announce this year’s winners and honorable mentions for the third annual Global Awards! The InterNations Community life is made possible through the efforts of over 6,600 Ambassadors and Consuls who voluntarily dedicate their time to bringing members together in our 420 communities around the world. The InterNations Global Awards recognize our top Ambassadors and Consuls worldwide for their achievements in event and activity planning and implementation.
Read on for a glimpse of the extraordinary InterNations Ambassadors and Consuls who make official events shine around the world. Congratulations to our 2019 winners!
Innovation Award — Ambassador
Winners: Lena Zhu, Felipe Rufino Atkocius, Wiebe Wilbers, and Gisèle JI — Guangzhou
Honorable Mention: Dewi Farhanin, Christophe Beaufays, and Ghassan Fayyad — Jeddah
The Innovation Award is presented to an Ambassador Team that consistently comes up with highly innovative ideas, providing unique themes and locations to the members. This year’s winner was the Guangzhou Team, who dedicated their second monthly event to a specific nation as a creative way to bring members together. The innovative concept has inspired members to take part in celebrating and learning more about different nationalities around the world each month. Among many other countries that have been recently represented are Australia, Georgia, Mexico, and Portugal.
Innovation Award — Consul
Winner: Ilóida Mota — Hyderabad
Honorable Mention: Charles Boch — Montréal
The Innovation Award is presented to a Consul who comes up with highly unique ideas and thinks outside the box when coming up with clever themes and topics for their members. Ilóida Mota is 2019’s winner in Hyderabad, one of InterNations newest additions. New communities require a lot of engagement because they are starting out completely fresh, and Ilóida wasted no time in creating engaging activities to help build her two groups into a thriving and fun place to be. Currently Consul of the Weekend Fun Group and the Coffee Group, she blends creative descriptions with exciting outings that are well-attended and positively received in this small yet growing community. From visiting mystery rooms and adventure parks to murder mystery dinners, Ilóida never ceases to impress with her innovative and well-executed themed activities.
Changemakers Consuls of the Year
Winners: Renata Sorce and Regina Boquin — Prague
Honorable Mention: Ayako Yamamoto — Tokyo
The Changemakers Group is a special group concept entirely centered around charity and volunteer work. This award is presented to a team who continues to make a difference in their community and remains dedicated to their initiative through their group. Renata Sorce and Regina Boquin of the Prague Community took a unique approach as leaders of this group, deciding to forgo going global and instead focused on making a change right in their own neighborhood. They chose a very specialized local initiative supporting one target group, the homeless currently living in Prague. By focusing their efforts solely on this initiative, the Changemakers Group was able to directly see a result of their efforts while creating awareness that their work goes beyond a one-time help, as this target group is in need of active and regular support. Thanks to their efforts, many homeless people in Prague were able to count on the Changemakers members on a weekly basis.
Teamwork Circle of Excellence — Ambassador
Winners: Catherin Plasse-Ferland, Davina Michel, and Ombeline Desvignes — Québec City
Honorable Mention: Metin Suerkan, Jackie McCormack, Engin Aslan, Tina Sheppard, and Lamis C — Istanbul
The Teamwork Circle of Excellence Award is given to an Ambassador Team that exhibits outstanding teamwork and collaboration. Québec City is one of InterNations youngest communities, and winners Catherin, Davina, and Ombeline wasted no time in building the community up from scratch when it started in May 2018. When a new community is introduced to the platform it can take some time and patience to develop, but the Québec Community in particular has grown extremely fast. This was largely in part to the team of Ambassadors who stepped in as one unified voice to the community and who were, most importantly, committed to having fun. Genuine, fresh events and a very positive vibe make this community special.
Teamwork Circle of Excellence — Consul
Winners: David Lee and Alicia Aponte — Atlanta
Honorable Mention: Mara Cozzi and Carmine Basile — London; Asif Ali Syed and Kylie Nguyen — Ho Chi Minh City
The Teamwork Circle of Excellence award is presented to a Consul Team who displays exceptional collaboration and supports the team vision while leading their group. The Consuls of the Atlanta Explorers Group impressed the jury with their commitment to communicate as one voice within the group, even when they were not co-hosting. Consuls have their own preference for hosting activities together or working independently on their own ideas. David Lee and Alicia Aponte have found a great rhythm for co-leading the group with a unified style while hosting activities together and independently. Together, they value member feedback for future activities and new concepts, and the results have resulted in a rich selection of diverse explorer-style activities.
Winner (featured): Darlene Antonio — Muscat
Honorable Mention: Pierre Michel — Bangkok
The Breakout Ambassador is awarded to a new Ambassador who performed extremely well in 2019, diving straight into the role and taking it on with genuine enthusiasm and drive. Our winner, Darlene Antonio, became an Ambassador for the Muscat Community in January 2019, taking on both the official events and the Newcomers’ Events immediately. Darlene has had a very positive influence on the community spirit and development and is always open to suggestions and feedback. Since she has come on board, we’ve seen the community continue to grow for the better. As Ambassador, Darlene has sourced new high-end venues and planned many diverse events this year — and she has received great feedback from members due to her creative efforts. In addition to her hard work at the events, she is the Consul of three InterNations Groups and started a donation drive to help people in need.
Winner: Josie Sison — Riyadh
Honorable Mention: Corinne Hills — Nice; Ruslana Rafalska — Sydney
The Breakout Consul award is presented to a new Consul who performed extremely well in 2019, diving straight into the role and taking it on with genuine enthusiasm and drive. Our winner, Josie Sison, became a Consul for the Riyadh Community in July 2019 and has since branched out to four groups. In order to be a Consul for a group, InterNations asks for a minimum of one activity each month to maintain the group’s momentum, and Josie has managed to host 60 quality activities already within her first five months. While managing several very active groups, Josie has remained organized with her busy schedule and still finds a way to think of diverse activities suited to each group’s specific theme.
Looking Ahead Honors — Ambassador
Winner: Dr. Slobodan "Boban" Poznanovic — Wiesbaden-Mainz
Honorable Mention: Chelsea Jimenez and Tarundeep “Daisy” Kaur — Bangalore
The Looking Ahead Honors is given to the Ambassador who is a master planner! For this award, we could look no further than Slobodan "Boban" Poznanovic, Ambassador for the Wiesbaden-Mainz Community. Boban has been leading the way as an Ambassador for many years and he has a record of never missing an event, dating back to 2014. Beyond being a careful and thorough planner, Boban also looks ahead for potentially challenging months in the schedule, communicates his dates in advance to the community and Consuls, and even consults Ambassadors of the nearby Frankfurt Community to ensure no overlaps.
At Home Around the World — Consul
Winner: Andrea Vid — Milan
Honorable Mention: Monica Dierks — Berlin
This award is presented to the Consul who truly lives a global lifestyle and promotes cross-community exchange. Consuls nominated for this award actively visit different InterNations Communities, attend activities and events across communities, and sometimes even host their own. A Consul for three groups in the Milan Community, winner Andrea Vid still managed to attend and host activities elsewhere in Freiburg, Basel, Padua, Verona, and Vienna in 2019. He is a very active member, too, having attended nearly 400 events and activities. Andrea is largely present in the Milan Community, but he also makes a special effort to get to know other communities near and far by engaging on group walls and attending and hosting activities when he is visiting. This year’s winner is all about connecting global minds!
Best Venues — Ambassador
Winners: Jonathan Hugo and Andrew Lindsay — Phuket
Honorable Mention: Will Bedoucha, Amai Tran, Devi Novianti, Hilary Tsui and Sarah Lee —Hong Kong
Best Venues is awarded to the Ambassador Team that consistently chooses superb venues, going above and beyond for top-class locations. Ambassadors Jonathan Hugo and Andrew Lindsay won this award for their efforts to connect with members through a diverse assortment of high-quality venues in Phuket, Thailand. They focus on venues that appeal to a wide range of preferences in order to keep members engaged and deliver something for everyone. Despite the diversity of locations, they never spare quality and their portfolio of venues reflects their great taste.
Best Locations — Consul
Winner: Jeffrey Itell — Ho Chi Minh City
Honorable Mention: Rita Garcia — New York City
The award in the Best Locations category is granted to a Consul who consistently chooses superb locations, going above and beyond to find unique places to host their group members. Jeffrey Itell, Consul of the Over 40 Luxury Group and DinnerNations in Ho Chi Minh City, was 2019’s winner for this award. Jeffrey consistently negotiated top-class venues for affordable prices throughout this vibrant city in Vietnam. Anything from rooftop views capturing the beautiful skyline to piano lounges and private cocktail parties with free welcome beverages were on the agenda for this outstanding Consul and his groups.
Community of One — Ambassador and Consul
Winners: Natasa An, Ricardo Rodriguez, Martyna Grzesik, and Araceli Mendez — Ingolstadt
Honorable Mention: Dominique Henri, Lalit Mistry, Michael Berger, James Moffat, Karina Eichenberger, Yvan Sikiaridis, and Michaela Rodríguez — Bern
The Community of One is awarded to a community where both Consuls and Ambassadors come together to guide the community’s growth and development. In the case of Ingolstadt, we were not disappointed! Ingolstadt is one of InterNations newest and smallest communities. Opened in July 2018, it currently has three Ambassadors and one Consul leading the community life. According to one jury member, Ingolstadt can be described as, “4 volunteers, 1 heart”. In addition to helping one another at respective official events and activities, the current team of Consul and Ambassadors also support one another with brainstorming new ideas and elements to build the community.
Best Host — Consul
Winner: Patricia Ribeiro — São Paulo
Honorable Mention: Magdalena Hytros — Dublin
The Best Host award is presented to the Consul who is the ideal host and truly embodies the InterNations spirit of “nobody stands alone”. Patricia Ribeiro of the São Paulo Community is the recipient of the 2019 award due to a fierce combination of a welcoming personality and savvy location selection. Patricia’s popular locations draw incredible sign-ups for her activities, and it’s clear that she fully lives the welcoming and friendly spirit that makes InterNations feel like a home away from home. She is highly motivated, well-organized with a friendly attitude, and very aligned with the InterNations values. Her Best Host status shows in her efforts to curate a positive experience for members at her activities.
Best Host — Ambassador
Winner: Jeremy D'Lima — Adelaide
Honorable Mention: Shahab Sharfaei — Kuala Lumpur
The Best Host award is presented to the Ambassador who is the ideal host and truly embodies the InterNations spirit of “nobody stands alone”. Jeremy D’Lima captured this year’s win for his consistent dedication to the Adelaide Community. He currently hosts on his own and has managed to singlehandedly offer 19 official events to the community in 2019 alone, going far beyond his monthly targets. In a community that has been met with challenges over the years he continues to persevere and hold strong, and the member feedback has been very favourable towards 2019’s best host!
Newcomers’ Ambassadors of the Year — Ambassador
Winners: Fedra Santos and Nima Dadkhah — Johannesburg
Honorable Mention: Gautam D. and Chaitanya Mistry — Munich
Newcomers’ Events are a special event format designed to provide new members in the largest InterNations Communities with an opportunity to have a glimpse into what being a member is all about. Ambassadors selected for this role are particularly adept at welcoming new faces and have a strong understanding of their city. Not only does the Johannesburg Newcomers’ Ambassador Team implement our desired format, but they go above and beyond in many ways. Fedra and Nima won this award for their creativity at offering members a complete first impression of InterNations. They keep the atmosphere lively with a variety of icebreaker games and start each event with a 15–30 minute “getting to know InterNations” session. Here, the team introduces our global community and the events and groups scene in Johannesburg. Then they open the floor to a Q&A session, allowing our newest members to have a voice in learning even more about how InterNations works.
Extra Mile Award — Consul
Winner: Ariana Delai — Lausanne
Honorable Mention: Kariem Adab — New York City
The Extra Mile Award is for the Consul who values quality above all else and makes a special effort to create amazing activities. Locations and themes are curated and chosen with care, activity descriptions are written perfectly, and the Consul makes sure to keep things fresh every month. Our 2019 winner, Ariana Delai, is currently Consul of four groups in Lausanne and her efforts show that she always goes “the extra mile”. Ariana chooses very diverse topics that work well with each group’s theme, and beyond that, she keeps an eye on the community and shares her own insights with HQ to further guide future group openings and new strategies. It is clear to us that she loves the activities she posts, which always makes the experience more fulfilling for members!
Extra Mile Award — Ambassador
Winner: Gunsu van der Avoird — Breda
Honorable Mention: Miguel Fernandez and Lucy Halwa — Salzburg
The Extra Mile Award is for the Ambassador who values quality above all else and makes a special effort to create amazing events. Gunsu van der Avoird in Breda has shown how one person can make a real difference in a community. She consistently “goes the extra mile” when it comes to event planning and implementation, sourcing positive long-term partnerships with the limited venues in town, and working to make the space into one that is welcoming and engaging for members. Her events are curated with creative themes and she even offers several perks, like special goodie bags and raffles for members, despite having a limited budget. Her warm, welcoming personality is a great fit and she often receives rave reviews from the members in this small yet vibrant community.
Brand Advocate Award — Ambassador
Winner: Simon Cowan — Guadalajara
Honorable Mention: Christine Bos — Paris
The Brand Advocate Award is presented to the Ambassador who fully supports our mission and vision and lives the InterNations spirit. This Ambassador is a constant brand advocate and always tries to be the best representative of InterNations. Simon Cowan of the Guadalajara Community is 2019’s Brand Advocate winner for his continued commitment to enhancing the member experience. Simon goes out of his way to promote InterNations in his local community by spreading the word to non-members, providing flyers and business cards to local establishments, and sharing information about his events on social media. He also makes an effort to design activities that are accessible for a variety of members so that everyone can join the fun.
Brand Advocate Award — Consul
Winner: Sanjeev Gupta — London
Honorable Mention: Inongé Malumo — Johannesburg
The Brand Advocate Award is presented to the Consul who fully supports our mission and vision and lives the InterNations spirit. This Consul is a constant brand advocate and always tries to be the best representative of InterNations. A Consul since 2014, Sanjeev Gupta from the InterNations London Community has been a committed and long-term host who knows the InterNations mission very well. Currently, Sanjeev is the Consul of three groups and lives the InterNations spirit by being a present and informed host at all times and ensuring that each group remains a place of engagement and lively interaction. In addition to organizing his own activities, Sanjeev regularly encourages Albatross Members to get involved and take an active role in the community, too, by posting their own activities.