Jon Fay and Claudio Marcel in Palm Beach
2018 Honorable Mention:
Antje Schulke in Bochum
InterNations Ambassadors are natural communicators — after all, they make events come to life through communication. They begin by negotiating great deals with venues, and in turn host excellent events which keep the community vibrant and engaged. For this category, the Global Awards jury looked beyond simply great negotiators for this award and considered teams who were stellar communicators in every respect.
Top nominees for this award had much in common. They maintained an active presence in their community and assist members on the platform through the event wall, messages, and in person. Nominees also were particularly adept at maintaining an online presence, both on and off our platform. Ambassadors and teams promoted InterNations on their own social media channels in a way that successfully re-routed interested people back to the platform, and some even secured interviews with various local media outlets.
Finally, the nominees had a great relationship with their managers at HQ. As InterNations HQ aims to continually improve the volunteer and member experience, we rely heavily on Ambassadors’ local expertise in the community to guide our understanding of the community. Nominees in this category were particularly helpful and open to implementing projects and tests designed to improve the community and provided HQ with excellent feedback and engaging critiques throughout the process.
Why They Won
One of 2018’s jury members makes the case for the Palm Beach Ambassadors’ win:
“The Palm Beach Team is incredibly communicative, timely, caring, and makes sure that they are always available to support and consider the requests of their members. For example, they make sure to answer wall posts, try to offer unique networking events, and truthfully work as a team to always make sure their events happen. Guests leave top reviews and nice comments about how caring the Ambassadors are and, as a community manager, it’s always pleasant to receive updates from Jon who really puts his heart and soul into the role. Ambassadors like Jon and Claudio make me more motivated as a community manager to find solutions for communities as they very often implement our advice from HQ. I am always happy to give feedback and look forward to what they offer in the new year. Members of this team gave several interviews to the media and are always happy to give feedback and reach out to help neighboring communities and fellow Ambassadors.”
Interview with the Winners
In your opinion, what specific communication skills have helped you in your role as Ambassador for the Palm Beach, USA Community?
John: Myself and Claudio attribute our communication skills to our widely diversified international backgrounds, starting with being born in Singapore and Croatia respectively, taking opportunities to travel to and live/work in over 60 countries around the world, and having the support of our Puerto Rican wives. Wherever we were, we happily accepted the challenges of management roles in our workplaces, connecting through professional and social groups, and making friends in these countries, many of which required communicating in different languages. From all these international experiences, as well as our individual personal traits, we innately enjoy meeting people and sharing experiences, which has been, and always will be important in our lives, especially in our roles as the InterNations Palm Beach Ambassadors.
We feel it is so important to warmly welcome all "old" members/friends, as well as newcomers, to every event, making sure that they are introduced to and connected with like-minded members —we can often relate to members' origination countries as we have actually been there! This way everyone gets to know us and we get to know them.
Myself and Claudio want to especially mention our wonderful events "Welcome Team", Daisy and Carmen (our wives), as well as Beverlee, Janie, and Joyce, with their partners, Bill and Bud, all of whom support us so amazingly and bring their own international experiences.
How do you maintain an online presence both on and off the InterNations platform?
John: At all our events we chat with "old" members and friends, and more importantly "first timers", establishing and developing personal contacts, making sure that members are comfortable in contacting us to ask about almost anything from sharing rides to events, recommendations for places to drink/eat and meet other folks, and interesting things to do in the area. These contacts have resulted in extra-InterNations circles of friends. Additionally, we also established great connections with the British American, Irish American, and Swedish American Chambers of Commerce in the area, and have held several successful shared events, which have resulted in new members both for InterNations and the various Chambers of Commerce.
We make a point of responding to all messages and inquires sent to us via the InterNations website, which our members really appreciate.
You really excel at offering unique events for your community. Do you have any tips for other communities looking to improve in this area?
John: We are fortunate in having a wide variety of possible venues in the area and have established a core of several venues that members really like. Of course, we are always looking for new places, some of which are referred to us by members. We have found that choosing venues that can be "googled" or otherwise researched by members, attracts more returning and new members. Events with interesting themes are also popular, especially the annual InterNations birthday celebration events.
Congratulations to John Faye and Claudio Marcel from Palm Beach, winner of the Communication Awards.
We would also like to recognize our honorable mention, Antje Schulke in Bochum, for taking the lead on communication in all aspects of your role!
About the Winners:
Jon Fay was born in Singapore, of British parents born in Myanmar and Egypt; his siblings were born in Malaysia and England. In 1957 he returned to England and went to school there, before emigrating to Canada for work. He has lived in Asia, the UK, Canada, and various Caribbean and Latin American countries, before retiring to and settling in Florida, USA. He is active in the Palm Beach area as a member of the British American Chamber of Commerce and president of his community wine club. Aside from his role as InterNations Ambassador for the past five years, he is a member of the Palm Beach Professional Networking Group, Palm Beach Explorers Group, and Miami After Work Group.
Claudio Marcel was born in Croatia and, after spending time in Italy and France, emigrated to Australia in 1962 where he spent his formative years. He subsequently moved to Canada in 1971 where he joined a major Banks International Department and worked and lived in the Caribbean and Central America, namely Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, and Nicaragua. He also lived in the Philippines with extensive travel to other Asian countries. This exposure to other cultures has given him a distinct advantage working as an Ambassador with InterNations and allows him to complement Jon’s skills and experience in a similar environment. He has been an InterNations Ambassador since 2017.