Friendship Force International announced that seven new directors have been appointed to the organization’s International Board of Directors. These appointments became effective in two stages, on January 1st and February 1st, 2022.

The new appointments follow the installation of Canadian Christiane Beaupré as the Board Chair for 2022.

The Board works closely with the CEO to further FFI’s mission and embrace its core values. They navigate fiscal and administrative responsibilities and determine and pursue the organization’s strategic direction. The newest Board members (from Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Japan, and the USA) are a committed group of dedicated Friendship Force members with a broad range of professional experience. Each new member brings talents and expertise that will contribute to the steady guidance and leadership provided by the International Board of Directors to the organization.

ANDREW KELLY, UNITED KINGDOM

Andrew joined Friendship Force in 1986 and has been an active member of the
Greater Manchester club in the United Kingdom ever since. He has served as
journey coordinator many times, is currently the president of his club, and chaired
his club’s hosting of Friendship Force International’s very successful 40th
Anniversary World Conference in Manchester in 2017. His career background is in
telecommunications and computing, although he was also a partner in an adult
mental health care home business for many years. Andrew likes to travel and his
journeys have so far taken him to all seven continents of the world. His hobbies are music and photography.

 

DONNA SIMEK, USA
Donna follows in the footsteps of her father, Bill Hagan, as a second-generation FF
board member. She travelled on her first FF trip in 1984 to Cali, Columbia. Bill and
Mary Ellen Hagan were her inspiration to start one of the newest FF clubs in Boston
in 2018. Donna works for GlobalData, a market research firm, and brings more than
25 years of global account development and management experience in the
technology industry. Donna and her husband, Bob, have a family of four children and
a shared love of travel. She is an avid hiker and rows competitively. She would love
to help attract members who share the passion for exploring active adventures and new cultures. Donna holds a B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Purdue University with a Minor in Marketing.

 

JON WAGNER, CANADA
Jon joined Friendship Force in 2016 and launched the Lake Simcoe club and is club president.
With a BA Sc. in Systems Design Engineering and a MA Sc. in Management Sciences
and Cross-Cultural Behaviour, he is retired from a diverse career in Senior Human
Resources, Organizational Development, Training & Development and Change
Management. As President of J Wagner Consulting Inc. and Managing Director of
VirtualeTeams, he consulted to government, non‐profit and private sector clients for
over 25 years. He authored three books and has developed workshops. Jon was co‐founder of the Toronto Organization Development (OD) Network and was on the faculty of Canadian OD Institute. Jon has travelled in over 30 countries. He enjoys the natural world, music, learning about and experiencing other cultures.

 

MIKE MCFARLANE, AUSTRALIA
Mike has served as Vice President, President, webmaster and online administrator
for FF Sunshine Coast. He enjoys biking, tennis, and skiting about his kids and
grandkids. Mike led staff professional development and the development of
distance education at the University of Southern Queensland, which led to diverse
groups being able to study off-campus. He developed his faculty’s international
program, travelling regularly in Asia. He designed and taught university courses in
analytics and IT, and co-managed SimStat, a self-funding consultancy modelling
large complex systems and advanced statistical analyses. He also worked with commercial software development teams in the USA. Mike was a Board Director of Tread Lightly Australia and held leadership positions in APEX, P&C of his children’s school, and the Queensland Association of Four-Wheel Drive Clubs.

 

SANDEE LEE, USA
Sandee has been a member of FF Sacramento since 2015. She served as the club’s
Vice President in 2019 and as President in 2020. She is actively involved with and
serves as chair of the FFI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. She is a fifth
generation Chinese-American born in Bakersfield, California. She earned a B.S.
degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Public Administration. Her 33-year
career with the State of California included serving as Director of the Business
Collections Bureau, California Franchise Tax Board, before retiring in 2015. She has
also taught accounting at the college level. She enjoys traveling, reading, gardening, painting and cooking.

 

THIAGO DE LORENA FÁBIO, BRAZIL
Thiago is a Physiotherapy and Master of Science graduate. He lived in the U.A.E.
where he worked for Emirates Airlines, travelling extensively in a multicultural
team. He founded “SpeakOut”, a successful English school and learning method
based on verbal communication. He has become an effective ESL teacher and
mentor, helping hundreds of professionals reach their English goals in business,
finance, marketing, science, and technology – thus he has become well-versed in
these subjects. He joined Brazil’s FF Ribeirão Preto in 2017 and led his first Journey
two years later. Since then, he has led other successful Journeys for his club, and invites his English students, mentees, and friends to participate during inbound Journeys. Thiago counts outdoor activities, sports, and the ocean among his great loves, as well as history, geography, movies, seafood, coffee, and Japanese food.

 

YOSHIKO KOIZUMI, JAPAN
Yoshiko joined FF Sapporo in 1999 and noticed on her first hosting that this
organization offered something different from just travel. The FF history book “The
Other Side of the Mountain” fueled her desire to be deeply involved in the
organization’s and club’s activities. She was FF Sapporo’s Vice President and
President for a total of 14 years, and most recently served as the Field
Representative for Japan’s northern region since 2019. She has also been a Journey
Coordinator numerous times, both for inbound and outbound Journeys. While busy
raising her three children, Yoshiko was involved in her town’s community and the PTA, leading other volunteers. She is also a Vice President of the Hokkaido International Women’s Association.

 

“We are delighted to welcome our new directors, a group of seasoned, accomplished, and respected leaders who will bring a wide and diverse range of skills to Friendship Force International,” said Jeremi Snook, President and CEO of Friendship Force International.

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