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Guest Post: Programs Staff Update, by Matthew Nidek, FFI Director of Operations

Hello (and Kia Ora!)

It is an absolute pleasure to write to you now as the Director of Operations of FFI. In addition to looking after the Program Services Department, I now have more input and collaboration with our finance, marketing and communications, and Information Technology teams. I have fully embraced my new responsibilities here, and I’m thrilled to take part in helping our organization thrive as we enter into our 40th anniversary celebrations next year. There is so much going on, and I’m excited to share some of the news with you.

Matthew Nidek FFI Director of Operations

FFI Programs staff have gone through quite a lot of changes over the last few months. As we shared last month, Kaitlyn Ranney has taken on the position of Director of Marketing and Communications, and Laura Romero has assumed the role of IT Manager in addition to her support duties for Latin America. Amidst these changes, FFI Headquarters took the opportunity to change the Program Manager role responsibilities and name, as well as hire new staff who live in the regions where they offer club support.

Program Managers are now Regional Support Managers
This name is changing in an attempt to better reflect the function of the Friendship Force headquarters position for clubs, members, board and outside constituents.

  • Regional suggests that the position is charged with a specific region or group of countries
  • Support describes the function of the position in relation to clubs and members in that region.
  • Manager reflects the coordination and management responsibilities for this region.

By bringing together the functions of exchange management, exchange planning, club development and club support for a specific country or region, the Regional Support Manager (RSM) is better able to assess the needs of the region.  In this way, the RSM is responsible for their region in its entirety. The Regional Support Manager also becomes the knowledge expert for that region bringing forth both verbal and written reports that provides a comprehensive assessment of the health of the Friendship Force network for that region.

Welcoming New Staff
Filling these newly opened positions sure wasn’t easy! But we have found three people, Valerie Malfara, Kerstin Hogan, and Hemily Nogueira who are going to do a fantastic job! You can read more about their backgrounds on our website bio page here.

New position for Allison Lindsey, Senior Regional Support Manager
Long time employee, Allison Lindsey, was recently appointed the Senior Regional Support Manager position to recognize her long-term support and institutional knowledge. Many of you, I’m sure, have had the pleasure to work with Allison over the years. Allison will be available to provide help and advice for members and staff. She is also going to be the main contact person at FFI Headquarters for all Canadian and U.S. clubs. We are particularly excited about our U.S. members now having a main contact person at FFI, and that it’s our highly experienced and knowledgeable staff member!

You can find a full listing of club support roles here.

As always, please feel free to email me with any questions or comments you may have. I am looking forward to continuing working with and for you!

Matthew Nidek
Director of Operations
Friendship Force International

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