Seven promising and committed members of the Hinrich Foundation Alumni Leadership Committee (ALC) met on Nov. 21 at The Peninsula Manila, Philippines, to give a formal structure of the organization.

Hinrich Foundation Alumni Association
The ALC members, (from left to right) Roger Li, Khiem Vu, Celeste Zeng, Laura Xiao, Megan Thomas, Lorie Cascaro and Ben Wong, together with (at the center) Alex Boome and Kathryn Dioth, pose for posterity during their short tour in the Intramuros walled city on Nov. 21, 2015 in Manila, Philippines.

The attending ALC members were Laura Xiao, Roger Li and Celeste Zeng from China; Megan Thomas and Ben Wong from the United States; Khiem Vu from Vietnam; and, Lorie Cascaro from the Philippines. Those who were not able to attend included Jean Shen from China, Naratevy Kek from Cambodia and Ramjan Miah from Bangladesh.

Merle Hinrich spoke to the committee during the induction ceremony, sharing his vision and the importance of the ALC in trade. He had been in Manila to attend the APEC summit and the Foundation’s Council of Members meeting on Nov. 18 to 20.

Also participating in the morning were members of the HF CoM: Alan Binnington, Michael Nock, plus HF management team, CEO Kathryn Dioth, Alex Boome, Bill Stacey, Steve Olson and Mark Grainger.

Stacey gave a presentation on personal financing and Olson talked about the international trade policy research of the Foundation.

Three pillars: ALC structure

The ALC members discussed about the importance of having a president to serve as the face or representative of the committee, to liaise, act as spokesperson and oversight of projects.

The Foundation’s Program Director, Alex Boome, emphasized the importance for the leaders to have “passion” to ensure that they are eager to contribute.

During a working lunch, they grouped themselves into three, according to the pillars of the committee: Engagement, Skills Development and Training & Careers.

Each group planned their programs and activities to effectively perform their functions.

The Engagement team aims to create activities that would actively engage all scholars and alumni, including potential candidates or scholars.

They agreed that there is a need to foster a community of loyalty and camaraderie during the whole duration of a scholar’s experience.

As Dioth put it, “Engage is the word in 2015.”

The Skills Development team basically identified four areas to provide training and tools to members and potential members. The areas included knowing yourself, educational courses, practical trainings and an online library.

The Career team identified three phases to engage everyone who will be interested in trade and eventually become part of the Alumni Association. Their activities include seminars, workshops, field trips, internships, mentoring and job placement.

Hinrich Foundation Alumni Association 2
The ALC members discuss the structure and functions of the committee on Nov. 21, 2015 at The Peninsula Manila, Philippines. Photo by Alex Boome.

The first president

Laura Xiao was elected as the first ALC president through secret balloting while the members, together with Dioth and Boome, were in a van, maneuvering through Manila traffic coming from their old Intramuros tour.

They also chose their vice presidents and members based on the groups that were formed during lunch. The vice presidents are Thomas for engagement team, Cascaro for Skills Development, and Zeng for Careers.

Everyone enjoyed a sumptuous dinner and drinks to end the day, carrying with them a vision of a larger community and Mr. Hinrich’s legacy.

About the author – Lorie Cascaro

Lorie Cascaro

Lorie Ann Cascaro works as a Copy Editor for the Hinrich Foundation, based out of the Manila office. She began her association with the Foundation in 2014 after being awarded a global trade leader scholarship to Hong Kong Baptist University, where she earned her Master’s Degree in International Journalism Studies.