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Press Release: Friendship Force names two directors to international board: Krisztina Balogh of Hungary and James Permana of Chicago
ATLANTA, April 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Friendship Force International, the world’s pioneer in promoting global understanding and peace through the citizen homestay experience, announces Krisztina Balogh of Székesfehérvár, Hungary, and James Permana of Chicago, Ill, USA, have joined the Friendship Force Board of Directors.
“As Friendship Force executes its strategy to grow its worldwide membership, strengthen its mission, and write new chapters in our 40-year history of promoting peace through understanding, Krisztina and James will play critical leadership roles in achieving our global objectives,” commented Jeremi Snook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Friendship Force International. “They are a perfect complement to our current board, which includes 10 other outstanding international citizens who care deeply about our mission.”
Krisztina has grown up with Friendship Force, as her family joined the organization in 1991 when she was 21. An English language teacher and a certified accountant, she has lived in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, all of her life. Krisztina has had several positions in her local Friendship Force club, most recently as president.
“I have been a Friendship Force member for 27 years, and know the organization quite well,” said Krisztina. “We must attract new members and at the same time maintain our high level of support and service for current members.”
James Permana lives in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and works as a healthcare data consultant. Friendship Force has been instrumental in shaping his love and appreciation of international friendship since high school, when he participated in the first International Summer Institute (later renamed “Global Youth Institute”). James hosted international guests through Sisters Cities International and Youth For Understanding, and was a pioneer member of the Couch Surfing community. James also volunteers as an ESL tutor, an income tax preparer, and works at the information desk at O’Hare International Airport through Traveler’s Aid. James travels extensively domestically for work and internationally, and has been all over Asia and Europe. James plans to work in three areas: fund development, technological advances and membership growth.
The governing Board of Directors of Friendship Force International (FFI) consists of volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to overseeing the global operations of the organization. Board members serve four-year terms. The current members are from nine countries. Most are experienced Friendship Force leaders, but several come from outside of FFI, adding a valuable external perspective.
Since its founding in Atlanta in 1977 as the original global citizen homestay exchange program, Friendship Force International has helped to coordinate journeys of friendship and discovery by more than 1 million people who have visited in the homes of strangers for a week or more and returned home as friends.
Today, journeys of exploration, service or learning can be arranged in more than 60 countries around the world, where more than 15,000 Friendship Force volunteer members open their hearts, homes and communities to world travelers eager to immerse themselves in local cultures to help build bridges across the barriers that separate people.