The Smart Money Is on Businesses that Think Globally 

by Wendy Anderton

Think Globally

Successful businesses know they must think outside of their communities and neighborhoods to excel. Savvy business leaders consistently work to develop relationships globally, if not for the purpose of conducting business, then to affect and influence public policy and diplomatic efforts world-wide. From local to global, the smart money is on those enterprises that encourage the exchange of ideas without regard to borders, knowing that an understanding of and relationships with other cultures and people leads to a more rounded executive profile and encourages a new way of thinking about the world.

International exchange programs offer this opportunity to professionals through meetings with emerging world leaders visiting Arizona. The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) helps cultivate lasting relationships by connecting participants with their American counterparts. Each year, nearly 5,000 individuals visit the U.S. through the IVLP, and, since its beginning in 1940, more than 200,000 international visitors have participated, including more than 335 current or former chiefs of state or heads of government. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the IVLP program is administered in Phoenix and Northern Arizona by Global Ties Arizona, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Global Ties Arizona provides programming for the IVLP program (and other exchange programs) by offering appointments with professional counterparts, visits to U.S. public- and private-sector organizations related to the project theme, and participation in cultural and social activities. These experiences provide the opportunity for mutual benefit, giving both the international visitors and their U.S. counterparts the opportunity to learn best practices, discuss ideas and create relationships.

IVLP programs are dedicated to advancing key foreign policy goals as identified by the U.S. State Department, and foster the concept of Citizen Diplomacy. They also serve to give Americans insight into the global environment and open the minds of everyone participating. Each participant becomes a diplomat via these one-on-one connections. Global Ties Arizona also offers its members and corporate sponsors networking opportunities with other globally minded individuals, produces events that highlight the efforts of the organization and offer insight into matters of global importance, and gives members the opportunity to host international visitors in their own home for dinner in a casual, relaxed environment.

Not only are the professional relationships of value to professionals and businesses, but the connections made can lead to business opportunities beyond our own borders, a greater understanding of other cultures and systems of government, and experiences that change the world, One handshake at a time. 

Become a member of Global Ties Arizona by visiting online or by emailing. Build your business by building your global relationships and understanding.

Wendy Anderton serves as operations director for Global Ties Arizona, an organization that builds and strengthens relationships between its members, businesses and nations through international exchange and educational programs.

Anderton has a background in international travel planning and coordination world-wide and has visited Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, the Azores, Mali, Senegal, South Africa and the Bahamas as a tour leader for large groups and conferences. 

She also studied graphic design with an emphasis in illustration at Salt Lake Community College, where she earned numerous awards for her design work, and she has worked in a variety of environments, including banking and finance, nonprofit, and both large and small businesses. 

Anderton has a passion for citizen diplomacy, having had profound and life-altering experiences with other cultures and individuals in her travels. She believes that one-on-one relationships have a dramatic effect on foreign relations and policies from every perspective, and enjoys sharing her stories with others. 

Anderton was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah; lived briefly in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and has been in Phoenix for more than 16 years. She considers the Sonoran Desert home, and enjoys a large menagerie of pets. Anderton served on the board of directors at Piggie Poo Rescue and the National Association of Women Business Owners Phoenix; enjoys crochet, knitting, sewing and reading; and practices yoga.

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