Coffee Hour with Beat

For many years the Absolutely Avalon event, taking place next month, has celebrated the different cultures that make up our community.  This event has always been a favorite one for me.

As an immigrant who came to America from Switzerland almost 30 years ago, and I am deeply thankful for all the opportunities this land of the free continues to give me.

Over the years I have truly became a “global citizen.”  I am writing this column on a flight from Zurich, Switzerland to Bangkok, Thailand, where I will connect to Taipei, Taiwan. From there, a quick visit to our offices in Osaka, Japan and then come back to the US next week via San Francisco, hence traveling around the world in a little over a week!

Our diversity is not just visible when I travel the world. When asked what the strength of Avalon Park Group “APG” is, I always say our diversity and internationality.  Even back in Orlando, a typical day will start with picking up 2 coffees from Karen at Marketplace (she was born in South Korea). One of the coffees is for Marybel, APG‘s CFO and my co-captain, she is Dominican / Lebanese and was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Upon getting to the 4th floor in my office I will see Cynthia and Alba both born in Peru.  On any single morning I will be in touch with team members in Asia, Europe, and America.

But then there are Orlando natives like Nicole or Trey on APG ‘s team, or Stephanie from the Kansas heartland. And sitting just a few yards away from Andreas in the Switzerland office is Ravi, who is from Malaysia, but spends his time living and working between Singapore and Switzerland.

I truly believe once people from all over the world live, learn, work and play together great things can be accomplished. Different cultures bring different knowledge, ideas, and experience. Almost every political, business, and personal problem is the result of weak or non-communication. Once people from all over the world have the ability to meet colleagues with vastly different backgrounds and work together, the benefits from each other’s knowledge and strengths help “global problems” get solved much easier.

Immigrants made the US the greatest county in the world. They left their home country and came to the promised land. Many became very successful in culture, art or business. By leaving their native land, they demonstrated risk tolerance and adventurism.

It is getting dark as my plane leaves the Turkey air zone, approaching Iraq, then Iran and via Pakistan, India. I will land in Bangkok early in the morning local time, late in the night Switzerland time.

My journey will bring me together with people from all over the world, and it is deeply refreshing, and I always learn a lot from other cultures.

This is why I love the celebration of the diversity in our community in events like Absolutely Avalon.  I hope to see you all there next month, where we can share our experiences together!


Beat Kahli

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