And here’s to you!

March 2022

Cancun was a magical event for all of us.  Our first physical meeting of the year.  The first regional conference we had held physically since the pandemic.

And without forgetting the devastating situation in Ukraine, constantly on our minds, we were able to spend positive time with our friends and colleagues in another part of the world.

I have always said that the Latin American region is our strongest in terms of togetherness, camaraderie and connection; with the majority of our firms throughout the region being fully-branded.  The culture and language of course helps.  And I did my very best to get through my 30 minute presentation in Spanish.

The sessions were some of the best we’ve had and the networking was as good as I can ever remember; not hindered by the sunny and luxurious location of the beach resort!  It was truly fabulous to be back with people.

It was so productive and we had such fun.  I remember thinking I had not laughed so much for such a long time (which is not easy in the current world we live in).

One of my personal highlights was a surprise visit to our resort from a friend of mine, who lives near Mexico City.  We first met at my school several years ago (I won’t disclose exactly how many!) when I was learning Spanish.  He was our foreign language assistant. Knowing I was going to be very busy at our event, without a lot of free time, he still took a journey of several hours to greet me, just to say ‘hola’ and to spend a few hours with me on our final day.  I shall never forget the feeling I got when I suddenly saw him in the hotel.  I had no idea he was going to be there.  Things like that mean so much.

Among our core values, we talk of connectivity, collaboration, positive impact and excellence.  The Ibero-America meeting displayed all four, and many more.  I would add kindness and loyalty; thinking of my friend of course, but also our colleagues from the Russell Bedford International network who genuinely care about each other, want to learn, want to grow and want to help.

There’s so much ‘wrong’ in the world.  Yet I came away from Cancun with a new sense of positivity, being with people again and knowing that, by working together, with the correct mindset, we can make things ‘right’.

Author: Stephen Hamlet

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