ISH provides cultural awareness for the Tennessee ValleyPublished 4:00pm Friday, March 22, 2013
By Aldo Amato
HUNTSVILLE — The International Society of Huntsville (ISH) has for six years aimed to provide cultural awareness and tie international residents and the Tennessee Valley together.
Founder and current board member Don Palmer said that his goal and mission of the organization has come to life over the past couple of years.
“It was organized to provide in its mission education, cultural awareness and social programming among the local and diverse international individuals and organizations that make-up the general region of Huntsville. The society primarily attracts people that live and work in the North Alabama counties of Madison, Limestone, Morgan and Marshall.”
Palmer, a native of New Hampshire, said that his vast international background and experience along with his wife have kept him in-touch with the international community.
“My first language is French from my upbringing in the French-Canadian influenced southern region of the state of New Hampshire,” he said. “I met my Danish wife in France while stationed with the U.S. Air Force there, and worked 27 years for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in the United States, Europe and Middle East. As an independent contractor, I also launched two airlines in Asia.”
The society is comprised of 24 board directors that represent their individual countries and six continents. Palmer added that the society is actively involved in community events and relations.
“ISH organizes a minimum of three intercultural reception events each year that attract between 80 to 150 members from the community interested in meeting people of diverse country origins and learning and understanding of their cultures through dialogue, friendship and activity,” he said. “ISH coordinates with the local U.S. State Department Huntsville representation office, International Services Council (ISC) and the North Alabama International Trade Association (NAITA) to link events, where possible, to visiting dignitaries from other countries.”
One does not have to be from a different county in order to participate.
“Anyone can participate in ISH events,” he said. “The best reason to ‘join’ is the enriching and personally fulfilling experience of meeting new people and sharing in each others’ unique cultural heritage.”