International Focus “HOUSTON IS 25 YEARS AHEAD OF THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. SOON ALL OF AMERICA WILL LOOK LIKE THIS CITY.” ~ STEPHEN L. KLINEBERG, SOCIOLOGIST, KINDER INSTITUTE
Sonia Guimbellot is a writer, editor, media correspondent, activist and organizer. Sonia is founder/shareholder and director of International Focus Magazine, Houston only publication with an international footprint in every embassy domestic & abroad. She was awarded Top 30 Influential Women, Woman of Empowerment, Top 10 Bachelorettes, a Congressional Honor for Cultural Awareness, and International Trade, & Humanitarian efforts. Her high profile and organizing skills have led to many successful campaigns and creation of numerous chambers of commerce organizations. She is often sought out for her acumen in diplomacy and influence to serve in strategic partnerships working in a collaborative leadership role.
Sonia has led campaigns for the city controller and worked with the VA in bipartisan private sector initiatives where she united businesses, politicians, and sports celebrities. Sonia’s love and optimism for the city of Houston has garnered accolades from many civic groups and women’s organizations. Her current major initiative, is a campaign to help the Houston Sports Authority, a body that manages all of the city’s stadiums to ensure a seamless management of large scale sports events such as the World Corporate Games in November.
Another altruistic endeavor for Sonia is the Brilliant Lecture Series with two former Secretaries of State, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. This will be followed by actress, Sally Field, who will relate her fascinating legacy as a performer and activist. As an influencer, she works with all consulates, chambers of commerce, the UN, port authorities, airports, sister cities, local and national business networking groups.
Sonia works with the Houston First- an initiative that funds the city’s New Years festivities and the past Super Bowl. Sonia’s social media and social groups footprint is extensive as a who’s who in Houston that you can see in #iF on the ‘Seen on Scene’ section. Sonia’s philosophy & actions/initiatives for the community can be summed up in her belief of, “Education is the new & lasting diplomacy.”
iF Magazine’s concept is unique and amazing. With Forbes ranking Houston as the most diverse city in America, Houston is certainly the new mecca for attracting, engaging, and building international business relationships. Add that we have 92 foreign consulates with a presence in the city, and the more than 190 foreign languages spoken here, iF Magazine is the only one of its kind targeting this diverse, upscale group. Each issue features a different Consul General on the cover … and we started with the Dean of the Houston Consular Corps! Honorable Sultan bin Abdullah Al-Angari, Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Houston on the cover and have followed up with every issue featuring an in-depth, one-on-one interview with one of the 92 Consul Generals also represented in Houston. No other magazine in Houston can make that claim! More importantly, we have given an insightful look at what makes Houston new mecca for attracting, engaging, and building international business relationships.
Each issue is filled with interesting stories about business, lifestyle, and culture … but what makes us embraced are the exclusive photographs about this affluent community shot oftentimes inside their homes and exclusive engagements that no other media outlet is privileged to access.
What makes International Focus Magazine a superior advertising vehicle:
• 20,000 circulation monthly (combined print & online)
• Hand delivered to guests at exclusive parties & events
• Distributed to many area businesses
• Printed on premium glossy stock
• 4-color included with all advertising at no extra cost
• Coffee table quality gives this publication longer shelf life
• More cost-effective than daily or weekly advertising vehicles
• Stand-out quality advertising production at minimal cost
• Top magazine quality advertising at newsprint prices
• Ad sizes to meet every budget
• Responsive customer service — customer satisfaction is our top priority
A great resource for those interested in other cultures & networking opportunities with our partnerships! Are you intrigued? Do you wonder where to go to see our events? My business page on social media will divulge the high-profile & secret locations~ https://www.facebook.com/iFSoniaGuimbellot/ -plus photos to show who we are & next steps. Perhaps you can leave me a message to come in as a volunteer, any type of (even in- kind) sponsorship, possible employment positions available...we are looking growing fast!
Photo credits are:
Victor Escalante, Heidi Powell-Prera, Vicky Pink, and Scott David Weitzenhoffer
HOUSTOn we have THE WORLD RIGHT HERE IN OUR BACK YARD! "Teach me a new Language & I will teach you a new skill"
It’s becoming no secret that Houston is now the most diverse city in the USA, and the international influence means you can find most anything in the world here. From samples of the best food around the globe, to art and other cultural representations, Houston is a microcosm of the world right here in our back yard. However, with all of this variety, sometimes we overlook the most obvious asset—people. Of course, businesses have known for quite some time having the best and brightest worldwide all in one city has its advantages, but what about the rest of us? We are just now waking up to the cool factor of what it means to culturally sample the entire planet all in one place.
Ten years ago, David & Mandy Brake met each other and started Teachers To Go, a company that brings certified Texas classroom teachers to your home for academic tutoring and private lessons. Mandy was an international engineer who spoke three languages, and David was a teacher and musician who created a new niche by providing social services for learning. Things were going well, and a few years later the two were married. By that time, they had grown the company to hundreds of teachers, covering most of greater Houston.
The only problem was, not everyone could afford the services of professional instructors, and they would often get calls from people who needed help and couldn’t afford a qualified tutor or professional teacher. In particular, they found this happened a lot with folks who had moved to Houston recently from overseas who needed to improve their English.
David & Mandy’s solution for help with learning English at no cost was a little thing called language exchange. Language exchange is just what it sounds like: I’ll help you if you help me. (Someone who needs to learn English is paired with an American partner who wants to learn his or her language - in exchange.) For instance: “I’ll teach you English for ½ hour if you teach me Spanish for ½ hour”, or “I’ll help you practice your English if you help me practice Mandarin.” Language partners usually pair up and meet at a library or coffee shop to practice and help each other once or twice a week.
There are millions of people practicing language exchange worldwide, and there’s a reason. You might think it’s because it’s effective, and that part is true: it is effective. (Language exchange has often been cited as the fastest way to get a second language under your belt for work or travel.) This is because to learn a language, you have to practice (ie: you have to “do” it), otherwise you are only studying it instead of gaining the actual ability to communicate. But that’s not the only reason why millions of people are practicing language exchange, they’re also doing it because it’s fun. In fact, the real secret is, even if you learn absolutely nothing, language exchange is the most effective way to make friends from other cultures outside of your usual social circles.
David & Mandy soon turned their solution into a not-for-profit organization called the Houston Language Partners. The Houston Language Partners promotes language exchange, and hosts monthly speed-friending events to help everyone find a partner. “Finding a partner is not as simple as meeting just anyone who is your language match, it’s more like picking your friends,” says Mandy. “You have to like and respect them to get along.” The Houston Language Partners membership has now grown through word of mouth only to over 5,000 members including all social media channels, a growth David & Mandy both attribute to Houston’s international influence. The story doesn’t end there though.
Early on, the organizers noticed a supply and demand issue with some languages. For instance, there were more Urdu & Turkish speakers wanting to learn English, than English speakers wanting to learn Turkish or Urdu. The solution was two-fold: 1) ask for volunteers to teach English (which they still do), and 2) open it up to other subjects. For example: If my language is Urdu, you might not want to learn my language, but I can teach you computer programming or how to play the guitar. The second solution has taken on a life of its own.
www.LRNGO.com is a mobile teach and learn marketplace where individuals connect nearby to meet and learn from each other. David & Mandy started LRNGO.com a few years back as a company in their spare time, and LRNGO now has thousands of local users in Houston, as well as almost every major city in the world. It is free for anyone to use, and as simple as typing in your zip code and a subject you want to learn. (For free exchange, you can narrow down the search results by also typing in a subject you teach to get an exact match.) You will find all levels of teachers on LRNGO (from hobbyists down the street to PHD’s and well-known experts) and pricing levels (from free to hundreds of dollars an hour), and can contact anyone at any time at no cost. LRNGO also allows you to find nearby practice partners by searching for members who are learning the same thing as you.
David & Mandy are quick to point out that LRNGO is a free open directory resource, and as such there is no guarantee of results. However, one thing they say is guaranteed. If you meet a learning exchange partner who is the right fit for you, whether through LRNGO.com or at one of their speed-friending events, you will enjoy the experience. Bringing people together to make new friends and help each other, they say, makes everything they do worthwhile.
TRAIN ANYWHERE AND ANYTIME WITH ONLY A FEW TABS ON OUR APP. IT IS THAT EASY.
We’re on an exciting journey that’s about to revolutionize the fitness space – and we’d love to have you on board. But first, let me tell you a little about myself . . .
My husband, Philipp, and I moved from Germany to Houston Texas in 2014. We settled in Houston, Texas and immediately fell in love with the lifestyle. We quickly became the most Texan Germans you’re likely to ever meet. we now live on a ranch, have two pick up trucks, plenty of horses and an ever-growing collection of country music.
Before I started Kanthaka, I worked for 8 years as an attorney, performing Private Equity and Debt Finance work for two big US law firms. However, my real passion was and always has been fitness. No matter how many hours I worked – and I worked a lot of hours – I was always trying to get in a workout.
The problem was that I was finding it virtually impossible to find a personal trainer who could fit in with my schedule. The result was that I usually ended up skipping my scheduled workouts. The more I sat around the office, the more unhealthy I felt. My lifestyle was leading me to a place where I wasn’t happy to be, yet I felt stuck on a treadmill that I couldn’t get off.
It was the birth of my wonderful son, Tristan, which was the turning point. I decided to take the risk, follow my passion and create a better life for myself, my family and all of those people who become a part of the Kanthaka community.
I hope you’ll be one of them.
With Kanthaka you can book a trainer, yoga or boxing instructor to meet you virtually anywhere (our trainers come fully equipped) – in your apartment gym, hotel gym, office gym, outdoor park or any other place you would like to work out.You pick the location, date, time, workout type, swipe through the available trainers and book the one you like best. You can re-book the same trainer or try different trainers in future sessions.
Kanthaka has a selection of excellent trainers – all of whom are personally interviewed by our team, certified in their areas of expertise, insured and – most importantly – passionate about helping you become your best self. We attract the best of the best – we pay them more and give them a ton of flexibility. We aren’t constrained like a big gym chain. Our client’s rank trainers on the App, ensuring your satisfaction on the quality of our trainers. Our team also performs random quality checks, just to be doubly certain. We want you to have a great workout – anytime, any place.
Only for HYP we have a special promotion and you save $ 9.99 from your first session by using the promo code HYP10 and have the luxury of your own personal trainer, Pilates, boxing or yoga instructor for only $30!!! It gets even better as you can bring a workout buddy (who also has to download and sign up on the app) and split the price (only valid until the end of August).
Download the Kanthaka app on the app store now, and be part of the fitness revolution!
Kanthaka was the favorite white horse of Buddha. As both my husband and I love horses, we resonated with the name of this superb specimen of fitness, vitality and performance. Kanthaka stands for awesome fitness, as well as uniqueness, diversity and being open to different cultures and workout regimes.
Sylvia Kampshoff, Ph.D.
Young Professionals, Welcome to Social Graces Social Club! We are raising the standard for Houston-based social/events clubs
Social Graces is a club for everyone. Social Graces came to life over a glass of wine with friends. We wanted to create a space that provided that exact thing for the men and women of this city that we love. That feeling you have when you have totally connected with another human on the most authentic of levels. You go home smiling, anticipating the next time you are together and all of the things you will share. You immediately start thinking of ways you can get involved in the things they are interested in. These are the kinds of friendships we wanted to foster and this is exactly what is happening for members of Social Graces.
It's not a networking group, but networking certainly happens... but in an organic way. Because friends want to support one another. Our members enjoy a plethora of perks; from local businesses offering discounts, to free dance lessons and magazine subscriptions, to opportunities to write blog entries for a website with over 1 million unique hits each month, to guest appearances on national radio segments.... the perks are seriously endless!
We host two official club events each month, but in between we have member-hosted events, member perk events, exclusive invitations to fundraisers, and an ongoing stream of invitations that we pass along to members. There is always something going on with Social Graces.
SO, here's how you become a part of it all....
Click the button below. It will take you to our membership application. We will check out your social media and upon approval, you will receive a welcome letter. The welcome letter will have two links for payment of your initiation fee and to set up your dues payment. Once payment is complete, we add you to our private Facebook group and mailing list for invitations. You will receive a new member welcome kit that includes a SGSC tshirt, your personalized membership card, a Real Beauty Real Women cap and a Pucker Up for Change lipstick duo (a $60 retail value)!
READ ABOUT OUR MEMBERSHIP HERE
Welcome to Social Graces Social Club! We are raising the standard for Houston-based social/events clubs; Social Graces will not just host the BEST events, it will also include charitable opportunities and exclusive member discounts at businesses throughout the city! Become networked with Houston's most sought-after movers and shakers in the fashion, philanthropy and event scenes
Like Social Grace Social Club on Facebook
Anika Jackson, CEO
Director of Member Services
Social Graces Social Club
Photos by Charlie Ewing Photography
A new gym has opened their doors in the Houston Height’s Cottage Grove Neighborhood with a unique concept.
Owners and athletes, Jessie Lin and Amy Noack, took a small dream and built it into reality in less than a year. Jessie describes Snatch Fit as “…a women owned and operated gym facility that is a combination of an Olympic Weightlifting gym and a conventional body building gym.” Although owned by women, the membership remains diverse with males and females varying in age from grade school to well over 65 years young. “The community at Snatch Fit is welcoming and inviting. All members know each other and the owners drive to have socials within the community,” Jessie explains.
Owners encourage local fitness enthusiasts, such as Ashley Kochert, to lead Drill Classes. These classes are designed so that every individual, regardless of fitness level or age, can participate. The instructors focus on safe, functional, and effective fitness and will push members to reach their goals. “Snatch Fit is unique in that it isn't a commercial "breadbox" gym, nor do you feel "out of place". It is owned by two inspiring young women who are both welcoming and attentive to everyone,” Ash expresses, “They also offer a wide variety of equipment to suit most people's interests. Whether you prefer to do cardio, weight training, suspension training, high-intensity interval training, plyometrics, powerlifting, or Olympic Weightlifting; they have the equipment and the space!”
Many members have seen changed in their health and fitness since joining the Snatch Fit. One member expressed that the gym’s community, “motivated me to keep striving to hit my fitness goals [and the] accountability in the members knowing [each other’s] efforts and goals.” Another member stated “I have noticed an increase in my strength and endurance. I’m also more motivated to surpass my fitness and health goals!”
With the gym being located in the Cottage Grove area, it is easily accessible by walking and biking, or driving and being able to park in the large private parking lot. “Parking is at a premium in the Heights, so we wanted to make sure that the gym was easily accessible with ample parking. However, most of our members are able to walk, run, or bike here because of the location at the head of the White Oak Bayou Trail and being located in the heart of Cottage Grove.” Amy explains “the hardest part of getting back into working out is actually getting to the gym and we want to make sure that accessibility and parking are the last things on your mind”
To sum it up, Ash states, “Overall, they are unlike most gyms in that they keep it simple... the equipment is easily accessible, clean and you are not overwhelmed by the gym.” The best part about being a member of Snatch Fit? “The environment of the gym cultivates a positive attitude that has allowed individuals to work towards something,”
Find Snatch Fit online at: http://www.snatchfitcorp.com
Facebook: Snatch Fit Corp.
Address: 5222 Egbert, Houston, TX 77007
Neighborhood Hospitality is a Houston-based hospitality group specializing in authentic and approachable concepts throughout the Bayou City.
Our hospitality approach combines come-as-you-are space with laid back vibes. Our concepts are here for you to relax, to enjoy a low-key drink, chat with friends or catch the game after work.
We are a female-owned and dominated group who support local and small batch producers and our neighbors with small business operations.
Our menus feature Texas craft beer and liquor, local coffee and pastries, and small business owners run our specialty food nights like steak night.
Neighborhood Hospitality builds concepts are a place for the regular and the wanderer; a place to go, be yourself, and be happy.
Around the Corner, opened in fall 2015, is a bungalow concept in EaDo. The cozy space spans an original 1903 home, lovingly restored with as much original material as possible. Ample patio space celebrates Houston’s skyline and graffiti art. Classic and chic, by day, she is coffee, pastries and solace from downtown din. By night, she’s a cocktail lounge, wine bar and dinner spot where you feel at home unwinding solo, with a group of friends or on a date night. The relaxed hideout offers something for everyone and female patrons feel particularly comfortable coming on their own or with a friend. The kitchen serves a small standing menu of pizza, cheese plates and snacks in addition to brunch and steak nights. Other special events are weekday happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. & Tuesday Wine Night (a bottle for $20 with complimentary flatbreads).
Down the Street is a quintessential neighborhood bar in the Cottage Grove neighborhood of the Heights. Snuggled between residences is a carefree patio and open air bar that has earned the love of their neighbors with relaxed vibes, classic cocktails, craft brew and easy eats. The comfortable hang out is chic meets casual, an engaging and relaxed dog-friendly escape of city life. The kitchen offers standing plates like sandwiches, pizza, and dips in addition to Saturday and Sunday brunch. Popular daily programming are Monday Steak Nights, Tuesday Wine Night (with complimentary flatbreads), Wednesday Taco & Beer Nights, Moscow Mule night on Thursday, Monthly Bingo Nights, and weekday happy hour from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Down the Street fills a gap in the neighborhood, giving Cottage Grove residents a comfortable escape from their four walls for a great cocktail or quick bite just a bit down the street. Houston sports are the fixtures on the tv and nightly specials are popular for the weary worker. All you have to do is walk on over (or call for a golf cart chariot). Down the Street also offers incentives for patrons who use a ride service with a $5 tab credit with receipt proof to mitigate limited parking.
Around The Corner
Down The Street
Perhaps you know my story on how it all started, but if you don’t, let me tell you briefly my story. #worldartday
Since I was 2 years old, I had always been with a pencil or brush in my hand. I drew whatever I saw in front of me. One of the things that it was always in front of me, was my other passion: football. The game that I grew up playing and watching. As a child, my aspiration was to become a professional football player; however, since I have asthma, it was a big limitation to keep training. I am a person that I always try my best, so I asked my parents to join the young professional football team from my city back in Mexico. [Pic. no.1} My asthma got worst and it kept me inside more than outside so I just kept drawing and watching football. I watched every game and every World Cup. Attending a World Cup was a dream for me to be there to support my country and experience all the excitement that I always watched on TV.
A few years later, on 2006, I got the opportunity to finally attend my first World Cup, which was held in Germany. On 2008, I had almost graduated as an architect when the economical recession hit and I decided to go back to school and get another bachelors. This time it was in fine arts. During this time, my memories about the Germany World Cup were fresh in my mind and watching the 2008 European Football Championship, increased the motivation to depict football on canvas in a unique way. A way that could become timeless and that it could give me recognition as an artist that paints football!
My First Painting. Pic.no.2
In 1992, at the age of 10, I created my first oil on canvas ironically depicting a nude baby playing the piano. My interest in painting bodies and faces comes from inspiration of the great Italian Masters from the Renaissance.
The first futbol sketch. Pic no.3
In early 2008, I created a series of sketches trying to depict football in a unique way. Here, I explore with nude footballers in action
Anatomy & Color. Pic no.4
Not finding a strong concept with nude footballers, I decided to explore the relationship of the uniform's colors and movement in a more expressionistic style.
A message and style was born. Pic. no.5
Depicting only the uniforms in motion, I found that the artwork became timeless and painting rivalries would enforce the concept of the artwork.
Painting football became a full time profession since 2012. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work for big brands, exhibited in different countries around the world, and tried to inspire others through my work.
What's Up Houston is a collaboration of Business Owners, Individuals, Citizen Reporters, Bloggers and Writers!
You have something interesting to say or share? Share it with What's Up Houston!
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HYP HAS THE AUDIENCE, WE JUST NEED YOU TO SHARE YOUR STORY
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What's Up Houston is a collaboration of Business Owners, Individuals, Citizen Reporters, Bloggers and Writers ! You have something interesting to say or share? Share it with What's Up Houston