In October, the Sausalito-Vi�a del Mar Sister Cities' delegation traveled to Chile to celebrate the 15th year anniversary of Agep-V (Association of Women Entrepreneurs for Chile's Fifth Region).

Agep-V welcomes Sausalito-Vi�a del Mar Sister Cities' delegation

To commemorate their 15 year anniversary, the Agep-V women produced a two-day trade-show titled Hecho en Valpara�so, thus launching their 1st Women in Innovation Annual Fair. The fair was held on the 15th and 16th of October, and it was sponsored by Sercotec, a Chilean government, seed capital program.

The event was a total success! It attested that the Sister Cities' framework of 7 Women, 7 Days, 7 Dreams is thriving. The annual delegations traveling between Sausalito and Vi�a del Mar--the interchange of ideas, the mentoring and workshops, the relentless commitment to team work, and the inspiration drawn from all involved--is powerful. It is making a difference.

Hecho en Valpara�so was inaugurated by Katia Trusich Ortiz, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, and Valpara�so Mayor Jorge Castro.
(Left to Right) Ximena Silva San Mart�n, Agep-V President; Katia Trusich Ortiz, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs; Jorge Castro, Mayor of Valpara�so; Rosy Quiroga Valdovinos, Agep-V Secretary

Check out the Agep-V Catalog by clicking on image

Hecho en Valpara�so featured over 60 booths of local small businesses, highlighting primarily handcrafted and artisan products. The two day program presented numerous workshops and speakers, focusing on various government programs geared to support local, small businesses.
Photo Jos� Estay

Gracias Chicas Agep.~

I would like to personally thank the Agep-V ladies for offering Chile Lindo a booth at the fair, and for inviting me to give a workshop on the importance of social media, key cultural differences between the US and Chile, and the idiosyn[crazy] of the entrepreneurial spirit. This invitation gave me the nudge to take the leap and travel with the delegation this time around--and I'm all the better for it! Gracias Sausalito-Vi�a del Mar Sister Cities program. 

Monica Finnegan presenting a poster from the prestigious Sausalito Art Festival to Katia Trusich Ortiz, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs.

Monica Finnegan is the Co-Chair of the Vi�a del Mar Operations Council. Monica's commitment to the program, her passion to keep the ball rolling, and her dedication to making sure all the Agep-V women succeed has been pivotal to the ongoing positive results we are witnessing with Sister Cities. Oh yeah, and her off the charts organizational skills are enviable. We are all so lucky to have her at the helm... and Co-Chair Karen Aiken, her partner in crime smiling in the background isn't far behind when it comes to credits for our great achievements.

While we're on the subject of powerhouses, to the left of Karen Aiken is Susan Roe. She is President of Sausalito Sister Cities, Inc--that's all three Sausalito Sister Cities' programs: Sakaide, Cascais, and Vi�a del Mar. Her mantra: "Yes We Can!"

The delegation took turns manning the booth and collecting 400 names for a raffle while simultaneously building Agep-V contact list in the region.

Former Agep-V President Carolina Arroyo shows Valpara�so Mayor Jorge Castro around the fair

The seminars, workshops, and grand-finale fashion show were a total success.

Katia Trusich Ortiz, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, models one of Bernardo Basilio Soto Toro's beautiful copper & onyx rings.

Lizzie Brown-Jeremi has been nicknamed "hada madrina" (fairy godmother) by the Agep-V ladies. She is Chilean, lives in San Francisco, and has been dedicated to Sister Cities from the start, as a very active member of the operations council and a valued interpreter.
(Left to Right) Albina Yianatos, Orieta Biso, Patricia Alcae�no, Paula Tejeda, Jimena Herrera

After a week packed with activities, the icing on the cake was an invitation by Valpara�so Mayor Jorge Castro to the opening of "Amor y Deseo," a Picasso exhibit of prints at the Baburizza Museum.

Here I am with two Agep-V major movers and shakers that did so much to make Hecho en Valpara�so a total success. 
To my right Ximena Silva San Mart�n, Agep-V President and to by left Edith Arce Gonz�lez

Before flying back to San Francisco I met Ximena at my favorite Santiago restaurant, Carlo Cocina Mercado Gourmet. This market serves traditional Chilean dishes prepared to perfection and it is the first to sell local, organic, and gourmet foods.

I am modeling one of the aprons Ximena and the Agep-V ladies asked me to bring back to the delegation in Sausalito.

The Sausalito-Vi�a del Mar delegation this year included two former Sausalito mayors, Herb Weiner and Ray Withy, and Susan Roe, Monica Finnegan, Karen Aiken, Cathy Stierhoff, Lizzie Brown-Jeremi, Andy Jeremi, and Jan Swanberg.

Feliz Aniversario Agep-V

Photo: Vivek Khanzod�
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