Friendship Force, pioneer in the global homestay experience, announces regional managers for Europe, Africa, Latin America

ATLANTA, Oct. 05, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Friendship Force International, the pioneer in global homestay and cultural immersion experiences for people for almost 40 years, has named new Regional Support Managers for Europe, Africa and Latin America to strengthen its efforts to promote global understanding across the barriers that separate people.

Jeremi Snook, President and CEO of Atlanta-based Friendship Force International, announced that the new multi-lingual Regional Support Managers (RSMs) will be focused on more effectively serving current local clubs while also growing membership regionally.

The appointments are key elements of Friendship Force International’s plans to decentralize programs from its Atlanta headquarters to better focus on services and growth in key world regions.

New RSM Hemily Balbi Nogueira will have responsibilities in Latin America. Kerstin Hogan is the new RSM for parts of Europe and Eurasia. Valerie Malfara will work in Africa and the Middle East.

They join a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, diverse RSM team that includes Senior Regional Support Manager Allison Lindsey, overseeing operations for North America; Elena McCarty, RSM for Russia and Eastern Europe; Laura Romero, RSM for Latin America; Maryam Jordan, RSM for Asia and South Pacific; and Noriko Kanamoto, RSM for Asia.

“By bringing together the functions of exchange management, exchange planning, club development and club support for a specific country or geographic area, the Regional Support Manager is better able to assess the needs of her multi-nation region locally, on the ground,” explains Snook. “In this way, the RSM is responsible for her region in its entirety, and she also becomes the knowledge expert for that region, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of the Friendship Force network for that region.”


With almost 16,000 members in more than 60 countries worldwide, Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality the Friendship Force pioneered, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017, Friendship Force has brought together more than 1 million people in homestay and cultural immersion experiences that have helped to promote global understanding across the barriers that separate people.

To learn more about how Friendship Force International can enrich your life, please visit

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