POA President Steve Vetter and Ambassador Igor Pangrazio

This short video is from Partners of the Americas.  Steve is welcoming Ambassador Pangrazio to Washington as he starts his post as the Paraguayan Ambassador to the United States.  Igor is a graduate of the University of Kansas.



Washburn KSBDC Hosts POA Business Fellow

Fernando Torres Rubiani joined the Washburn University
Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC)
staff as an American Business Fellow in mid-July, and
staying through September. Fernando, an
attorney from Paraguay who has worked in small
to multinational companies, is working with
Washburn KSBDC clients and staff to gain new
insights to develop and manage businesses.
The Business Fellows Program is promoted by
Partners of the Americas with funds from the
Department of State. The program fosters greater
understanding of issues related to international
business and economic growth and aims to forge
and strengthen long-term institutional linkages
between the private sectors of the U.S. and
Latin America through the exchange of technical
resources and expertise.
In Paraguay, Fernando works for a real estate agency
that handles commercial and residential property sale
and management. In his current role, he is responsible
for developing new business areas aimed at generating
employment and funding resources. He is also in the process of
restructuring his company to make it compatible in
new business areas, as well as bringing innovation
into the company’s philosophy and culture.
“My objective for this fellowship is to acquire a
clear vision of effective business practices, and
most importantly, proven techniques to generate
income, recruit and train staff, and develop
expansion opportunities,” says Fernando. The
young entrepreneur says he was interested in
a fellowship at a business development center
because of the opportunities to learn business plan
development, product strategy, market analysis
and sales techniques.
Fernando says he is impressed with the diversity of businesses
assisted by the Washburn KSBDC and the staff’s genuine
interest in empowering the business owners.

Looking Back on the History of POA and KPP

To view a 13-minute interview with Jim Boren, one of the founders of Partners of the Americas, please follow this link:


A brief biography of Jim Boren:
In 1957, Jim Boren was the state campaign manager in Texas for Ralph Yarborough’s successful race for the U. S. Senate. He served as the Senator’s Chief of Staff until 1961, when he was named the Deputy Director of the United States Economic Mission to Peru. While in the Foreign Service, Jim helped found and directed the Partners of the Americas, a private sector program aimed at grass roots development in education, health, and community initiatives. The program continues today and is the hemisphere’s largest volunteer program.


Partners of the Americas Announces New CEO

 Stephen G. Vetter

January 2008 

Partners of the Americas is proud to announce Stephen G. Vetter as its new President and CEO.  Partners of the Americas, the largest volunteer organization working to promote economic and social development in the Western Hemisphere, creates people to people programs to expand opportunity across the Americas. Mr. Vetter will oversee the work of 60 citizen-led partnerships between 45 US states and 31 Latin American and Caribbean countries.  Mr. Vetter offers a rich background in international and domestic leadership experience with private, philanthropic and governmental organizations focused on reducing poverty and improving the economic and social development of disadvantaged populations.

Before moving to Partners, he completed a book documenting the Eureka Communities approach to leadership development using a peer-to-peer learning model.  Mr. Vetter served as the President of Eureka Communities from January, 1996 until December, 2005. Eureka Communities was created in 1991 to provide support for nonprofit leaders and build the power of community-based organizations to improve life conditions of children and families living in poverty. Eureka worked to empower leaders of grassroots organizations by providing them with fellowships that enable opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and expose them to effective methods of practice around the country through the Eureka National Learning Network. Over its 14 years of operation, Eureka awarded more than 500 fellowships with a special emphasis on supporting community leaders working to improve the educational opportunities for children living in poverty.  

Prior to joining to Eureka Communities, Mr. Vetter held a number of executive level positions at the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), a public corporation dedicated to supporting the self-help efforts of communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. This included President (Interim), Director of Outreach, Program Vice President, and Foundation Representative to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, and Brazil. As Director of Outreach for the Foundation, Vetter assisted the region’s NGOs in developing sources of local and international financial support. He also worked to promote philanthropy and community service in the region.  Mr. Vetter has served on a number of philanthropic, nonprofit and corporate boards and committees. He served as a member of the steering committee of the Council on the Foundation’s “Philanthropy Along the Border” initiative, on the White House’s “Summit of the America’s Civil Society Task Force,” and as an advisory council member on the Board of Yankelovitch Partners Inc., a market research firm serving the Fortune 500 companies.

Vetter has also served on the boards of Aid to Artisans, The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and on the Ford Foundation’s Committee on Social Justice Philanthropy.  

Prior to his work at the Inter-American Foundation, Mr. Vetter held the offices of Director of the Peace Corps’ Office of Staging and Orientation in the Training and Recruitment Division, and Program Director of Partners of the Americas. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia from 1966 until 1969.  He holds an MA in Economics from Ohio University, where he also took his undergraduate BA degree in Economics. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. He is married with three children, and is active in his community and school in Annapolis.   

For more information about Partners of the Americas, please visit their website: http://www.partners.net.  

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