The paradiGM community GATHER initiative aims to bring together and connect members beyond professional conferences in genuine, meaningful, and occasionally playful ways to enrich their lives. We hope to create deeper connections among members: how often in our working relationships do we ask people about themselves and their lives, goals and hobbies; and then really listen to what they have to say?
GATHER creates opportunities for interaction between members. We do this through virtual informal chats and events, as well as in-person meetings, or via Discord, where our members gather and share information to assist in the cross pollination of varying personal, cultural, and entrepreneurial experiences across three continents.
Another way is to ensure we are authentic: practicing authenticity means being vulnerable and at paradiGM we create a safe space for members to share.
Audrey Lustgarten, GATHER Advocate and paradiGM Co-Founder, is a dual US/Canadian citizen who lives in the tiny lakeside town of Harbor Springs, Michigan with her husband, two kids, a pet bunny and a tortoise. Her passions include traveling, cooking (mostly vegetarian), cross country skiing (slowly), dancing (not well), drinking good scotch and finding ways to support the empowerment of vulnerable immigrants, minorities and women.
Full Bio is available on the Founders Page.
Elsy Umanzor is a Senior International Practice Program Manager at Erickson Immigration Group. Elsy assists companies in a variety of industries with permanent and temporary assignments around the world (focusing on the APAC and LATAM regions) including short- and long-term employment visas/work permits. She also assists companies with various immigration-related matters such as staying in compliance with immigration authorities, advising on internal immigration policies, and immigration audits. Elsy also has US immigration experience, which includes employment-based immigrant petitions, family-based petitions, and removal defense. Elsy graduated from George Mason University, where she earned her Master in US Law (LLM).
Ewa Wysocka advises businesses on HR issues in the field of employment and legalization of stay of foreigners and their families in Poland, and supports Polish and international employers and their employees. She advises on issues related to legal arrival and stay in Poland, as well as legalization of employment of local and posted employees.
Karlijn Jacobs is the Ombudsperson for International Children. Throughout her international career she has witnessed how international children, and everyone that cares for their wellbeing, are struggling to fit into traditional systems that simply don’t accommodate their needs. We need a systemic change, and Karlijn believes that everyone will benefit when we extend our care to these children. With Expat Valley, Karlijn is using storytelling and network to raise awareness and attention for the experiences of children in international migration. Through change management efforts she turns these words into action, aiming to make the most positive impact in the lives of international children as she can for the rest of her career. Karlijn is also the mother of two amazing daughters, and loves spending her time outdoors camping and hiking.
Julyana Ruiz is an immigration lawyer, with a dedicated focus on servicing corporate clients on their immigration and taxation requirements in Brazil and Portugal. She is passionate about sports (crossfit lover) and believes that discipline and mutual collaboration is the key to successful relationships. She’s the founder of iGo immigration services, a boutique firm with offices in São Paulo, Brazil and in Lisbon, Portugal, specialized in Global Mobility, which aims literally bend over backwards to make the immigration processes. Julyana has over 13 years’ experience in global mobility and truly believes in meaningful connections. She joined paradiGM community and the Gather group to connect with people openly and to bring authenticity to this industry. She believes it’s time to connect business with playfulness.
Nouran Zarroug works within a global immigration firm and supports both corporates and suppliers with best practice on GM policy and strategy. She has previously worked with multi-national companies championing Talent Mobility as well as leading the EMEA region for Worldwide ERC. Nouran possesses a huge passion for people and places which drives her perspective through both her work and personal life. Being a Third Culture Kid and an expat for most of her childhood, she has developed a strong appreciation for diverse cultures. Although British by citizenship, her parents are Sudanese and she has spent many of her formative years living throughout the Middle East and Europe, including, Saudi Arabia, The Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, Ireland and the UK; so continues to be fascinated by East/West nuance. Having been a member of ParadiGM from the beginning, Nouran is a major advocate of D,E,I&B and feels authenticity and vulnerability are frequently missing from our daily interactions; hence believes this community will be the paradigm shift.
Rahul Batra is the Managing Partner at Hudson McKenzie, a specialist global immigration law firm based in London. His practice focuses on all aspects of UK immigration law and corporate/commercial law. Rahul comes highly recommended by sources and has complementary experience advising on corporate/commercial issues. He has extensive experience of representing clients in complex immigration matters and has particular expertise in handling TUPE moves, immigration compliance and audits and building global immigration strategies for his corporate clients. He also has a breadth of experience in advising on both skilled worker and ICT work permits and complex nationality issues. His corporate practice includes providing counsel to clients on shareholder agreements and disputes, company/commercial matters, joint ventures and various kinds of commercial agreements. He is often invited to conduct speeches and chair talks on immigration related topics across the world and he is a contributor to various legal and HR/relocation publications.
René Stegmann (MBA; Strategic Marketing, GMS, MIM and Sustainable Development: The Post-Capitalist Order) started Relocation Africa in Johannesburg in 1993 along with her mother and she has a passion in dealing with International Assignees on the continent of Africa. She has developed and delivered many programs and services ranging from standard destination services through to immigration services, cultural training, expense management, international payroll and temporary accommodation on the continent of Africa. The businesses are diverse and quality driven to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business. When René is not at work, she is hard at play, mountain biking and hiking, trail running, scuba diving, swimming, surfing, Stand Up Paddle boarding, golfing, water-skiing and Alpine skiing. In the time she does sit down she loves reading, red wine, photography, travel and good food. René is married with two children, and is also owner of MyResidence.Africa.