Join us in Houston to reconnect with our past, celebrate our accomplishments, and to build connections and energize our community for the future.

October 18 & 19, 2019

Hotel ZaZa

Houston, Texas

Click here to add this event to your calendar.

The AMIGOS Summit is a new way to reconnect with and celebrate our alumni by highlighting them as panel speakers and experts in their fields. In this forum, we will discover where life after AMIGOS has taken our panelists in film, government, and entrepreneurship and explore the role AMIGOS has had in shaping their personal values and professional path.

This year’s program will also

  • Explore the depth and relevance of our current programs in today’s world
  • Examine the critical role of change management in supporting organization growth
  • Offer new social event models such as Saturday night’s Moveable Feast

Anyone is invited to attend the AMIGOS Summit!

Attendees include:

  • AMIGOS Board of Directors
  • Chapter Leaders
  • Foundation for AMIGOS Trustees
  • Advisory and Regional Council Members
  • Headquarters Staff
  • Past board members, key stakeholders, and members of our local Houston community

Click here to learn more about the inspiring Summit Panelists.

Friday, October 18th – Evening

A Conversation with Michael Zimbalist

AMIGOS alumnus Michael Zimbalist (’97, ’00) co-founded All Rise Films, an Academy Award-shortlisted, Emmy, and Peabody Award-winning media company dedicated to bringing exciting and authentic stories to global audiences. Since 2004, the Zimbalists have been dedicated to sharing authentic energized stories with global audiences through their films about community, sports, music, and occasionally international crime.

On Friday night, Michael will share about his AMIGOS experience and incredible filmmaking career.


Saturday, October 19th – Morning

Fresh Perspectives: How Young Alumni Leverage Their AMIGOS Experiences

Finding Inspiration in the Next Generation of Leaders

Recent alumni share their experiences with the Discover AMIGOS Program, Summer Immersion Program, and the National Young Alumni Council. Learn about the perspectives of today’s youth and why immersive global leadership experiences like AMIGOS provide a truly unique opportunity for learning and growth.

National Young Alumni Council member and Youth Ambassadors Program alumnus Ashley Lin will share her experience with AMIGOS. Ashley says, “I want to share with my peers that yes, you can travel even if you’re in high school. Yes, immersing yourself in another culture really does change the way you appreciate the present. Yes, do some soul-searching and path-creating with AMIGOS. And no, this isn’t just a summer program. By joining AMIGOS, you’re joining a network of peers and mentors who want to see you succeed just as much as you do.”


Matthew Travers, Project Staff Representative to the Board and three-time Project Staff (Panama ’16, Colombia ’17, and Mexico ’18) will moderate the panel. Matthew is a bilingual sociologist who studies the intersection of leadership development, community building, and international education. He currently works at Atlas Corps, a nonprofit addressing critical social issues by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and promoting innovation through an overseas fellowship of skilled nonprofit professionals.



Life After AMIGOS: Exploring the Enduring Impact of Our Programs

Leaders in Their Field: Diplomacy and Public Service

Ambassador Arnold Chacon (’74, ’75, ’76, ’77, ’78, ’79) is a career member of the United States Foreign Service currently serving as the Senior Vice President at the National Defense University. He has held senior leadership positions at the State Department, including Chief of Mission in Guatemala and Chief Human Capital Officer. He is widely recognized for his expertise in Latin American and European affairs, talent management, communication strategies and building a diverse workforce.

Prior to his service in Guatemala, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain. His other diplomatic assignments include postings to U.S. Missions in Honduras, Mexico, Chile, Italy, Peru, Ecuador, and the United Nations. Ambassador Chacon joined the AMIGOS Board of Directors in 2019. From 1974–1979, he served with AMIGOS in Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, and Mexico as a volunteer, route leader and member of the AMIGOS international staff. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Ambassador Chacon is a Boettcher Foundation Scholar and graduate of the University of Colorado. His wife Alida Chacon is retired from the Foreign Service and they have three children.


Josh Fryday (’98) was recently appointed California’s Chief Service Officer, leading the organization California Volunteers. Before this role, Josh was the mayor and city council member of Novato, CA. In his professional capacity, Josh served as President of Golden State Opportunity, working to provide financial security to low-income working people throughout California. Prior to that, he served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for NextGen Climate, a leading national organization focused on climate change and clean energy. Josh volunteered with AMIGOS in the Dominican Republic in 1998.


AMIGOS in Context

The Role of Our Programs in an Evolving Latin America

During this TED-talk style session, our team will discuss the current sociopolitical context of life in Latin America. Using lived volunteer experiences as a narrative lens, we’ll unpack how AMIGOS programs plug into the broader social context, including how AMIGOS contributes to local initiatives and promotes youth leadership development across the Americas.


The Importance of an AMIGOS Field Experience

Why AMIGOS Trips are Important for Alumni, Leadership, and All Stakeholders

Grab your passport, your polo, and your spirit of adventure and head to Latin America with us! Traveling to the field and meeting volunteers, staff, host families, and partner agencies gave our alumni and supporters the chance to see first-hand how AMIGOS is evolving to address today’s challenges while continuing to provide unparalleled immersion experiences for youth across the Americas.

Supporters trip to Costa Rica, 2019

Saturday, October 19th – Afternoon

Life After AMIGOS: Exploring the Enduring Impact of Our Programs

Leaders in Their Field: Social Enterprise and Innovation for Public Good

Kirsten Tobey (’94, ’96, ’98) co-founded Revolution Foods in 2006 while in graduate school at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Based in Oakland, Revolution Foods is becoming the nation’s leading innovative, nationwide food solution for citywide wellness. Revolution Foods serves approximately 2 million healthy, affordable meals per week across 15 states, serving over 2000 school and community sites in the US. Revolution Foods’ mission is to build lifelong healthy eaters by making kid-inspired, chef-crafted food accessible to all.

Revolution Foods has been named by Fast Company as one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies and has been listed as one of Fortune Magazine’s “Seven World-Changing Companies to Watch.”  Kirsten is a social entrepreneurship fellow for the Schwab Foundation, as well as an Ashoka Fellow, an Aspen Institute Environmental Fellow, and a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Business Council. She currently is a member of the Board of Directors for Mercaris and ARTA River Trips.

Prior to founding Revolution Foods, Kirsten was a teacher, researcher, and garden educator. Her AMIGOS service included Costa Rica (volunteer – 1994), Ecuador-Manabi (Field Supervisor – 1996) and Ecuador-Cotopaxi (Associate Project Director – 1998).  Kirsten holds an AB from Brown University and an MBA from UC Berkeley. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three daughters.


In 2009, John-Paul Maxfield (’98) left the world of private equity without a clear plan for his future. He did know that idealism and capitalism can coexist. John-Paul didn’t know what the next 9 years (and three kids later) would look like, but he did know that building a company with strong, regenerative values can be a powerful lever for addressing emerging social and environmental needs. That’s why he founded Waste Farmers and is hell bent on building the biggest and most responsible conglomerate in the history of mankind. Acknowledged as one of Denver Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman, and the “Top of the Town Environmentalist” by 5280, John-Paul’s purpose is “to build one of the greatest, most responsible companies that’s ever been built.”

Additionally, John-Paul helped form the Colorado Americana Band, Coal Town Reunion. The band’s approach to music is simple, write honest songs and play the hell outta them. CTR just recently released a new album entitled “Stories We Tell.”


Balancing Organizational Change and a 55-Year Legacy

Local chapter board members highlight the innovative ways their chapters provide an opportunity for continued engagement in their local communities.

Saturday, October 19th – Evening

A Moveable Feast

A dazzling variety of unique dinners will be hosted in the private homes of alumni and AMIGOS enthusiasts across the Houston area. Reconnect and get to know others in a friendly and intimate setting.

Join us in Houston to reconnect with our past, celebrate our accomplishments, and to build connections and energize our community for the future.

We are pleased to open registration for the inaugural AMIGOS Summit in Houston, TX. We will welcome alumni, chapter leaders, board members, staff, and community members to this event.

Please click below to register so our team can coordinate your accommodations. If you have any questions about this event please contact us at

Please click here to complete your registration.

Ticket OptionCostDescription
Full Summit Attendance - Private Room$1,200Attendance at all sessions, meals, and private lodging at the ZaZa Hotel Friday and Saturday. Includes attendance at both Friday & Saturday evening events.
Full Summit Attendance - Shared Room $1,000Attendance at all sessions, meals, and shared lodging at the ZaZa Hotel Friday and Saturday. Includes attendance at both Friday & Saturday evening events.
Full Summit Attendance - No Lodging $700Attendance at all sessions and meals during the Summit. Includes attendance at both Friday & Saturday evening events.
Friday Cocktail Reception and Dinner - "A Conversation with the Zimbalists"$185Join us on Friday evening at the ZaZa Hotel for dinner, drinks and the evening program “A Conversation with Michael Zimbalist.” Get inspired by listening to the renowned filmmaker and multi-year AMIGOS alumnus Michael Zimbalist.
Saturday Daytime Sessions Only - Lunch Included$150Attendance at all Saturday sessions. Lunch included.
Saturday Cocktail Reception and Moveable Feast Dinner$100Saturday evening kicks off with a cocktail reception at the ZaZa Hotel, hors d’oeuvres, and a welcome from the CEO Sara Nathan. Then, guests will receive their “route” dinner assignment and the location of their intimate dinner at the home of a Houston Amigo - you never know who you’ll meet at this Moveable Feast!

Please click here to complete your registration.