Consular Chamber of CommerceWhat happens in Vegas stays…on our balance sheets.

Members of the Corps of Consular Emissaries in Nevada have been approached by various governments to become Honorary Consuls.  Discussions are ongoing.  The result could be that Las Vegas becomes a hub of international representation, a reflection of its status as an international entertainment, meeting and business destination.

The true test will be in whether or not the City and State governments are up to the task.  Foreign governments expect a certain level of respect, and embassies presume a city the size of Las Vegas would properly appreciate its consular corps, and understand its business functions.  They are less likely to establish consulates in the face of ‘what happens in Vegas’ ads, and are quick to recognize petty squabbles, local political traps or bureaucratic passive-aggressiveness.

While Nevada has some of the most qualified officials in the Country when it comes to international affairs, some say that others in State and local government seem to have lost sight of the overall objective, in a vacuum of leadership, and fog of ego and protectionism after job cuts.  If the State lacks in international affairs, it is in willpower, not talent. 

According to one Washington, D.C. insider, Nevada’s roughly two dozen consulates would be doubled in number if the City of Las Vegas properly branded itself in the new economy.  It seems at times more obvious to outsiders that Las Vegas is the Meeting Place of the World.  Forget the strippers.  It’s the diverse exhibitions, conventions and conferences that make  it work.

Greater international exposure means greater business opportunities and improved economic and cultural diversity.  The Corps of Consular Emissaries hopes to see such an improvement in the most visited city in the world, Las Vegas.

Dr. Aldo Aguirre, Honorary Vice-Consul of Guatemala in Las Vegas has appointed Mexican Opera personality Marco Antonio Varela as his Emissary.

Marco Antonio Varela named Consular Emissary

Emissary Marco Varela, Consul Biggs Sparkuhl, Vice-Consul Aguirre

Taking advantage of the crowd gathered March 31, 2010 for the open house of the Consular Chamber facilities donated by Attorney Lloyd Baker, Dr. Aguirre surpised the crowd by appointing the popular opera singer.

Mr. Varela first introduced himself to the Order of Consular Emissaries at Cocktails with the Consuls at the Palace in December of 2009.  During the event, Marco and his companion Betsy Ann Fiore swept the crowd off their feet with an incredible impromptu opera performance, accompanied by piano at the Palace.

A true renaissance man, Mr. Varela is has business dealings from his native Mexico to China.  His diplomatic connections extend around the globe. 

 

If you haven’t heard Marco sing, you will.  He is a phenominal tenor, and the picture of class and decorum.  Vice-Consul Aguirre made an excellent choice.  Any diplomat would benefit from the help of Marco Varela, and I am extremely proud to be associated with him.”    

                                              Jonathan Warren, Premier Consular Emissary

 

I first met Marco Varela years ago through my dear friend, Her Excellency Berenice Rendón, Ambassador of Mexico.  She thought very highly of him, and over the years I have come to do the same.”      

       – Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Honorary Consul of Chile & North American Director,       World Federation of Consuls

 

 

The Consular Chamber of Commerce is launching its Certified Consular Notary program with in the USA. 

Certified Consular Notaries will be credentialed by the Consular Chamber of Commerce after an online course and test assuring their status as a Notary Public and a substantial level of expertise on Hague Apostille, foreign document legalization and consular function.  The Chamber decided to introduce the training program in 2007, after considering the lack of training and expertise of existing US notary organizations, and their failure to require a higher standard from membership.

Order of Consular EmissariesCertified Consular Notaries will be the only notaries which the Chamber will allow to execute the notarization of passport copies for foreign legalizations, as required by the Identify.nu identity management platform.  CCN’s will be paid by the Consular Chamber, in addition to charging their standard fees, for each member notarization.  This provides substantial additional income to the notary. 

Members of the Emissary Corps may become Certified Consular Notaries free of charge.   Certification brings with it substantial earnings opportunity, as the Consular Chamber expands the Identify.nu platform.  Those seeking Certification should join the Emissary Corps at www.consul.cc, then request to join the group “Certified Consular Notaries – USA” for certification procedure.

Order of Consular EmissariesThe Honorary Consul of Chile in Las Vegas has arranged a solution to the arduous task of transferring funds to Chile.  Although larger amounts can be transferred relatively easily, small remittances are much more difficult and are generally not cost-effective.

The Consulate can now transfer amounts from US $25. to $3,000. from the US to Chile.  Larger amounts are deposited directly into the recipients’ bank accounts, after converting to Pesos, for a fee of $50.  Small amounts are delivered to the account of Consular Emissaries in Chile for disbursement to multiple recipients.  TheChile Country Information fee for this varies depending on location and logistics, but is generally less than $10.

The Consulate of Chile in Las Vegas has Emissaries in Santiago, Arica, Iquique and the Cauquenes area, where the earthquake was centered.  More emissaries are being established.

Eric Kennedy pulls out all the stops to keep his firm’s desperately needed power generators running in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

 

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Although Mr. Kennedy was having a great time at Cocktails with the Consuls at the Palace last month, the past week has thrown him into crisis mode, bringing his team into action in Haiti.

Kennedy is a frequent traveler to Haiti as Vice President of a firm which provides substantial power to critial operations on the Island.

Inaugural event attracts overwhelming, diverse crowd

Consuls General of Uzbekistan and Japan fly in day before;  Seven honorary consuls take part.

     

8 December, 2009–/ The first annual Cocktails with the Consuls took place at the Parisian Palace in Las Vegas, to the acclaim of an at-capacity, unusual collection of guests.    

At-capacity crowd converges on Parisian Palace for Cocktails with the Consuls

At-capacity crowd of dignitaries converges on the Parisian Palace for Cocktails with the Consuls

Over 150 international business people, political candidates, personal and corporate security specialists, former CIA, FBI, State Department and Special Forces officers mixed with diplomats, entertainers, celebrities, corporate sponsors and local Las Vegas society, in a renaissance of international business and investment opportunity.    

“It was a great function. Congratulations to the Las Vegas Consular community for this great evening.  Ditto on the recognition of Nico, Jonathan and Paulina.  Nico’s design skills are incredible.  What a wonderful venue.  I will see you all again soon.  Thanks for the opportunity, I enjoyed it very much.”  –Gary Furlong, Honorary Consul General of Uzbekistan     

Included in the honored guests were:    

  • Ken Walther, decorated former CIA officer
  • Gary Furlong, Honorary Consul General of Uzbekistan
  • Kathleen Blakely, Honorary Consul General of Japan
  • Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Honorary Consul of Chile and Member of the Board of Directors of the World Federation of Consuls
  • Jerome Snyder, Honorary Consul of Great Britain
  • John Petkus, Honorary Consul of Poland
  • Dr. Aldo Aguirre, Honorary Vice-consul of Guatemala
  • Dr. Geoffrey Vanderpal, Honorary Consul of Slovakia*
  • Senator Roberto Benvenuti (Italy) 

     

Marco Antonio Varela and Betsy Ann Fiore perform at Cocktails with the Consuls www.palaceclub.info

Marco Antonio Varela and Betsy Ann Fiore perform opera at Cocktails with the Consuls.

Guests were treated to a brief talk by Consul General Gary Furlong, who’s legendary and daring work in the former Soviet Union is chronicled in the book “Who the Hell is Bob” by Steve Rudman.    

Following Gary our keynote speaker was Ken Walther, a decorated veteran of nearly three decades as a CIA officer.  Ken’s work in 100 countries is chronicled in several books, and the unique secret technology department he helped develop is the subject of the book “Spycraft” by Robert Wallace.   

~ Facebook Photos ~

 ~ Slideshow ~

Capo's Italian Steakhouse

Tequila Don Cardona

Chez Paulina Private Luxury Guest Residences
Sun Paradise Natural Spring Water

 Consular Chamber of Commerce

*Dr. Vanderpal is the immedate past consul in Las Vegas, Nevada and is Consul Applicant in Austin, Texas

Soviet Armenia, 1988.  A Seattle lawyer with a passion for international relations leads an earthquake relief team behind the Iron Curtain. Many of his colleagues think Gary Furlong is nuts, even before he takes his 55 volunteers across the Soviet border without visas. 

News of the team’s search & rescue and emergency medical relief work crosses the Caspian Sea. 1500 miles east, diplomats in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, get word of this unusual American leader. 

Consul General Furlong with Former Soviet Union Spokesman Vladimir Pozner

Two months later, Gary returns behind the Iron Curtain, this time to meet officials in the Uzbek Capitol, helping to expand the most successful US-Soviet Sister-City alliance, between Tashkent and Seattle, begun in 1973. 

Elected President of the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association in 1993, Furlong for ten years leads delegation after delegation to Uzbekistan, creating dialog on the rule of law, medicine, democracy, education, performing arts, banking, airline production, investment, tourism and mass media. 

Other Central Asian countries have followed suit, pushing the Seattle attorney to stretch his diplomatic ability as far as Russia. This year he led a Seattle team to three central Asian countries on a US State Department-funded global warming study, and still had time to become a founding member of the Consular Chamber of Commerce. 

Gary Furlong was confirmed as Honorary Consul General of Uzbekistan to the Western United States in 2002. His story is American. His life, stranger than fiction. He’s about to make his first official consular visit to Las Vegas, and we are thrilled to have him attending Cocktails with the Consuls on December 8th.

Read the story of Consul General Furlong’s wild ride in and out of Soviet Armenia in the authorized book exerpt (.pfd).