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Chiang Mai welcomes new Political Chief to U.S. Consulate General

Skål getaway weekend in Chiang Rai

Chiang Mai welcomes new publication


Chiang Mai welcomes new Political Chief to U.S. Consulate General

By Shana Kongmun

Dean and Lila Tidwell are old Thailand hands having first come to Chiang Mai 35 years ago. In fact, both of their sons were born in Chiang Mai. And so it is with great pleasure that Mr. Tidwell finds himself posted to Chiang Mai as the U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai’s newest Political and Economic Chief after a stint at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India. Lila Tidwell will also be working at the Consulate as American Citizens Services Assistant. Both worked extensively in Thailand, Vietnam and India with NGO’s helping hill tribes people and in assisting Burmese refugees. Additionally, he worked as Regional Program Manager for Habitat for Humanity’s Asia Pacific office in Bangkok. Due to his many years working in Asia, he speaks Thai, Sgaw Karen and Hindi.

Japanese Consul Masahide Sato and Masako Sato join the party to welcome the new Political and Economic Chief at the U.S. Consulate.

With a long history in Asia, Mr. Tidwell, who spent a great share of his life growing up in India, shared reminiscences with Chiang Mai Mail Managing Director Tony Malhotra over their education in the same town in India. Both decided it was a very small world when it turned out Tony’s older brother had gone to the same school as Mr. Tidwell.

Many Consuls and Honorary Consuls attended the party to greet the latest addition to the U.S. Consulate General staff, with the Japanese Consul Masahide Sato attending with his lovely wife Masako, they mentioned that current Consul Junko Yakata will be leaving her post as Japan Consul General in Chiang Mai at the end of the month, as an active member of the community she will be greatly missed. Chiang Mai Mail offices neighbor Arvind Kumar; the Consul of India chatted with Tony about taking his daily walks past the offices and promised to pop in one of these days. Ben Svasti, British Honourary Consul was there and is making plans to celebrate the Queen of England’s birthday in September. While a bit late, he said that it had to be postponed due to the unrest in Bangkok.

Everyone felt very lucky that the rains held off for the outdoor event and were happy to welcome Mr. Tidwell and his wife to Chiang Mai on a pleasant if steamy evening.

Honorary Consul for the United Kingdom Ben Svasti Thomson
welcomes Dean and Lila Tidwell to Chiang Mai.

Incoming Political and Economic Chief Dean Tidwell speaks to the gathering in both Thai and English about his life in Asia and his enthusiasm for working with the team at the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai.

Mike Hock and Gao Linprasert of Ace! the Academy for EducationUSA present a basket of flowers to Political and Economic Chief Dean Tidwell and his wife Lila.

(From left) Amnat Jongyotying, Northern Editor of Naew Na & Editor-in-Chief of Northern Daily (Pak Nua Raiwan) chats with Worawan Thanamongkol, Public Diplomacy Assistant for the U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai and Bunyarit Tulapanpong, Thai News Columnist.

Thomas M. Schmidt, Vice Consul, Shana Kongmun, Managing Editor of the Chiang Mai Mail, Ben Svasti Thomson, British Honorary Consul, and Phairoj Phatsornpinyosakul, President of Thantraphan Supermarket (1994) Company Limited (“Rimping Supermarket”) share a drink at the party to welcome Dean and Lila Tidwell.

Managing Director of the Chiang Mai Mail Tony Malhotra presents a welcome bouquet of flowers to incoming Economic and Political Chief, Dean Tidwell and his wife Lila at the party at the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai on Thursday, July 22, 2010.


Skål getaway weekend in Chiang Rai

By Tony Malhotra

Skålleagues from Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand had a great weekend at Anantara Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai last month amidst the nice weather near the border.

The evening started with a cocktail reception brilliantly set up at the Rice Paddy, guests had a hands on experience feeding and photos taken with baby elephants among the beautiful setting of a rice field with water buffalo as the highlight at the registration table. The Anantara staff then led the guests in a parade to the dining area where a buffet dinner with a jungle theme was arranged at their Baby Elephant Camp.

The formal part began with Marc Dumur, President of Skål International Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand offering up a minute of silence to pay tribute to the late Jim Power, Secretary General of Skål International. Then an announcement for those who wish to attend the upcoming 71st Skål World Congress in Sydney which will be held between 7-12 October this year and can be booked through President Marc.

The guest speaker of the evening was Patricia Solar from Izara Arts, member of the World Fair Trade Organization – Asia, who talked about their work in assisting the northern ethnic minority groups, consisting of Hmong, Akha, Lisu, Karen, Lahu, Mien and Palaung communities by assisting the women in bringing patterns of the past into the present day with color schemes and product designs which appeal to modern eyes. “We follow the fair trade philosophy so the producers can profit from the creativity and painstaking labor that they invest in these products”. The producer can then play a more empowered role within the global economy by choosing to work from within their villages. You can contact Patricia at [email protected] for references about their work.

A great Thai and International buffet was enjoyed by all; big thanks goes to Bodo Klingenberg, General Manager of Anantara Golden Triangle and his team for their extraordinary efforts in making this get-together a memorable one. Bodo also kindly offered special room rates for the night for Skålleagues who wished to stay at his beautiful property over the weekend.

The next Skål International Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand dinner will be held at Latest Recipe, Le Meridien Chiang Mai this coming Thursday 29th July with cocktails starting at 6:30 pm, followed by International Buffet dinner specially arranged for members and guests; contact Secretary Naphat Nutsati at [email protected] to confirm your attendance.

Skålleagues from Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand enjoyed their meeting at the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort in Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai.

Chiang Mai welcomes new publication

By Shana Kongmun

Hallo Chiangmai was launched with a bang, with Louis XIV style gown clad ladies and stockinged men dancing to Madonna’s Vogue followed by a fashion show from local business people, entrepreneurs and more.

Dr. Chao Duengduen Na Chiangmai gives the opening remarks to launch the new magazine.

From the opening comments from Lanna Princess Dr. Chao Duangduen Na Chiangmai, to the elegant fashion show and a who’s who roster of local celebrity, the opening party held at Central Airport Plaza on July 16 entertained the crowd.

Hallo Chiangmai is the newest Thai language publication to grace Chiang Mai, covering local society and events, Managing Director Ongkarn Chaiongkarn opened the fashion show titled Chiang Mai New Celebrities 2010 with the seventeen people featured in the magazine walking down the red carpeted stairs in evening wear. The lovely Raya Luelai Madeline was joined by Suttiruk Sittisoonthorn, Pochapun Thuvanalin and others.

The glossy oversized magazine is sure to be a hit with followers of Chiang Mai society.

Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon (center) is flanked by (from the right) Managing Director of the Chiang Mai Mail, Tony Malhotra, Zoe Addams, Managing Editor of the Chiang Mai Mail Shana Kongmun (right), Wanchula Saralamba, Sales & Marketing Manager, Nok Mini and Former Miss Chiang Mai 2004 with Wuttipong Arayatumsopon. (Photo courtesy of Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon)

Chiang Mai Mail Managing Director Tony Malhotra, Editor Phitsanu Thepthong and Managing Editor Shana Kongmun present a welcome bouquet of flowers to Hallo Chiangmai Editor Siri Sethkomut. They are joined by Chiang Mai Mail staff and friends.