Testimonials & Professional Recommendations

"Their insight and knowledge of cross-cultural business is amazing." I have worked with Professional Passport on several occasions. Their insight and knowledge of cross-cultural business is amazing. Every time I meet with them, I learn so much more than I expected. Professional Passport has enabled me to work more efficiently when dealing with other cultures, and to be more professional overall. I recommend Professional Passport's services highly.

Liesl Andrico IT Manager at Intel, Hillsboro, Oregon

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"Charismatic, reliable, competent, knowledgeable in all fields, and easy to communicate with." Professional Passport embodies the rare combination of owning a multicultural staff that offers the rich professional experience our company needed to make global training interesting and relevant to all levels. To add to that the Professional Passport team ischarismatic, reliable, competent, knowledgeable in all fields, and easy to communicate with.

Daniela Martins HR Director, East Metals, Zürich, Switzerland

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"Those stories really helped me wrap my head around some of the things I have experienced."

Dear Valérie,

I just wanted to let you know that through your G.AP. training, I learned more about my style of operation.  Having participated in at least one “similar” class in the past (~5 years ago) I must say I did not come in with high expectations for the class. I figured I’d attend the first couple of hours and then decide if I wanted to spend any more time with the training. Your class was fun. You made it interesting. Good balance of case studies with all the stories. I loved all the stories you shared – for me they were the best part of it all. Those stories really helped me wrap my head around some of the things I have experienced. Thank you once again. Great class!

Dileep Moothedath R&D Engineer, HP San Diego, California

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"Unique and tailor made for situations we face" The Cultural Awareness Training program delivered by Valérie Berset Price, Professional Passport, was unique and tailor made quite well for situations we face while working globally.  It gave us valuable insights into global cultural differences and how to effectively surmount them in our interactions in a workplace environment. The modules were designed based on real scenarios and case studies Valérie gathered from us before the program that helped the participants to relate to the training.  It truly made us more sensitive and effective in recognizing the cultural aspects across regions.

Prakash Bodla Director Engineering and Site Leader, United Technologies, Hyderabad, India

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"This program applies to all cultures" I loved the fact that this program applies to all cultures and can be offered to our teams located all over the world. This is a program that every employee in every international company should take!

Christian Guers Director Channel Development Latin America, Akamai Technologies, Santiago, Chile

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"Senior military leadership and it's component commands would enjoy and profit from Professional Passport's presentations." During my last engagement I had the privilege of hearing an amazing presentation by Ms. Valerie Berset-Price, Professional Passport, on the startling number of obstacles to understanding that our cultures unconsciously raise during discussions. Prepared initially for yet another sociological treatise, I was instead delighted and intrigued by the humorous notes and the solidly professional content of this Swiss national's presentation. I believe that the senior military leadership and its component commands would both enjoy and profit from listening to Ms. Berset-Price and discussing the sophisticated insights she brings to the table.

Ret. Colonel Anthony Wood U.S. Marine Corps, Santa Barbara, California

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"They created a custom solution" As the leader of an R&D organization at HP, mcontey global engineering team faces many challenges that include work across time zones, the rapid speed of changing priorities, and, most of all, cultural differences. Cultural differences, above all, became a priority for me as I felt they were the biggest obstacle I had to creating a culture of 'One Team.' We needed expert help and that is where Professional Passport came in. Their approach was quite refreshing, and they did not bring a one-size-fits-all approach to my challenge. Instead, they created a custom solution that was based on their direct interviews with my sponsoring Directors followed by interaction with key engineers around the globe to get different perspectives.

This helped them generate an independent view of the problem we needed to solve and develop the custom training material that was tailored to HP and our specific team.  Finally, the Professional Passport team traveled to all the key sites in India and the US to conduct two-day workshops that were eye-openers for our team. The universal feedback from everyone was 'I wish I had done this training before we started working with global teams! Once the workshops were completed, Professional Passport conducted follow-up meetings periodically with the same Directors to assess progress. In my own assessment, this training was an excellent investment for HP as it helped engineers across the globe interact better, appreciate each other more and above all, work together as 'One Team.' What impresses me most about Professional Passport is that it is made up of experts in the field of cultural intelligence and has great insights into the cross-cultural challenges of 21st century business. Valerié and her team are highly professional, extremely thorough in their communication and very approachable and courteous. They are highly recommended.

Subu Iyer R&D Director, HP Bangalore, India

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"The Passport team has demonstrated a high degree of expertise on the domain" My team has gone through cultural training by Professional Passport.  The sessions took place in our four locations (including India) and were based on extensive preparation and pre-work by the Passport team.  The preparation was evident in the two day long sessions.  The team was guided through the various aspects of being a multicultural, multilocation team, challenged and driven by the various aspects of these elements.  The team was educated in how to address differences in behavior, expectation and communication, and how to use them to its advantage.  The team was highly motivated and engaged, and has definitely learned a lot on how to address these cultural challenges to better improve its operation.

The Passport team has demonstrated a high degree of expertise on the domain and has done a great job in guiding the team through understanding the challenges and differences, and then through defining the ways to tackle them.  The Passport team has proven to be very instrumental and valuable to the process.  I would recommend that training to any team that has multicultural groups within.

Gadi Naveh Director, Chief Technologist Officer at Hewlett Packard, San Francisco

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"The Workshop was wonderful and so well received." Thank you very much for joining us for Pennsylvania International Week event! Your workshop was wonderful and so well received. Many attendees complimented your presentation skills and asked for additional workshops Professional Passport may teach. We will definitely ask you back next year!"

Dorte Heffernan Manager, International Trade NW Commission, Oil City, Pennsylvania

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"One of the most outstanding, effective, cross-cultural programs for the professional." Valérie has developed one of the most outstanding, effective, cross-cultural programs for the professional. I would highly recommend Valérie to any serious executive. Her multi-language skills coupled with her in-depth international business experience provides a skill set that is second to none and first among many.

Irl Davis President, LasTek Corporation

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"Those insights were invaluable and I highly recommend Professional Passport." Professional Passport provided a series of classes and consultations to address the myriad of misunderstandings, missed schedules, and strained relationships with our offshore partners. What we got was an improved understanding of how our own behavior contributed to the problem as well as ways to change the dynamic that had failed repeatedly in the past decade. Those insights were invaluable and I highly recommend Professional Passport's services to anyone, but especially US based companies that have a globally diverse employee or customer base.

Karen Van der Veer Engineering Manager at Puppet Labs, Portland, Oregon

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"What it takes to successfully work across culture in itself" Thank you very much for the customized G.A.P. training. I really enjoyed working with you professionally and personally during the past 3 months. Although working with China and being established as a supplier in our system can be challenging at times, we took time to communicate clearly and understand each other’s stance; we confronted the difficulties together. 

It was such a great experience, rooted in our desire to make this training happen for our Beijing team. This to me was a good manifestation of what it takes to successfully work across culture in itself. 

Cynthia Wang Training and Platform Development Manager, Sanofi R&D, Beijing

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"A huge eye opener." Seeing the world from the perspective Professional Passport presented on cultural intelligence was a huge eye opener for me.  I had taken several cross-cultural classes before but none of them show me how to effectively position myself within cultures the way this program did.  I highly recommend it.

Paul Dittman Sr. Project Manager, Intel, Portland, Oregon

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These three days were a truly enriching and fundamental moment for our brands, our strategy and, more than anything, the team spirit. I especially found that they gave me the tools to put into perspective our cultural differences and thus handle misunderstandings or difficulties with less heat or frustration.

Charlotte Bouvier Marketing and Image Director, Comptoir des Cotonniers

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"Fact-filled overview of the seven cultural dimensions at play in global business." The class on International Negotiations addresses some key points and provided a very thoughtful and fact-filled overview of the seven cultural dimensions at play in global business. What I appreciated the most is that the program consistently emphasized the need to apply a global mindset in building partnerships throughout the world. I was most fortunate to have had the opportunity to introduce this course to my students.

Marvin T. Serhan Professor, School of Business Administration’s Master of Science in Global Leadership Program, University of San Diego

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"Has provided a periodic chart for the complex field of study known as cultural intelligence" Chemistry is a broad and complex field of study, but in 1869 Dmitri Mendeleev simplified chemistry by devising the periodic table that arranged the elements by characteristics and their relationships to one another. Through her G.A.P. program, Valérie Berset-Price has provided a similar periodic chart for the complex field of study known as cultural intelligence. She has identified specific characteristics that define cultural dimensions such as the perception of time and place or the process of communication. 

Through her personal stories and examples it is easy to understand the variations among the characteristics so that a traveler to any foreign location has a thorough understanding of cultural dimensions and how they may affect him. Valérie’s program on cultural intelligence is a must for anyone that wishes to do business overseas.

Dr. Michael R. Dicks Watkins Chair for International Trade and Development, Oklahoma State University

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The Monumental Challenge from Abroad

Rip Caswell Sculptures, Inc., headquartered in Troutdale, Ore. sought assistance from Professional Passport when they were approached by the Royal Office of Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for a major commission. They found themselves having difficulty navigating both the cultural differences and the bidding process. Kathy shared her experiences working with our team below:

Q: Describe the challenge you were having that made you decide to get assistance:

A: We were contacted by the Royal Office of Sheikh Mansour and asked to present a proposal for a major artwork commission. We first responded to the proposal the same way we do when contacted by local clients. We quickly learned that our style, which was too direct, got us eliminated from the bidding process right away. Because this commission is important and could put our company on the international circuit, we decided to look for assistance in getting us back in the RFP process.

Q: How did you find Professional Passport?

A: We were introduced to Valérie Berset-Price from Professional Passport through a business acquaintance of ours who had heard her speak on the subject of cultural intelligence and best international business practices at a conference. We had never actually brought in an outside consultant before to help us, so at first we were unsure if we wanted to take that step or not. I found Valérie very easy to work with and very responsive to my questions and in her review of my work product.

Q: Why did you ultimately choose to work with Professional Passport to help solve your challenge/problem?

A: Professional Passport is obviously experienced in developing business with the Arab world and we wanted to ensure that 1) we would find a way to get back in the RFP process, 2) our proposal would fit the business etiquette and savvy expected when dealing with the Royal Office.

Q: Please describe both the results and the process of working with Professional Passport during the course of your engagement:

A: Although the RFP process is still going on and no decision per sé has been reached, we now feel confident that we have extended a business proposal that fits the criterions of the international arena and that our style is respectful of the cultural expectations of the UAE. We also feel, through the exchanges we have had with the decision makers, that we stand a much better chance than we would have if Professional Passport had not been involved in the process.

Valérie offered to read all of my written (email) communications with the UAE as well as coach Rip Caswell on how to talk to the Royal office when on the phone with them. The writing of the proposal and the creation of a portfolio suited to the international arena was very helpful and will help us in the future as a template that we can reuse. This exercise was wonderful in creating a highly professional image for our company.

For all of the reasons aforementioned, I would absolutely recommend Professional Passport to anyone seeking guidance and results in the international arena.

Kathy Toynbee Rip Caswell Sculptures

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"I learned many things ... she frames what she knows to make it relevant as well as entertaining" I had the pleasure of hearing Valérie speak about the important considerations for a company expanding internationally at a recent meeting of Human Resources professionals. She has wonderful stories that illustrate her key points, all told with great charm and humor. Particularly meaningful to me was the idea that the personality and social skills of employees tagged to develop business in other countries can be more important than subject matter expertise. I have heard many speakers on international business related topics over the years and was impressed with how fresh and new much of her content was. I learned many things I didn’t know as a result of how she frames what she knows to make it relevant as well as entertaining.

Mary Carvour H.R. Director, Coaxis Inc., Portland, Oregon

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With Appreciation 

 We appreciate the amazing people from around the world who have shared with us how they benefited from our services through testimonials and professional recommendations.
Thank you very much!

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"A highly informative and rich workshop." Thank you for a highly informative and rich workshop. We look forward to having you address our students next.

Zhang Shujie Deputy Director, Department of Training and International Cooperation, Shanghai Customs College, Shanghai, China

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"Valerie transmitted a valuable message that resonated with all." I have been present at Valerie's presentations on cultural intelligence and the global mindset on three occasions and in two continents and have never ceased to be amazed by her ability to articulate her experience and insight on the topic in a way that combines wit and humor with an important message. She recently lectured at Oklahoma State University on her G.A.P. program, which was attended by professors, students, economic development specialists, business professionals and the general public.Valérie transmitted a valuable message that resonated with all. Some people told me it changed their lives.

Anthony Cambas Director Center for International Trade and Development (CITD) at Oklahoma State University

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"I would not hesitate to recommend Professional Passport" I am CEO of the International Sales Organisation of Evraz, a leading Russian Steel producer with 13 different nationalities amongst our employees. I asked Professional Passport to conduct a Global Leadership Training for our Executive team, which turned out to be indispensable in helping us identify  cultural voids that appear within such a multi-cultural organization. And, having learned how to spot them, Valérie helped us to appreciate how to bridge those gaps and to think about how to make such differences a virtue and through it create a more cohesive team. The training was an enjoyable mix of presentations and team work.

Valérie’s personal style is highly professional and she delivers the training in a very interactive and fun manner which brought the topic to life. Moreover, it is clear that in Valérie’s case, the material she was conveying was fully informed by her own rich experiences of working in multi-cultural environments and this gave the training a significant degree of relevance and credibility. Our time with her flew by and I would not hesitate to recommend Professional Passport to any other such organization.

Joe Vazquez CEO, Evraz

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"A magnificent trainer because of the content of her material and her delivery" Valérie is a magnificent trainer because of the content of her material and her delivery. Valérie has years of experience working in different contexts in the global community both through her work with local non-profits as well as her experience working for multinational businesses. This experience gives her great insight into working as a member of an international business team. I am an immigration attorney and work with professionals from very diverse backgrounds and I found Valérie’s insight into cross-cultural communication extremely helpful. In addition to being a knowledgeable trainer, Valérie is also a very effective speaker. She is dynamic, funny and to the point. I have thoroughly enjoyed Valérie’s training I come away inspired and energized.

Melina LaMorticella Immigration Attorney, Parrilli Reniso

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“I highly recommend the training to anyone who works internationally.” As a multicultural, multilingual business coach, I did not think there was much the G.A.P. program could teach me. I was thus pleasantly surprised when I realized that Professional Passport's approach to culture is based on the positioning of the self within culture. That is something that I had never been exposed to before, but that approach does empower each of us to reach across the aisle and build true partnerships across cultures. It is a great program that I highly recommend to anyone who works internationally.

Guillermo Felix Dardano Schimmel Coffee Coach, Santa Tecla, El Salvador

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