2014 International Leadership Mission to Vietnam

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A.C.E. President David Woodward traveled with the Trade Development Alliance and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s International Leadership Mission delegation on its trip to Vietnam between February 28 and March 7.  The 25-member delegation representing private and public sectors at the city, county, and state level in Washington State, spent Sunday through Tuesday in Ho Chi Minh City, and then Wednesday through Friday in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. President Woodward was greatly impressed by the beauty of the country, its rapid economic development, and the vitality and graciousness of the Vietnamese people.   A particularly poignant experience was the visit to a local orphanage that is supported by Rotary International.  A.C.E.’s intention is to expand and strengthen its educational and cultural ties across Vietnam in the years to come.

Follow the link below to access the Seattle Chamber’s 2014 ILM to Vietnam photo album. Photos courtesy of Joe Massey.


April 10, 2014 at 10:09 am Leave a comment

Celebrating 40 Years of A.C.E. – A Historical Review from A.C.E.’s Founding President

Throughout the 2013-14 academic year, A.C.E. is commemorating its 40th anniversary with a series of celebrations and reflections to mark the occasion.  From local events in Japan and Seattle to global receptions at NAFSA in St. Louis and San Diego, we are honored to share in this milestone with friends of A.C.E. over the years.  As a special report to the A.C.E. blog, the organization’s Founding President Burton E. “Bud” Bard Jr. shares his memoirs over the past 40 years.

Every organization needs to take the time to write historical information about its formation and history. Past and current staff will be interested at some point in time. A.C.E.’s 40th Anniversary presents me with the opportunity to briefly reflect on how this nonprofit international educational organization came into being and the key individuals responsible for its success. I personally believe that no organization is created in a vacuum. It takes the involvement and the personal dedication of many individuals and sometimes a little luck, to make an organization like A.C.E. reach such an important historical milestone.

It pleases me that two of A.C.E.’s long-time key staff members still remain involved with the organization—David Woodward and Sam Shepherd. Sam was hired in 1976 as an intensive English instructor in the Saudi program on the campus of Seattle Pacific University, and became Vice President in 1979. He hired David in 1980 as an intensive English instructor. After holding many important administrative positions in the company, David became President of A.C.E. in 1998. I agreed with the A.C.E.  Board that David was the right person for the job. Sam remained with A.C.E. for 17 years before being recruited to become the Director of the Fulbright office in Japan, and later, as President of the National Association of Japan-America Societies in Washington, D.C.  Sam returned recently as A.C.E. Senior Vice President after retiring from the Japan-America Society.

In addition to David and Sam, it is important to mention the “Why”, “Who” and “How” of A.C.E.’s formative years. The “Why” is that my dream, nurtured by my love for my early positions as Foreign Student Advisor and Director of FIUTS at the University of Washington from 1967 to 1972, encouraged me to see the local need for a nonprofit educational company like A.C.E.; something with which I deeply wanted to be involved.  I am reminded of a quote from Dag Hammarskjold, former United Nations Secretary-General: “The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside”. The “Who” was that I convinced my friends, Forest Lane, a US Immigration Service inspector, and Arlene Corey, Director of ESL at Shoreline Community College, to join me in forming the American Cultural Exchange. Forest chose the original name, now known as Associates in Cultural Exchange.

The others “Who” played a major role in the early years in the 1970s were Ulrike Criminale, A.C.E.’s first employee who began as a volunteer and established our foreign language programs; Linda (Quist) Harris, who wrote the proposal and then set up and directed our first intensive English program at Seattle Pacific University in 1977; and Jimmy Fukuda, A.C.E.’s first Vice President, who introduced me to Japan and the right people to meet with there. Finally the “How” was convincing Seattle Pacific University’s staff to welcome A.C.E. on to its campus in 1977; the Tokyo YMCA’s College of English agreeing to send 100 students to our program in the summer of 1979; and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreeing to send 15 Saudi students to study English in program that we established in 1976 and then continued sending them to our new intensive English Language Institute at SPU. These programs continued for years and allowed A.C.E. to move on.

I am proud of those that have followed in our footsteps, and of the many hundreds of people that have worked for A.C.E. over the past forty years and who have been a part of this organization. I also can’t help but think of the thousands of students who have benefited from our educational programs. Finally, I am especially gratified by those that continue the legacy of the founders of this company.  Thank you!



Pictured from left to right: David Woodward – President, Burton Bard Jr. – Founder, Sam Shepherd – Past Executive VP

Special Report by Burton E. “Bud” Bard Jr., Founding President, A.C.E.

March 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm Leave a comment

A.C.E. and MSU Visit Partners in China

A.C.E. and Montana State University have teamed up to visit partners and students throughout China. Kyle Louie from the A.C.E. marketing team and Brent Leavell from the MSU Office of International Programs visited students and staff at schools in Chengdu. We look forward to welcoming these students to A.C.E. in the future!



March 10, 2014 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

A.C.E. Advisor Presents in Kazakhstan

A.C.E. Advisor

A.C.E. Senior Advisor Tom Goetsch presented on “Cross-Cultural Educational Leadership” at the Leadership International Institute in Almaty, Kazakhstan in partnership with International Advisory Council Member Dr. Ali Abishev and E2 Educational Services.

March 10, 2014 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

ACEJ Advisor Visits Central Office

ACEJ Visit

Ms. Yamashita with A.C.E. central office staff.

ACEJ Advisor Ms. Yoshiko Yamashita visited the A.C.E. Central office and A.C.E. Language Institute at SPU on February 24-25, 2014.  Ms. Yamashita observed classes with the visiting group of students from Mie University, Japan. During their 5-week program, the Mie students are taking intensive English classes at A.C.E. and learning about American culture through excursions such as Pike Place Market, Bainbridge Island, and the Theo Chocolate Factory in Fremont.  ACEJ, or the American Cultural Exchange of Japan, is a long-time educational partner of A.C.E.  We welcome the Mie students and Ms. Yamashita during their time with A.C.E.

MIE 2014

Mie students visit Theo Chocolate Factory.

February 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

A.C.E. Students Serve Homeless Residents in Tent City

ACEstudents0214Nine students and their teacher Andrea in the level 4 Reading and Writing class participated in a Service Learning Project to serve the homeless residents at Tent City 3 in Shoreline, WA. The project was operated in two stages and lasted about 4 hours.

First, the students gathered at the Sandpoint Community United Methodist Church to prepare and cook a meal for about 100 residents. The menu on that day was lasagna, green beans, fresh bread and fruit juice. That involved a lot of chopping onions, mixing sauces, cooking ground beef and slicing bread. They got a lot of help from Jeff, Bill and Anna who graciously coordinated the kitchen activities.

The second stage was delivering the food to the residents at Tent City at St. Dunstan in Shoreline. The weather was particularly cold and wet that evening which helped them realize how challenging it is to live outdoors during the winter months. However, the residents of Tent City welcomed them with warm smiles and showed their immense gratitude by sharing their stories. The meal was a success and they came away with an experience they will never forget.

Students had some of the following comments:

“I did not expect to see homeless people from other countries than the U.S.; one of the residents I met was from Mexico and the other from Puerto Rico.”

“I did not expect the number of homeless living and eating in Tent City. There were so many of them.”

“What homeless people need is not only money but also respect.  I felt happy when I actually cooked and served the food to them.”


February 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

A.C.E. IAC Member Paull Shin Retires from Washington State Legislature

A.C.E. International Advisory Council member Paull Shin retired from public office last Tuesday. Senator Paull Shin, the first Korean American ever elected to Washington State Legislature, announced Tuesday his resignation after 15 years of service upon being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Herald. In his written letter of resignation, Sen. Shin declared with dignity that his “recent health problems and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease make it impossible for me to represent my constituents in the manner they deserve.”

2011 GILI Dinner   According to his website, Sen. Paull Shin’s unusual path to Olympia coupled with his proactive approach towards community building has gained him high renown throughout Korean and Asian American communities. Shin, 78, was born in Korea and lived as an orphan until he was adopted by an American GI at 16 during the Korean War. After arriving in the United States, Sen. Shin learned English and passed the GED, went on to earn a Masters of Arts in Public and International Affairs, and then received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. After 31 years of teaching at the university level, he retired, only to be elected to the Washington State Senate in 1999. Sen. Shin became widely known as a strong advocate for higher education, the developmentally disabled, immigrant rights, and mutual economic development, all of which earned him deep respect from his colleagues and community.

Sen. Shin, described as a stalwart supporter and true friend of higher education, has been a long standing member of A.C.E.’s International Advisory Council. The International Advisory Council serves as a voluntary global network to collaborate with A.C.E. periodically on resources and trends in the field of international education. In this capacity, Sen. Shin has welcomed Korean groups to A.C.E., such as the 2011 Korean Educational Delegation from the Gangwon Provincial Office of Education and the Gangwon International Language Institute. A.C.E. expresses gratitude for Sen. Shin’s commitment to international education within our organization and Washington state. 

On January 11th, Sen. Marko Liias and the Washington State Senate honored former Sen. Paull Shinn with a resolution commemorating his service in office and his personal embodiment of the American dream. Follow the link below to read the complete resolution and watch coverage from the ceremony.


January 13, 2014 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

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