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October 3, 2012, we had the privilege of hosting the first CHARACTER FIRST CONFERENCE in Guatemala. The four Credit Unions we have been working with over the last 3 to 7 years, along with ourselves, sponsored the event. We brought John Burnett, Director of the central region of the U.S., from the home office of Character First located in Oklahoma City to Guatemala as the primary guest speaker. John, and his wife, Cheryl, arrived October 1st and spent a week with us. The conference was held at the Grand Tikal Futura Hotel in Guatemala City.  The attendees were by invitation only. Though some of the attendees were employees or management of the Credit Unions, there were numerous first-time guests who were hearing about the Character Initiative for the first time. Three of the General Managers shared the testimony of their Credit Union and the success of the Character Initiative. Incredible videos were developed by the Credit Unions to show how their employees are walking out the character qualities they are learning. Lisa was the M.C. and Art spoke on the importance of balancing ability with good character. With all his enthusiasm, John held the audience captive as he spoke with passion through his interpreter, Rolando. Two cable stations filmed the conference and interviewed three of us afterwards. It was also covered in one of the national newspapers. On Friday, John spoke on how our character affects our relationships. John shared that his family consisting of eight children is his “Character School”. This more intimate meeting was held at a beautiful golf resort outside of Antigua. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful views of the golf course surrounded by volcanoes, one of which erupted while we were enjoying our morning coffee.

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