Our Story


About us

Marian and Ruben Rodriguez
Huangshan, China

Charis Intercultural Training Corporation provides customized intercultural communication training and organization development consulting services.

We partner with multicultural and global organizations to successfully lead and manage a global workforce. Clients learn to interface effectively with virtual teams, customers and suppliers at international sites through Charis’ global business programs for over 25 countries. Charis prepares expatriate employees and their families for integration in overseas assignments. For U.S. multicultural organizations, Charis builds culturally-strategic customer service skills that convey respect and build trust with ethnic markets.


ourstory

Globalization

It is a fact of life, albeit somewhat controversial. Commerce, Immigration, and Cross-cultural Communication – has been the driving force behind the founding and growth of Charis. We recognize the importance of human dynamics in today’s business without borders. People are equally, if not more, important as processes and results in accomplishing corporate visions and goals. The human factor – connecting to people across cultures – is vital for international business success. Charis thrives on providing intercultural skill training to business professionals and helping them excel.

Silicon Valley Roots

In the 1980’s, Charis’ home community, Silicon Valley, welcomed entrepreneurs, engineering talent and manufacturing labor, immigrants from all parts of the world – boom times! Intercultural training was a relatively new field, but was a critical service we were able to provide to businesses struggling with language limitations and cultural misunderstandings. With our initial (LinguaTec) staff’s experience as expatriate trainers in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Somalia, France, and Japan, we provided the skills and first-hand insights to do assessments, design training, and obtain successful outcomes for US, Japanese and Korean companies. And, we learned to leverage technology, and always check our assumptions

Going Global

In the 1990’s we saw our high tech clients “going global” with customers (and competition!), suppliers, factories and offices in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Charis Intercultural Training Corporation was founded by Marian Stetson-Rodriguez and Ruben Rodriguez , a wife and husband, American Venezuelan team. They named the company Charis, (pronounced CARE-us) a Greek word meaning “grace” or “goodwill” to reflect building bridges of goodwill between cultures. Ruben brought over 14 years of international engineering experience in Venezuela and at chip-maker Intel to run Charis’ operations, build its I.T. infrastructure to work with associates virtually, and manage research and finance for Charis. Marian brought over 15 years business operations and training development experience, and preparation in linguistics and intercultural communication.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

In the late 90’s, entered Outsourcing. Virtual teams. Balancing time zones. The landscape for intercultural training became more complex. Charis executives saw the need to add the competency of understanding how organizations function, organizational culture as another layer, and managing change to make broader and more accurate diagnoses and interventions. Charis’ International Organization Development practice was started in 1996, with selected consultants who had the combination of O.D. and diversity/cross-cultural backgrounds. Then, we mounted six clocks for as many time zones, in the office.

Growth to 25+ Countries

In the new century, Charis’ prolific staff in 7 countries has designed over 25 country programs, delivered to over 4,000 participants per year. We started offering public seminars in 2005 to make them available to smaller companies, and taking steps toward alternative “on-line” formats. Outsourcing, 24/7 schedules, security issues, and “right-sizing” present us with challenges we intend to meet with agility, cost-effectiveness, customization and quality. Charis’ multicultural staff of over 20 consultants are dedicated to providing knowledge, encouraging experimentation with other cultural strategies, and synergistic solutions in complex environments. We bring the principles of openness, respect, communication, and quality in our relationships with each other and with our clients. There is a lot of goodwill at Charis. Thanks for taking a moment to read our story.

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