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BIC Press Kit

BIC Press Kit

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Published by Dani Santisteban
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Responsible for Student Snapshot analyses

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Published by: Dani Santisteban on Sep 11, 2012
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PromotIng BrazIlIan Culture and Portuguese language In ChICago sInCe 2006

Brazil In Chicago

taBle oF Contents
our history . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 our staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 offering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 student snapshot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Casa Brasil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 our Board of directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 moving Forward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

our hIstory
Brazil in Chicago was founded in October of 2006, by Marcelo Jarmendia. While he was confident that Brazil’s imminent economic boom would generate a demand for the Portuguese language, Marcelo had to overcome big obstacles in order to open a school dedicated exclusively to the Portuguese language: He had no employment authorization, absolutely no credit, and had just been diagnosed with HIV. But the demand already existed. Within merely a month after opening its doors, the school already had eight group classes. Since then, our growth has been quite impressive: in 2007 we grew 42%; in 2008, 54%. The following year, even while holding a 93% market share, we grew 25%. After 2009 we have been keeping a steady growth of 15%. It did not take long until Marcelo had to hire other teachers to keep up with the growing demand.

Since 2009 we are located at the Historic Alleyhouse of Lincoln Square, build in 1893.


Brazil In Chicago

our staFF
Our founder and president, Marcelo Jarmendia, with our assistant director Victoria Carmona. Our team of instructors.









marCelo JarmendIa
Marcelo Jarmendia was born in Bauru, São Paulo state. He grew up in the city of São Paulo and graduated in Social Sciences from the University of São Paulo. During the five years in which he studied at USP, Marcelo also taught Spanish to several companies in São Paulo. On his vacations, Marcelo would visit different cities in the United States. The last of these visits was in Chicago, months after graduating, in 2004. Marcelo has always had a big interest for International Relations and for languages - whether it was studying or teaching them. In less than a month after his arrival in Chicago, Marcelo began teaching Spanish and Portuguese to people of several nationalities. With the knowledge in Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science that he recently acquired in college, he always incorporated a significant amount of Brazilian culture into his classes. Marcelo’s services would soon be recommended to several people interested in learning his language. Their interest in Portuguese grew for various reasons, whether it was because they would travel soon, were married to Brazilians, or were taking Samba classes. It did not take too long before his schedule was full. After renting a classroom in an Italian language school, Marcelo decided to open his own school. After exactly two years after his arrival, Marcelo opened the doors of Brazil in Chicago. Since then, Marcelo plays an important role in his community: He helps preserve the identity of Brazilians living in the US; he promotes the work of Brazilian organizations, professionals, and artists in Chicago; he offers services that prepares non-Brazilians to have better experiences when dealing with Brazil or Brazilians; and he contributes to the economy, by paying taxes, creating jobs and hiring the services of several companies and individuals.

The team at Brazil in Chicago is as diverse as Brazil. We currently have teachers from São Paulo (Marco and Sofia), Paraná (Ladi), Rio Grande do Sul (Ariani) and Pernambuco (Elias). In the past four years, we have also had teachers from other Brazilian states: MS, RJ, MG, BA, AM and CE. Also like Brazil, Brazil in Chicago welcomes foreigners with open arms. For our mission of promoting the language of Camões would not be accomplished without connecting the two sides of the Atlantic with the Portuguese tongue. As it happens, for almost two years, we have been offering European Portuguese, taught by Iris Vilares, from Lisbon. Additionally, our team also has two American teachers: Bradley, who grew up in Salvador; and Adrianne, who lived in São Paulo. Despite their differences, all of our teachers have degrees in humanities, and extensive experience teaching languages. Marcelo could not administer the school and manage this team without the help of his right hand, Victoria Carmona. Our Assistant Director grew up as an Argentine; her parents are from Buenos Aires and they moved to the U.S. a few months before she was born. Victoria gratuated with a degree in Linguistics and International Relations from the University of Chicago, and currently studies Law at Loyola University.


Brazil In Chicago


Brazil in Chicago offers courses for all ages. For adults we offer regular Portuguese classes, Portuguese for Spanish speakers, cross-cultural training and specific courses, such as “Brazil, Language and Culture through Brazilian Cinema”; “Bate-Papo”; and “Brazil, History and Society”.
We also offer cooking classes and Brazilian dance classes. For Brazilians, we offer English and Spanish classes. We also have classes for kids and teens, most of them of Brazilian descent.


Brazil In Chicago

oFFerIngs Continued

Cultural aCtIVItIes
Besides classes, we have held and continue to offer several cultural activities, among them:
• Working in Brazil Seminar”, taught by Edilson Ramos, a headhunter from São Paulo. • Cachaça tasting, with two members of the Brotherhood of the Pierced Glass, two experts of artisan cachaça (Kede and Claudia), and Phil Gomes, editor of Cachaçagora, which is the most read blog in English on the subject. • Brazilian short movies screening, with director Fábio Cruz. • Brazlian film screenings.

Top Left; Making samba at one of our picnics at the park, near Montrose beach. Top Right; With a group of students at the U.S.-Brazil soccer match at the Solder Field, in 2008. Above; Mr. Kede preparing the final details for our cachaça tasting. Left; Brazilian short movies exhibit at our school, during the Chicago Latino Film Festival of 2009


Brazil In Chicago

student snaPshot
Brazil in Chicago has had over 600 students from more than 45 countries. Some of them came to us because they were dating or were married to Brazilians; Others because they were doing activities related to Brazilian culture (Samba, Capoeira, Jiu-jitsu, Music, etc). Many other students enroll for the simple passion for languages. Lately, thanks to the booming of the Brazilian economy, we have had students whose interest is linked to professional and economic opportunities in Brazil. Why Portuguese
8% 14% 22% 2% 22% 32% Brazilian Culture Loved One(S) Passion For Languages Study In Brazil Travel Work/Business

Generaly speaking, we can say that most our students are of young professionals (betweeen the ages of 19 and 38) and multicultural (they have already studied another language). age
6% 36% 35% 15% 8% 19-23 24-29 30-38 39-45 45+

languages sPoKen, BesIdes englIsh
54% 29% 5% 5% 4% 2% 1% 1% 1% Spanish None French Multiple Other German Italian Portuguese Arabic

Something we deeply care about at Brazil in Chiago is the growing lack of interest in Brazilian culture among those who wish to study Portuguese. It is not difficult to make the connection between the increase of students interested in learning Portuguese for business and the decrease of interest in our culture. Change In Interest 2006 - Present ethnICIty

9% 3% 3% 31% 1% 1% 52%

African-American Asian Brazilian Descendant Hispanic Middle Eastern Other White

-8% -3% +6% -2% -2% +9%

Brazilian Culture Loved One(S) Passion For Study In Brazil Travel Work/Business

sPanIsh sPeaKers
We are the only school to offer specific classes for Spanish speakers, whether they are native or second language speakers. The Hispanic community represent one third of our students, while classes for Spanish speakers represent half of both revenue and number of students.


Brazil In Chicago

Casa BrasIl

Despite the increase in volume of students and revenue, thanks to the expansion of the Brazilian economy, we do not want to stop promoting Brazilian culture. So far we have been doing an exceptional job: after the students complete a course they fill our surveys where they indicate to be extremely satisfied with the cultural aspects learned in class - even those who had no interest in culture when they first enrolled.
However our resources are limited. And with the current model - a for-profit corporation - our reserves to promote culture are low. To face this problem, Marcelo decided to turn his company into a non-profit organization. Our NPO, Casa de Cultura Brasileira (CCB), is expected to be approved by the state of Illinois in August 2011. Also called Casa Brasil, this organization will promote Brazilian culture through events, exhibits and festivals. By raising funds from the governments and corporations of both Brazil and the U.S., CCB will be able to acquire Brazil in Chicago assets and build Cultural Centers in the United States, starting in Chicago.

To be the premier destination for persons, organizations and businesses interested in Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language.

Our mission is to be an outstanding center of Brazilian cultural exchange and Portuguese language instruction. We will attract and retain exceptional educators, sponsors and partners to foster Brazilian culture at every interest and experience level. Through core activities such as Portuguese language classes; cultural events featuring cuisine, dance, music, film and art; collaboration with complementary organizations and businesses; and participation in our local communities, we will be the destination for all things Brazilian.


Brazil In Chicago

Board oF dIreCtors
The announcement of the transition from corporation to NPO was made at the end of 2010, when Marcelo called a meeting to the general public. Forty people came: Brazilians, students, members of the artistic and business community. It was not easy to pick, but for practical reasons we decided to limit our Board to ten members. Below are their biographies:

daIone mItChell
Daione was born in Salvador, Brazil but moved to the US when she was 10 years old. She has lived in Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C. and currently resides in Chicago and maintains dual citizenship. She is married and has two children. She and her family enjoy traveling and are excited about the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil. She currently works for GEM Realty Capital, a real estate investment company that invests in private-market real estate assets and publicly traded real estate securities. She attended American University in Washington D.C. where she received an International Business Degree. She stays active year round playing soccer, participating in running and cycling races, and during the summers she also does triathlons.

marIana sgarBI
Mariana was raised in Brazil and received her two undergraduate degrees from Brazilian universities. She graduated in International Relations from the University of Brasilia and received her Bachelors in Law from CEUB. Her post graduate degrees were obtained in England and in the United States, both in Law. When living in Brazil, Mariana was a practicing attorney at Pinheiro Neto Advogados. In 2001 Mariana’s husband was relocated to Argentina where her family lived for three years. In Buenos Aires, Mariana was seconded to Beccar Varela Abogados for Brazilian matters, including the liaison with the Embassy of Brazil in Buenos Aires. The United States was the next step Mariana took to acompany her husband to another ex-patriate experience. Her legal career was interrupted but not her will to pursue other paths. In 2006 Mariana founded a Brazilian mother’s group in the city of Indianapolis which is still active with 145 mother enrolled. In 2009 Mariana founded a group of the same nature in Illinois, in the city of Chicago. In two years, the Chicago group has enrolled 230 mothers. Mariana’s main goal with both groups is to instill Brazil’s culture and language in her own two children and the children of Brazilian families. Mariana currently presides both mother’s groups in the Midwest, volunteers for non-profit institutions and runs her own small home based business of hand-made jewelry design.

guIlherme KalIlI
Guilherme is originally from Säo Paulo, but moved to Chicago 6 years ago to work for a large international bank. At that time it was a great career opportunity, and his plan was to stay for 2-3 years. After 2 years living in Chicago he met his now wife, Gina. Gina has been a student at BIC for 2 years, that’s how Guilherme met Marcelo and learned about all the great work he is doing to promote our language, culture and values. He has 14+ years of experience in finance and risk related areas in the USA and Brazil.

Coryn shIFlet
Coryn is passionate about all things Brazilian. Her love for Brazil began in 2004 when she enrolled in an honors course at Penn State called ‘Brazilian Art & Culture’ and traveled to Brazil for the first time. She was hooked and spent her graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Brazilian topics, learning Portuguese and thanks to a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship spent six weeks in Salvador, Bahia in a language immersion program. Her adoration for ‘all things Brazilian’ continued in Chicago where in addition to serving on the board of directors she is also continuing her Portuguese language studies with Brazil in Chicago and dances in a samba group with the Old Town School of Folk Music called Folia Brasil. She currently works at the International Office at Northwestern University as an International Student and Scholar Advisor with incoming and current international students, faculty, staff and families on issues related to their immigration status, programming needs, and cultural adjustment. She especially enjoys meeting and practicing her Portuguese with any and all Brazilians that she meets!

ryan WhItmore
Ryan Whitmore is the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of the Caregiver Relief Fund and The Wisdom Flame, organizations which aid families with their caregiving journeys. Ryan is also involved in other entrepreneurial ventures focused on Brazil. Prior to this Ryan was a sell-side analyst at Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett, a boutique investment bank. Before his role as an analyst Ryan worked as a trader on the Chicago Stock Exchange. He is a CFA Charterholder and graduated from the University of Southern Indiana. Ryan has been a student at Brazil in Chicago for over 3 years and is very excited to help Casa Brasil grow as a non-profit organization.


Brazil In Chicago

Board oF dIreCtors Continued

BrIan FItzPatrICK
Brian has recently moved to Chicago after having lived in Säo Paulo the past 3.5 years while working there, as well as throughout much of Latin America. He has an MBA from Kellogg and his professional background is multi functional and multi-industry, though currently he is the Executive Director of Strategy of Kaplan, one of the biggest education corporations in the world.

JeFF FranK
Jeff is Midwest born and raised, but has also lived in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago for the past 30 years. He is a tax attorney by training.; He co-founded a law firm in 1991, but withdrew in 2002 and became “of counsel” so he could pursue social justice activities. He first traveled to Brazil in 2002 to attend the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre and fell in love with the people and culture. Also he became involved with the Movimento Sem Terra. Upon returning to the U.S., he became involved with the Friends of the MST becoming National Coordinator in 2009. Jeff also began pro bono legal work in civil liberties, representing social movements, and serves on the board of the National Lawyers Guild, an association of progressive attorneys formed in 1937. He began working with attorneys in Brazil representing the MST and other social movements, including attorneys with Rede Nacional dos Advogados/as Populares and Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos. He began learning Portuguese a few years ago and has been studying with Brazil in Chicago for about 3 years.

PatrICIa BIngue
Patricia is Haitian by roots and Carioca by passion. She has been involved with BIC as a student on & off since the days of our first movie showing at Casa Italiana. Her career started of as a software engineer for Motorola, where she progressively moved into Management Consulting. After leaving the world of manufacturing, she worked in several other industries (Insurance, marketing, education, culture/ international trade). Currently she is an Independent Operations Consultant with a focus on the Latin America Region and non-profit/ cultural types of organizations. She has also practiced capoeira (Baiana is her capoeira name). She believes Brazil is a power house and is setting the stage for the other countries in the LATAM region to follow. To her, this Cultural Center is natural extension of that image and responsibility.

teo ornelas
Teo is from São Paulo and currently works as a management consultant for Bain & Company in the Chicago office. He focuses on transformational strategic initiatives specifically related to customer and marketing strategy. Teo helped companies in the retail, telecommunications, hospitality and agribusiness industries to achieve higher revenues and profits. Prior to joining Bain in 2009 Teo received his MBA from Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University where he majored in Marketing, Strategy, Statistics and Economics. Previously he worked for 5 years as a management consultant for Accenture in São Paulo, Brazil. Teo worked with Brazil in Chicago in many occasions. Teo helped BiC better understand and target specific customer segment and the value inherent to the school’s operations.

Courtney loChner
Courtney Lochner graduated from the University of Paris, Sorbonne with a B.A. in French and the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Communication Studies in Intercultural Groups. Having lived in five countries and on three continents, Courtney’s love for cultural immersion and understanding began at a young age and led to her obsession with linguistics. Today she is a Senior Manager at Marketing Werks, an experiential marketing agency where she oversees the experiential marketing campaigns for Verizon and Sony Electronics and is a strategic consultant for the LEGO Systems, Inc. account. As a freelance writer, her work can be found in Transitions Abroad, AOL Travel, Glamour Magazine, and she has a novel is set for release in 2013.


Brazil In Chicago

looKIng ForWard
Left; Preparing the next generations for a more multicultural world, where Brazil will be an important player. Below; Working together with other Latino organizations to strength our identity and unity, in events like Chicago’s 1st Latin American Festival, in 2011. Bottom; Building bridges between Brazil and other cultures, one class at a time.

our netWorK
Since the beginning of Brazil in Chicago, and especially now as Casa de Cultura Brasileira, we work closely with organizations in the academy and civil society that deal with Brazil. Our main partners are the Brazilian Mothers of Illinois and Partners of the Americas - São Paulo-Illinois chapter.

onlIne PresenCe
Brazil in Chicago has a strong presence in social media. Our blog is about to be launched and will feature news of interest of both our students and the Brazilian community living in Chicago. Our Facebook page is “liked” by 340 people; our newsletter has more than 900 subscribers. We also have a YouTube channel and a Twitter account. For those interested in business opportunities, we also have a LinkedIn account.

Our organization has a big presence in different aspects of Brazilian culture and Portuguese language. In 2010 Brazil in Chicago sponsored the first Brazilian Business Network of Chicago. Recently, we represented Brazil in the First Latin American Cultural Festival of Chicago, in partnership with the Brazilian Mothers of Illinois and the Capoeira school Gingarte.
In September we will have our big event to celebrate Brazilian independence day. We will have a Cultural Fair where each Brazilian state will be represented by the Brazilian families living in Illinois, with the help of our students. This experience will be unique for both the children of Brazilians living in the U.S. and for all non-Brazilians interested in Brazil. Through this event we hope to raise funds to start the transfer of assets from Brazil in Chicago to Casa de Cultura Brasileira. We will also be sponsoring the II Brazilian Film Festival of Chicago, which will be in November, by Partners of the Americas.


Brazil In Chicago

2212 w sunnyside ave. Chicago, Il 60625 312.284.1737 www.brazilinchicago.com

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