Jo Detavernier, SCMP, APR – principal of Detavernier Strategic Communication

We asked Jo Detavernier, SCMP, APR – principal of Detavernier Strategic Communication – who is experienced, accredited and multilingual consultant and PR entrepreneur tell us more about his business. Jo specializes in corporate communications, B2B PR and content marketing. He likes to say that his approach to PR is accountable, evidence-based and ethical.

In 2015, Jo moved from Belgium to Austin (TX), where he has been a VP and Partner at Swyft, an Austin based B2B PR firm, till 2019. As of 2020, Jo runs his own consultancy practice called Detavernier Strategic Communication. In addition to consulting, he is an experienced trainer for C-level executives helping them communicate their messages clearly and effectively through media and presentation skills trainings.

Thank you so much for doing this with EuroCircle! How did you select this specific career path?

I worked in-house in Brussels for the Belgian postal operator (now bepost).
This was more than 15 years ago. They had consultants help them professionalize their external communications. When I saw these people at work and read their memos, I knew for myself: I want to be a communications consultant. I have been a happy consultant since.

Any interesting stories that happened to you since you started your company?

I don’t have one story that sticks out. There are myriads of interesting anecdotes. Consultancy offers plenty of variety. Every client comes with a potential adventure. I think I have done everything wrong I could have done wrong in the last few years. But we learn from our mistakes.

What’s the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Any lesson you learned from that?

I will not admit here that I had at one point ordered business cards that did not have my phone number on them. When you are fatigued, take a break and give things a fresh look in the morning.

What do you think makes your services stand out?

Consultants come in very different types and sizes.
One of my differentiators is that my counsel is evidence-based. I study what the behavioral sciences have to say about a host of communication issues and I implement that as well as I can.
This makes that when my counsel is put into practice my clients see results that outshine the outcome of alternative approaches. I don’t often actually call it evidence-based when talking to clients however, I mostly talk in terms of being data-driven, which is a term that is easier understood,

Are you working on any exciting new projects now?

I have just launched a 75 minute remote media training that I am busy promoting with B2B firms.
I will also write a chapter for the new edition of the Handbook of Crisis Communication of which Timothy Coombs is the editor in chief. In my contribution I will elaborate on the ways that crisis communicators can put scientific insights on communication best practices to work

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

I am grateful to all the partners and senior consultants in the agencies I have worked before.
Agency life can be challenging but the learning curve offered by PR agencies who are leaders in their local markets is of a value that is impossible to understate.

Have you been able to your success to bring goodness to the world?

My modest contribution to bringing goodness to the world is taking the fiduciary role I have towards my clients very seriously.
I work hard to move the needle for them and am sincere and transparent in all of my dealings with them. That might not sound spectacular, but it is not an approach shared by everybody who offers professional services on the market.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why.

1. Habits are very important because of their compound effects. I study 5 hours a week.
That is not impressive as such, but it does amount to more than 250 hours of study a year. Year after year.
2. Don’t micromanage people. Ever. Give them objectives and a high level of freedom to reach their objectives. They will be efficient and happy at the job.
3. Make sure there are enough people who you consult on important decisions that will never care to flatter you. Leaders need devil’s advocates who challenge them.
4. Don’t hesitate to leave your comfort zone. Comfort is anathema to growth.
5. Understand that you always need to set the right example. Your leadership talk is worthless if you let your guard down and are caught violating your own rules. Be your best self all of the time. You owe this to the people you work with.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Every movement that needed to be started has already been started by someone.
The United States is a country that is rich enough to shoot astronauts into space yet many people lead a precarious existence. I support causes that are meant to help people in this country get affordable access to high-quality healthcare and education.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” – how that was relevant to you in your life?

Through hardships to the stars. Nothing of value comes easy.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

There are plenty of people I would love to have breakfast with. Among them are Satya Nadella with whom I would like to discuss technology and Daniel Dennett who I would like to have a talk on free will with.


Jo Detavernier, SCMP, APR – principal of Detavernier Strategic Communication – 
Jo Detavernier at LinkedIn

Susanna Lindholm: “Hello Atlanta – USA, bye Finland (and 6 other countries)!”

We had the pleasure of getting to know Susanna Lindholm and her quite international journey from Finland to the USA. Susanna is new to Atlanta and would love to connect with Europeans and other international professionals.
She arrived @ Atlanta during very unusual period – during the pandemic.
Get to know Susanna via her own words below and feel free to connect with her:

Hi all, nice to meet you!

My name is Susanna, I’m 29 and I come from Finland. Actually, I have lived in 7 countries and tried to learn 10 languages, so I’m quite an international person. Travelling is my dearest hobby and until now, I have visited 45 countries. I am new to Atlanta and would love to make new friends here! My education is Master’s in Business Management, and I work in Business Development and Marketing at gatc LP, which is a German-American company helping foreign companies to the American market.


Originally, I am from Finland, the land of snow and Northern lights. However, summers in Finland are quite warm (+20-25 C) and there are 188.000 lakes and 510.000 lake houses to enjoy the Finnish nature. The Finnish nature, forests and lakes are something that I always miss when living abroad.


The first foreign country for me to live in was Germany. I studied German language and Business Administration in Lüneburg and Münster. Germany has beautiful old cities and an excellent taste for beer. Something that I miss from Germany are the little bakery shops where to grab a pretzel or bread for breakfast.

South Korea

My second foreign country to live in was South Korea, where I studied Asian Studies and International Business. That was my first time in Asia, and I was excited about the cultural differences. The streets were cute with very colorful advertisements and karaoke rooms everywhere. Karaoke rooms were so much fun! I hope I could find something similar also in Atlanta.


After South Korea, I moved to India and did a traineeship in trade politics at the Embassy of Finland in New Delhi. At the beginning, life in Delhi was a culture shock for me. With some time, I started to enjoy the culture, the colorful clothes and of course the tasty Indian food. Living abroad increases the intercultural competence and understanding of diversity.


From India, I moved to New York to work in Business Development at a chamber of commerce and organized business events in New York. New York has been one of my favorite cities so far! It is so diverse. When walking down the streets, almost everyone walking along is a foreigner. When basically everyone there is a foreigner, you will start to feel welcome and home as well. Also, the huge skyscrapers are impressive and great evidence how intelligent humans can be when able to create such incredible buildings.


From New York, I moved to China to work in International Marketing at a Chinese office furniture and real estate company. China surprised me positively! The Chinese nature had spectacular mountains and hiking opportunities and the food was super delicious (especially Chinese tomato soup)!

From China, I moved back to Finland for one year. I finished all my studies, which include four university degrees. Simultaneously, I worked in Sales and Marketing of SRV business premises in Helsinki. I still missed the international atmosphere and decided to move abroad once more.


I moved to Belgium and started working in Marketing and Communications at the European Parliament in Brussels. That was the most intercultural organization I had worked for so far! I had colleagues from all European countries and even wider. That was quite happy time in Brussels, no signs of Corona pandemic yet.

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Then, in March 2020, I got a great opportunity to widen my international experience in the USA.
I moved to Atlanta and started working at gatc LP.
Gatc LP is a German-owned company helping foreign companies to the American market by establishing subsidiaries. It is a perfect chance to use all my intercultural skills learnt so far. Most of our colleagues and clients are German, so German language practice is guaranteed. However, the official working language is English. We are also members of the Swedish chamber, so I can actually practice all three languages here. Previously, I have taught Finnish to foreigners as a hobby. If anyone is interested in learning languages, just let me know! Maybe we could practice Finnish, Swedish, or German together.

Now when the COVID-19 situation is starting to get better, I would love to meet intercultural-minded people in Atlanta! It would be great to share experiences and make new friends. Maybe we could go to cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, or sightseeing. And, one of my hobbies is ballroom dancing.

I am really looking forward to EuroCircle events and meeting everyone!
Feel free to contact me already if you might be interested in practicing languages or just making new friends.

This is me:
EuroCircle forum:

Chicago – May 05 2020

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – How to make a perfect margarita!

Please join EuroCircle Chicago for a virtual Cinco de Mayo fiesta this Tuesday May 5!

Kenneth Woodman from Entertaining Company will be showing us how to mix up the perfect margarita as well as sharing some great quarantine cooking courtesy of the Entertaining Company!

In the meantime, check out their special Taco Tuesday menu available for at home fiestas!

The streaming platform will be announced soon!



Eha Urbsalu, The Viking Beauty Secrets & Sustainable Skincare

We (finally) had the pleasure to “interview” Eha Urbsalu.

Viking Beauty Secrets Founder Eha Urbsalu from Northern Europe, where “Clean” and “Green” equals normal

She grew up in NORTHERN EUROPE and used to use local, NATURAL SKINCARE PRODUCTS made from PLANTS NATIVE TO THE AREA.  These Nordic super antioxidant BERRIES have been used for skincare and health benefits for centuries.

To be precise, Eha grew up in Estonia, which at the time was part of the Soviet Union.

At 17, she was one of the Miss Estonia winners , as well as the first and last Supermodel of the Soviet Union. At 18 she came to the US to compete at the Ford Supermodel of the World competition. Eha placed 4th and started to model around the world. But her skin started to break up in New York from all the chemicals used in the skincare products, and in the food.  Eha kept bringing skincare products from Estonia for herself and her model girlfriends  in New York. Until finally she decided to start her own skincare brand, Viking Beauty Secrets.  And the rest will be in Eha’s own words..and we will share her recent VIDEO interview on climate change with Scott Amyx.

I want to add that Eha is multi-talented – actress, singer and director – but that is for another story.

What have you discovered during your research?

While spending time with my late mother who, in her 80s’, still had rosy cheeks and healthy skin, I finally understood the secret was in nature. We must eliminate chemicals and return to using the nordic unpolluted ingredients native to Northern Europe and Estonia.

I know I wanted to use these Nordic “Viking” superberries as ingredients. We all know that Northern Europe is the eco-friendliest region of the world, sparsely populated, with cleanest air and cleanest soil, and highest scores on the Yale Environmental Performance Index.

What does the “Secret” in Viking Beauty Secrets stand for?

The secret is in our local ingredients grown on the unpolluted Nordic land. Viking Beauty Secrets’ products are inspired by the unique nature that Nordic people grow up with. My absolute favorites are three Viking super berries: Rowanberries, Cloudberries and Sea Buckthorn.  These berries provide a megadose of antioxidants , vitamin C and give you that “I slept really well” glow. 

EuroCircle’s note:  Cloudberry is the favorite berry of many Finnish people. They are hard to get – and quite expensive.

It makes a difference where the plants grow. You cannot just take a plant from Northern Europe and plant it in China, and expect the same results.

In fact, there is a quote I have from Dr. S. Dharmananda, PhD, Biology, Director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine and Preventive Health Care:

 “Plants that evolve in severe climates produce special proteins, amino acids and antioxidants that help them survive, grow, and repair, and they can convey their protective and reparative actions when applied to the skin.” 

Also, “In order to survive extreme cold temperatures as low as -50°C, arctic berry species, such as sea buckthorn, cloudberry, bilberry and cranberry have developed a highly unsaturated lipid profile. Seed oils from arctic berries are enriched with α-linolenic and linoleic acids, the two essential fatty acids together constituting up to 90 % of the total fatty acids. The special fatty acid composition makes arctic berry seed oils a valuable source of essential fatty acids for both internal and external care of the skin.” (

So what differentiates Cloudberries for example from other high Vitamin sources?

For example, the Cloudberries we use, really like VERY COLD. They survive in Finland in minus 46 degrees Celsius in the winter, so when they come up in the summer, they soak up all the antioxidants , so when you harvest them in the end of the summer, they are super potent, as they are ready to survive the 9 months of winter. 

During the long nordic summers they produce extremely high amounts of Vitamins. Comparatively, 100 grams Cloudberries pack twice as much vitamin C as 100 grams of oranges. Their impressive concentration of antioxidant Vitamin E helps heal your skin and protect it from the damaging effect of free radicals. Omega-6 and omega-3 help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The berry is so potent that it became one of the main ingredients in our night cream.

What does “clean beauty” mean to you? 

In Northern Europe, “clean” and “green” equals the normal standard. It was disturbing to learn that, while the EU bans over 1,300 chemicals from skincare, the U.S. only bans 30. 

All of the Viking Beauty Secrets products are Greenlife Cosmos EcoCert Organic Certified.  EcoCert is the largest certifiacation agency in Europe. 

Think Dirty, a Canadian company that verifies skincare ingredients, gave Viking Beauty Secrets certified organic Day Cream the Best Moisturizer of 2019 award.

How hard is it to get the Ecocert COSMOS Organic Certificate? 

It is very difficult process and it is more expensive to use organic ingredients. But I am lucky that I found a first class scientists and laboratory in Latvia, which is one the least expensive European Union countries, so we can offer our products in a very affordable prices. I think that in the end of the day, it is definitely worth getting the certificate and I am proud of having our products organic certified. 

What’s next for Viking Beauty Secrets?

Our certfied organic exfoliating face scrub with Iclandic volcanic ash and Rowanberries, is the only scrub offered in US with these nordic ingredients.  Many scrubs selling in US still use plastic microbeads, which go through the drains into icean and fish eat it and so on. Our excfoliating oil based scrub, which turns to milky lather when it touches the water, is truyly sustainable: it comes from ocean and ends uo in the ocean, and we have the Greenlife Ecocert COSMOS Organic Certificate to prove it. 

P.S. We can give a special code: EUROCIRCLE —-> 20% off entire order!


Viking Beauty website 



Ethan Hawke discussion with Radu Ciorniciuc, Director of Acasa, My Home documentary

Message from Ethan Hawke:

Dear  Alex Fund supporters and friends,

While on the jury of the Sundance Film Festival this year, I saw Acasa, My Home, a new documentary from Romania; it was simply staggering.

I was not surprised that it won the Jury Prize for cinematography, as it was astonishingly beautiful – as if Terrence Malick went to Bucharest. Naturally, I was drawn to the film because I have gotten to know Romania through my mother’s work there, as well as through my own participation in The Alex Fund. It revealed a part of Bucharest I never knew existed. It also exquisitely captures the struggle between having an independent, authentic life and surviving in society, something I believe we can all relate to. I really look forward to revisiting the film, and having the opportunity to talk about it with the filmmaker, Radu Ciorniciuc.

I encourage you to sign up to see this extraordinary, prescient film – about how we interact with nature – next week, and I hope you will join our discussion on Thursday, May 7th at 9 pm EST (8 pm CST). Feel free to call Wendy Kahn (917-622-2542) if you need help getting started.

Ethan Hawke invites you to an exclusive screening of Acasa poster directed by Radu Ciorniciuc

Watch the film at your convenience from May 5 – 7, 2020

Join Ethan Hawke in his living room (from the privacy of your own) at 9 pm EDT Thursday, May 7 for Ethan’s discussion with the director & realtime questions from viewers

Watch the trailer here: ACASA

Your tax-deductible donation to this event will provide emergency aid to Romania’s most vulnerable families affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Please make a minimum donation of $25 to get your access codes to the film and discussion.


For more information, contact Wendy Kahn 917-622-2542 OR contact