Our Mission

To foster international trade, cultural exchange, humanitarian efforts, and government relations hopes to develop economic opportunity worldwide.

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From the Chairman…

Houston is the most Cosmopolitan city in the USA.

We have 95 Consulates, 35 Commercial Attaches, 55 International Chambers of Commerce and a long list of International social, education, artistic, and cultural organizations.

We have created an organization to help this International ecosystem to communicate, network, and cooperate with one another and to make Houston the best City in the best Country in the best Universe.

We invite anybody that has an interest in International business, trade, investment, culture, education, learning tourism and relation development to join our efforts and create a unique International Ecosystem in the Greater Houston.

WILLY VERBRUGGHE – CHAIRMAN / WCCT

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Our VISION is to enhance international trade, by fostering businesses, educational, cultural & humanitarian exchanges to build prosperous and stronger communities around the world.

Our MISSION is to provide local, state, & international opportunities to connect, educate & network among various local/bi-lateral chambers, trade organizations, government entities, educational establishments, humanitarian associations, businesses, & individuals.

ECOWAS

ECOWAS

US Economic forecast

US Economic forecast

Trade Expo Indonesia

Trade Expo Indonesia

Smart Farming

Smart Farming

Egypt: Foreign Investments

Egypt: Foreign Investments

2023 - 2024 TERM EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

  • Willy Verbrugghe
    Willy Verbrugghe
    Chairman
  • Rick Celik
    Rick Celik
    Co-Chair
  • Maryum Khan
    Maryum Khan
    President
  • Enes Sonmez
    Enes Sonmez
    VP in Marketing
  • IVAN SANCHEZ
    IVAN SANCHEZ
    Director of Government Relations
  • SAMI KHALEEQ
    SAMI KHALEEQ
    Director of Government Relations
  • David Godwin
    David Godwin
    VP in Operations
  • Allison Konitzer
    Allison Konitzer
    VP in Public Relations
  • BLANCA ARBOUR
    BLANCA ARBOUR
    Director of Legal Affairs
  • CHRISTINA ZHOU
    CHRISTINA ZHOU
    VP in Fundraising
  • NEETA SANE
    NEETA SANE
    Director of MOUs and Partnership Agreements
  • Abier Alkhouri
    Abier Alkhouri
    VP in Public Relations
  • Abbey Grachanen
    Abbey Grachanen
    Secretary and Director of Membership
  • Kham  Vargas
    Kham Vargas
    Director of Membership

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Willy Verbrugghe
Chairman
Rick Celik
Co-Chair

Rick Celik became the President of Celik Enterprises LLC since February 2017, managing partner of Honey Bear online stores since September of 2020 and managing partner of Tutor Specialists since August of 2022. These companies focus on involvement in the areas of education, clothing, jewelry and wholesale car businesses.

He became the President/CEO of Star Learning in August 2013 after serving 6 years as President of Turkish-American Chambers of Commerce in Houston, TX and Atlanta, GA.  He has spent 25+ years in education within three different countries: Turkey, UK and the USA. He has worked as a teacher at private schools and tutoring centers between 1983 to 1991. Later, he took on different administrative level positions (assistant principal, principal and Executive Director) at various middle and high school institutions and colleges in Turkey, UK and the USA. Additionally, he worked as Dean of a private college for 6 years in Virginia before he moved to Atlanta, GA as the President of the Southeast Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce in charge of five states.

He organized the largest Art and Essay contest in the southeast region within 5 states with more than 10,000 participants. Each year, the 30 finalists of this competition were awarded to a cultural Europe tour.

He created one of the biggest Science and Art fair organizations in the state of Wisconsin, while working as a principal in a public middle and high school for three years. He focused on serving economically disadvantaged inner-city students.

He served as a member of the Houston Mayor’s Economic Development Council of Europe for three years, whilst he was the president of the Turkish-American chamber of commerce within 8 different states. He also chaired the Educational Pillar program primarily aiming to connect local universities in Houston with the universities in Europe. During his service as the president of Turkish Chambers, he organized 50+ culture and trade missions to Europe and Turkey.

He also served at Houston International Trade Development Council as an advisory board member. He served as a board member at the American Health Tourism Association. Additionally, he served as a consultant for a few companies in different fields.

Currently, he continues to serve as the Chairman of Turkey at World Chamber of Commerce Organization headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

He later founded the World Chamber of Commerce of Texas under the World Chamber of Commerce branch based in Atlanta, GA in 2014. Since 2014, he has served in various positions at this chamber including: Founding Chair, President and Co-Chair positions. He currently serves as a lifetime board member and co-chair of this organization.

He is a graduate of one of the top prestigious schools, Bogazici (aka Robert College established by Americans in 1863) University in Istanbul, Turkey in the field of Chemistry before he earned an MBA in the USA. He is a graduate of the FBI Citizen Academy of Atlanta in 2008 and finished various leadership programs. 

Rick Celik is originally from Istanbul, Turkey. He has been an educator more than 25 years as well as an entrepreneur in different industries. He has worked in three different countries including Turkey, UK and USA. He moved to the USA in 1997 and worked in four different states including Virginia, Wisconsin, Georgia and Texas. He currently has a Turkish and American dual citizenship.

Maryum Khan
President
Enes Sonmez
VP in Marketing

“Enes Sonmez is a highly skilled and accomplished professional with a diverse background in education, journalism, marketing, and business. Born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1985, Enes received his undergraduate degree in education and gained valuable experience in journalism and marketing in various cities in Turkey. In 2009, he made the decision to pursue a master’s degree in the United States and moved to Chicago to begin his studies.

Enes has always been a natural entrepreneur, and in 2012 he decided to start his own business as a photographer. His company, NS Photography, quickly gained a reputation for high-quality work and excellent customer service, and Enes soon expanded the business to include a full range of services including web design, graphic design, social media, SEO, and videography. Over the years, NS Branding has served more than 500 clients and has established itself as a leading provider of branding services in the Houston area.

In addition to running his own business, Enes has also completed an MBA degree from the University of Houston-Victoria campus and has continued to develop his skills as a graphic and web designer through continuous learning and a passion for photography. He is always looking for ways to stay up-to-date on the latest design trends and techniques, and he is committed to delivering the best possible results for his clients.

In 2022, Enes took his career to the next level by opening SIGN AGE SHOWROOM, a state-of-the-art facility that showcases the best in custom signage and branding solutions. The showroom has quickly become the only one of its kind in Texas and surrounding states, and it has received numerous accolades for its high-quality work and excellent customer service. Under Enes’s leadership, SIGN AGE SHOWROOM has achieved great success and has helped countless businesses and organizations achieve their branding goals.

Enes is also an active member of Team Savage car club and the World Chamber of Commerce, and he is dedicated to using his skills and expertise to help others succeed. He is a driven and ambitious individual who is always looking for new opportunities to grow and improve, and he is passionate about his work and the positive impact it can have on others. With his unique combination of education, experience, and skills, Enes is well-equipped to handle any challenge and succeed in any business venture.”

IVAN SANCHEZ
Director of Government Relations
SAMI KHALEEQ
Director of Government Relations
David Godwin
VP in Operations
Allison Konitzer
VP in Public Relations
Allison Konitzer is the founder and CEO of Awaken, the Director of Global Connections for the World Air League, board member of The World Chamber of Commerce and certified John Maxwell leadership expert
Specializing in connecting individuals, businesses, and aspiring entrepreneurs globally. Allison has proven success with companies/individuals by providing knowledge, connections, & the tools needed to succeed on their own. Taking the stress off the individual or business owner by managing, connecting, building teams and refining marketing strategies, thus allowing the entrepreneur to focus on their dream and purpose. Allison intuitively sees the threads of opportunity that weave through an organization or individual.
Her goal when helping every client is for them to have self-sustaining and successful enterprise. She helps others extend their thinking, provides fresh perspectives and drives material business advantage. Allison is an inspirational leader who tells stories that inspire action while also stressing the importance of remaining grounded in knowledge that leverages the business. Respected as a credible voice in decision making and finding strategic partners, she can help in many industries. Financial advisors, Commerical Real Estate, Youtubers, Fitness industry leaders, Criminal Defense Attorneys while running campaigns, are just a few of many growing businesses and individuals who have utilized and succeeded using Awaken.
Allison is passionate about supporting, coaching, educating and empowering women which has been displayed in her previous Executive Director role and now partnership with Ravens Hope International. Having rescued 500+ women out of sex trafficking and then guided them to go through a program that offers spiritual growth, life skills, leadership development, internships, and mission opportunities. While working in Cambodia, Allison also became affiliated with CEO Master Club that allowed the opportunity to become a highly known global public speaker, leadership coach, & work alongside with international business leaders.
Allison’s mission is to awaken the dreamer within by making an impact while making a living. Soon to be published author, Allison finds creativity through art, travel, music, and writing. Allison has been honored with several awards and certificates for her contributions to both rescuing women and being a noteworthy leader and influencer across the globe. When Allison is not busy with connecting, promoting, and managing businesses, you can find her spending time with family, traveling, networking, and eating some of the best food Texas has to offer.
Allison Konitzer
Director of Global Connections & Founder of AWAKEN
BLANCA ARBOUR
Director of Legal Affairs
CHRISTINA ZHOU
VP in Fundraising
NEETA SANE
Director of MOUs and Partnership Agreements
Abier Alkhouri
VP in Public Relations
Abbey Grachanen
Secretary and Director of Membership
Kham Vargas
Director of Membership

Hello, my name is Kham Vargas and I am a Assistant Vice President and branch manager for East West Bank. Born in Laos, my family and I came to the United States in 1981 as refugees. I met my husband of 29 years here and we have 3 wonderful children.

I believe in volunteering and being a part of non-profit organizations because this has always been a passion of mine to give back to the community and make a difference in people’s lives.

Volunteering has the power to change lives by unleashing a side of you that you might not have otherwise known. My passion for volunteering has helped shape who I am. No longer do I have to question my purpose. Serving others to the greatest of my abilities is a privilege that I am grateful to have. Knowing that I can make a difference in someone else’s life, is the greatest feeling ever.

I am an active member of the Women’s Resource Center of Greater Houston. It was there that I was honored to teach inmates financial literacy classes at the Harris County Women’s Detention Center and Carl Vance Prison as a part of the Re-entry Program. I also on the Board with Sister Cities Of Houston for last 5 years.

I enthusiastically volunteer at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo annually, which raises money for student scholarships. I also volunteer helping families at the Ronald McDonald House at the Texas Children’s Hospital.

To translate this into my future, it is about continuing the things that I enjoy and maintaining my values. It is about bringing out my best and encouraging others to live out their lives in a similar fashion.

Volunteering makes me confident knowing that I can make a difference in the world, and I think it can have a very similar effect on others. I believe that everyone has the opportunity to go out and do something good for someone daily, it becomes a chain effect. You’ll feel good about yourself, others around will follow!