The Smarter Cities Challenge (SCC) Team will provide a roadmap for Faro, Portugal to implement their 2025 strategy for economic growth. Faro is the main city of the Algarve region in Southern Portugal which has become a very successful tourist designation over the past 40 years. The dynamic SCC Faro Team is comprised of Antonio Pires Santos, Business Development Executive – Smarter Cities Leader, Lisboa, Portugal; Barry Becker, Director, Data Center Services Center of Excellence, Austin, TX; Heather Howell, US Diversity & Inclusion Leader – Global Constituency Programs, Sacramento, CA; Sean McKenna, Research Staff Member and Manager, Mulhuddart, Ireland; and Doris McGuire, Senior Managing Consultant, Global Business Services, Louisville, KY.
On Sunday, 9 February our team hit the ground running as we quickly established a rapport and began working together to discuss our project. We greatly appreciate the extensive planning by Lara Campos and Marta Brigido, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs (CCCA), to ensure that the team had everything needed to make a smooth transition to Faro. Celia Moore, Director, CCCA, EMEA, provided a brief introduction and wished us well. On Monday, 10 February the team continued their strategic thinking to make the most effective use of our time and to ensure dedication to the SCC in Faro. After a busy day of work, the team enjoyed dinner at O Castelo with the Mayor Rogerio Bacalhau; Vice President Paulo Santos; Antonio Raposo de Lima, President of IBM Portugal; and Antonio Cerejeira, Director of Human Resources and Member of IBM Portugal Board of Directors. We enjoyed delicacies of many tasty items including the main dish as a highlight, Cataplanna, a platter of mixed seafood, caught off the coast of Faro. On Tuesday, 11 February, the Mayor’s office hosted the public launching of SCC. The event was well attended and the team enjoyed discussing important matters of Faro with government officials, others from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and the press.