Key Members of the Team

Nicole Sahin, CEO

With experience supporting more than one hundred companies expand into countries ranging from Australia to Zambia, Nicole Sahin founded Globalization Partners with a mission to make it as easy as possible for clients to hire employees and set up offices in new countries.  Prior to launching Globalization Partners’, Nicole laid the foundation for the Global Office Incubator® by spending a year doing due diligence and negotiating with business partners in more than 20 countries.  During this period, she also co-founded the Sweet Life School in Cambodia.  

In her prior life, Nicole helped build High Street Partners, a software-enabled services firm which redefined the international business services industry.  During her tenure of 6 years on the executive team, she helped grow the firm from a boutique consulting group of five advisors to a venture-backed firm with more than 200 employees and 300+ clients.   Nicole has supported clients including TESLA Motors, Netsuite, Infinera, and LifeSize Communications establish and manage legal entities on six continents.Nicole earned an MBA in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and has BA degrees in Humanities and Environmental Studies from Maryville University. She has spent extended periods of time in Spain, the Caribbean, Turkey, the Philippines, and California, and lives in Boston with her husband, Ned, who is a neuroscientist and entrepreneur.  She enjoys literature, hiking, keeping abreast of advances in communications and technology.

With over a decade of international experience in higher education and non-profit management, Casie joins Globalization Partners as the Director of Higher Education and Corporate Training.  Casie is driven by the opportunity to help higher education institutions and non-profits improve their programs and expand their international profile. Prior to joining Globalization Partners, Casie  worked at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where she undertook roles as both a Department Administrator and English instructor. She has also worked as a Sr. Manager of Chicago Sister City’s International Program, helping solidify Chicago’s relations with other global cities. As an independent consultant, Casie has assisted Fortune 500 corporations in the US and Australia on a variety of subjects, including education and employee development, strategy, geopolitics, and emerging markets. 

Casie earned a Master in Public Administration in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a BA in Political Science from Maryville University. She has traveled through several dozen countries, and has lived in Japan, Australia and Costa Rica. Casie currently resides in Chicago. She enjoys travel, literature, urban hiking, higher education, and spending time with friends and family.

, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PLANNING

With over a decade of international experience as a corporate manager and consultant, Ruben joined Globalization Partners as Director of Strategic Planning.  Having lived and worked in the United States, Colombia and Australia, Ruben helps clients develop meaningful insights about the nuances that can make or break international market-entry strategies. His specialties include strategic planning, on-the-ground behavioral research, innovation management, and product development.Prior to joining Globalization Partners, Ruben worked for a boutique corporate strategy consultancy in Sydney, helping C-level executives craft and execute strategies for organic growth in Australia and the APAC region. He also has experience in international corporate management, having spent over 6 years working for the global operations and training group of McDonald’s corporation. In this role he partnered with leaders from the company’s 10 largest markets to develop global technology platforms for operations and training. This experience gave Ruben significant insights about how seemingly insignificant cultural, social, and organizational differences may translate into significant differences in value delivery across different markets. Early in his career, Ruben lived in Bogota, Colombia, where he held roles in manufacturing and business development for an industrial parts producer.

Ruben has a MBA in Operations Management and International Studies from Loyola University Chicago and a Master’s in Design from the IIT Institute of Design. He has been a keynote speaker at innovation conferences and seminars in the United States and Australia. Ruben currently resides in Chicago, where he teaches a Master-level course on Innovation Management at the IIT Institute of Design. He enjoys family life, travel and business literature, the outdoors, seeing the World, and meeting great story-tellers.

LAUREN CONAWAY, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

Lauren Conaway joins Globalization Partners as Director of Marketing, bringing over ten years of experience to the firm. In addition to directing the firm’s sales and marketing strategy, Lauren supports the marketing efforts of inward-bound corporate clients seeking strategic and tactical marketing support when entering the US market. As founder of V3 Creative, a marketing services consulting firm, Lauren designed and implemented marketing and social media strategies for a wide range of clients, including Sauce and ALIVE magazines, several corporations, authors, artists and musicians, as well as several city and state level politicians. She has also held sales, marketing, and event management roles at companies ranging from Boeing to Hendrick Automotive Group. As a founding editor of the Midwestern blog site, Girls Guide to the Galaxy, Lauren was instrumental in the creation and promotion of the popular website. Highlighted in several online publications and as a featured contributor in the textbook “The Keys To Marketing Communication,” Lauren has made it her mission to bring marketing and social media expertise to the masses, and to help companies and individuals everywhere share their messages with the world.

Lauren studied English Literature and History at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington/Normal, IL. She has spent time in Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Originally from Saint Louis, she now resides in Kansas City, MO. In her spare time, she enjoys books, cooking, travel and spending time with friends and family.

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Sam Divine, Director of African Development

Sam joins Globalization Partners in order to launch our Africa sales consulting practice. Originally from Liberia, and residing in the US since age 18, Sam has used his experience and network in West Africa, along with his American business expertise to lead US and European company expansions into South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Senegal.  Sam’s work at Globalization Partners will include advising clients on African sales development, establishing distribution networks through Africa, target country assessments, and due diligence work of local partners throughout Africa. Sam’s career launched in accounting and audit practices at Grant Thornton and Ernst & Young. Using the invaluable strategic planning expertise he learned while with these companies, Sam then moved on to managing careers at WebMD and Cox Communications, where he was soon promoted into a directorship level position.

Sam holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and an MBA in International Business from Georgia State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), licensed in Massachusetts. Sam lives in Atlanta and enjoys soccer, golf, and enjoying time with his family.


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Dr. Sina Mandalcini, Director of Turkish Development

Prior to joining Globalization Partners, Sina worked for two of Turkey’s largest holding companies, working to assemble market research, create strategic plans, and produce feasibility reports detailing opportunities in the Middle East and Europe. His research has covered the global seafood industry, the second home market from Dublin to Dubai, as well as the international hotel and tourism industry. He has also acted as founder and CEO of two companies in Turkey, gaining invaluable experience and employing over 120 personnel. In addition to his commercial performance, he has served as Research Manager for projects funded by the NIMH as well as Senior Research Analyst, aiding large corporations such as Microsoft and Amazon.com in assessing public opinion and marketing opportunities.

Sina has advanced academic degrees in Psychology and a PhD. in Sociology from Princeton University, and is currently in the final stages of publishing a book on the cultural ramifications of a global world.