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Webinar: Protocol Entrepreneurship
Thursday, February 29, 2024, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
Category: Events

Protocol Entrepreneurship

Have you every considered pivoting your protocol experience into an entrepreneurial enterprise? If you are curious how to start, what to consider for success, or just how to complete your own vision, join us for a conversation on Protocol Entrepreneurship!

Flora Tromelin, Founder and CEO, FCT Strategies LLC; former Chief of Protocol to the U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco and Clay Doherty, Managing Director of High Touch Engagement; former Director of Protocol and Special Events at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will discuss their pathways to entrepreneurship and what you should consider if you are contemplating a similar future. The conversation will be moderated by Melissa Stires, Head of Global Growth and Expansion, Mission Impact Academy and Founder of Stires Consulting.

Bring your questions to this engaging panel discussion!

Register Here


Clay Doherty

A recognized expert in communications and global engagement strategies, Clay Doherty combines his personal passion for creative ideation with a deeply-rooted belief in the power of dynamic connectivity. Bringing this unique perspective to the table for clients and partners alike, Clay is able to identify and lean into the points of commonality between clients and stakeholders, creating dynamic solutions and opportunities that advance ideas into action — and action into results — surpassing both expectations and set objectives. 

For the last five years, Clay has been Managing Director for Communications and Engagement at HIGHTOUCH Engagement, continuing his passion to work with organizations that seek to impact the world. Throughout his career, Clay has incorporated this personal mission into his work with some of the most respected companies and global organizations including the Rockefeller Foundation, Focus Features, WWI Centennial Commission, OneSight, U.S. Department of State, Roots of Peace, Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College and the U.S. Department of Defense.

From 2010-2016, Clay led stakeholder and diplomatic engagement at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the federal agency of the U.S. Government responsible for administering all non-military foreign aid around the world. From leading the agency's public engagement outreach to serving as the senior protocol advisor to U.S. and foreign government leaders, Clay built bridges across cultural divides, ensuring diverse groups of individuals, governments and organizations could successfully come together to achieve ambitious policy objectives and then effectively communicate the outcomes to a diverse audience. Clay continued his service in the public interest as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, NY from 2016-19.

Clay is an alumnus of the United States Naval Academy and a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College. He has four graduate degrees: Master of Arts (Political Science-Applied Politics), American University; Executive Master of International Business, Georgetown University; Corporate MBA, ESADE (Spain); Executive Master in Business Management, FGV/EBAPE (Brazil).

A globally-certified expert in diplomatic protocol and corporate etiquette, Clay is a highly sought-after consultant in both the public and private sectors. He regularly advises government agencies, corporations, private foundations and civil society organizations on matters pertaining to international relations, public diplomacy, stakeholder engagement and diplomatic protocol.  Over the last five years Clay has been a regular guest lecturer on cross-cultural engagement at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.


Flora Tromelin

Flora Tromelin, a native French speaker with a master’s degree in marketing and management from Reims, France, is the founder and CEO of FCT Strategies, an LLC based in Phoenix, Arizona. With over two decades of experience in management, diplomacy, marketing, communication, international protocol, and project/event management, Flora has established herself as an expert in public affairs and communication. Her expertise also extends to supporting local initiatives for non-profit organizations, where she has nearly a decade of experience.

Flora’s academic pursuits continued at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, AZ, where she completed a Master Certificate in cross-cultural communication and global crisis management. Her professional journey includes a significant role as the former Chief of Protocol to the U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco. In this capacity, she served as one of the Ambassador’s closest advisors and was instrumental in creating and implementing cross-cultural diplomatic events and projects that bolstered the historic cooperation between France and America.

Passionate about fostering long-term international partnerships, Flora utilizes her spare time to support economic exchanges between France and Arizona in her role as the Arizona Representative of the French American Chamber of Commerce.

On a personal note, Flora is the proud wife of a retired U.S. Army officer and the mother of a U.S. Army soldier and a French American high school student. Her life is a testament to her commitment to cross-cultural understanding and international cooperation.


Melissa Stires

Melissa Stires is an Amazon Best-Selling Author, Certified Advanced International Protocol Officer, and recognized Leadership and Success Coach. Melissa’s expertise spans fundraising, event planning, marketing, and executive leadership in various sectors, including corporate, tech, and government. She has consistently been a beacon of purpose and passion since 1999, channeling her energies into building global relationships.

Melissa's unique skills in cross-cultural communication and cultural sensitivity have led her to work with, advise, and train a plethora of individuals, ranging from members of royal families and politicians to non-profits and business influencers worldwide. She has led over 60 delegations to more than 33 countries.

Melissa has orchestrated significant events, from leading the first-ever educational partnership with Fortune Magazine's Global Forum to the monumental 40th Anniversary Celebration for H.E. Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Sultan of Oman. With a rich tapestry of experiences and the honor of being named the College of Central Florida's Distinguished Alumni in 2023, Melissa’s professional journey is as diverse as it is inspiring.

With over a decade of service at The George Washington University, Melissa played a pivotal role in garnering the university's largest donation of $80M. Furthermore, as Senior Advisor & Presidential Liaison, she was an instrumental team leader in their $1B campaign, making history as the university’s largest campaign.

Melissa’s leadership prowess was further demonstrated at Florida Atlantic University, where her outstanding efforts amassed over $16M in funding and escalated constituent engagement by 300%. Moreover, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish Stires Consulting, underscoring her dedication to fostering growth and connections globally.

She was recently named Head of Global Growth and Expansion for Mission Impact Academy “Mia.” As a distinguished figure in cross-cultural communications and a champion for women in AI, Melissa bridges the gap between tradition and tech, bringing a fresh perspective to global forums and the tech sphere. Melissa, a visionary leader of global strategy and innovation, champions the cause of women in the realm of AI and technology. Her excellence in building enduring alliances and understanding of high-profile, high-stakes environments will steer their global strategies and expansion efforts.

She resides in Seminole County, Florida, with her husband Nick, daughter Ella (7), and golden retriever Teddy. 





Educational Webinars

Education of protocol professionals is an integral part of the mission of PDI-POA. Webinars are part of our expanding professional development and member engagement opportunities. They include educational presentations by featured speakers, along with a forum for viewers to ask questions of leading experts of protocol and diplomacy. To promote the instructional environment of the webinar, audio and video interaction for attendees is disabled, with interaction happening through the chat and Q&A functions of the Zoom Webinar platform.

Webinars are open at no additional charge to members of PDI-POA as a benefit of membership. Non-members are invited to attend as well; the non-member registration fee is $50 per person.

Each webinar session will be recorded and made available to PDI-POA members through the members-only Video Library. For non-member registrants, the recording will be available for 30 days after the session via a password-protected link that will be shared after the conclusion of the webinar.

Contact: [email protected]