International Relations Commission (IRC)

Regular Meetings

  • 5:30 p.m.
  • 1st Thursday of every month

    These are public meetings and all residents are encouraged to attend. For updates on meeting times and agendas, register your interest here. Auxiliary aide services can be made available for persons with hearing and/or visual impairments for these meetings by calling our office at 616-355-1328, 48 hours prior to the meeting dates.


The International Relations Commission (IRC) is comprised of volunteers interested in promoting cultural understanding throughout the Holland community. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and serve for 3 year terms. City residency is not required. Learn more about serving on the IRC and submit your application.  

  • Alissa Wilson, Chair
  • Michael Cuellar
  • John Dacloush
  • Jorge Alberto Diaz Acosta
  • Michael Start
  • Allison Hoving Baraza
  • Becky Shankwiler-Brown
  • Jordan Neal

City Staff & Liaisons

Student Representatives

  • Jaewoon Han
  • Yanyssa Ochoa


In 1993, the City of Holland created the International Relations Commission to promote international/cross-cultural knowledge, awareness, understanding, and sensitivity through interactions within the community and across borders. The IRC is comprised of 9 members broadly representative of the City’s population who are appointed by the Mayor with approval of City Council.

Our Vision

The City of Holland connected to and growing with the wider world.

Our Mission

We build and maintain meaningful relationships between the people of Holland and the wider world through cultural, educational and professional contact.

Our Values

  • Respect: We commit to the highest levels of courtesy and fairness for those who serve on this commission and those whom this commission serves.
  • Reliability: We fulfill our commitments to ourselves, Holland residents, its government, and our local and global partners.
  • Collaboration: We seek great ideas and resources in our community and beyond our borders.
  • Hospitality: We strive to make Holland a welcoming community for everyone.

IRC Activities

Sister & Friendship Cities

Inspired by President Dwight D. Eisenhower call for people-to-people, citizen diplomacy, the IRC seeks to promote cultural understanding within and beyond our borders. Through the efforts of its commissioners, Holland became sister city to Queretaro, Mexico, in 1999, and since then more than 24 delegations have crossed the border to share gifts and talents for mutual growth.

IRC Film Series

Through its annual film series, the IRC provides opportunities for area residents to gain increased awareness and insights into different cultures abroad and at home. 

International Festival of Holland

The International Festival of Holland attracts thousands of  people to celebrate music, dance, food, and culture from around the world. The next festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 30, 20223. 

Community Collaborations

The IRC seeks to collaborate with all of Holland’s organizations, cultural, educational and professional, in promoting cultural understanding.