Shared Traits of Effective CEOs

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Effective CEOs

Suzanne Itani has served as the CEO of International Exports, Inc., for more than five years. Prior to this role, Suzanne Itani served as the CFO of International Exports Affiliates and senior auditor at KPMG.

Becoming a successful CEO requires more than business acumen. Individuals must possess various personality traits to succeed. Some of the characteristics that effective CEOs share include:

Empathy. Since CEOs oversee numerous employees, they must possess a caring nature. This nature allows them to build trust among those they work with and prioritize their employees over themselves. Effective CEOs know that without their teams, their businesses would not succeed for very long.

The ability to learn. Running a company is often an experience in lifelong learning. CEOs must learn about changes within their fields and the larger business realm and adapt to shifts quickly and fluidly. Further, successful CEOs are extremely curious and frequently search for new ideas and unique ways to solve problems.

Realistic optimism. Confidence is an important part of leading a company, but being irrational doesn’t serve CEOs well. For this reason, effective leaders stay optimistic about their abilities without being unrealistic. They set difficult, but achievable, goals and stay aware of challenges they face.

Zakat Foundation of America Provides Relief During Eid al-Adha

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Zakat Foundation of America

For more than six years, Suzanne Itani has served as CEO of International Exports, Inc., in Houston, Texas, where she oversees the budgeting, resource management, and performance accountability of her staff. Outside of her professional life, Suzanne Itani is an active philanthropist and supports a number of charitable organizations, including the Zakat Foundation of America.

Earlier this year, the Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) announced a program that would see to the needs of hungry people across 40 countries spanning five continents throughout Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday that takes place each September.

Through the program, ZF distributed large quantities of food to some of the poorest countries in the world, feeding more than 25,000 families in the process.

In his comments about the hunger initiatives, ZF executive director Halil Demir said that hunger and poverty are “a blight on the world” and though no one program can completely solve the problem, he hopes the organization’s efforts can make a difference in the lives of a large segment of this impoverished population.

UNICEF Applauds $15 Billion in Aid for Afghanistan



Suzanne Itani has served as the chief executive officer of International Exports, Inc., in Houston, Texas, since 2010.  Apart from her career, Suzanne Itani provides support to numerous charities and relief organizations, including UNICEF.

During a recent conference in Brussels, Belgium, concerning the current state of affairs in Afghanistan, several countries stepped up to offer more than $15 billion in relief aid to the country over the next four years. UNICEF has encouraged those disbursing the funds to dedicate part of them for use in the desperately needed area of education in Afghanistan.

Ten years of military action in the country have led to approximately 2.7 million people exiting the country, according to data collected through the end of last year. More than half of those refugees were children, with a reported 45,000 traveling without an adult in 2015 to seek asylum in the European Union.

In addition to spearheading education initiatives, UNICEF will partner with the government in Afghanistan to help promote programs aimed at providing the fundamental things children in the country need, such as healthcare, food, water, and other necessities. The organization hopes these education and relief efforts will provide a more stable environment for Afghan children, so that they won’t continue to leave the country in large numbers.

Unity Productions Creates Peace through Media


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Unity Productions Foundation

Suzanne Itani is the founder of the Itani Family Charitable Gift Fund, which supports a variety of 501 qualified charities. In her role as donor advisor, one of the organizations Suzanne Itani supports is the Unity Productions Foundation (UPF), a non-profit 501(c)3 foundation registered in California.

UPF’s mission is to create peace and counter bigotry through media with films produced for television, theatrical release, and online viewing. As part of its long-term educational campaign, it uses these films to increase understanding between people of different cultures and faiths. Partnering with prominent Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and interfaith groups, the group has screened films in thousands of community centers, government offices, and classrooms. Worldwide, approximately 150 million people have seen UPF films, which have received numerous national and international awards.

UPF also operates the MOST (Muslims on Screen and Television) Resource Center, in Hollywood, California. This facility provides research and information to producers and script writers regarding Muslims, Islam, and the Middle East.

Playing Multiple Sports Benefits Young Athletes

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Multiple Sport Benefits

Since 2010, Suzanne Itani has served as the CEO of International Exports Inc. Outside of her professional life, Suzanne Itani enjoys taking an active role in her children’s sporting activities. Her son plays multiple sports, which experts suggest may be better for young athletes than specializing in just one.

Young athletes who are exposed to multiple sports gain greater muscle development and skill than their single-sport counterparts. For example, the skills your child learns in basketball to keep in front of a defender are essentially the same moves a baseball player learns playing shortstop.

When children play an attacking sport like basketball, they slowly gain the ability to read people’s bodies and anticipate movement. These skills are put to good use in other sports, such as field hockey, where the same skills prove just as important.

More than the on-field moves, playing multiple sports can make players better teammates. While your child may be a football star, being an average basketball player can keep them humbled, showing them a perspective they may not have otherwise seen.

A study of UCLA varsity athletes found that they began focusing on one sport, on average, at 15.4 years of age. So while there is room for specialization, it might be best to wait until a child’s teenage years.

The Goals of Texas Youth Boosters

Suzanne Itani has spent the last six years as chief executive officer of International Exports, Inc., in Houston, Texas. Suzanne Itani is highly active with local philanthropic organizations, including Texas Youth Boosters.

A not-for-profit athletics group, Texas Youth Boosters (TYB), Inc., uses a variety of organized recreational sports leagues to shape the minds of youths throughout the Houston area. The organization strives to develop confidence and strong moral character in children and teens by equating athletic competition with the challenges of everyday life.

TYB sports leagues operate with four specific goals in mind for youth participants. The primary objective is to simply allow kids to enjoy themselves while competing in safe, structured environments. The organization is also involved in combating national obesity levels by emphasizing physical activity over watching television or spending time on the Internet.

All individuals engaged in TYB league operations, from adult mentors to the adolescent participants, are tasked with maintaining motivation and commitment to the TYB mission of personal growth and team success. Finally, league coaches are encouraged to use games and practices as valuable teaching opportunities. Youths associated with TYB learn how to overcome difficult circumstances, cooperate and communicate with others, accept responsibility for themselves, and much more.

HHRD Programs and Services

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Helping Hand for Relief and Development

Suzanne Itani joined International Exports, Inc., as chief executive officer in 2010. In her spare time, Suzanne Itani supports a variety of charitable organizations, including Helping Hand for Relief and Development

Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) is an international relief organization that specializes in providing emergency support to underserved parts of the world. HHRD primarily works in areas of high population and widespread poverty, such as regions throughout Pakistan, India, Sudan, Kenya, and many others.

The organization primarily works in two areas of disaster relief and support. As an emergency responder, HHRD excels in the provision of food, clothing, and medical support during disaster scenarios. HHRD representatives also work to address long-standing social issues, including awareness campaigns for diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis.

In addition to these response efforts, HHRD works in areas of community development. The organization’s community efforts range from local installations, like rehabilitation centers, to ongoing projects, such as Water for Life or the Youth for Haiti program.

In order to address such a broad range of objectives, Helping Hand for Relief and Development hosts an array of unique programs, from the orphan support program to a number of adult literacy initiatives. For a full list of organizational goals and programs, visit