Americans in Alsace Board of Directors
“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”-Erma Bombeck
In 2018, Rebecca met a charming French man while waiting for an island ferry in Thailand and within 3 months, left her life in Los Angeles to move to the beautiful Alsace with her dog, Alabama. In 2020 they welcomed a daughter, Loretta, to their Franco-American family.
With a 20+ year career in public relations and marketing working with brands like Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Jaguar, Land Rover, Yahoo, and more, she brings a wealth of marketing knowledge to Alsace.
After arriving in France and meeting the AIA board, Rebecca jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the marketing efforts then took on the role of President in 2020.
Description of Position:
Attends all Association and Executive Board meetings. Participates in the organization of at least two major AIA events per year. Replaces the President if he/she steps down. Assists the President with all pertinent Executive Board business and decisions as necessary. Purchases gifts for AIA individuals and other organizations as needed. Responsible for organizing and managing storage facility. With the President and other Board Members as needed, helps to welcome new members to the association.
Born in Ireland and born to travel, Ann studied languages (B.A. Spanish/Italian) and later international business (M.B.A.), spending 30 years as a strategic planner and marketing consultant to global communications technology firms in either North America or Europe. Living several years in Boston, MA, she explored much of the natural beauty of the USA and Canada, a love of the outdoors she now continues in the Vosges and the Black Forest. When she’s not walking in the hills with her husband, or taking part in a French or German language class, she can often be found doing yoga, creative writing or meditation.
Secretary & Community Outreach Director
Alyssa has been living in Alsace since 2019. She grew up in the Bay Area of Northern California. She then continued to the University of California San Diego, where she studied Biochemistry for her Bachelor's degree. She began working in clinical operations in the biotechnology industry in San Diego after obtaining her degree, where she met the French man of her dreams. Her time in Alsace turned into a more permanent stay, as these two lovebirds decided they wanted to continue to grow themselves and their careers together.
Alyssa continues to work in Clinical Operations remotely for an American company. In her free time, she enjoys hiking all along Alsace and visiting new cities, as well as seeing the American, Canadian, and French friends made through this organization.
A Cleveland native, Laura attended Kent State University where she studied nutrition and dietetics. She later relocated to Boston, Massachusetts where she practiced as a dietitian and lactation consultant working in community health.
Laura speaks fluent Spanish and has spent a good amount of time travelling and volunteering with public health initiatives throughout Latin America.
She is married to a Frenchman who was born and raised in Alsace and in the summer of 2012, Laura moved to Strasbourg to be closer to her husband’s family. She is the mother of three young children.
Events & Activities Director
Claire grew up in Durham, North Carolina and fostered her love of travel with a degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) that included her first experiences living abroad in Argentina and Paraguay. After undergrad, Claire joined a public health research firm in the Research Triangle Park, where she worked as a researcher and proposal manager.
While working and completing a Master of Public Health at UNC, Claire found a way to squeeze in a trip back to South America to hike through Patagonia. And she’s really glad she did! At a bar in Chile post-hike, she met a Frenchman named Sébastien. After traveling together in the United States and Asia, Claire joined Sébastien in the south of France. They moved to Strasbourg together in January of 2018. In her free time, Claire enjoys exploring Alsace, hiking, shaking up new cocktails, caring for her many houseplants, practicing yoga, and playing with her American cat and Romanian rescue dog.
Children's Activities Director
Heather grew up in Framingham, MA and graduated from UMASS Amherst where she received a BS in Nursing. She made her first move for the military in 2010 to Virginia Beach, and has since moved seven times with her husband, Brady, a Naval Officer. She spent 8 years as a RN, bopping from job to job with each move, working in schools, camps, hospitals, and surgery centers.
She finally called it quits when her daughter Aubrey arrived and her husband was deployed at sea on and off for the better part of two years. Instead of sitting at home alone and listening to her toddler yell, she dragged then 2 year old Aubrey to Tokyo, Singapore, London, and Dubai while Brady was deployed, sharing American toddler tantrums with the world.
She pushed Brady to apply for The Olmsted Scholarship and he was selected to study International Relations in Strasbourg, France. The whole family showed up in 2019 speaking hardly a full sentence in French. After three semesters of immersion language training at IIEF at the University of Strasbourg, she now spends her time being regularly corrected by her perfectly bilingual 5 year old.
For the last two summers, her family has rented an RV and spent July traveling throughout France and central Europe.
Landmark Events Director
Bénédicte is a franco-american, born and raised in Strasbourg. She graduated from ESCP Europe and holds an MBA from Drexel University. She worked for SC Johnson for 20 years in Marketing, Sales and General Management. Her career took her to Germany, Madrid, the US (Wisconsin and Arkansas), Italy and Switzerland – great opportunities to learn the art of adapting to new places.
She settled back “home” in 2010 to care for her mother, a founding member of AIA. She now has a Coaching Practice called Bright Odyssey, specializing in Team Transformation. In her spare time, she enjoys nature, discovering new places, singing in choirs or “spa-ing”.
Description of Position:
Attends all Association and Executive Board meetings. Participates in the organization of at least two major AIA events per year.
Oversees all marketing activities, working closely with the social media director. Is able to adapt the website technology to respond to the changing needs of the organization.
Is able to work with HTML text, manage graphics and manage AIA email addresses; may engage the assistance of outside consultancy with Board approval.
Social Media Director
Description of Position:
Attends all Association and Executive Board meetings. Participates in the organization of at least two major AIA events per year. Responsible for defining and executing AIA's social media strategy and engaging members and the public on applicable social media outlets. Works closely with the Marketing team to develop a positive image of AIA within the community. Measures and reports on social media influence.