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.
Renée was born in Montréal and grew-up just north of the city. She worked in the Engineering department of Bombardier Aerospace. Later she moved to Toronto and continued in project coordination at “DeHavilland Aerospace”. Eventually Renée chose to work with children in a Montessori school in a bilingual environment. Renée and her family returned to Montréal at the end of 2004, and finally accompanied her husband to Strasbourg in 2013. Renée has been an active member of AIA serving on several committees, and is on the board of YATS. This year she joined the board of AIA. Renée enjoys cooking, traveling, entertaining and spending time with family and friends.
Jodi moved to Strasbourg from Washington, DC in 2016 with her husband Rick. She is retired from the World Bank Group, where she was a Senior Board Operations Officer in the Corporate Secretariat and which also gave her the opportunity to travel and explore. Jodi has a MA in Public Administration from George Mason University. She enjoys cooking, travelling, spending time with friends, and taking long walks with her dog, Lilly.
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.
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.
Community Outreach Director
Alyssa has been living in Strasbourg since the start of the New Year, 2019. She grew up in Northern California, and continued to the University of California, San Diego, for her undergraduate career, where she studied Biochemistry, with an Emphasis in Chemistry. She began working in the biotechnology industry in San Diego after obtaining her degree, where she met the man of her dreams during his 6 month internship at her company, through the end of 2018. Her vacation plans to ‘meet the family’ turned into a more permanent stay, as they wanted to continue to grow themselves and their careers together.
Alyssa now has a clinical contract with medeuronet and has come to love ‘le type de vie’ in France and Strasbourg. She looks forward to getting to know more AIA members, as she just began her membership this past year, and looks to continue her knowledge and practice of the French language, through the Community Outreach Director position. What better way to become involved than in the AIA community!
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. Responsible for AIA website design, function and maintenance. 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
Claire grew up in Mundelein, Illinois and attended Kenyon College in Ohio, earning a BA in English Literature. Generally more enthusiastic on the move than in the classroom, Claire studied abroad in Wellington, New Zealand (the Coolest Little Capital in the World!), moved to South America after graduation and volunteered as an English teacher in Peru before exploring a bit of Argentina, and came to France in 2018 as an au pair in Paris.
In fall 2019, she moved to Strasbourg and enrolled in French language classes. She spent the winter back in the US working as a field organizer for Amy Klobuchar’s presidential campaign, then moved back to Strasbourg, joined Democrats Abroad as a candidate researcher, and landed a job as a business developer in nearby Schiltigheim.
When she’s not making spontaneous international moves, Claire enjoys writing on her blog, “The Millennial Abroad,” reading, traveling (obviously), sashaying around social dance evenings at Barco Latino, trying new restaurants, and exploring the running trails around Strasbourg.
Adult 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.
Adult Activities Deputy 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”.
Children's Activities Director
Stephanie has been living in Strasbourg since August 2017 with her husband and two young boys. She is from Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Strasbourg for her husband’s job. Stephanie attended Purdue University and received her undergraduate degree in elementary education and received her master’s degree from Ball State University. She taught 12 years in elementary education split between third and fifth grades. She loved teaching, but decided this move would be a great opportunity to be at home with her boys. She has always loved traveling with her family and is taking advantage of the opportunity to explore Europe with her family.