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.
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.
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.
Community Outreach Director
Grace grew up in College Station, Texas, and always dreamed of traveling the world. She received her dual Bachelor's degree in International Relations and French from the University of Mississippi, which allowed her to study abroad in the medieval city of Angers, France for a semester exchange. She loved the country so much she decided to move to France full-time after college in 2015. She worked as a high school English teacher with the TAPIF program in the quaint town of Dijon for several years, and then moved to Strasbourg in 2017 to pursue her Master's degree in Sociology/Urban Sustainability from the Université de Strasbourg. After finishing her studies, she worked as a Sustainable Development Goals officer for the Eurométropole de Strasbourg. Currently, she works as a Program Manager at the European Study Center at the Château de Pourtalès organizing and managing study abroad experiences for international students.
In her free time, Grace loves to travel, discover new places, meet new people, spend time in nature, go for a jog, discover Alsace by bike, and bake yummy desserts! She has been a member of AIA since 2019 and loves to connect with fellow Americans!
Description of Position:
Attends Association and Executive Board meetings and reports new and renewing member activity to the Board. Participates in at least two major AIA events per year. Needs basic familiarity with databases or be willing to learn. Maintains the databases that constitute AIA membership information year round, inc. member basic information and transaction records, in addition to the general email directory. Creates and distributes membership directory to the board from this database once per year. Serves as a welcome point for new members making sure they can access the services AIA offers. Answers or relays to other board members any ad-hoc enquiries about the association through the general email address.
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.
Three kids. Two cats. One dog. And 20 suitcases and bins. All of that travelled with Heather and her husband, Mike, when they moved from Boston to Strasbourg in the winter of 2021. They didn’t move for a job, but just because they felt like it. Previously, they had lived in the Netherlands, where Mike earned an MBA and their second daughter was born. With virtual work and Mike’s dual EU citizenship from Latvia, the move fell into place.
After attending Syracuse University (near her childhood home of Rochester, NY) where she studied communications and marketing, Heather has had a long career in marketing, public relations and as a professional writer. She's worked with architecture, interior design and building industry companies, and had a freelance writing practice for 10 years. She is thrilled use her experience to support such a great group.
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”.