Inspiring Women Magazine November 2021

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<strong>November</strong> <strong>2021</strong>, Volume 5 Issue 4

profiles<br />

7<br />

13<br />


Merging<br />

American and<br />

Norwegian<br />

Traditions<br />

Pamela<br />

Wurschmidt<br />

loves nothing<br />

better than<br />

hosting a party.<br />

Life With a Headset and Clipboard<br />

Sanya Jefferies works as a professional<br />

events planner.<br />

35<br />

38<br />

“Travel is<br />

Back!” Leslie<br />

Nelson’s exotic<br />

career in the<br />

luxury travel<br />

business.<br />

“Like Water for Chocolate”<br />

Ariadna Martinez-Imbert believes<br />

cooking is an act of love.<br />

25<br />

“You Should Be in Greece!” Stacey<br />

Papaioannou on the welcoming lifestyle<br />

of Greece.<br />

44<br />

The Enjoyment<br />

of Entertaining<br />

Large Groups<br />

Susie Lentz on<br />

cooking for many<br />

and pottery.<br />

29<br />

Drawn to Event<br />

Planning From an<br />

Early Age Mallery<br />

van der Horst on<br />

luxury event planning.<br />

48<br />

“You’re Only Limited by Your<br />

Imagination” Charlotte De Witt<br />

recounts an impressive life of festivals<br />

and events.<br />

56<br />

Talking Turkey—à la Française<br />

Véronique Bauwol and the trials and<br />

triumphs of hosting American Thanksgiving.<br />

56<br />

Changing Lives One Person At A<br />

Time Ulrike Näumann does what she<br />

can for the refugees she meets.<br />


features<br />

10<br />

Making Dreams<br />

Come True Janet<br />

Darrow’s friendly<br />

style has made<br />

her a success in<br />

helping people<br />

find their new<br />

homes.<br />

17 24 Hours in Florence, Italy, The Gem<br />

City of Tuscany Kimberly Breeze invites<br />

us to her favorite places in this beautiful city.<br />

32 Food Eases Homesickness for<br />

Refugees Juliah Rais-Morres helps young<br />

refugees settle in and feel at home through<br />

food.<br />

41<br />

Simple<br />

Moments<br />

Make the<br />

Memories Mary<br />

Stange talks<br />

about how travel<br />

experiences can<br />

create emotional<br />

memories.<br />

20<br />

23<br />

Hotel Apprentice, “German Style!”<br />

Training for a Career in a<br />

Different Culture Matt Dugan tells<br />

us about learning his profession “the<br />

hard way.”<br />

Visiting Wine<br />

Country in a Post-<br />

Pandemic World<br />

Amy Patrick gives<br />

us her tips for<br />

going wine tasting.<br />

52<br />

60<br />

A Club Inspires<br />

AWA Kenya<br />

Cruising With FAWCO to Help<br />

Others Ann De Simoni describes<br />

some of the wonderful cruises she has<br />

organized for a most discriminating<br />

clientele – US!<br />

in every issue<br />

4<br />

Advertisers Index<br />

62<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> You<br />

5<br />

A Note from the Editor<br />

Liz MacNiven<br />

63<br />

More About This Issue<br />

6<br />

“Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest”<br />

More about what you can find in this<br />

issue from Elsie Bose.<br />

64<br />

65<br />

Coming January 2022<br />

That’s Inspired!<br />


advertisers index<br />

We appreciate the support of our advertisers!<br />

The Short List p.47 The Short List assists students with the college<br />

admissions and application process. Ask your club to schedule a<br />

webinar to acquaint members on how to get started.<br />

London Realty Intl. p.16 London Realty Intl. is owned by AWC<br />

London member Lonnée Hamilton, a worldwide property<br />

consultant. Her firm works with the best agents across the globe to<br />

fulfill your property needs.<br />

London & Capital p.34 FAWCO Club Workshops is hosting a webinar with our partners, London &<br />

Capital, “Investing as an American Overseas” on May 26 th . They will present strategies that will aid in<br />

“financial wellness”. Details and the registration link are on page 53.<br />

Lauren Mescon, Rodan + Fields p.61 Lauren, member of AWC Amsterdam, works with the #1 premium<br />

skincare brand in N. America, Rodan + Fields, offering you the best skin of your life.<br />

Janet Darrow Real Estate p.12 Around the corner or a world away,<br />

contact Janet Darrow, FAUSA member, to find the best properties. FAWCO<br />

referrals to Janet help the Target Program!<br />

The Pajama Company p.22 The Pajama Company, founded by Ellie<br />

Badanes, member of FAUSA and AW Surrey, sells pajamas that are cozy,<br />

cheerful and online!<br />

Yummylicious Serums Paris p.37 Yummylicious Serums are an ecofriendly,<br />

pure, all organic and all natural line of healthy serums for our skin<br />

and hair designed by AWG Paris member, Kristina Soleymanlou.<br />

Throughout the years FAWCO has relied on advertisers and sponsors to<br />

augment its income. This revenue has allowed FAWCO to improve services<br />

and the flexibility to try the latest innovations to enhance the FAWCO<br />

experience. FAWCO’s advertising partners believe in our mission and<br />

support our goals. Some directly support our activities and projects.<br />

We encourage club leadership throughout the FAWCO network to share our publications with<br />

their membership. Please support them! Our advertising partners have valuable products and<br />

services and we want your members to take advantage of what they offer. For more<br />

information on these advertisers or if you have any questions about FAWCO’s advertising<br />

program, please contact Elsie Bose: advertising@fawco.org.<br />


“P<br />

eople will forget<br />

what you said. They<br />

will forget what you<br />

did. But they will<br />

never forget how<br />

you made them feel.” Maya Angelou<br />

A Note from<br />

the Editor<br />

I’ve been thinking about the concept of hospitality,<br />

what it means to different groups and its history.<br />

In Ancient Greece, for example, there were strict<br />

codes of behaviour for both the host and the<br />

guest. In Hinduism there is principle called Atithi<br />

Devo Bhava, meaning “the guest is God,” which is<br />

why so many Hindus are so gracious to their<br />

guests. Judaism turns to the Bible to see how to<br />

treat guests: Hachnasat orchim is all about<br />

welcoming guests and the obligations of offering<br />

hospitality to those in need. In Christianity<br />

hospitality is considered a virtue and followers are<br />

expected to welcome visitors. The prophet<br />

Muhammad taught followers of Islam that they<br />

were obliged to treat guests kindly. So the main<br />

religions basically see it in very similar ways.<br />

Hundreds of years ago, when road networks<br />

weren’t as common as they are today, finding<br />

somewhere to stay while you were travelling was<br />

quite a challenge. You either had to camp or find a<br />

local who would take you in. Then as travel<br />

became more common, inns and taverns started<br />

to offer basic accommodation to travellers. But it<br />

wasn’t until the 18th century that the first purpose<br />

built building was constructed and the hospitality<br />

industry started to take off.<br />

By the 1950s there were 25 million travellers<br />

needing hospitality, which grew to 1.4 billion by<br />

2020, a growth of over 5000%. Today the industry<br />

represents a massive 10% of global G.D.P. and<br />

there are 313 million jobs worldwide in the sector.<br />

For some small countries, such as the Maldives, it<br />

is as much as 66% of their GDP. In Europe it is<br />

most important for<br />

Iceland (34%), Croatia<br />

(25%), Greece (21%)<br />

and Portugal (20%).<br />

Even in the US it<br />

makes up almost 8%<br />

of GDP.<br />

Hospitality is big<br />

business and<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

magazine likes to<br />

tackle the big issues,<br />

so here we are!<br />

The women featured<br />

in this issue certainly<br />

provide outstanding<br />

hospitality whether professionally or privately.<br />

They go the extra mile so guests feel amazing and<br />

have an unforgettable experience.<br />

I hope you enjoy reading the profiles and features.<br />

Please do let us know what you think by<br />

completing our survey (p.58) or sending me your<br />

thoughts at inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org.<br />

Liz x<br />


“ Be Our Guest, Be<br />

Our Guest”*<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> Founder Elsie Bose<br />

introduces our hospitality theme.<br />

As <strong>2021</strong> draws to a close, getting together with<br />

family and friends for year-end celebrations is a<br />

very real possibility this year. Those celebrations<br />

will be very special as we have waited so long to<br />

be with each other. Postponed reunions,<br />

weddings and other family events are back on the<br />

calendar, and everyone hopes for a grand and<br />

beautiful experience.<br />

Enter some of FAWCO’s hospitality experts. We<br />

have curated a special collection of profiles and<br />

features about people who know how to create an<br />

event or activity that makes everyone feel<br />

special. Not only do they know how to “par-tay”,<br />

but they can also do it in different languages and<br />

in unusual venues.<br />

There are interesting stories about those who<br />

have moved from their home countries and taken<br />

the time to learn the traditions and customs of<br />

their host countries and relish at the challenge of<br />

hosting parties and dinners. I have very fond<br />

memories of the local residents in the countries<br />

where I have lived, who have opened their homes<br />

to us and shared their warmth and wowed us with<br />

their savior-“flair”.<br />

Hospitality is more than food and drink<br />

(really!) How one is made to feel welcome is the<br />

very essence of hospitality. Planning an event on<br />

the behalf of others that is beyond any<br />

expectations, yet appears effortless, is the dream<br />

experience. Sharing secrets about your city is the<br />

best gift for any guest. And because FAWCO is a<br />

worldwide organization, we have the added<br />

perspective of exploring these experiences in<br />

different cultures.<br />

Whether as a profession or as a passion, our<br />

members profiled and featured in this issue share<br />

the ability to exhibit “grace under pressure”, they<br />

can think on their feet and will do whatever it<br />

takes achieve the dreams of their guests. Many<br />

times, they experience the crazy, the fantastic and<br />

the impossible in this quest. But one hopes that it<br />

is always in the name of fun.<br />

If you are planning to welcome family and friends<br />

or hosting an event for people you have never<br />

met; if you are participating in a time-honored<br />

event in your community or traveling to another<br />

country to participate in their big activity; if you<br />

will welcome two or two hundred, take time to be<br />

part of the experience. “A good time was had by<br />

all” includes you!<br />

Elsie<br />

advertising@fawco.org<br />

*From the Disney musical, Beauty and the Beast Lyrics by Howard<br />

Ashman, Music by Alan Menken.<br />



Merging<br />

American and<br />

Norwegian<br />

Traditions<br />

Pamela Patrick-Wurschmidt, a<br />

member of AWC Oslo, loves<br />

nothing better than hosting a<br />

party.<br />

I grew up Texas as an only child. With no siblings<br />

around to keep me company, I was always excited<br />

when visitors came by, even adults. Whenever the<br />

doorbell rang, I was always the one who ran to<br />

open the door and see who was there. If it was<br />

the Avon Lady, I was even more excited. I wasn’t<br />

particular, though. Any visitors were welcome and<br />

I am just as thrilled when my doorbell rings today.<br />

Pamela Patrick-Wurschmidt<br />

From an early age, I loved to help my mother<br />

decorate and get ready for the holidays. Any and<br />

every holiday! My favorite thing about Christmas<br />

growing up was when my parents held their<br />

annual open house. I absolutely adored helping<br />

get the goodies and buffet table ready. When I<br />

was old enough to be allowed to make Mom’s<br />

famous pineapple-and-cream-cheese-candy-caneshaped<br />

cracker, spread with pimentos as the<br />

stripes, I felt like a real grownup.<br />

Leaving home<br />

When I graduated high school, I attended Texas<br />

A&M where I received a business degree in<br />

marketing. I always had an interest in interior<br />

design, and love flowers especially since my<br />

grandmother was a florist. When I had an<br />

opportunity to take two semesters of floral design<br />

as an elective, I jumped at it. One of my favorite<br />

ways of making a home or table welcoming is to<br />

incorporate flowers.<br />

The next phase<br />

I met my Norwegian husband, Trond, at A&M. We<br />

moved to Munich, Germany in 1994, where I<br />

quickly learned that, if I wanted to enjoy my<br />

favorite foods, I was going to have to make them<br />

for myself.<br />

Today we are blessed with Pinterest and recipes<br />

galore at our fingertips. Back in the day of course,<br />

it wasn’t so easy. My first order of business was<br />

tracking down a Tex-Mex cookbook. That’s when<br />

my love for cooking really took off.<br />

After Germany we relocated back to the US and<br />

then eventually to Oslo. By this time, we had three<br />

children in tow and my focus switched from fresh<br />

salsa and enchiladas to mac and cheese and<br />

chicken nuggets.<br />

With my family<br />

Over the years my culinary skills have grown with<br />

our family and their tastes and lifestyles. Today<br />

my oldest son and I are pescatarians; my husband<br />

and other son are carnivores, and my daughter is<br />

a vegan.<br />


Getting ready<br />

Though they no longer all live at home, cooking a<br />

family dinner when they are can be a challenge. I<br />

love a good challenge, though. For example, one<br />

of everyone’s favorite dishes is lasagna, so when<br />

we have that I make three different types – one<br />

meat, one veggie and one vegan version.<br />

What is “good hospitality”?<br />

To me good hospitality means that your guests<br />

feel welcome from the moment they set foot into<br />

your home. So much so that they don’t want to<br />

leave. I think one of the most important ways to<br />

make people feel welcomed is enjoy their<br />

company while they are there. That’s why I always<br />

plan and prep as far in advance as possible. It’s<br />

never fun to sit awkwardly, waiting for your host to<br />

start dinner.<br />

Socializing Norwegian style<br />

I have always enjoyed cooking, decorating, and<br />

having guests. In Norway, unlike in the US, it is<br />

much more customary to socialize in private<br />

homes rather than going out. Dinner parties are<br />

usually more formal – long sit-down affairs that<br />

can often extend into the wee hours. This took<br />

some getting used to at first, but now I love it.<br />

Holidays and birthdays in particular are important<br />

times for celebration. Norway has come a long<br />

way since I moved to Oslo 20 years ago, but<br />

prepared foods and certain ingredients are not<br />

always readily available. I’ve learned to adapt and<br />

be more creative and I always love a theme.<br />

Learning about hostessing<br />

I am a self-educated hostess, though I learned a<br />

lot about party planning and Norwegian etiquette<br />

from my mother-in-law. She was the<br />

quintessential hostess. She would clip out recipes<br />

from magazines all year long in anticipation of her<br />

big New Year’s Eve dinner. I still go by some of her<br />

unwritten rules, including the following:<br />

1. Always offer your guest a drink within the<br />

first five minutes and make sure their glass is<br />

never empty (that’s my husband’s job and he<br />

is very good at it).<br />

2. Never cook a dish for the first time when you<br />

are having a party or it’s inevitably going to<br />

fail.<br />

3. Never put the same dish on the menu at two<br />

consecutive parties unless it’s your signature<br />

dish.<br />

4. Never leave your guests sitting at the table<br />

while you clean the kitchen – the mess will<br />

still be there in the morning.<br />


Themed parties<br />

As I mentioned, I love having a theme for my<br />

parties. I like the food, table décor and other small<br />

touches to work together; I’ll even throw costumes<br />

into the mix. Planning a menu and creating the<br />

table setting are my favorite parts. Much like my<br />

mother-in-law with her magazines, I can read<br />

recipes and browse Pinterest for days on end,<br />

searching for my next inspiration. I really enjoy<br />

the creativity involved in all of it. The flower<br />

arranging is just the icing on the cake, although I<br />

enjoy baking and icing actual cakes too.<br />

My least favorite part is the mundane bits –<br />

cleaning, shopping, cleaning some more and<br />

Table dressings<br />

Socializing during the pandemic<br />

I turned 50 this winter and debated long and hard<br />

about how and if to celebrate. Norway was still in<br />

lockdown at the time, so there were not many<br />

possibilities. A friend gave me a fantastic<br />

suggestion and I ended up hosting an online<br />

party. It wasn’t your average Zoom meeting, but<br />

was an online drag show, and our host queens<br />

taught us how to make sangria. We all dressed up<br />

and had a blast in our separate homes. I delivered<br />

a special goody box to all my local guests, with<br />

champagne and cupcakes, to make the event feel<br />

less socially distant.<br />

Fun at Halloween<br />

putting everything away. I think it’s always a little<br />

sad when I put the last glass back in the cabinet.<br />

Thanksgiving parties<br />

My absolute favorite party is Thanksgiving. Over<br />

the years this has also become a favorite with our<br />

friends, both American and Norwegian. We<br />

normally have anywhere from 25 to 40 people. We<br />

have the customary spread, where everyone<br />

brings their signature dish.<br />

I suppose we may continue to see more of this<br />

sort of thing in the future. Although it is a<br />

wonderful way to spend time with friends who are<br />

far away, I think that in-person celebrations will<br />

always be preferred.<br />

The pandemic has taught me that, no matter the<br />

occasion or how few people are attending, every<br />

meal together can be a special event. Take the<br />

time to make good food; buy or pick some fresh<br />

flowers for your table, and don’t hesitate to take<br />

out the good crystal, even if it’s just for you!<br />

One of the reasons I enjoy this so much is that we<br />

have created the perfect blend of our American<br />

and Norwegian traditions: a potluck with turkey<br />

and all the favorites. My husband always has a<br />

football game on and I’m surrounded by my<br />

American “family” (aka my dearest fellow AWC<br />

Oslo friends). No matter how many people come, I<br />

always put out a long formal table, white<br />

tablecloths and all. My husband often has a wine<br />

tasting set up, and there are always heartfelt<br />

speeches, in particular the mandatory Norwegian<br />

“thank you for the food” speech at the end of the<br />

meal. Finally, in true Norwegian style, no one<br />

leaves until the wee hours.<br />

A Virtual 50th Birthday Party<br />



Making Dreams Come True<br />

Janet Darrow, FAUSA member, uses her skills at helping people buy and<br />

sell homes to further her philanthropic goals.<br />

I’m practicing my royal wave: elbow, elbow, wrist,<br />

wrist! That’s an exaggeration, but I DID receive my<br />

Keller Williams (KW) Cultural Ambassador SASH,<br />

pin, ribbon and special invitation to participate in<br />

the swearing-in ceremony at the KW Mega Camp.<br />

As a KW Ambassador, I am recognized as a leader<br />

in my business and community, and living the KW<br />

values and belief system, which essentially boils<br />

down to honesty, integrity and philanthropy. It is<br />

wonderful when your personal values align with<br />

your company’s. It is also wonderful that my<br />

company has spread this overriding culture of<br />

values throughout our many offices.<br />

Becoming a real estate agent<br />

I came to my real-estate career late in life. In<br />

Vienna and Dubai, I was a volunteer, and out of<br />

the traditional workforce for 13 years. Prior to<br />

living abroad, I had owned and operated an<br />

industrial employment agency. Shortly after<br />

returning to the US, my husband and I were<br />

divorced, and I needed to determine a way to<br />

support myself. Real estate sounded great — I<br />

could create my own schedule, and there was no<br />

ceiling on how well I could do. Of course, I didn’t<br />

realize that there was also no floor limiting how<br />

much money I would sink into the business and<br />

no guarantee that I would ever sell anything. I<br />

went into this career with an amazing amount of<br />

HGTV-inspired naivete. I liked houses and people!<br />

Selling real estate is an interesting way to make a<br />

living. Most agents are independent contractors.<br />

In California’s competitive market, there is one<br />

active agent for every 131 people in the state,<br />

meaning that most people have several realestate<br />

agents in their circles of family and friends<br />

from whom to choose. Competition is tough, and<br />

aggressive agents have led agents to be ranked<br />

below used-car salesmen in trustworthiness. The<br />

average agent sells only 1.5 houses per year in<br />

California. Eighty per cent of newly licensed<br />

agents aren’t selling real estate after two years in<br />

the business. Real estate isn’t complicated, but it<br />

isn’t easy, either.<br />

Finding my feet<br />

The first two years were brutal. I did not set the<br />

world on fire. It took me a year to make my first<br />

sale. That’s a year of working without getting paid,<br />

a year of absorbing the yearly and monthly fees,<br />

and marketing costs. But I became smarter and<br />

more serious and found unique ways to<br />

differentiate myself from the average agent.<br />

Listing Kathy Coughlan’s home a few years ago<br />

I learned to build my business on mundane,<br />

everyday tasks. I work by referral, rather than cold<br />

calling expired listings and “for sale by owner”<br />

properties. This means I talk to and stay in touch<br />

with everyone in my database. When I began, I<br />

called old high-school and college friends to let<br />

them know I was in real estate. I asked them if<br />


they were buying or selling a home or, if they had<br />

a friend who was buying or selling, would they use<br />

me or refer me? Yes, no or maybe! There is no<br />

sense in being a “secret” agent. I had to put myself<br />

out there, let people know what I was doing and<br />

see if there was a chance they would use me. In<br />

addition to winning business this way, I got the<br />

wonderful side benefit of deepening my<br />

friendships with people, because now I make a<br />

point of staying in touch!<br />

Setting myself apart<br />

If you had visited Long Beach recently, you could<br />

have joined me at one of my front-porch concerts.<br />

These events are my way of keeping a joyful spirit<br />

in my neighborhood. My last concert celebrated<br />

the solstice, with local performers, an ice-cream<br />

truck, a cooler of beverages and a collection box<br />

for a local charity aiding the homeless population.<br />

I love entertaining, and community events are a<br />

great way to get to know my neighbors and do<br />

some good for a non-profit organization. It is also<br />

a subtle but effective way to make people aware<br />

that I am a real-estate agent. I am also known as<br />

the “Bra Lady” in my neighborhood, as I hold a<br />

huge bra drive for Free the Girls each year.<br />

Sometimes my role in life is a bit like Julie’s, the<br />

Cruise Director on The Love Boat.<br />

As one who believes in lifelong learning, I have<br />

added designations and certifications to show my<br />

skills: Certified International Property Specialist,<br />

Seller Representative Specialist, and Military<br />

Relocation Professional. I like to take classes to<br />

enhance not only what I offer but also what I<br />

deliver to my clients. I may never become the<br />

number-one top agent, but I will do everything in<br />

my power to make sure that I am able to do an<br />

excellent job for my buyers and sellers.<br />

Striving for excellence<br />

I want my clients to succeed in purchasing or<br />

Door wrappings<br />

selling a home, so I educate and prepare them for<br />

the current market. I provide them with<br />

informative “snapshots” of their neighborhood,<br />

assist them with the required paperwork and<br />

develop winning strategies. Some clients are<br />

unable to come to a decision unless they have<br />

every scrap of information available. I make sure I<br />

provide what they need. I help my sellers prepare<br />

their properties for market, from staging to<br />

making needed repairs and pricing their home<br />

appropriately. If they can’t be there to meet a<br />

contractor, I will be there.<br />

During the process, I communicate regularly,<br />

keep clients on task with deadlines, navigate<br />

receiving and sending in the offers, negotiate<br />

repairs and chase down lenders to make sure that<br />

we close in a timely fashion. When a client has<br />

made a successful purchase and escrow has<br />

closed, I wrap their new front door with a big bow<br />

and give them celebratory gifts. I follow up with<br />

them if they need repairs or contractors, and<br />

check in regularly to make sure that all is well. I<br />

want them to feel they are assisted both during<br />

and after the transaction, and I want to be their<br />

go-to agent for life, for their questions and<br />

referrals. Communication and follow up are key<br />

elements of my job. If a problem comes up, I do<br />

not hide from it; I handle it.<br />

Connecting FAWCO and real estate<br />

With Tony for a concert on my front porch<br />

I serve a niche market as an international<br />

REALTOR®. Bill and Elisabeth Soteroff were<br />

friends of mine in Vienna, and he turned Remax<br />

into an international brand. When he learned I<br />

was getting my license, he told me he was going to<br />

do the same for KW and that I should get on<br />

board. Joining KW was a great decision for me, as<br />

the training was first rate and the international<br />

connections I have made through the company<br />

are invaluable. I am also linked to agents all over<br />

the world through the International Association of<br />

Real Estate Professionals (FIABCI), and my network<br />

of fellow Certified International Property Specialist<br />

(CIPS) designees.<br />


eferrals. That is a win for everybody: me, my<br />

clients and, most important, our Target Program.<br />

In short, I entered almost by accident a profession<br />

that I love and have been able to make my own. It<br />

enhances my friendships, gives me some stature<br />

in my community, and grants me the ability to<br />

pursue philanthropic endeavors. It enables me to<br />

help realize people’s dreams of owning a home,<br />

and to continue to be part of the global<br />

community. It really doesn’t get better than that!<br />

Running an international KW meeting<br />

So I am well qualified to research and refer my<br />

fellow FAWCO and FAUSA members to excellent,<br />

vetted agents globally, and I can assist them<br />

directly when they are buying, selling or investing<br />

in California. I donate 5% of my commissions from<br />

transactions with FAWCO/FAUSA members, or<br />

people they refer, to the FAWCO Target Program.<br />

To date, I have been able to give over $9,000 to<br />

the current project, Hope for <strong>Women</strong> and Girls<br />

Tanzania, through our member clients and<br />

Janet Darrow is licensed real estate agent<br />

DRE#01977602 for Keller Williams Coastal Properties<br />

in Long Beach, CA. She is the proud owner of two<br />

Corgis, writes real estate parody songs for fun, and<br />

loves to travel with her<br />

long-time boyfriend,<br />

Tony Armand. She<br />

previously served as<br />

FAUSA President for four<br />

years.<br />



Life With a<br />

Headset and<br />

Clipboard<br />

Sanya Jefferies, member of AWC<br />

London, on why there is never a<br />

dull moment as a professional<br />

events planner.<br />

Sanya Jefferies<br />

I was born in New York City, and I am a New<br />

Yorker at heart. I moved to a small town in<br />

Connecticut about 45 minutes outside of New<br />

York when I was young and stayed there through<br />

high school. I spent a lot of my time acting and<br />

dancing, and at one point spent upwards of 18<br />

hours a week doing classical ballet.<br />

One thing that sticks in my mind from my<br />

childhood was my parents’ ability and drive to<br />

fully immerse me in the world of the arts. Even<br />

though we were outside of NYC, we were<br />

constantly making the quick trip into the city to<br />

see Broadway shows, go to museums, experience<br />

different exhibits and even to stand on the red<br />

carpet of the MTV Video Music Awards for more<br />

years than my dad is willing to count.<br />

Leaving home<br />

Once I graduated from high school I moved to<br />

South Carolina to attend the College of<br />

Charleston. My love for theatre and the arts never<br />

waned; but wanting a career that was not built on<br />

auditioning over and over, I decided to major in<br />

arts management, which is a business<br />

management degree with a strong focus on the<br />

arts. I loved living in Charleston and getting to<br />

experience a new area of the country. Also, being<br />

15 minutes from the beach made for a pretty<br />

great college experience.<br />

During my senior year of college I decided to<br />

study abroad. I was never great with languages,<br />

and there wasn’t one specific country I was drawn<br />

to. I decided to do my semester abroad with<br />

Semester at Sea, and it was one of the best<br />

experiences of my life. I was able to travel by ship<br />

visiting 12 countries over three months and met<br />

some of my best friends to this day. It was an<br />

experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.<br />

Next steps<br />

Early days<br />

After graduating from college, I fulfilled my dream<br />

of moving back to New York City. I was hired as an<br />

executive assistant at MTV, a place where I had<br />

dreamed of working since I was a young. I loved<br />

being able to help create the pop culture that<br />

everyone in the world got to experience. I then<br />

went on to work on global experiential events for<br />

a stock photo company, Shutterstock. This was<br />

great because I got to pair my passion for travel<br />

with work. I was able to execute events all over<br />

the world including Singapore, Cannes, London<br />

and Berlin. This was also where I started to get<br />

exposed to and build my love for design. After my<br />

time at Shutterstock, I began working at a midsize<br />

event agency called Production Glue. While at<br />


The thing I like least about hosting events is<br />

budgets! I always wish we had enough funds to do<br />

everything that we wanted!<br />

My favorite event<br />

On my wedding day<br />

Production Glue I was able to work on everything<br />

from conferences to 20,000-person festivals.<br />

I married my husband, Tim, a few years after<br />

graduating. Fun fact: we are actually high school<br />

sweethearts and had been together since we were<br />

15! We had always wanted to live abroad and were<br />

waiting for the opportunity to come around. It<br />

finally happened when Tim’s company asked him<br />

to transfer to London in 2019! I took a leap of faith<br />

and quit my job and starting over as a freelance<br />

event producer in a new city. It was going great<br />

until COVID-19 hit; now we are finally starting to<br />

see a resurgence in the industry, and it seems like<br />

people are ready to come back with a vengeance!<br />

Early memories of good hospitality<br />

I’ve hosted a ton of different events and they’ve all<br />

had their ups and downs. If I had to pick one I<br />

would say it would be “Pixels of Fury.” It was an<br />

experiential event that I hosted when I worked at<br />

Shutterstock. The event included a live design<br />

competition for graphic designers whose design<br />

challenge had to be completed in 20 minutes only<br />

using stock images from Shutterstock. These<br />

designers would work in real time on huge<br />

screens situated around the venue, while<br />

attendees would cheer them on and then vote on<br />

their favorite at the end.<br />

When I was working at Shutterstock, we decided<br />

to fully rebrand this event, and I got to work on<br />

every aspect of it from the ground up. This<br />

rebrand really piqued my love for design and<br />

event design. It was so much fun to have an<br />

impact on every aspect of the event: choosing<br />

locations and venues, event design, catering and<br />

on-site activation.<br />

We took Pixels of Fury on a world tour, bringing it<br />

five countries and as many US cities. This event<br />

really meant a lot to me because it was something<br />

I was able to develop and build from start to<br />

finish. I love working in events and seeing an<br />

entire project from beginning to end.<br />

I was surrounded by events at an early age. My<br />

family always had a party or a to-do for<br />

everything. Some of my earliest memories of<br />

events are from the Academy Awards parties that<br />

my parents hosted every year. The planning for<br />

these events took months from figuring out the<br />

themed invitation to the menu - the scale was<br />

huge!<br />

The year Titanic was nominated, my mom made<br />

the entire last meal they served onboard; when<br />

Babe was nominated, we served an entire roast<br />

pig; and for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, we went into<br />

Queens and rented a gyro machine. (We ate gyros<br />

for weeks.) The invitations were just as creative:<br />

they were printed on dog tags (Saving Private<br />

Ryan), engraved into rings (Lord of the Rings) and<br />

even printed directly on to chocolate (Chocolat).<br />

The process of getting creative and seeing my<br />

ideas come to life is one of my absolute favorite<br />

parts about events!<br />

What I enjoy/don’t enjoy about it<br />

I love to see people enjoying the work that I put<br />

into an event. There are few jobs where you can<br />

actually see your creativity and thoughts come to<br />

life, and I love knowing that something I did is<br />

putting a smile on someone's face.<br />

Setting up for an event<br />


Hospitality disasters<br />

We were activating a Pixels of Fury event at<br />

Cannes International Lions Festival of Creativity<br />

that would be our largest of the year. We had<br />

prime real estate on the French Riviera with over<br />

one thousand RSVPs and even more trying to get<br />

through the gate. With the main competition<br />

over, the event was still going strong - we had<br />

plenty of booze and a great DJ and people were<br />

having a wonderful time. At 11pm, the<br />

bartenders unanimously decided that they were<br />

done serving and left the site. I was shocked! We<br />

had the venue for another hour and a thousand<br />

guests still on site – and they were thirsty!<br />

Refusing to let my party down, I rallied the<br />

production crew and recruited two people to join<br />

me in tending the bar. For the next hour, it was<br />

myself and some colleagues serving the beer<br />

and wine to thirsty partygoers; and we were able<br />

to make sure that everyone there had a great<br />

time and plenty to talk about in the morning!<br />

Entertaining friends<br />

I love cooking and baking food from my home<br />

country. In England, a lot of foods are similar, but<br />

some are drastically different. I love seeing locals<br />

try to “put their finger on” what they are eating. It<br />

is always a good laugh to see what local dish<br />

they can compare it to. My favorite time was<br />

With camera operator (and friend) on the Red Carpet, 2013<br />

Video Music Awards in Brooklyn, New York<br />

when I made a berry cobbler, which was looked<br />

at very skeptically until someone decided it was<br />

just like an apple crumble. After that, everyone<br />

ate it happily, although they seemed to think it<br />

would be better with custard than ice cream.<br />

With co-workers after working 15 hour days for 7 days non stop. We had just finished our last day and decided to go to the<br />

Pride Celebrations in NYC instead of going home for some much needed sleep!<br />


The importance of planning<br />

I am always the planner! Whether it is drinks with<br />

friends, dinners, birthday parties or even BBQs, I<br />

am always the one finding a venue or planning<br />

the menu. I would say that I am a walking<br />

rolodex of restaurants, venues and event spaces<br />

in any city I live in. Sometimes it is fun, but<br />

sometimes it would be nice to just relax and<br />

enjoy! That is why I hired a wedding coordinator<br />

for my own wedding. My friends and family were<br />

surprised, but I wanted to make sure I could<br />

enjoy the day and not attend my own wedding<br />

with a headset and a clipboard.<br />

A dream place to work?<br />

I have always dreamed of working at Disney<br />

World. Disney is always at the forefront of event<br />

technology, hospitality and creativity. Their<br />

attention to detail and the resources they offer<br />

would make working there so exciting. I think it<br />

would be inspiring to enjoy so much creative<br />

freedom and to be able to work with their<br />

storylines and characters.<br />

Working on a tight timeline for a Nike Pop Up Store. It was<br />

all hands on deck so I picked up a roller and started painting<br />

to get it done in time!<br />

Why not advertise in <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>?<br />

FAWCO club members - do you want to take your business worldwide?<br />

Contact Elsie Bose at advertising@fawco.org to get started. We offer<br />

great rates and comprehensive packages for almost any budget.<br />



24 Hours in Florence, Italy,<br />

The Gem of Tuscany<br />

Kimberly Breeze, member of AILO Florence, gives us her top tips for a<br />

day in the city.<br />

The city of Florence is a world famous cultural and<br />

historical site. It has almost 400,000 inhabitants<br />

and a metropolitan area population of over 1.5<br />

million. Founded during the Roman Empire,<br />

Florence flourished in the Middle Ages and<br />

became a world famous banking center, funding<br />

much of the artistic and cultural flowering called<br />

the Renaissance. The population of the city is<br />

strongly international with over 40,000 Americans<br />

in the Tuscan region. Each year over 30 study<br />

abroad programs host hundreds of students from<br />

all over the world, studying the art, language and<br />

history of Italy and the Roman period. But like<br />

much of Italy, Florence also has a substantial<br />

population of healthy elderly, including quite a<br />

population of centenarians.<br />

Firenze, the Italian name, is the home of the<br />

famous Mediterranean climate: wet fall, moderate<br />

winter temperatures and hot dry summers. Spring<br />

and fall are the best times to visit, but full summer<br />

is nevertheless filled with visitors from all over the<br />

world. Make your plans far ahead, as ranks of<br />

visitors fill the hotels and agriturismi (rural farm<br />

stays) from June to September.<br />

Where to eat<br />

The best experience of Firenze may be had by<br />

staying in and exploring a neighborhood. Small<br />

piazze are all over the city, and there you will find<br />

morning coffee with a pastry – the Italian start to<br />

the day – in a Pasticceria (pastry shop) frequented<br />

by locals for their espressos or cappuccinos. That<br />

same locale – and others like it - will have<br />

reasonably priced, simple dishes for pranzo<br />

(lunch), saving you quite a lot compared to the full<br />

meal in a restaurant. If you want a full meal,<br />

however, chose lunch over dinner. The typical<br />


Italian meal is four plates: antipasto, pasta, meat/<br />

fish/fowl and dolce (dessert). Dinner costs at least<br />

50% more for much the same food. However,<br />

nothing compares to a dinner under the stars –<br />

we don’t eat before 8 or often 9:00 pm – with wine<br />

and candles, while admiring the last bits of sun on<br />

the façade of a fabulous building.<br />

My neighborhood, Oltrarno<br />

This is an artisan area with several delightful<br />

piazze: San Niccolò, Pitti, Santo Spirito, Carmine,<br />

San Frediano and Rondinella. They all have<br />

outdoor seating with trees and charm, restaurants<br />

and little shops. Restaurants abound, and almost<br />

all are of good quality. In Santo Spirito, my piazza,<br />

I recommend Gusta Pizza, Casalinga, Gusta<br />

Osteria, Gusta Panino, Cabiria (late night bar),<br />

Volume (aperitivi), Borgo Antico, the long famous<br />

Caffè Ricchi and Tamerô, with a pizza room deep<br />

inside, facing the back street.<br />

Places to see<br />

Once you have had your coffee and brioche, you<br />

can walk from the Oltrarno to a museum, which<br />

open mostly at 10:00 am: the Uffizi (fine arts), the<br />

Galileo (science) or La Specola (natural history); or<br />

to the Ponte Vecchio. This famous bridge is best<br />

viewed at dawn, when nobody is there, and all the<br />

shops are buckled up shut, like luggage in their<br />

ancient wooden armor.<br />

Visiting the Duomo complex - the 15th century<br />

cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its dome<br />

(still the largest masonry dome in the world,) the<br />

Giotto bell tower and the Baptistry (ca. 900 AD) -<br />

can fill at least one whole day. The cathedral has<br />

its own museum just behind it. The Accademia<br />

Gallery, which houses Michelangelo’s statue of<br />

David, and another wonderful museum with<br />

renowned, Fra Angelico frescoes at Piazza San<br />

Marco, are a good walk down Via del Corso, past<br />

the Palazzo Medici Riccardi (the 15th century<br />

home of the powerful family) with its frescos by<br />

Gozzoli. It is all walkable but then you might want<br />

to take a taxi home.<br />

The less frequented “treats” in the city are to be<br />

found in the side streets, where many specialty<br />

shops hold treasures from fabric to jewels, and<br />

from special teas and cookies to handmade pasta.<br />

I recommend the daily, lunchtime, food markets<br />

in many piazzas, where you can buy a fruit and<br />

veg picnic, or the public, covered markets like San<br />

Ambrosio. There you will find sandwich purveyors<br />

and a tiny restaurant where you sit cheek by jowl<br />

at the same table as the workers. By the way,<br />

always ask for the special menu of the day, a fixed<br />

price simple meal designed for the workers and<br />

good value for money. Wherever you go, always<br />

try the side streets for a sweet surprise.<br />

The afternoons in regions south of Emilia-<br />

Romagna are very quiet from 1:00 to 4.00 pm<br />

because the locals are home eating and NAPPING!<br />

This is a pretty good time to visit a museum, but<br />

buy lunch first and take it with you because the<br />

shops will be closed. You will find this practice a<br />

great idea as well to rest up for the evening<br />

events, which last until midnight at least.<br />

The area around Florence also has its own special<br />

attractions. Fiesole, above the city, has large<br />

Etruscan and Roman ruins and offers the very<br />

best view of the whole of Florence from the<br />


AILO Florence Christmas Bazaar<br />

restaurant Terrazza 45 in Piazza Mino. Further up<br />

the hill in Fiesole, you can sit on the terrace of the<br />

Casa del Popolo with a beverage and view the<br />

opposite vista of the Florentine Hills<br />

Evenings in Florence<br />

Evenings you may chose to eat light at a bar<br />

spread called an aperitivo, or apericena, if it is more<br />

substantial. From 6 or 7 to 9:00 pm, you are<br />

entitled to eat all you like from the buffet for the<br />

price of a slightly more costly beverage. In some<br />

places, it is served at your table. Their clientele is<br />

mostly the younger set but all are welcome<br />

including children and dogs.<br />

Music and concerts start at 9 or 10:00 pm. Florence<br />

has several concert halls, and some musical events<br />

are held in small, once private theatres and<br />

chamber venues. There is a zone in the Oltrarno<br />

where jazz clubs can be found. Check the listing in<br />

the English language newspaper The Florentine or<br />

in the Tuscan Trends online newsletter on the<br />

website magentaflorence.com for details and<br />

times.<br />

As it is in much of Italy, the nightlife in Florence<br />

lasts long into the night, and if you are up early,<br />

you may find the last of the celebrants still up at<br />

7:00 am. It is a student city after all.<br />

About AILO Florence<br />

The American-International League of Florence<br />

(AILO ODV — Organizzazione di Volontariato) has<br />

an international membership and was founded in<br />

1975 by American women. AILO's mission and<br />

purpose are to contribute to the community’s wellbeing<br />

through projects of social assistance and<br />

fund-raising for charities within the city and<br />

province of Florence. It also endeavors to promote<br />

friendship and understanding between its more<br />

than 150 members and the Italian community<br />

through cultural and social events.<br />

The most important club event is an annual<br />

Christmas Bazaar, where donated goods, new and<br />

used, and hand made by club members or friends<br />

are sold to the public to fund grants to certified<br />

charities in the province of Tuscany.<br />

Kimberley Breeze has been<br />

the President of AILO<br />

Florence since 2019 and<br />

member of the club since<br />

2009. Originally from<br />

California, she began<br />

visiting Italy in the 60s<br />

during a three-year<br />

European “walkabout,”<br />

passing “across the top” in<br />

the winter and from Sicily to<br />

Switzerland in the summer.<br />

Widowed in 1999, she came<br />

back to Italy annually to revisit her walkabout route<br />

and then in 2008, moved back for a “short time”. She's<br />

still there!<br />



Hotel Apprentice, “German Style!”<br />

Training for a Career in a<br />

Different Culture<br />

Matt Dugan tells us about learning his profession “The Hard Way”!<br />

I grew up in and around the Tampa Bay area of<br />

western Florida. Most memories are honestly<br />

pretty good and rather hot (which is expected<br />

living in the Sunshine State). Anyway, I had a<br />

rather diverse education growing up. I’ve been<br />

homeschooled as well as attended public, private<br />

and charter schools.<br />

I used to think my family was crazy for these<br />

decisions but looking back now I have to admit I’m<br />

grateful for it. I have in no way had a traditional<br />

upbringing, but have instead always been<br />

encouraged to try different things. I think this has<br />

really defined my life so far, sort of in a constant<br />

state of change, willing to take on the next<br />

challenge no matter how crazy it sounded. For<br />

instance: when I left Florida to go live in Germany.<br />

Leaving home<br />

My family actually left me first to go live in<br />

Germany. My early adulthood can honestly be<br />

best described as fast-paced and overworked. I<br />

was attending a state college for two semesters<br />

while also working probably close to 50+ hours a<br />

week just to survive. I was working in fast food<br />

and also as a sushi chef, while trying to balance<br />

whatever form of social life I had. By no means<br />

did I ever think that I was going to end up in<br />

culinary or becoming a chef. The sushi chef gig<br />

really just stuck out to me as something unique<br />

and as much as I loathed my job in the fast food<br />

industry, I must say it really inspired me to pursue<br />

a more successful career field. Eventually Florida<br />

became redundant and I knew I needed a change.<br />

Moving to Germany<br />

So I moved to Germany in late 2016. I saw no<br />

future to be had in Florida and my parents could<br />

not stop raving about the opportunities in<br />

Munich. It seemed like the right idea given my<br />

current record. Picking ‘Gastronomy and Hotel’<br />

was not a set decision, but the opportunity to<br />

work in an environment where my English was<br />

necessary and my German could be bettered was<br />

too good of a chance to pass up.<br />

It turned out to be the right decision (one I have<br />

not come to regret even with the current situation<br />

of things). I just recently finished two years of my<br />

apprenticeship and am currently in the midst of<br />

graduating after completion of my third year.<br />

This has been a most challenging adventure but<br />

one I believe will really enhance my language<br />

skills and better me as a person. My family is also<br />

doing great and absolutely loving all that Munich<br />

has to offer. There is something absolutely<br />

amazing about the quality of life being offered<br />

here, and the opportunities really do feel endless.<br />

What is good hospitality?<br />

With my parents<br />

In a professional sense, good hospitality is<br />

defined as a “lived experience.” The guest should<br />

receive a service that equates to a life experience.<br />

I have always found this a bit broad. It tries to<br />


inspire without any clear instructions on how to<br />

achieve this effect.<br />

For me good hospitality is simply a feeling of equal<br />

satisfaction between worker and guest. As a guest<br />

you get a feeling of importance, and as a worker<br />

you get to enjoy the satisfaction knowing you have<br />

the skills and means to satisfy the needs and<br />

wants of said guest. “Your luggage was lost at the<br />

airport?” Not a problem, you can rest and relax<br />

and we’ll inform you immediately once the<br />

luggage has been found and sent here. “First time<br />

staying with us?” Well welcome, can we interest<br />

you in a welcome drink on the bar? “You can’t find<br />

a single bar that knows what a Manhattan is?” No<br />

problem, do you want Rye or Bourbon? It’s the<br />

simple things that go a long way.<br />

The best and worst of the job<br />

It is simply great to be part of a team and pull<br />

something off with high praise from everyone. You<br />

truly feel the success of the event after all the<br />

planning, coordination, decorations, fixes,<br />

alterations and so on. Events are by no means an<br />

easy feat and I’ve been part of some disastrous<br />

events in the past. Honestly, I would even go so far<br />

as to say that events really show off a hotel’s<br />

overall ability to communicate with each<br />

department in an effective manner. Worst part of<br />

an event? Easy, clean up. No one wants to do that.<br />

Biggest hospitality disasters?<br />

So we had planned to do a New Year’s Buffet. In<br />

the past they had been quite well attended and<br />

popular. For whatever reason, this year it was<br />

decided to announce the event on the actual day,<br />

i.e. 31 st of December. Needless to say most of our<br />

guests had already made plans of course.<br />

In the end, due to some poor decisions and a lack<br />

of communication, there was a serious waste of<br />

food. I actually think more employees were served<br />

drinks than actual guests. The whole event is now<br />

fondly remembered as a big inside joke. However,<br />

we won’t be having any New Year’s Buffets<br />

anytime soon.<br />

At work with some of my colleagues<br />

Biggest hospitality challenges to<br />

overcome?<br />

Try the whole language barrier. It’s one thing to<br />

learn a new trade, but a complete other thing<br />

when you struggle at times to understand HOW to<br />

learn said trade.<br />

I have had some seriously embarrassing<br />

moments; however, I am a firm believer in<br />

overcoming challenges and bettering yourself<br />

from them. Truly, I think there is no finer way to<br />

learn a language then being forced to<br />

communicate in it. In some ways my misfortune of<br />

not fully understanding the German language has<br />

made me quite fortunate!<br />

Hospitality in a post-pandemic world?<br />

The recovery process for the hotel industry has<br />

been a slow one at that. Although vaccinations are<br />

on the rise, it feels at times that we are still far<br />

from out of the woods. However, I remain<br />

optimistic and see little by little each day some<br />

resemblance of normality trying to crawl its way<br />

back in.<br />

For the most part guests also seem to be very<br />

excited to have a chance to visit Munich again. We<br />

still have rather strict rules within the hotel itself<br />

which at times can be rather bothersome. In the<br />

end, COVID-19 has really left many with a feeling<br />

of uncertainty. Yes, the signs are there that things<br />

will get back to the way they once were, but so far<br />

no one can truly say when that will be.<br />

Working in a fast food restaurant<br />

Some employees even treat guessing about the<br />

end of the pandemic as a taboo. You just don’t<br />

guess. YOU DON’T GUESS!! COVID-19 has without<br />

a doubt, been the biggest challenge for hospitality,<br />

more challenging than any gala dinner or the<br />

most difficult of guests. Still, it is a great feeling to<br />

be working again and greeting guests for the first<br />

time in months!<br />


At work in Munich<br />

Would you change your past?<br />

I honestly don’t think I would. Isn’t the point of<br />

regretting something to acknowledge it, thus<br />

bettering yourself and moving on? How else can<br />

you learn? Still though, there was this one time I<br />

drank way too much white wine during a Wine fest<br />

and woke up with an absolute stinger of a<br />

hangover the next day before a 6am shift. Yeah, if<br />

I could have a do-over that would be the moment.<br />

Who am I kidding; I would probably do it again…<br />

procrastination, lack of motivation and<br />

spontaneous laziness at times. I have never been<br />

proud of this at all. Granted that it is nice to<br />

succeed in tasks, I have really just had too many<br />

close calls on things that could have completely<br />

been avoided had I taken more time to accomplish<br />

them sooner. My mom jokes and calls this my<br />

modus operandi, but she’s not wrong either. It is<br />

incredibly aggravating to be stuck time and time<br />

again in these situations that could have been<br />

easily avoided. Yet in some ways, I have also<br />

grown as a person and learned some really<br />

valuable lessons due to the “hard way.” Wouldn’t<br />

it be nice to magically wave your hands and have<br />

these problems disappear? Then again, I would<br />

probably find fixings things “magically” too easy<br />

and end up doing things the “hard way” still…<br />

Matthew Dugan, son of<br />

Munich IWC member Lori<br />

Dugan, was an Education<br />

Award Recipient in <strong>2021</strong><br />

and used the award to<br />

fund his studies.<br />

What would you magically change about<br />

yourself?<br />

I have this terrible tendency of learning things the<br />

“hard way”. This comes in the form of<br />



Visiting Wine Country in a<br />

Post-Pandemic World<br />

Amy Patrick, member of FAUSA, gives us some tips on how to<br />

go wine tasting!<br />

We’re all breathing a collective sigh of relief that<br />

the worst of the global pandemic is hopefully<br />

behind us and looking forward to making up for<br />

lost shared experiences. There were many<br />

business casualties in 2020, but most industries<br />

were not as decimated as the hospitality industry.<br />

We’re all excited to support those restaurants,<br />

wineries and hotels that made it to <strong>2021</strong>, even<br />

though things may look a little different than what<br />

you remember. I spoke with two wine country<br />

hospitality professionals to get the inside scoop<br />

on what’s changed, how happy they are to see you<br />

all again, and how you can help keep your favorite<br />

places open for business.<br />

Book Everything Early, Arrive on Time<br />

The days of walk-in, ‘belly up to the bar’ wine<br />

tastings or walking into restaurants are over in the<br />

busiest wine tourist regions, with very few<br />

exceptions. Wineries and restaurants were forced<br />

into a fairly stringent appointment-only system<br />

during the pandemic, and extended labor<br />

shortages in the hospitality industry have meant<br />

that these practices have not been lifted. Make<br />

your wine tasting and most dining reservations<br />

when you make the rest of your travel plans. It<br />

may sound rigid, but it will be better than finding<br />

out upon arrival that your favorite places don’t<br />

have room for you.<br />

Be prepared to pay in advance when booking<br />

wine tastings or paying a deposit when booking<br />

a restaurant. Businesses that lost 80% or more<br />

of their income in 2020-21 cannot afford for<br />

tables to sit empty due to last-minute<br />

cancellations or no-shows. Promptness is<br />

appreciated now more than ever, as well as<br />

booking reservations for the total number of<br />

people in your party, regardless of whether they<br />

will all be tasting. It’s perfectly acceptable to share<br />

wine tastings – it keeps costs down for visitors and<br />

prevents guests from over-imbibing, which makes<br />

the roads safer for everyone.<br />

Tracey Hoff, Estate Director at Pine Ridge<br />

Vineyards in Napa Valley, has this advice: “We are<br />

not alone at Pine Ridge in having to reschedule<br />

parties if they’re 15 minutes late or more. If you’re<br />


going to be late, please call the winery. It gives the<br />

team an opportunity to work around your delay. I<br />

would suggest a minimum half hour between<br />

appointments, even if the wineries are close, due<br />

to traffic. As Napa gets busier, so do the roads.<br />

They are all two-lane highways and can be<br />

unforgiving during peak times. Also consider that<br />

during harvest, trucks and extra workers are all<br />

populating the roads as well. Before you go,<br />

program the wineries you’ll be visiting into your<br />

phone. Having their phone number and address is<br />

helpful for quick navigation or reaching out if<br />

you’re going to be late.”<br />

Silver Linings<br />

Stephanie Wycoff, Estate Director at Seghesio<br />

Family Vineyards in Healdsburg (Sonoma County,<br />

CA) freely admits that while the pandemic was<br />

horrible for so many people, it was also a wake-up<br />

call for the winery. “The pandemic forced us to<br />

make better use of our outdoor space and<br />

develop processes for serving guests away from<br />

the tasting bar.”<br />

Kunde Vineyard, hilltop tasting<br />

though wineries have needed to raise their hourly<br />

rates and even offer signing bonuses to get staff<br />

back to work after reopening. This competition for<br />

workers has been particularly hard on small<br />

wineries that relied heavily on visitors before the<br />

pandemic, because many can’t afford a fancy<br />

checkout system. Cash is king at these lesserknown<br />

gems if you do want to show appreciation.<br />

Take it Home with You<br />

Titus Vineyards<br />

Stephanie and Tracey both report that the small<br />

group, reserved seated tasting experiences<br />

implemented during the pandemic allow winery<br />

staff to give a higher level of customer service to<br />

guests and allow visitors to have a more insightful<br />

tasting experience than waiting to be served at a<br />

tasting bar. Even though maximum guest<br />

restrictions have been lifted by state and local<br />

governments, many wineries are keen to keep<br />

the maximum guest count at six to continue<br />

devoting staff energy to giving these more<br />

personalized experiences.<br />

To Tip or Not to Tip?<br />

If you really enjoy the personal service given<br />

during your wine tasting, should you tip your<br />

host? There are no set rules to tipping in wine<br />

country, it is not expected but always appreciated.<br />

Tasting room point-of-sale systems were already<br />

adding tip lines to the checkout process before<br />

the pandemic and this feature has become highly<br />

desirable in recruiting hospitality staff, even<br />

When your wine country journey is over,<br />

remember that rules vary by state but most will<br />

allow you to ship any wine purchased in a tasting<br />

room to your home. To protect your wine from<br />

extreme temperatures, tell your host when you<br />

will be back home to receive packages so they can<br />

hold your shipment until then. Consider joining<br />

the email list or club at wineries you particularly<br />

enjoy to receive nice perks, access to wines not<br />

available anywhere else, and discounts on your<br />

purchases. Wineries relied heavily on their club<br />

members to weather the pandemic closures and<br />

will continue to do so during increasingly severe<br />

fire seasons. If your budget is tight and you plan<br />

on purchasing later, take a picture of the label of<br />

the wines you like so you can remember that<br />

delicious wine when you<br />

get home!<br />

Amy Patrick has worked in<br />

the wine industry for more<br />

than 20 years in various<br />

capacities. She is currently<br />

the Marketing & Public<br />

Relations Manager for the<br />

nonprofit Sonoma County<br />

Vintners, which combines<br />

her love of wine with giving<br />

back to the community. She<br />

and her British husband recently moved back to the<br />

USA after living in England for a decade. Amy has a<br />

WSET Level 3 certification and runs a monthly virtual<br />

wine tasting group for FAUSA members.<br />



“You Should Be in<br />

Greece!”<br />

Stacey Harris-Papioannou,<br />

member of AWO Greece, tells us<br />

how the pull of the Greek way of<br />

life proved impossible to ignore.<br />

Stacey Harris-Papaioannou<br />

As a 60+ sexagenarian, my Greek heritage has<br />

shaped every step of my journey as a child and an<br />

adult. My lineage is Greek, deeply Greek. My<br />

mother’s family immigrated from the island of<br />

Mykonos to the US before World War I. Born in<br />

the US, she was raised in a very Greek<br />

neighborhood in Joliet, Illinois. My dad was born<br />

in Mykonos. He immigrated to the US in the mid-<br />

1950s. He sought out other compatriots and<br />

ended up in Joliet, where he met my mom.<br />

Our friends and family were very much<br />

entrenched in Greek language, traditions, cuisine<br />

and ritual. My father spoke Greek to me<br />

exclusively – something for which I resented him<br />

at age six, 12 and still at 16.<br />

In the Greek community, there was a very distinct<br />

line drawn between Americans and us. Kids in the<br />

neighborhood would come over to see an entire<br />

fish plated on the dinner table, eyeballs and all.<br />

After school, there weren’t just Brownies and<br />

ballet: there were also language lessons in the<br />

mother tongue, with two dedicated afternoons at<br />

Greek School at our parish. And there were plenty<br />

of summer visits back to Greece to see the family<br />

– specifically Athens and Mykonos.<br />

I have precious memories of running barefoot on<br />

the flagstone narrow streets from my<br />

grandmother’s house when my grandfather<br />

would sail back into port on his kaiki-a hand-hewn<br />

wooden fishing boat with the day’s catch. When in<br />

Greece, I appreciated being bilingual; it made<br />

such a difference in developing relationships with<br />

my cousins and aunties, neighborhood kids and<br />

of course, boys!<br />

Leaving home<br />

I finished high school in three years. I was in a<br />

hurry to get on with being a grown-up. Looking<br />

back, I didn’t exactly go very far. I went to a state<br />

university in DeKalb, a 90-minute drive from<br />

home. I arrived at college, aged 16, and a life of<br />

independence from parents and all that I knew.<br />

As a toddler<br />

I majored in journalism and education. During my<br />

time at school, I wrote for the campus publication<br />

(the Northern Star), worked in both my dorm and<br />

the cafeteria, completed my student teaching and<br />

received my degree. The aspiration of being a<br />

writer morphed into teaching high school<br />

journalism, English composition and advising<br />

student publications.<br />


materialized once we were married. His parents<br />

often moved in with us for periods and finally his<br />

father stayed permanently. As much as I loved<br />

Greek culture, the suffocation of family was the<br />

element I never embraced.<br />

Today, 15 years post parting as a couple, we<br />

reside on the same property and have an<br />

amicable relationship. Our sons, 24 and 29, still<br />

live at home with me and have taken over the<br />

management of our property rentals. Ironically, I<br />

am living a life my younger self would have been<br />

shocked by—yes, I cook for my adult sons and do<br />

their laundry and they probably won’t move out<br />

until they’re in permanent relationships!<br />

With my sons Dimitri and Aristos<br />

But always there was Greece, a mini-Satan on my<br />

shoulder telling me I should be there. I loved<br />

Mykonos, I loved the culture and I loved the<br />

people (a couple of male people in particular).<br />

Teaching offered me the opportunity to travel for<br />

a few months every summer. Friendships grew<br />

and summer romances blossomed until finally I<br />

couldn’t ignore the deep need, the draw of my<br />

roots, my lineage.<br />

One of the summer romances was the gamechanger.<br />

I had said no to several guys from the<br />

summer romance grouping who wanted to<br />

become permanent fixtures in my life. But I<br />

couldn’t get past the wall of family that was a part<br />

of their package; most of these men were adults<br />

that still lived with their parents in the family<br />

home with their mothers looking after them.<br />

Moving out and having your own place before you<br />

were married was not a part of the mentality at<br />

the time—for that matter, it still isn’t today! Greek<br />

families were an integral part of any married life<br />

you would have with a partner.<br />

The resentment I had for my dad as he would<br />

speak to me in Greek in public haunted me every<br />

time I was out and spoke to my children in English.<br />

I would say something in English, heads would<br />

turn, my sons would stare at me in horror—<br />

preferring my accented Greek so they wouldn’t<br />

stand out and be different—something most<br />

FAWCO moms are quite familiar with!<br />

Aside from running a retail operation, we<br />

eventually branched off into property<br />

development. Property has always been a prime<br />

need in Mykonos. So, we built an apartment<br />

complex, one of the first on the island – a 20-unit<br />

rental property of one and two bedroom<br />

apartments. Today we still rent these apartments<br />

out, mainly to seasonal staff working with the local<br />

hotels and restaurants.<br />

Today, I am retired from both retail and building<br />

management, and am exploring the next chapter<br />

of change in my life. I am once again working in<br />

publication, writing and editing for an online<br />

media outlet that focuses on Greek news<br />

published in English.<br />

The candidate, Vasili, was a charming electrician<br />

who had moved to Mykonos independently of his<br />

family, opened his own business and had his own<br />

apartment. He was a modern man with wit and<br />

humor: I also happened to be crazy about him.<br />

We got serious over a couple of summers with<br />

plenty of letters and transatlantic calls. He offered<br />

me a life with him in Mykonos, without a family to<br />

hover over us, and I couldn’t resist. He arrived in<br />

March, we were married, I finished the school year<br />

and packed up for Mykonos.<br />

GR84600 has been my permanent zip code for<br />

more than three decades. Vasili and I ran a record<br />

shop, book shop, toy store and office supply<br />

business together for 27 years. We raised two<br />

sons and built a home and rental properties<br />

business together.<br />

The marriage survived for 20 years. The<br />

independent electrician’s family suddenly<br />

Entertaining author Aurelia in Mykonos<br />


core function was to make sure they enjoyed the<br />

island. Beyond the basics of polite service, my<br />

customers were always a bit stunned when a very<br />

Greek-looking woman stood across the counter<br />

from them as they purchased a book, a postcard<br />

or a cd and spoke to them in perfect American<br />

English. Curiosity overruled good manners and<br />

most sought the story behind it. I would almost<br />

always take the extra time to share a bit of<br />

information. More times than not, this led to long<br />

conversations, with many folks coming back<br />

during their stay wanting local tips and some tales.<br />

Many of those encounters turned into lasting<br />

friendships over time.<br />

Outside Billys in Mykonos<br />

What is “good hospitality”?<br />

There is a word for hospitality in Greece that dates<br />

back 3000 years – Philoxenia. It literally means<br />

Friend/Philo to the Stranger (foreigner)/Xeno. In<br />

Greece, there is a cultural tradition of embracing<br />

the foreigner.<br />

I have vivid memories of sitting in my<br />

grandmother’s kitchen at lunchtime. The door was<br />

open to the quiet street and any passersby could<br />

see us dining at the table. One afternoon, a<br />

bearded young man came to the door and in<br />

broken Greek asked where the hardware store<br />

was. My grandfather rose from the table and took<br />

him by the hand a few streets away to Kontarini’s,<br />

the local ironmonger. When he returned, my<br />

grandmother scolded him that his food had<br />

gotten cold and the flies were at it. “What could I<br />

do Marina?” he responded. “Explaining how to get<br />

there would have taken longer than walking him<br />

there.” Being gracious and kind was innate. As a<br />

fisherman, there were often long periods at sea, at<br />

the mercy of the weather, sometimes having to<br />

dock on remote islands. My grandather was<br />

fortunate to find hospitable residents that would<br />

often share food and water when he could not<br />

travel back to Mykonos. He often reminded me<br />

that were it not for the kindness and hospitality of<br />

these individuals, he might not have survived.<br />

Our home was designed with a guest bedroom<br />

with its own bath and depending upon the time of<br />

year friends or relatives arrived, they might enjoy<br />

a studio or furnished apartment for their visit. For<br />

those new to Mykonos, there was always a bit of<br />

cultural dissemination—local customs, cuisine,<br />

folklore and a bit of touring to great spots not<br />

included in the guidebooks, such as a pig festival<br />

or the celebration of a saint’s day.<br />

Summer always meant smiling a lot and making<br />

time for everybody. There was always the notion<br />

that this person may never return so give them<br />

the best experience possible, whether family,<br />

friend or retail client. It’s tiring and time<br />

consuming but you are making memories for<br />

yourself and for your visitors, so the exhaustion is<br />

worth it.<br />

The pandemic demonstrated that the memories<br />

of lives filled with travel and exploration have<br />

become a precious commodity to us after 16<br />

months or more of lock-down.<br />

No food, too much wind<br />

Delos is one of the most important mythological,<br />

historical and archaeological sites in Greece and is<br />

only a 30-minute boat ride from Mykonos. You can<br />

easily see it from many of the island’s south<br />

beaches; it’s that close. A few years ago, I found<br />

Harsh times with few conveniences were a reality<br />

across Greece for the period following the wars.<br />

The country was industrialized but a large portion<br />

of the population still lived in mountain regions<br />

and islands with very limited modern<br />

conveniences, even up until the late 1960s. The<br />

islanders were especially sensitive to being<br />

welcoming to strangers.<br />

My involvement<br />

Although not formally involved in the business,<br />

hospitality became a part of the package of living<br />

in Mykonos. As the owner of a retail business with<br />

customers who came in from across the globe, my<br />

Entertaining visitors to Mykonos<br />


myself assisting a 20-strong interactive performing<br />

dance troupe on the island. However, for three<br />

days, there were gale force winds and none of the<br />

small boats that travelled to the archaeological<br />

site could make the crossing, including the one<br />

with their food!<br />

Fortunately, the guards and archaeologists<br />

opened their hearts, cupboards and refrigerators<br />

to the artists. They shared their groceries and<br />

cooked and dined together. In the end, the<br />

performance never took place with an audience.<br />

In fact, any performance scheduled to take place<br />

on the island seems to have run into some sort of<br />

trouble thanks to natural forces—high winds,<br />

rough seas—the stuff of mythical gods wreaking<br />

havoc for humans.<br />

Hosting the FAWCO Cultural Youth<br />

Volunteers<br />

Hosting the cultural youth volunteers was the<br />

most rewarding hosting experience I have had. I<br />

was completely in my element. Teenagers are my<br />

favorite age group. I think it is why I happily turned<br />

to teaching high school English and journalism<br />

instead of pursuing a path in editing or writing.<br />

Lots of energy, curiosity, sensitivity and readiness<br />

to embrace adventure could sum up each youth<br />

volunteer I’ve met.<br />

It was great fun and highly enjoyable to introduce<br />

the youth to Greek culture, landmarks, cuisine and<br />

opportunities to give. I would happily stage a<br />

group reunion—it was such a pleasure to be<br />

around the energy and enthusiasm of the October<br />

2019 Athens youth!<br />

Creating memories<br />

While in Greece, dancing and great food are the<br />

two ingredients that create memories for a<br />

lifetime. And in Greece, both eating and dancing<br />

are quite spontaneous. You will find folks dancing<br />

on the streets while they take healthy bites of a<br />

souvlaki pita wrap. Music is ever present as is the<br />

smell of good food, whether you are at a<br />

restaurant or in a residential neighborhood.<br />

Celebrating USA Independence Day with Ambassador and<br />

Mrs. Pyatt with AWOG<br />

My memoirs<br />

A book about my life would be dedicated to my<br />

“Mykonos Gal Pals” – the foreign women who have<br />

been my allies, confidants and source of joy and<br />

good times as I have navigated life in a country<br />

not of my birth. I would not have survived without<br />

their support and friendship. They have been coconspirators<br />

in all my adventures.<br />

Something I would change from the past<br />

If I could wave a magic wand and return to my 24-<br />

year-old self, with a few years of teaching<br />

experience and financial independence, I would<br />

take a year off to live in Mykonos. I always knew I<br />

loved the place but for whatever reason, I didn’t<br />

have the courage to abandon my life in the States<br />

for an adventure of likely “not professional”<br />

employment in Greece. I was willing to do it for a<br />

marriage proposal and a commitment to a man,<br />

but I was unwilling to commit to myself -- plotting<br />

untraditional adventures and lifestyles. My<br />

contemporary feminist self is much more willing<br />

to take chances.<br />

Cape Sounion with the 2019 FAWCO Youth Volunteers<br />



Drawn to Event<br />

Planning From an<br />

Early Age<br />

Mallery van der Horst, member of<br />

FAUSA, works as a wedding and<br />

events planner.<br />

Mallery van der Horst<br />

I was born in Wichita, Kansas and grew up in<br />

Sugar Land, Texas. My parents instilled<br />

strong values in me from a very early age:<br />

integrity, respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness.<br />

I very clearly remember the “Golden Rule” from a<br />

very early age…treating others the way you<br />

wanted to be treated.<br />

This foundation serves me in my day to day life<br />

but also in my work in the events and hospitality<br />

industry. I always try to create wonderful<br />

experiences for those around me, giving the time,<br />

care and attention I would want to receive if I<br />

were in their shoes.<br />

I also did ballet as a child for about 10 years;<br />

sometimes my rehearsals would take 8-10<br />

hours a week. Juggling my ballet rehearsals with<br />

school and my social life took a lot of<br />

coordination and time management, something<br />

my job requires a lot of now. I think this<br />

prioritization and early need for scheduling has<br />

helped me a great deal in life.<br />

Leaving home<br />

Once I left home, I went to Texas A&M University<br />

where I earned a degree in Recreation, Park &<br />

Tourism Science along with a minor in<br />

Horticulture and certification in Professional Event<br />

Management. During my time at Texas A&M, I<br />

interned with an event planner in College<br />

Station, Texas and was the President of the<br />

Student Event Planners Association.<br />

Moving to the Netherlands<br />

Two weeks after graduating from college, I<br />

moved to the Netherlands to be with the love of<br />

my life, Menno. My time in the Netherlands was a<br />

great adventure. I met so many wonderful people<br />

while living overseas and was able to volunteer<br />

my time with the American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of The<br />

Hague. I served on the board and worked on<br />

several fundraising events; this allowed me to see<br />

firsthand how events can truly change people’s<br />

lives for good, on a global scale.<br />

Back to the US<br />

Upon the completion of my husband’s PhD in the<br />

Netherlands, we moved to Houston together. We<br />

have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels - Pippa<br />

who is 10 and Palmer, born in February <strong>2021</strong>. My<br />

parents also live nearby. They, too, lived abroad<br />

before my father retired last year.<br />

Me as a little girl<br />

I currently work alongside a team of seven other<br />

ladies as a “Belle” at Belle Events, led by Rebecca<br />


Moments before the ceremony, Mallery helps one of her brides with her bow.<br />


Martens. We are a full-service luxury event<br />

planning company that plans weddings, corporate,<br />

non-profit and social events.<br />

I couldn’t imagine a more supportive,<br />

kind, talented and warm group of women to work<br />

with - I sometimes feel like I hit the jackpot! I<br />

enjoy having a career that uses a wide range of<br />

disciplines - many days I am looking at budgets<br />

and contracts while I also deal with design, food<br />

and beverage, family dynamics, marketing, trend<br />

forecasting and more. I absolutely love what I do<br />

and that each day is different from the next.<br />

Starting young<br />

From a young age, I have always seemed to be<br />

drawn towards event planning and hospitality.<br />

I planned my family’s Walt Disney World vacation,<br />

hotels, dining reservations, fast passes and all at<br />

age 12.<br />

Over the years, I set up itineraries for multiple<br />

family vacations and would even plan itineraries<br />

for “dream trips” inspired by books I would read;<br />

most notable was the trip to Prince Edward Island<br />

after falling in love with Anne of Green Gables.<br />

From a very young age, I have loved things like<br />

helping my mother prepare for her Bunco parties<br />

for her friends or designing our family’s party<br />

invitations for Christmas and birthday. Once I was<br />

a little older, I made a binder that laid out the<br />

Helping a bride with her shoes<br />

plans for a Christmas Café, a café where<br />

Christmas was to be celebrated year round. I had<br />

drawn out the plans, created a sample menu and<br />

everything. I have always been creative, but<br />

also very organized, which really helps me in my<br />

role as an event planner.<br />

Training for my role<br />

I was formally trained as my degree relates to<br />

what I do now, but I will say there is no substitute<br />

for hands-on learning on the job. I have been so<br />

fortunate to have had wonderful, patient,<br />

generous colleagues and teachers along my<br />

journey in this role.<br />

I am very grateful to my former boss, Sarah Bett,<br />

for taking a chance on me upon my return to<br />

Texas from the Netherlands. Working under her<br />

set so many great things in motion for my career<br />

and I will be forever appreciative. We now work<br />

together at Belle Events.<br />

Something I love to do<br />

I really enjoy setting a beautiful table for my<br />

husband, family and guests. I was very spoiled in<br />

the Netherlands with the most gorgeous flowers<br />

from the Dutch flower markets. I loved being able<br />

to pick up beautiful bouquets of fresh, local<br />

flowers to adorn my table. I still enjoy setting a<br />

beautiful table, but with a few less tulips than<br />

when they grew down the road.<br />

What would I change magically?<br />

Nothing. I would be very cautious about going<br />

back and changing something as I truly believe<br />

that everything in my journey has led me to where<br />

I am today. I am very grateful to all of my teachers,<br />

friends and family. I’m even thankful for the things<br />

that didn’t quite go according to plan along the<br />

way as they were actually not failures but more<br />

learning and growing experiences.<br />

With my husband and our dogs<br />



Food Eases Homesickness for<br />

Refugees<br />

Juliah Rais-Morres, member of Heidelberg IWC, explains how she got<br />

involved in supporting a group of young refugees.<br />

In ancient cultures hospitality involved welcoming<br />

the stranger and offering him food, shelter, and<br />

safety. In Malaysia, my home country, “Have you<br />

eaten?“ was the first question a guest was asked.<br />

I would never have thought that losing my<br />

landscape architect job in 1998 would become the<br />

turning point of everything that has happened in<br />

my life for the past 23 years. Being jobless was the<br />

most challenging, frustrating, and devastating six<br />

months of my life. For the first time, I found my<br />

self feeling worthless.<br />

Serai Catering was born out of desperation, just<br />

like many other great startups that are often born<br />

in times of crisis. Even though I returned to my<br />

profession the following year, I kept the catering<br />

business running on the side and catered mostly<br />

private events such as birthdays and weddings.<br />

I am a firm believer that every single thing<br />

happens for a reason. The good and bad all led<br />

me to where I’m meant to be today: to help others<br />

with my hospitality and my catering business‚<br />

Serai, here in Germany.<br />

In March 2016, I founded Cooking for Hope (CFH),<br />

a small personal charity project to support<br />

unaccompanied minor refugee teenagers. Some<br />

of the refugee teenagers lost their parents and<br />

family in the war in 2015 and arrived heavily<br />

traumatized here in Germany, a foreign country.<br />

Although they were safe here in Heidelberg, they<br />

were facing so many difficult challenges. The first<br />

challenge was the language and the second was<br />

the food.<br />

This is where I could step in to help with my ability<br />

and passion for cooking. Besides being a bridge to<br />

connect these cultural differences, especially the<br />

delicious home cooked food, I could also help to<br />

ease their homesickness and hopefully reach<br />

their hearts.<br />

The first meal I offered a group of 20 teenage<br />

refugees at their shelter was a chicken curry with<br />

rice shortly before Christmas 2016. It was their<br />

first few months in Heidelberg. Later they told me<br />

that it was the most delicious food they had had<br />

in months after fleeing their homeland.<br />

Taking full advantage of all Serai’s available<br />

catering equipment, I started to cook and<br />

organized events for up to 40 teenage refugees<br />

who had come from three different groups in<br />

Heidelberg since 2017. We had lunch buffets for<br />

the celebration of Ramadan, and for Chinese New<br />

Year, a charity buffet, a BBQ picnic, cooking<br />

Some of the refugees together<br />


classes and also other social activities. Members<br />

of HIWC who volunteered during the events have<br />

become the main supporters of CFH.<br />

Another important purpose of the events was to<br />

get them involved in the cooking activities and<br />

teaching them how to cook at the same time.<br />

Together we took part in the city’s yearly festival<br />

called “Lebendiger Neckar” and “NCT Run against<br />

cancer” with a food stand. The boys were helping<br />

out with the food preparation, cooking, selling and<br />

cleaning up after the event. The generated funds<br />

were used to finance future activities.<br />

At the same time I also let some of the boys take<br />

part in my catering business activities, helping out<br />

with cooking and with delivery. This gave them the<br />

opportunity to meet other people and see new<br />

places. In 2019, I accepted a catering contract for<br />

a wedding in the Black Forest and three of them<br />

accompanied me. After the event, we spent the<br />

night in a family room of a guest house which I<br />

booked in advance. On the next day, after a<br />

nice breakfast, I took them to see the highest<br />

fresh water lake called “Mummelsee”.<br />

Meanwhile all the boys have grown into adults<br />

and had some real successes. Two of them, who<br />

come from Gambia and Guinea, successfully<br />

finished their vocational training last February and<br />

have both been employed and can now live<br />

their lives independently without government<br />

assistance. One of them successfully obtained a<br />

residence permit which was a wonderful reward<br />

for all his persistence and hard work.<br />

These boys have become a steady part of my life<br />

for the last five and a half years. We have shared<br />

not only happy moments but also some tragic<br />

ones. A few months ago, one of the boys was<br />

hospitalized because of severe depression and<br />

suicidal thoughts. I visited and brought him food<br />

every week. Unlike other boys who are making<br />

good progress, he needs more time to find his<br />

way and he knows that I am there for him if he<br />

ever needs my help.<br />

Juliah Rais-Morres, originally<br />

from Malaysia, is a member<br />

of Heidelberg IWC, Germany.<br />

In 2016 she founded Cooking<br />

for Hope, a small charity<br />

project for unaccompanied<br />

refugee teenagers.<br />




“Travel is Back!”<br />

Leslie Nelson, member of FAUSA,<br />

uses her time living and traveling<br />

all over the world to find the best<br />

trips for her clients today.<br />

Leslie Nelson<br />

I grew up in northeast Iowa with four siblings. I<br />

was the fourth child of the five of us. I had a fun<br />

childhood. One memory that really sticks out is<br />

that we used to see the northern lights from time<br />

to time in Iowa. I don’t know what happened and I<br />

actually had to check the memory. Was it global<br />

warming or pollution? No idea! Anyway, I<br />

associate it with playing kick the can and red light<br />

green light outside until our mothers yelled at us<br />

to come inside. I really want to experience them<br />

again, maybe a winter trip to Norway or Alaska.<br />

Who’s in?<br />

Leaving home<br />

I went to the University of Iowa, then began a<br />

gypsy life where I lived or worked in 15 states and<br />

4 countries. One year I spent 300 days away from<br />

home! It turns out the road warrior life isn’t for<br />

me. I got incredibly burned out and started to<br />

hate chain restaurants like Olive Garden and Red<br />

Lobster where I felt ok eating alone at the bar.<br />

My career in hospitality had begun working at<br />

Club Med in Florida in 1989. It still stands as the<br />

best learning opportunity in how to seriously<br />

provide hospitality. I’d never do it again (and<br />

would counsel against it for any sane person, but<br />

still. I learned a lot!)<br />

Moving back to the US<br />

With all the places I’ve lived, when it was time for<br />

me to leave southern California due to divorce, I<br />

decided I wanted to “go home.” Like so many<br />

expats, that’s a loaded statement. What does<br />

home mean? I decided that the Kansas City area<br />

was home to me. It is the only place I’ve ever<br />

moved back to. I expect to tire of it, but so far, I’m<br />

happy. I even bit the bullet and bought a condo a<br />

couple of years ago.<br />

My job<br />

Our first trip to Disney World, the first year it was open. If<br />

you want to know how old this is, this is the upper deck of a<br />

747. They let us go up to see it. How long has it been since<br />

they’d let a family do that?<br />

I have been a travel agent for 30 years. I started in<br />

corporate travel, transitioned to leisure/vacation<br />

travel over a few years, and have been selling high<br />

end luxury travel for the last several years. I work<br />

for a huge corporation that doesn’t allow me to<br />

mention them in print unless my statement goes<br />

through the legal department for approval. Ain’t<br />

nobody got time for that. So please forgive the<br />

seeming error in not mentioning who I actually<br />

work for.<br />


Budapest on an Ama Waterways Danube cruise. This is still arguably my favorite vacation ever, although Peru is a strong<br />

contender.<br />

When I started in travel you had to go to travel<br />

school. I already had a degree so I balked at that.<br />

Because of a weird confluence of circumstances<br />

(or the fates forcing me to do what I was meant to<br />

do), I ended up taking the plunge and going<br />

through the eight week program that changed my<br />

life. I have since gotten my Certified Travel<br />

Counselor designation, which you might consider<br />

a master’s degree in travel, although it is not<br />

technically that.<br />

My favorite bits of the job<br />

What I love most about selling travel, particularly<br />

the kind of travel I sell, is the process of getting to<br />

know my clients and finding the perfect vacation<br />

for them. I’ve had people call and say they’re<br />

interested in X vacation. After talking to them I<br />

might say, actually, you want Y vacation, and<br />

here’s why. When it clicks with them and they trust<br />

me, that’s a great feeling.<br />

I also like to be able to take the knowledge I’ve<br />

developed from my various travels as well as<br />

being able to tap the knowledge of my friends<br />

who are better traveled than I, and use it to<br />

impress my clients.<br />

A favorite tour<br />

I arranged an around the world trip for a couple.<br />

He already had a framework but needed me to<br />

complete the puzzle. The first problem was getting<br />

him from Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve to<br />

Singapore, then a gap, then a gorilla safari in<br />

Rwanda before flying home to Colorado. He<br />

wanted to go to the Maldives but couldn’t figure<br />

out how to make it work with the rules of an<br />

Around the World ticket. I ended up suggesting Sri<br />

Lanka. He loved the idea! Then it was just a matter<br />

of finding his hotels. His guideline was he wanted<br />

the best suite in the best hotel in town. His caveat<br />

though was best doesn’t necessarily mean most<br />

expensive. I arranged flights, hotels, transfers and<br />

tours in six countries on four continents in<br />

approximately 30 days.<br />

Scented memories<br />

My sister and me on a Christmas Markets cruise in<br />

Amsterdam. One highlight was meeting a FAWCO “sister”<br />

in the hallway of the ship in her pajamas, putting her shoes<br />

out for Krampus. You really can’t escape!<br />

I lived for a number of years in Dubai and was a<br />

member of AWA Dubai. The first time I went back<br />

to Dubai after moving back to the United States,<br />

what really triggered me was the smell of oud in<br />


the air. I remember walking into the Fairmont The<br />

Palm hotel, getting bowled over by the scent and<br />

immediately thinking “I’m home.” Oud is a scented<br />

wood that is burned like incense. It's not to<br />

everyone’s taste but I love it.<br />

Post pandemic travel<br />

Travel is BACK. I’ve been so busy I can’t see<br />

straight. Maybe surprising to people outside the<br />

travel industry, cruising is what my clients have<br />

missed the most and what is roaring back faster<br />

than anything else.<br />

The US National Parks continue to be a huge draw,<br />

and people are waiting with anticipation to feel<br />

comfortable returning to France, Italy and the rest<br />

of Europe. My clients are spending more than they<br />

ever have before. I think the idea that they could<br />

be kept from traveling again means they are doing<br />

bucket list travel and doing it up big.<br />

What would I change about my life?<br />

I’m really a believer that as long as you learn,<br />

nothing should be regretted. There have been a<br />

few times that I wish I’d moved on faster than I<br />

did. But even with a couple of TERRIBLE jobs and a<br />

marriage that really had to end in divorce, I don’t<br />

regret any of them.<br />

It was either five minutes or a lifetime ago. Who can tell!<br />

With Renuka Matthews, Mia Syed and Cynthia Zimmerman<br />

from the AWA Dubai at a party hosted by the Consul<br />

General.<br />

Memoirs<br />

I would dedicate my memoirs to my mother. She<br />

was also a travel agent, and the best professional<br />

mentor I ever had. But she was also the person<br />

who made me believe I can do absolutely<br />

whatever I want with my life. My parents always<br />

knew I was going to be their nontraditional child,<br />

and they never tried to fit me in their box.<br />



“Like Water for<br />

Chocolate”<br />

Ariadna Martinez Imbert, member<br />

of AWC Antwerp, believes cooking<br />

is an act of love.<br />

Ariadna Martinez Imbert<br />

I grew up in Ciudad Bolivar, which is in Southern<br />

Venezuela, but always with one foot in Orlando,<br />

Florida. The state where I am from borders Brazil,<br />

so you could say I am almost an Amazon child<br />

given the Orinoco River borders where my city<br />

was founded.<br />

When I was a kid, I went to several schools.<br />

However, the school that created a bigger impact<br />

was a Catholic private school called San Francisco<br />

de Asis. The teaching in this school has shaped<br />

the person I am today.<br />

Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and<br />

ecology, was born in Italy around 1181-1182. After<br />

a wild youth and a brief career as a soldier,<br />

Francis had a conversion experience that inspired<br />

him to renounce his family's wealth and devote<br />

his life to God. One of the lessons that impacted<br />

me was that we all have a past. He moved<br />

forward and allowed God to love him despite his<br />

sinful past. Each of us must learn to do the<br />

same! Another of his teachings: Like St. Francis,<br />

God will very often call us out of our comfort<br />

zones in life. It is in such situations, where we feel<br />

inept, incompetent, and afraid, that we must rely<br />

on God to do what we cannot. It is outside of our<br />

comfort zones that conversion happens!<br />

Leaving home<br />

I went to college in Orlando, Florida to study for a<br />

Bachelors in Science about Hospitality and<br />

Tourism Management. I had several student<br />

jobs in college, as well as side jobs in the food<br />

court of Florida Mall. We also went on a tour to<br />

the University of Miami. The culinary department<br />

was very insightful and nice to learn how students<br />

are graded.<br />

I learned about working in hospitality through the<br />

Cultural Institute of the Mexican Consulate where<br />

I was the assistant of the cultural director. It was a<br />

super diverse experience because we organized<br />

events for the consulate. We did activities for<br />

migrant workers all the way to the VIP agenda for<br />

the Consul of Central Florida.<br />

Also while in college I was the President of LASO<br />

(Latin American Student Organization) and there I<br />

had the great experience of attending several<br />

conferences for example the National Council of<br />

La Raza, HACU Hispanic Association for Colleges<br />

Me in my 20s.<br />


and Universities. The focus was always on<br />

leadership and skills development.<br />

Many of my friends thought I was going to end up<br />

in Washington in a caucus or in an organization<br />

working for human rights of some sort.<br />

I met my husband via the internet while I was still<br />

in Orlando finishing my studies. The last job I had<br />

in the US was the coordinator for volunteers for<br />

the People for the American Way Foundation.<br />

People For the American Way works to build a<br />

democratic society that implements the ideals of<br />

freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all.<br />

We encouraged civic participation, defend<br />

fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle<br />

systemic barriers to equitable opportunity.<br />

Moving to Belgium<br />

At that time, I met my now husband and that is<br />

why I moved to Belgium. In Belgium I worked for<br />

some 11 years for several marketing companies<br />

doing medical research, interviewing physicians. I<br />

specialized in interventional cardiology, but to be<br />

honest I have done many projects in different<br />

fields within the medical world.<br />

While I was working full time and being a mom of<br />

two kids I started making cakes, party decorations<br />

and doing some catering. I started doing it for my<br />

kids and the friends of my kids. It was not long<br />

before I switched from catering for friends to<br />

starting my own catering business. Eventually I<br />

was so busy that I decided to switch to working<br />

four days at the marketing company and three<br />

days on my own business.<br />

What is good hospitality?<br />

Hospitality is the relationship between a guest and<br />

a host, where the host receives the guest with<br />

some amount of goodwill, including the reception<br />

and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.<br />

I believe to have a good hospitality experience you<br />

have to make people feel welcome, try to fulfill<br />

their needs and be useful, friendly.<br />

Me with RESPOND colleagues<br />

Early days<br />

I think in the days when I was at home with my<br />

kids going from party to party, I started developing<br />

a passion for cooking and entertainment.<br />

However, I am thinking that being a Latina you are<br />

always surrounded by music, food and<br />

entertainment; I kind of grew up in an<br />

environment where this is important. In schools,<br />

there was always a celebration, and on special<br />

days you did not only recite a poem, but you had<br />

folkloric dances and created a special atmosphere<br />

that made each event special.<br />

Learning to cook<br />

I have attended culinary schools in Belgium,<br />

however, I do not hold a professional chef title, I<br />

am self-taught to make those special “tapas<br />

fusion”. Because of my background I do a fusion of<br />

Venezuelan cuisine, Mexican (father’s side),<br />

Dominican (mother’s side) and slowly including<br />

some Cuban, Puerto Rican, American and Dutch or<br />

Belgian twists.<br />

Where I am professionally well trained is in cake<br />

decorating. I hold a Masters Certificate PME<br />

Professional Diploma specializing in sugar paste,<br />

royal icing and sugar flower.<br />

Favorite aspects of entertaining<br />

With my family<br />

The effect on people after the hard work and<br />

seeing their faces glow from the presentation, or<br />

seeing them happy with what they eat, is what<br />


Post pandemic world?<br />

This is a difficult to know what the post pandemic<br />

world will look like. I think people are missing the<br />

social contract that they previously had taken for<br />

granted. Many people are eager to have contact<br />

with others and mingle again. However, I think we<br />

have to be mindful of the post corona stress too.<br />

After being isolated for so long, we should take<br />

baby steps to not get overwhelmed.<br />

In the AWC Antwerp we have not been getting<br />

together in person but we continue having<br />

activities online. So perhaps people should accept<br />

that some socializing will be happening online and<br />

some in person.<br />

With friends from AWC Antwerp<br />

makes it special for me. The biggest compliment I<br />

got was to compare my kitchen to Like Water for<br />

Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.<br />

The phrase "like water for chocolate" comes from<br />

the Spanish phrase “como agua para chocolate”.<br />

This is a common expression in many Spanishspeaking<br />

countries, and it means that one's<br />

emotions are on the verge of boiling over. Laura<br />

Esquivel wrote that quote in her book because she<br />

wanted to emphasize it. She explains that we’ve<br />

lost contact with the kitchen. She wanted to<br />

emphasize the strong relationship between<br />

sensuality and the love of food. Cooking is an act<br />

of love. For me cooking is an art that you master<br />

with love!<br />

Biggest challenges<br />

I also think it is important to have a healthy way of<br />

eating to keep your body in optimum shape so it<br />

might be less compromised by viruses.<br />

Changes I would make<br />

I think the only thing I really miss is the idea that I<br />

could have been working for a big Hispanic caucus<br />

in Washington fighting for the minorities’ rights.<br />

However, if I think of my kids I would not change<br />

anything. They are my greatest and most precious<br />

treasure! They are my legacy :-)<br />

Someone I would love to meet<br />

I would love to meet Kathleen de Lange, the<br />

Master Teacher of the Lambeth method of cake<br />

decorating. She is very passionate about her<br />

career and she has this calm personality, I admire<br />

her. So, working with her would be an honor.<br />

I have to say combining work, family life, kids and<br />

catering has been a big challenge. I do not have<br />

enough hours in a day to do it all.<br />

Working with other people is also very difficult.<br />

Given that I don’t have a professional qualification<br />

it can be hard when I see mistakes in the kitchen,<br />

by those professionally trained, to make them<br />

understand the correct way. Also, in contrast if<br />

you work with some apprentice it could lead to<br />

disaster. So the key is to taste what you are<br />

making and closely supervise people. Supervise<br />

everything and be extremely specific with<br />

instructions, still this will not guarantee it will be at<br />

the same level as if it is totally done by myself so<br />

that is ok. It is important to be a bit flexible too.<br />

I have had times that I worked through the night,<br />

hardly sleeping because I was making sure I did it<br />

all. Time management is an ongoing difficulty<br />

Another difficulty is finding the right ingredients. I<br />

miss the ease of finding everything I need in any<br />

shop. Sometimes there is a special ingredient I<br />

need that I can’t necessarily find in Belgium. It can<br />

be quite challenging.<br />

At a cake decorating competition in Belgium<br />



Simple Moments Make<br />

the Memories<br />

Mary Stange talks about how travel experiences can create<br />

emotional memories.<br />

When you hear hospitality, you think of an<br />

industry dominated by bars, restaurants, hotels,<br />

and theme parks. In reality, it incorporates<br />

anything, usually a service, where the guest’s<br />

experience is top priority.<br />

What you may not know is there’s a small subset<br />

of hospitality that begins before you even arrive at<br />

the airport. It begins at that first moment, that<br />

first brain spark where you decide you want to<br />

take a trip. It begins when the inspiration hits. It’s<br />

when the planning begins.<br />

Now, for some people, the most dreaded part of<br />

traveling is actually planning the trip. Where to<br />

stay, what to do, how to get there… the list goes<br />

on. Anyone who’s planned an international leisure<br />

trip knows the sheer magnitude of tasks involved,<br />

particularly if you’re headed somewhere you’re<br />

not familiar with or don’t speak the local<br />

language. How do you know you’re not getting<br />

ripped off or supporting exploitative activities?<br />

Where’s the best place to stay and who can you<br />

turn to for help?<br />

This is where a travel consultant comes in. A travel<br />

consultant is there to advise on your plans and<br />

can be as involved, or not, as you want. They<br />

become your personal travel expert and insider<br />

that can connect you with authentic, ethical<br />

experiences. A good travel consultant can work<br />

with any budget and in the end just wants your<br />

planning experience to be as easy as possible.<br />

When I’m planning a trip with a client, I really try<br />

to put myself in their shoes. I take my role very<br />

seriously because once someone entrusts me to<br />

help them with a trip, I become responsible for<br />

creating the building blocks for how this person<br />

interacts with and experiences the destination. I<br />

provide not only logistical support but emotional<br />

support as well. I need to be able to anticipate<br />

their needs and be in tune with their expectations.<br />

Many times, I make recommendations based on<br />

gut feel based on what I know of this person and<br />

what they like to do when they travel.<br />

While logistics are fun (yes, I can say that with a<br />

straight face), my favorite part of the job by far is<br />

finding ways to create emotional memories. These<br />

are those miniscule moments that are ultimately<br />

transformed into a traveler’s future feeling about<br />

the experience. Whenever I’m working with a<br />

client on a trip, whether it’s their first or fifth that<br />

I’m planning, I always ask them “what do you want<br />

to get out of this trip? How do you envision this<br />

trip? What feelings does this trip evoke?”<br />

We can all look back on the trips we’ve taken and<br />

Vietnam<br />


point to the strongest emotional memory where<br />

you can remember how you felt at a specific time<br />

or place. Maybe it was something big like spiritual<br />

stillness at Machu Picchu. Or perhaps it was a<br />

small moment over a meal with friends.<br />

Allow me to share an example. In 2016, my young<br />

family visited Ireland. We took a day trip to Inis<br />

Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands. After a fairly<br />

harrowing experience on the boat out to the<br />

island through the rough waters of Galway Bay (I<br />

should mention I get terribly seasick), we rented<br />

some bikes and got on the trails. Or what we<br />

thought were the trails. Somehow we ended up<br />

on what was most certainly not the trail. Me at<br />

five-months pregnant and my husband towing<br />

Namibia<br />

our very large 2.5-year-old instead found<br />

ourselves up a very steep incline on our way up to<br />

the top of the tallest hill of the island. My husband<br />

and I were both tired and becoming quite<br />

irritated. And then we stopped and looked<br />

Peru<br />

around. Instead of blaming the misnavigation on<br />

one another, we laughed, took a breath, and<br />

rolled with it.<br />

When we stopped at that moment, we realized we<br />

were completely alone on top of the world, except<br />

for perhaps a friendly horse. The moment was<br />

simple. You don’t get a lot of those – especially<br />

when you travel with young kids. We may have<br />

been up there for 10 minutes or less before we<br />

continued on our unplanned adventure. What I do<br />

remember is feeling completely happy to be with<br />

my family in a beautiful space and that moment<br />

remains a defining emotional memory of Ireland<br />

for me.<br />

Emotional memories are often spontaneous so<br />

I’m not trying to create one singular pre-defined<br />

moment. Furthermore, they’re different for every<br />

traveler even when on the same itinerary. I can’t<br />

Tanzania<br />


2. Don’t be afraid to make requests. Your travel<br />

consultant will do everything they can to<br />

make the trip exactly how you want it.<br />

3. Make sure you’re comfortable with this<br />

person. Traveling is usually a large<br />

investment and you want to make sure<br />

you’re working with someone you trust.<br />

Planning unique, authentic cultural experiences is<br />

my passion. I love putting together itineraries for<br />

clients because I know they get so much out of the<br />

trips they take. We travel to have unforgettable,<br />

transformative experiences - to see, smell, and<br />

taste new things. Your travel consultant can help<br />

you get there.<br />

Galapagos, Ecuador<br />

ever predict what it will be, but the joy in my job<br />

comes from the challenge of creating<br />

opportunities for those moments to happen and<br />

pairing what I know of my client to experiences<br />

that will resonate with them.<br />

Here are a few tips if you’re considering working<br />

with a travel consultant for your next big trip:<br />

1. Be as clear as you can about your<br />

expectations. Open and honest<br />

communication is what will make your<br />

relationship, and ultimately your trip, a<br />

success.<br />

Mary is the Owner and Operations Director of Ponte<br />

Travels, a boutique travel company serving worldwide<br />

destinations. Her philosophy surrounding travel is<br />

deeply rooted in respect for the earth and that in<br />

order to be true global citizens we must take care of<br />

the world around us.<br />

With every trip taken,<br />

Ponte Travels makes a<br />

donation to help local<br />

communities and wildlife<br />

as well as offsetting<br />

carbon emissions.<br />

She is a member of the<br />

American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club<br />

of Bogotá and currently<br />

lives in Nicosia, Cyprus.<br />

Support FAWCO’s Talented and<br />

Published Authors! Buy A Book!<br />

If you are looking for an interesting read for your book<br />

club, to share with your kids, to give as a gift or to<br />

yourself, go to the FAWCO website and visit two very special pages:<br />

* Books by Members * Books by Clubs<br />

Choose from 36 titles, while browsing from the comfort of your computer. Links are provided that will<br />

direct you to each book’s online purchase site. All are available for download; some titles can also be<br />

purchased in hardback. Fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks, photo books and more. The proceeds of some<br />

of the books support charitable projects.<br />

Here are our three latest additions:<br />

• Just Happiness and Fun - Poems for Children A Collection of Poems written and illustrated by<br />

the Members of AWA Vienna. All the proceeds will go to a local Vienna charity, Die Möwe, a<br />

children’s protection organization.<br />

• Hope is the Thing with Feathers: Portraits of Human Trafficking Survivors and Change-Makers<br />

Photographs by My-Linh Kunst, AWC Berlin, Essay by Robin Meloy Goldsby, AIWC Cologne, and<br />

Mary Adams, AWC The Hague. Your $20 donation will support the Breaking the Cycle FAWCO<br />

Foundation Human Rights Development Grant, sponsored in part by AW Eastern Province.<br />

• The Drinnglennin Chronicles by K.C. Julius, AIWC Düsseldorf. The Drinnglennin Chronicles,<br />

her best-selling epic fantasy series, is available in paperback, hardcover, and digital editions in all<br />

Amazon stores.<br />

If you are a FAWCO member (or FAWCO club) with a published book that you would like<br />

included on the FAWCO website, contact advertising@fawco.org<br />



The Enjoyment of<br />

Entertaining<br />

Large Groups<br />

Susie Lentz, member of Munich<br />

IWC, reflects on her life<br />

experiences, cookery and pottery.<br />

Susie Lentz<br />

I am Susie Lentz, and I have been a member of<br />

the Munich International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club, the<br />

MIWC, for 24 years. I was born and grew up in<br />

Peoria, Illinois, USA, and I now live in Zorneding,<br />

Germany, about 20 km east of Munich.<br />

My childhood was marked by my father’s death<br />

from cancer when I was eight years old. That has<br />

a big impact on a child. Saying that, I was always a<br />

happy, out-going child, always wanting to please.<br />

I met my husband, Brad, a month after high<br />

school. It was love at first sight (yes, I believe in<br />

that!), and we were married 11 months later.<br />

Remember, decades ago, people got married<br />

younger than today. Brad and I have been<br />

married for 58 years. OK, have you added that up<br />

yet to find out I am 76 years old? Luckily I certainly<br />

don’t feel my age!<br />

My education has been in life experiences. I<br />

started working as a secretary, typing on the nowantique<br />

style of typewriters, and before<br />

computers were common. I worked as a secretary<br />

at Harvard Business School, and did extra typing<br />

of Harvard student papers in the evenings and on<br />

weekends, while Brad got his PhD in History from<br />

Harvard University. We had two children within 16<br />

months, so while our young kids were running<br />

under my feet, I typed his dissertation twice, all<br />

550 pages of it with carbon copies.<br />

We lived in university environments for seven<br />

years, and that was where I started to learn about<br />

hospitality and entertaining. In fact, I really didn’t<br />

know how to cook when we got married. I did not<br />

grow up entertaining others, so I started to<br />

observe and experience others who did know<br />

how to entertain. Entertaining in the 60s and 70s<br />

involved dinner parties usually of eight people.<br />

That started me out nicely with entertaining<br />

smaller groups.<br />

Me with my Dad<br />

After the first nine years of marriage, Brad<br />

decided to change careers from professor to<br />

working in business at Texas Instruments in IT. It<br />

was 1972, and computers weren’t common in<br />

homes yet. Brad started without training as a<br />

systems analyst. Then in 1976, our expat living<br />

experience began, and we moved to Italy a bit<br />


north of Naples for a year with our son, nine years<br />

old, and our daughter, eight years old. We initially<br />

thought we would be in Europe for one or two<br />

years. But here we still are 43 years later, having<br />

spent eight years in the Netherlands, 10 years in<br />

France just over the border from Geneva,<br />

Switzerland, and now 24 years in the Munich area.<br />

We have loved every country for different reasons<br />

with their customs and ways. Languages have<br />

certainly been a challenge for me.<br />

My passions in my life are making pottery for 40<br />

years, playing tennis, and cooking and<br />

entertaining. I have not trained in the hospitality<br />

area. However, I have collected cookbooks and<br />

recipes along the way.<br />

My entertaining of larger groups started in the<br />

Netherlands. We would invite Brad’s management<br />

team and wives for dinner, perhaps 20 or 25<br />

people. Then when we lived in France, our house<br />

had a large enclosed veranda where we could seat<br />

30 people. I would invite my women’s club for<br />

lunch at the beginning of summer, and Brad<br />

would invite international business associates for<br />

dinner with perhaps 25 people.<br />

Here in the Munich area, we bought an older<br />

Bavarian house built in 1903. It has more rooms<br />

but is certainly not open plan. We needed a house<br />

that had space for a pottery studio and a photo<br />

darkroom for Brad. We made a space upstairs into<br />

a party space that can seat 22 people comfortably,<br />

and often more people squeeze in there.<br />

Downstairs our dining room can seat 14 to 16<br />

people. Over the years, we have slowly added<br />

more dishes, wine glasses, and cutlery so we can<br />

easily entertain 50 people.<br />

I mentioned earlier that pottery has been a large<br />

part of my life, and it ties in here. The dishes,<br />

bowls, serving bowls, etc., are all ones that I have<br />

Upstairs set up for Thanksgiving<br />

made. I make functional/utilitarian stoneware<br />

pottery, and people coming to dinner at a potter’s<br />

house expect handmade plates, bowls, and mugs.<br />

I started out by taking pottery hobby lessons, and<br />

in Holland, I fell into a fantastic situation that I had<br />

never imagined. I met a Dutch professional potter<br />

whose pottery I loved. Guul Jacobs is definitely my<br />

mentor and dear friend. He took a chance on me,<br />

and I learned so much about pottery, form,<br />

design, and decoration working in his studio. He is<br />

a production potter, making multiples of each<br />

form when he works, like 200 mugs in a morning. I<br />

often work in a series, but I am much slower.<br />

When the MIWC celebrated 25 years in 2015, I<br />

made and decorated 150 mugs, one for each<br />

Mugs for the MIWC 25th Anniversary<br />


place-setting at our celebration lunch for the<br />

women to take home.<br />

I don’t remember when I started offering to the<br />

MIWC a Thanksgiving Dinner American style, but it<br />

has been perhaps 18 years ago or so. This is open<br />

to Club members and their mates/companions,<br />

and we usually have around 30 to 35 people. One<br />

year we had 45 people. I found it difficult to turn<br />

people away but have eventually tried to stick to<br />

between 30 and 35 people. This is a sit-down<br />

dinner with tablecloths and cloth napkins.<br />

I cook two organic turkeys, the dressing, gravy,<br />

cranberry sauce, and perhaps the mashed<br />

potatoes. This is more traditional American. Then<br />

it becomes international and more fun, as people<br />

each bring a dish to add to the table. This ends up<br />

a noisy and fun evening with people clogging the<br />

hallway or having conversations all over the<br />

house. Thank goodness, a big advantage this<br />

house has is two kitchens, one upstairs and one<br />

downstairs. That means two dishwashers to help<br />

with the clean up. The many rooms and long<br />

hallway from front to back where people get<br />

clogged are actually an advantage, as people stop<br />

and talk to others. I serve buffet style, so that<br />

people can easily move around and connect with<br />

more people.<br />

We have an auction in the MIWC every two years<br />

of offers from club members, including walks,<br />

dinners, concerts, a photo portrait, etc., to benefit<br />

our charities, including the Frauenhaus/<strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Shelter. Since we couldn’t organize our offerings in<br />

this COVID-19 time, I have my three offerings still<br />

to do. I have a BBQ for summer, an offering with a<br />

friend for a piano concert at her house around the<br />

corner with dinner here at our home for 14<br />

people, and the Thanksgiving dinner. I started to<br />

offer the dinner at the auction perhaps four years<br />

ago, realizing how many people enjoy this dinner<br />

and ask for it, and it has made nice money for the<br />

charities. I think in the post-pandemic world,<br />

people are just waiting and craving social activities<br />

A gingerbread village<br />

and getting back to “normal.” I certainly am when<br />

we can all do it safely.<br />

I also became connected to the Frauenhaus<br />

through the club. I started perhaps around 2005<br />

organizing a gingerbread house building and<br />

decorating workshop here. I promise the women<br />

volunteers a lunch break, offering two different<br />

soups and a salad. The five sets of the houses are<br />

mixed and baked the day before. <strong>Women</strong> without<br />

any experience have great fun learning to build a<br />

house, and decorating it inside and out with a<br />

variety of candies, using an icing bag to stick<br />

pieces together. I give them ideas on making sofas<br />

and chairs for inside, rugs on the floor, a table and<br />

benches, an ice pond outside for the gummy<br />

bears to skate, fences, etc.<br />

The giggles as they work are great! After all, aren’t<br />

we all just big kids loving to play? The Frauenhaus<br />

loves getting these, and they are hidden to<br />

surprise the different age groups with a house<br />

during December. Yes, I think they enjoy looking<br />

inside the houses and then demolishing them. The<br />

residents at the Frauenhaus also enjoy seeing<br />

these. Giving joy and pleasure to people is so<br />

rewarding! This event has basically become an<br />

annual tradition.<br />

To perhaps sum up my story, I do what I enjoy<br />

doing, whether in the pottery, the kitchen, the<br />

garden, or entertaining. Oh, perhaps I would like<br />

to be taller, and I hate shrinking now (people<br />

already short shouldn’t have to shrink, too!), but I<br />

wouldn’t change anything in my life. I have really<br />

enjoyed the adventurous life I have had, and I<br />

learned and grew with each experience. How lucky<br />

we are! We have room in our home to welcome<br />

and entertain larger groups, and I am just crazy<br />

enough to do it and enjoy it all.<br />

Susie with her husband Brad<br />




“You’re Only<br />

Limited by Your<br />

Imagination”<br />

Charlotte DeWitt, member of<br />

FAUSA, started as an educator but<br />

went on to have a long career in<br />

event organizing.<br />

I grew up south of Boston in the beautiful village<br />

of North Easton, the only girl in a neighborhood of<br />

22 boys. My father encouraged me to be all I<br />

could be, regardless of being a girl, arranging for<br />

me to play baseball on a local minor league<br />

team—the only girl in the town to do so—and<br />

supplying me with as much lumber as I wanted<br />

from the family lumberyard to build my own tree<br />

house in the woods next door to our house.<br />

In high school, I was captain of the girls’ field<br />

hockey and basketball teams, which were league<br />

champions. Being part of a winning team<br />

influenced me my whole life: you are only as good<br />

as your team.<br />

Leaving home<br />

I graduated from Drake University in Des Moines,<br />

Iowa, earning a BA in 1968 with a double major in<br />

English and French. After graduation I taught<br />

school in the Midwest for five years, returning to<br />

Charlotte DeWitt<br />

Massachusetts’ beautiful North Shore in 1973. I<br />

applied as a teacher in a school for drugdependent<br />

teens… but had no experience with<br />

drugs, so I enrolled in hotline training at Project<br />

RAP, a nearby social service agency.<br />

Becoming an entrepreneur<br />

I evolved from an educator to an entrepreneur,<br />

helping the agency start a new program called<br />

Child in Crisis, providing temporary homes and<br />

counseling for abused, runaway teenagers. I<br />

learned grant writing, fundraising, budgeting,<br />

public relations, and project management—skills<br />

that I have used ever since. Child in Crisis became<br />

a national model, and… I was suddenly salaried!<br />

After Child in Crisis, I moved to Newburyport,<br />

Massachusetts, a haven for artists, performers,<br />

musicians, and actors, writing grants that founded<br />

a professional theatre company, the<br />

Communications Theatre Group. My first grant<br />

salaried 22 full-time people and included<br />

childcare workers for the actors’ children… BUT…<br />

we had no theatre. So of course, I wrote another<br />

grant funding a feasibility study to convert<br />

Newburyport’s historic waterfront fire station into<br />

a self-sustaining performing arts center.<br />

At the conclusion of the study, however, the city<br />

would not release the building. Frustrated, I took<br />

the whole concept outside, behind the fire station<br />

on the newly finished waterfront boardwalk to<br />

show the city the possibilities. The Newburyport<br />

Waterfront Festival débuted in 1979 and was a<br />

great success.<br />

Festivals<br />

Planting tulips with my granddaughter Annie in 2006<br />

By 1981, I had decided to expand the concept to<br />

other seaports. The result: my first company,<br />

Waterfront Festivals, Ltd., which specialized in<br />

waterfront marketing and tourism development<br />

through festivals.<br />


It took Newburyport another 18 years to create<br />

the Firehouse Arts Center. By that time, I had<br />

become a CFEE (Certified Festivals and Events<br />

Executive) and in 1992, Chairman of the<br />

International Festivals and Events Association,<br />

founding its European branch and moving to<br />

Stockholm, Sweden, as its President/CEO in 1994. I<br />

lived in Stockholm the next 10 ½ years.<br />

The Millennium<br />

The Millennium was coming! I left IFEA Europe in<br />

1997 to start a new company, International Events,<br />

Ltd., producing “TOWARDS 2000: Behind the<br />

Scenes of the Future,” an international Millennium<br />

summit meeting in Greenwich, England, in 1998. I<br />

subsequently produced the finale of Singapore’s<br />

Millennium Chinese New Year celebration,<br />

Chingay, working in collaboration with Dr. Annie<br />

Sidro from Carnaval de Nice (France) and utilizing<br />

artists and performers from fourteen countries<br />

alongside Singapore’s own native Chinese, Malay,<br />

and Indian populations. Live street audience:<br />

250,000 people; live TV broadcast: one million<br />

viewers; re-broadcasts over the next two years: 33<br />

million. A lot of people!<br />

Our team returned the following year to produce<br />

another finale in Singapore, and in 2006, the<br />

grand opening parade of the Kuala Lumpur<br />

(Malaysia) International Buskers’ Festival. Both<br />

were broadcast live. The cultural dynamics were<br />

huge, as each celebration featured international<br />

performing artists from as many as 14 countries<br />

working in an Asian setting—particularly in<br />

Malaysia, which is predominantly Muslim.<br />

Today, I have produced over 150 festivals and<br />

international events, working in some 30 countries<br />

in 40 years. For many of those early years, my son<br />

Chris Hansen, now 54, worked with me,<br />

graduating from selling popcorn at age 10 to<br />

eventually running the entire summer series of<br />

Waterfront Festivals when I moved to live in<br />

Sweden in 1994.<br />

What is “good hospitality”?<br />

Good hospitality for festivals and events involves<br />

welcoming people, whether performers or<br />

audience members/guests, offering interesting,<br />

stimulating experiences, and being efficient, wellorganized,<br />

and safe. It’s the same no matter what<br />

the size of the event.<br />

In the case of Singapore’s Millennium Chinese<br />

New Year’s celebration, communication was<br />

challenging. We had performers from 14 countries<br />

speaking numerous languages (but not Chinese<br />

and very little English) who all needed to feel at<br />

one with their fellow performers, while<br />

simultaneously engaging a Chinese-speaking<br />

audience in the celebration of the century.<br />

A core part of our celebrations is to teach local<br />

people new skills, such as float-building, costumemaking,<br />

specialized dance routines, and giant<br />

puppet-making. The visiting celebration artists had<br />

to feel welcome, so we would often arrange<br />

outings where they got to know the local people<br />

and customs, as well as each other. Finding food<br />

they would enjoy was sometimes difficult, and the<br />

dress codes for women often required long<br />

sleeves and head coverings. But we were all<br />

Dancing inflatable elephants<br />


committed to creating the best, most spectacular<br />

event ever.<br />

Learning my trade<br />

There was very little in the way of education for<br />

festival professionals when I started Waterfront<br />

Festivals in 1979, but I already had excellent<br />

training in grant writing, fundraising, corporate<br />

sponsorship, and by necessity, profit centers. I<br />

learned a lot about arts promotion from Brenda<br />

Ahlstrom, a seasoned promoter of for-profit arts<br />

and crafts shows in Boston and part of our CTG<br />

team. As each door opened, so to speak, I<br />

entered…<br />

IFEA<br />

My biggest learning curve came when I joined the<br />

International Festivals and Events Association in<br />

1985 and was elected to its Board of Directors in<br />

1987 as the representative of their commercial<br />

members. Waterfront Festivals was an unusual<br />

hybrid—a for-profit festivals company at a time<br />

when most North American festivals were nonprofit<br />

organizations. I became a CFEE (Certified<br />

Festivals and Events Executive) through IFEA ‘s<br />

program with Purdue University.<br />

In 1988, I initiated an IFEA by-laws change for one<br />

class of membership and the same year, started<br />

the first-ever IFEA trade show/Expo (another profit<br />

center for them). I also started a corporate<br />

sponsorship consultancy with Dan Mangeot, CEO<br />

of the Kentucky Derby Festival, and Bruce Skinner,<br />

past CEO of the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona—<br />

two of the industry’s most prominent and<br />

successful experts in corporate sponsorship.<br />

Corporate sponsorship was the biggest gamechanger<br />

in the world of festivals and events, and<br />

something Europeans had little knowledge of.<br />

By 1991-92 I was elected Chairman of the Board<br />

and frequently visited European festivals on<br />

behalf of the organization. I learned enormously<br />

from these visits, as IFEA only had five<br />

international members. European festivals were<br />

Gimje Horizon Festival, South Korea: wedding ceremony<br />

(and guest speaker)<br />

different! In 1992, with my Board’s approval, I<br />

proposed founding IFEA Europe, and it was<br />

ratified at our annual conference in Rotterdam.<br />

We had 65 charter members, which I increased to<br />

135 members in 21 countries by 1997. The<br />

Stockholm Water Festival offered an office, and I<br />

moved to Sweden in 1994 as the President/CEO of<br />

this new organization, spending the next 10 ½<br />

years there—a good match for both of us, given<br />

our love of waterfront celebration.<br />

The Waterfront Center<br />

In the ‘80s I also joined The Waterfront Center in<br />

Washington, DC, one of the only festival producers<br />

in an organization of urban waterfront planners.<br />

Again, I learned enormously through their<br />

conferences and speakers, becoming a member of<br />

their advisory board. In 1985, I participated in a<br />

charrette organized by the Center for the Thames<br />

Water Authority in London, which resulted in my<br />

first international consultancy. Celebration artist<br />

Marilyn Wood, a Waterfront Center conference<br />

speaker, had a profound influence on my<br />

evolution into the potential scale of a city<br />

celebration using skyscrapers, bridges, and boats.<br />

If it moved, it could be choreographed.<br />

Both IFEA and the Waterfront Center offered site<br />

visits and interaction with two things very dear to<br />

me: festivals and waterfronts, and people were<br />

very generous in sharing information. Because<br />

these site visits were both national and<br />

international, I experienced hospitality on a very<br />

first-hand basis—something that helped me in<br />

creating welcoming, friendly, interesting festivals<br />

of my own.<br />

Professional event production requires<br />

professional skills. Today International Events, Ltd.<br />

is an internationally recognized conference<br />

producer for festival and events producers,<br />

managers, and directors. Our signature “Behind<br />

the Scenes” industry conferences give experiential<br />

learning opportunities at some of the world’s most<br />

successful festivals.<br />

In Léon, Mexico for the Congreso Especializado Para Ferias<br />

Populares y Festivales<br />

My philosophy: if you can envision it, you can<br />

make it come true. You’re really only limited by<br />

your imagination.<br />


Dinosaur float with girl in hand: Singapore Millennium<br />

What challenges do you have to overcome?<br />

Since our waterfront and international festivals<br />

are primarily outdoors, their challenges are often<br />

unique:<br />

•Extreme weather—monsoons, high winds,<br />

scorching sun<br />

•Permitting and politics<br />

•Loss of the festival venue, especially on city land<br />

•Fire—for example, in the float barn after the<br />

dress rehearsal the night before the production of<br />

Singapore’s Millennium finale<br />

•Cultural differences—e.g. Christians working in a<br />

Muslim country; Europeans & Americans working<br />

with Asians; attitudes towards women working in<br />

a male-dominated field.<br />

•Emergency planning for safety of VIPs,<br />

government leaders (HM Queen Silvia of Sweden;<br />

President Nathan of Singapore; Ambassador<br />

Heimbold of Sweden, etc.), as well as for huge live<br />

street audiences (over 250,000 people).<br />

•Provision for handicapped participants/guests<br />

•Multilingual staffing to make both guests and<br />

performers feel welcome and cared for.<br />

Attendance and artists at European events are<br />

hampered by stringent travel restrictions for entry<br />

into a country—particularly against Americans,<br />

possibly in retaliation for America’s restrictions on<br />

admitting people from overseas. American<br />

festivals have devised creative ways of moving<br />

forward with masks and safe seating areas, mostly<br />

outdoors; COVID-19 screening areas and the use<br />

of vaccination “passports”; and innovative<br />

programming, such as the Kentucky Derby<br />

Festival’s reverse parade, where residents<br />

decorate their houses festively and the audience<br />

drives by the stationary parade in their cars. One<br />

of the most exciting and innovative celebration<br />

concepts is the nighttime Light Festival, often in<br />

waterfront cities such as Amsterdam, with access<br />

timed and audience flow along an official route<br />

monitored. The audio is offered via scanning bar<br />

codes at listening stations along the pedestrian<br />

route, usually with people using their cell phones.<br />

Hospitality in my daily life?<br />

I have always donated my professional skills to<br />

various projects benefiting the community—<br />

starting and funding two food cooperatives to<br />

help low-income people get fresh food; organizing<br />

events such as wine tastings, luncheons, walking<br />

tours, and, these days, guest speaker<br />

presentations via Zoom for different non-profit<br />

groups, including the Neighborhood Association of<br />

the Back Bay (Boston), and the 40 th anniversary<br />

celebration of the Waterfront Center; and helping<br />

a group of deaf-blind writers publish their book.<br />

Within FAWCO I initiated AWC Sweden’s re-joining<br />

FAWCO after a very long absence, then served as<br />

their FAWCO Rep 2001-2003. I was the 2003<br />

FAWCO Biennial Conference Chair, Stockholm,<br />

with HM Queen Silvia guest of honor, and became<br />

1 st VP FAWCO 2003-2005. I’ve also been active in<br />

FAUSA. I was the 2020 FAUSA Conference co-chair<br />

with Nancy Thornley, postponed due to COVID-19<br />

and FAUSA New England Regional Rep until 2019.<br />

Hospitality disasters<br />

It would be a toss-up between the tent supplier<br />

who went into an epileptic convulsion out in the<br />

middle of the deserted six-acre festival site, or the<br />

classic catastrophe of heavy rain and gale-force<br />

winds coming in the night before our Labor Day<br />

weekend festival was due to open, snapping the<br />

heavy centerpoles and ripping the tents to<br />

shreds… And then there was the man who, for<br />

some reason or other, had had enough of crowds<br />

and after kicking out, karate-style, at all the people<br />

in his immediate vicinity, decided to take off all his<br />

clothes in the middle of the show grounds.<br />

Post pandemic hospitality<br />

Festivals and events are cautiously beginning to<br />

revive after a 2-3-year pandemic hiatus.<br />



A Club Inspires:<br />

AWA Kenya<br />

Fannie Kagonge, club<br />

Chairwoman and FAWCO Rep<br />

from Chicago, introduces her club<br />

to us. AWA Kenya is one of five<br />

clubs in FAWCO’s Region 7.<br />

When and why was your club started, and by<br />

whom? AWA of Kenya (AWAK) was started in 1958<br />

by a group of women whose spouses worked for<br />

US firms and/or the US Embassy as well as<br />

Americans and other nationals living in<br />

Kenya. Their main objective was to establish a<br />

non-political association of women to promote<br />

community services within Kenya and to foster<br />

social and cultural activities within the association<br />

and the community at large.<br />

How many members do you have, and what<br />

are their nationalities? We have 63 members,<br />

mainly made up of expats from various cultures<br />

and nationalities. Some have spouses that work<br />

here, others are married to Kenyans and have<br />

settled here from other countries, some are<br />

Kenyans with dual citizenship and a small<br />

percentage are Kenyans. We’re a sisterhood of<br />

women from around the world, who come<br />

together to promote community services and<br />

development in and around Nairobi, as well as<br />

provide social and cultural activities for our multinational<br />

members. We’re pleased to be able to<br />

contribute to the development of Kenya through<br />

the empowerment of women.<br />

How does the club run? AWAK has several<br />

committees to help reach our goals of assisting<br />

women’s groups and self-help programs. Our<br />

community services committee seeks out suitable<br />

projects that need our monetary support. The<br />

volunteer services committee is made up of<br />

individuals who wish to get personally involved<br />

and devote their time on a one-on-one basis.<br />

Some of us donate our talents, expertise, or<br />

simply a willingness to help.<br />

We offer a variety of activities, from culturally<br />

enriching lectures and presentations at our<br />

general meetings to socializing at our coffee<br />

mornings. We do group outings, “Out & About,” to<br />

all kinds of destinations around Nairobi. AWAK<br />

puts the FUN in fundraising! Funds are raised from<br />

these activities and other funds come from<br />

membership fees, and special events, such as our<br />

“Special Holiday” lunches.<br />

AWAK Board members<br />


It is recommended that all elected officers and<br />

Committee Chairwomen have an assistant or Co-<br />

Chairwoman to help. Lastly, we have an advisory<br />

board, appointed by the executive committee and<br />

made up of former executive committee members<br />

with long-time experience or membership of<br />

AWAK. They serve as an un-official council to the<br />

Board and may be called upon for club history,<br />

financial advice, legal advice or any other advice<br />

appropriate and/or necessary.<br />

African heritage house<br />

We have no offices and, with no paid employees,<br />

virtually no overhead. Our fundraising efforts truly<br />

benefit the projects we support. We focus on<br />

women, self-help groups and the elderly. Prior to<br />

assistance, projects, and charities are carefully<br />

assessed. To assist these groups in becoming selfsustaining,<br />

sometimes only guidance is needed<br />

from our members. If a monetary donation is<br />

appropriate, funds are NOT paid directly, so that<br />

we can ensure the greatest possible benefit is<br />

received by them all.<br />

In regards to elected Board members,<br />

constitutionally, two months prior to our annual<br />

general meeting, our executive committee<br />

appoints a five-member nominating<br />

committee. The committee announces their<br />

proposed candidates for office bearers at our<br />

general meeting one month before the annual<br />

general meeting (AGM), and at this time, there<br />

may also be nominations from the floor. Members<br />

will later vote by secret ballot on the final slate of<br />

candidates at the AGM for office bearers. In<br />

addition, the appointment of our honorary<br />

external auditors is confirmed.<br />

The majority of office bearers are US citizens,<br />

including the Chairwoman and First Vice-<br />

Chairwoman. All office bearers hold office for one<br />

year and are eligible for reelection.<br />

What kind of events do you have in your club?<br />

AWAK offers a variety of monthly activities held on<br />

Tuesdays. Socializing at coffee mornings, held at<br />

member’s homes, take place on the 1 st Tuesday of<br />

the month, board meetings on the 2 nd Tuesday,<br />

general meetings 3 rd Tuesday with culturally<br />

enriching lectures and presentations and our “Out<br />

& About,” group outings to all kinds of<br />

destinations around Nairobi, followed by an<br />

optional lunch that takes place on the 4 th Tuesday<br />

of the month.<br />

AWAK Chairwomen helping at a self-help group<br />

We also have regular fundraising events for<br />

holidays and celebratory activities (i.e., Mardi Gras,<br />

Welcome Back Lunch, Diwali, Christmas, and other<br />

cultural festivities), as well as periodic fun events<br />

including hiking, bowling, virtual shopping, bake<br />

sales and visits to projects that AWAK funds. Most<br />

of our activities are organized by sub-committees<br />

chaired by various members of our Board.<br />

During this COVID-19 pandemic, from April to<br />

September 2020, we literally sheltered at home,<br />

held virtual meetings and communicated with<br />

members via our newsletter. We were, however,<br />

able to continue providing funding for our five<br />

feeding programs and special projects through inkind<br />

assistance from donors and on-going<br />

donations from members.<br />

PPE supplied to the health care workers at an HIV center<br />

Towards the end of March and through December<br />

2020, lots of exciting things happened. Members<br />

were making more contributions, and generous<br />

donations were being made on behalf of AWAK to<br />

projects we support. Thanks to a generous<br />

donation of fabric, we had face masks made for all<br />


grateful for having an opportunity to showcase<br />

their wares. We are proud to note that we have<br />

also been virtually hosting Beginners’ Yoga<br />

classes, conducted by one of our members who is<br />

a professional yoga instructor. Once a week a<br />

class is held for our members and their guest. We<br />

intend to plan more virtual and/or Face2Face<br />

activities as appropriate and in compliance with<br />

government guidelines and directives during this<br />

pandemic crisis.<br />

Photos from our Mardi Gras celebrations in 2020<br />

of the project staff, the elderly and orphaned<br />

children in our programs. We also received funds<br />

from members to provide personal protection<br />

equipment (PPE) to the health care workers at an<br />

HIV Health Centre, which included surgical masks,<br />

full-body coveralls, head caps, shoe covers, gowns,<br />

and face shields. Weekly food parcels were<br />

donated to a baby home along with some<br />

accessories. Easter eggs, treats, warm blankets<br />

and children clothing were donated to a children’s<br />

home for orphans, two refrigerators were<br />

provided to a self-help women’s center for their<br />

catering class, and art supplies were given to a<br />

school for children with special needs.<br />

Recently, we have been holding our monthly<br />

Tuesday events, Face2Face with a reduced<br />

number of participants in open-air venues,<br />

wearing masks and observing social distancing:<br />

however, our board meetings mostly take place<br />

virtually. We held our first virtual general meeting<br />

with an impressive floral arrangement demo and<br />

our first virtual shopping event, “Sip and Shop”.<br />

Eight aspiring vendors participated and they were<br />

Tell us a little about your city and country in<br />

general Kenya was a former British colony that<br />

got independence in 1963 from British rule.<br />

Swahili and English are the official languages, and<br />

numerous indigenous languages are spoken.<br />

Kenya’s population is approximately 50 million<br />

and Nairobi is the capital. Neighboring countries<br />

are Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and<br />

Uganda. Kenya’s southeast coastline borders the<br />

warm Indian Ocean, with the equator dividing the<br />

country in half.<br />

Nairobi’s population of five million supports a<br />

variety of fascinating cultures, religions, and<br />

cuisines. Its surroundings are endowed with a<br />

diversity of landscapes, animals, birds, and plant<br />

life. Not too far out of town is Nairobi’s National<br />

Park, the only protected area in the world with a<br />

variety of wildlife near a capital city. The park has<br />

buffalos, giraffes, lions, leopards, baboons, zebras,<br />

wildebeests, and cheetahs … 100 mammal species<br />

and 400 migratory, and endemic bird species.<br />

Kenya is the kind of place that grows on you. It<br />

takes some time to get used to the culture, social<br />

society and the way things work but eventually<br />

you make adjustments and accept it as is.<br />

Kenyans are famous for many things; athletes that<br />

rule Olympic and marathon tracks, rain and traffic<br />

that are almost synonymous, traffic rules being<br />

mere suggestions, being a place where aloofness<br />

reigns particularly concerning the government,<br />

and last but not least, Kenya is the land of<br />

promises that do not really have to be<br />

kept. Despite all these, there are some habits that<br />

inspire some sense of belonging. Kenya is a<br />

magical place, full of exciting experiences and<br />

there are many on offer.<br />

What are a few undiscovered gems in your city<br />

and/or country?<br />

KARURA FOREST is an urban upland forest on the<br />

outskirts of Nairobi. This remarkable geographical<br />

location and natural resource is one of the largest<br />

gazette forests in the world entirely within a city<br />

limit. The forest offers eco-friendly opportunities<br />

for visitors to enjoy the pristine flora and fauna of<br />

all descriptions and trails, bike paths, waterfalls,<br />

caves and a place to simply sit quietly and<br />

experience the serenity of nature in its diversity.<br />

Giraffe and the Nairobi skyline<br />

OLOLO SAFARI LODGE is a small paradise located<br />

on the edge of Nairobi National Park. The villa<br />

provides tranquility and a distinctive feel<br />


The Great Migration, millions of Wildebeests cross the river<br />

compared to none other. Superb meals, a pool,<br />

and breathtaking views of the national park can<br />

be enjoyed at Ololo. It’s the perfect mix of wildlife<br />

and adventure in a home setting.<br />

THE GREAT MIGRATION One of the world’s<br />

greatest natural spectacles takes place in Kenya<br />

between July and October and the Maasai Mara,<br />

home to a truly breathtaking array of wildlife, is<br />

the setting of the great migration. The massive<br />

herds of wildebeest, whose numbers are<br />

estimated to be in the millions, will embark on<br />

their annual migration crossing of the crocodileinfested<br />

Mara River and are best enjoyed from the<br />

air, in a light aircraft or hot-air balloon.<br />

KAZURI BEADS FACTORY is located in Karen,<br />

Nairobi. This large factory is known for its fine<br />

ceramic beads made by hand. The beads are used<br />

to make beautiful world-class jewelry and the<br />

factory provides employment to over 300 single<br />

mothers in Kenya.<br />

Kenyan events are not RSVP’d in most cases –<br />

RSVP is a very recent and acquired habit by the<br />

middle class. Birthdays, graduations, weddings,<br />

and funerals are social gatherings. The more, the<br />

merrier. Food is prepared in plentiful amounts.<br />

The celebration usually continues in a nearby<br />

drinking den or a party house ‘til the break of<br />

dawn. Partying is so much part of Kenyan society<br />

that there are ethnic “traditional nights” held<br />

annually in celebration of their culture – with food,<br />

drinks, and songs, and dancing.<br />

Kenyans tend to dress in a conservatively,<br />

emphasizing appearing smart and well-dressed as<br />

a matter of pride. To look sloppy or wear revealing<br />

or damaged clothes would mean that a foreigner<br />

would instantly lose a degree of respect amongst<br />

most Kenyans.<br />

Any unusual/interesting traits of the locals?<br />

The Maasai, an ethnic group of semi-nomadic<br />

people who inhabit in southern Kenya, drink cows<br />

blood on special occasions – circumcision of a<br />

child, the birth of a baby and a girl’s marriage. It<br />

also is given to drunken elders to alleviate<br />

intoxication and hangover!<br />

Kenyans are group-orientated rather than<br />

individualistic. Harambee (coming from the Bantu<br />

word meaning “to pull together”) defines the<br />

people’s approach to others in life. The concept is<br />

essentially about various factors: mutual<br />

assistance, mutual effort, mutual responsibility,<br />

and community self-reliance.<br />

With every social event, a goat has to be<br />

slaughtered and served as nyama choma<br />

(barbeque) – whether it is a house warming party,<br />

a baby shower, or celebrating a business deal. In<br />

the western region of the country, this is<br />

substituted with a cow.<br />

Maasai ladies<br />



Talking Turkey –<br />

à la Française<br />

Véronique Bawol, member of<br />

AWG Paris, tells us about her life<br />

and the trials of hosting<br />

Thanksgiving in France.<br />

Véronique Dagneau Bawol<br />

I grew up in a small village in the countryside of<br />

France, near Fontainebleau, in Seine et Marne<br />

called Chailly en Bière, an hour southeast of Paris.<br />

I’ve lived in the seventh arrondissement of Paris<br />

since 2002.<br />

I grew up in the countryside and was raised by my<br />

grandparents until I turned six. My grandfather<br />

was a gardener and my grandmother was a cook.<br />

They both worked for the head of the Pasteur<br />

Institute in Paris, Jacques Tréfouël. My other<br />

grandparents were farmers and had grain fields<br />

and cattle. I was raised surrounded by nature. I<br />

always enjoyed biking in the forest of<br />

Fontainebleau with friends and eating healthy<br />

food. My sister and I helped our mother from a<br />

young age in the kitchen, which came naturally.<br />

Leaving home<br />

After high school, I left for Ireland to work as an<br />

au-pair for a year and enjoyed the experience<br />

very much. I took care of three adorable children,<br />

whom I still keep in contact with today.<br />

Next I came back to Paris and immediately found<br />

a job. I worked for seven years in the TV and<br />

movie business as an assistant and married<br />

Steven, my American husband, in 1998. I had met<br />

him at work.<br />

Moving around with my family<br />

I quit my job and we moved to London, where<br />

Steven worked as a TV producer. I took many<br />

cooking classes at the Cordon Bleu. French cuisine<br />

has always come naturally to me. I always love to<br />

cook and entertain. Laura, our first daughter, was<br />

born in London in 1999.<br />

We moved back to Paris in 2002, where our<br />

second daughter, Charlotte, was born. I had<br />

always wanted to start working for an American<br />

association as a volunteer in order to meet more<br />

Anglophones once back in Paris. We wanted to<br />

make more international friends !<br />

At my grandparents aged about four<br />

I also took English classes at the British Institute<br />

when I returned to Paris to improve my English,<br />

but my priority was the education of our two<br />

daughters. I was involved at the girls’ school and<br />

became President of the PTA for a couple of years<br />

while they were there.<br />


Joining AWG Paris<br />

In 2009, I joined the American <strong>Women</strong>’s Group in<br />

Paris and the hospitality team. The following year,<br />

I was member at large and joined the board. I<br />

became co-VP membership with Shawn Frisbee in<br />

2016. I have been named <strong>Women</strong> of the Year<br />

twice, in 2010 and 2016, in honor of my efforts.<br />

In 2010, I started to offer monthly food tours in<br />

the Breteuil market followed by cooking class and<br />

lunch for the American <strong>Women</strong>’s Group in Paris.<br />

Sherry Johnson, one of the members, always<br />

offered to host the class in her beautiful<br />

apartment located in the heart of Paris.<br />

Starting a business<br />

In the same year I also decided to become an<br />

entrepreneur and I created my company CUISINE<br />

ELEGANTE. Ever since, I have been cooking,<br />

leading culinary tours or catering for various<br />

groups such as the American Friends of Musée<br />

d’Orsay, the American Embassy, the American<br />

Library and the American Church.<br />

The importance of Thanksgiving<br />

As a French woman married to an American,<br />

Thanksgiving was one of the big culinary<br />

discoveries for me. It’s important to me to<br />

celebrate and share traditions with our family<br />

and friends.<br />

I remember being impressed by the amount of<br />

preparation and work that went into the meal my<br />

sister-in-law made for our family. It was truly a<br />

feast. So when my husband asked me if I could<br />

make a Thanksgiving meal for our American and<br />

French friends the year after, I was a bit nervous.<br />

First of all, my kitchen was very small. Then it’s not<br />

so easy to find all of the ingredients that go into<br />

the American meal in Paris. Turkey is not a staple<br />

of French cuisine except occasionally for<br />

Christmas and they are very small as they are<br />

free-range turkeys, and you can’t find Butterballs<br />

in the frozen food section of Parisian grocers. But<br />

I worked to find what I needed, or come up with<br />

French substitutes.<br />

Sourcing a turkey<br />

The most important part of the puzzle was the<br />

turkey. I found a butcher who told me that<br />

he could order one and make sure it was the size<br />

I needed, so that was a relief. But when I went to<br />

pick it up the night before our party, the butcher<br />

presented me with two small guinea fowl instead<br />

of a turkey. When I asked what was going on, he<br />

said that they couldn’t find any turkeys, so he was<br />

giving me two guinea fowl instead!<br />

I was furious, but had no choice, so left with the<br />

two small birds, which I did my best to stuff and<br />

cook. Everyone was very surprised by the<br />

presentation, but had a good laugh when I told<br />

Thanksgiving 2018<br />


Me at the market<br />

them the story, and it was one of my most<br />

memorable Thanksgivings, my first one in Paris !<br />

Needless to say, since then I have found a<br />

wonderful butcher who knows where to find the<br />

best turkeys available. Not only that, but if you<br />

don’t have the time or the right oven to cook it,<br />

they will cook it for you so all you have to do is<br />

take the credit. It’s a very busy shop, so my advice<br />

is to go there in person at least a week before to<br />

order your bird, and pick it up the day before your<br />

meal (Les Viandes du Champ de Mars, 122 rue<br />

Saint-Dominique, Paris 75007).<br />

Thanksgiving vegetables<br />

For the vegetables, I always find that the best and<br />

the freshest are to be found in the open air<br />

markets that are a fixture of Parisian life. My<br />

personal favorite is the Marché Saxe-Breteuil<br />

(Avenue de Saxe, Paris 75007, Thursday and<br />

Saturday mornings).<br />

My favorite stand there is called the Bar aux<br />

Saveurs, who specialize in many kinds of<br />

vegetables such as sweet potatoes, Jerusalem<br />

artichokes, turnips, parsnips, pumpkins and<br />

potimarrons (a type of squash), butternut squash<br />

and colorful carrots and beetroots, as well as<br />

many kinds of onions, herbs and fresh sage. Many<br />

of these are older heritage varieties, all authentic<br />

and probably closer to the kinds of vegetables the<br />

Pilgrims ate than the modern produce you find at<br />

most other stands. Magalie, the owner, is<br />

passionate about her products and is used to<br />

helping Americans get ready for the big meal.<br />

An alternative is Marché Président Wilson (Avenue<br />

du President Wilson, Paris 75016) which is<br />

amazing too and is open on Wednesday and<br />

Saturday mornings.<br />

I get fresh cranberries at the fruits and vegetable<br />

stalls on Rue Cler. For the aluminum cooking pan, I<br />

go to The Real Mac Coy, You will find anything you<br />

need at The Real Mac Coy (194 rue de Grenelle<br />

75007 Paris). You will find everything you need<br />

there (Jiffy cornbread, cranberry jelly, etc.) but<br />

watch out, it’s quiet expensive ! If you have a car,<br />

Costco is an option, or La Grande Epicerie Paris<br />

(38 rue de Sévres, Paris 75007) which also has a<br />

US section.<br />

For my stuffing, I order XXL pain de mie, the one<br />

restaurants use for their “Croque-Monsieur”. I<br />

order them at Nelly Julien, 85 rue St Dominique,<br />

five days before and I buy my cornmeal at Bio<br />

C’est Bon or Naturalia (they are all over Paris).<br />

Me and hospitality<br />

When I met my husband, we hosted parties every<br />

other week and often had visitors from all over<br />

the world, so that’s when I seriously started to get<br />

involved and develop my sense of hospitality.<br />

But hospitality was just natural to me. I have<br />

always cooked with my mother or grandmother,<br />

who both were amazing cooks, so organizing a sitdown<br />

dinner or a party was something I always<br />

felt comfortable with. I’m self-educated and I<br />

never had a mentor per se, but I’ve been<br />

influenced by many people in my life, leading me<br />

to develop my own personal hospitality style.<br />


To me, the definition of hospitality is someone<br />

who opens their arms wide and is very welcoming,<br />

trying to help at all levels. Hospitality is about<br />

caring, listening, being passionate and generous<br />

to the others.<br />

Since I often host events at my house, hospitality<br />

has become a part of my daily life. I welcome new<br />

guests into my home very often, so I’ve definitely<br />

learned how to make people comfortable and feel<br />

like my home is also theirs.<br />

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I organized for<br />

the first time virtual cooking classes, which were<br />

fun but challenging. I definitely missed the<br />

hospitality and the social aspects of my work.<br />

Set for dinner<br />

However, having to adapt to a new medium<br />

through which to share my cooking taught me to<br />

be even more organized and rigorous.<br />

What would I change?<br />

If I could change something about myself it would<br />

be my confidence. It has taken me a very long time<br />

to get to where I am in life, and I believe that over<br />

time I have gained more confidence, but it is<br />

always something I can improve upon.<br />

(I would like to acknowledge the work of Krystal<br />

Kenney in some of my photos)<br />

One of my cookery classes<br />

Click this box to watch a video about Véronique<br />



Cruising With FAWCO<br />

to Help Others<br />

In 2006 Ann De Simoni started organizing cruises for FAWCO<br />

members to raise money for The FAWCO Foundation.<br />

I would define hospitality as an activity or service<br />

provided to guests wherever they may be: such as<br />

a restaurant, bar, hotel, conference, airport,<br />

waiting area, in your home, or in a floating hotel<br />

such as a cruise ship. It’s hospitality on cruise<br />

ships that I am best known for in FAWCO.<br />

Thinking outside the box<br />

When asked by The FAWCO Foundation President<br />

Mary Rose Stauder to think of an outside of the<br />

box way to raise funds for its projects that would<br />

include people outside of FAWCO I thought I could<br />

give it a try at what I loved and was passionate<br />

about, cruise sailing.<br />

So in 2006 we set sail on COSTA line’s Fortuna<br />

and we raised $9,000 for Kids Help and the<br />

Hole in the Wall Camps, whose motto is<br />

“Laughter is the best medicine”. The 99 guests<br />

on board which included FAWCO President Emily<br />

van Eerten and her family, along with other<br />

FAWCO members, their relatives and friends and<br />

what I thought was an extra bonus is that some<br />

sponsors joined us as well.<br />

I was so enthusiastic when I watched the number<br />

of bookings coming in I just couldn’t help myself<br />

so I contacted each club in Region 8 ( my region)<br />

which includes all of the Italian clubs and Greece<br />

to join in on welcoming these guests and each<br />

one responded with donations and items for the<br />

guests and the planned activities on board.<br />

FAWCO hospitality<br />

The people of southern Italy are very hospitable<br />

so I reached out to my longtime friend Tricia<br />

Reynolds of AIWC Naples. For those of you who<br />

might remember Tricia and some club members<br />

greeted us in the port, took us on a specially<br />

organized Hop On-Hop Off bus tour of the city, a<br />

walking tour and it didn’t finish there, we were all<br />

treated to refreshments at one of the most<br />

famous bar/restaurants of the city!<br />

As the response was in Italy was so good I decided<br />

to ask our sister club Barcelona <strong>Women</strong>’s Network<br />

if they had any cards up their sleeve as our ship<br />

was stopping in their city. The hospitality of Spain<br />

was fabulous as the club organized a cocktail<br />

reception in the cruise terminal which included<br />

unlimited flow of Cava bubbles, food and goodie<br />

bags to top it off upon our return after a day<br />

exploring the city sights. This is what I call FAWCO<br />

hospitality.<br />

I have since then organized four other cruises<br />

each time reaching into my soul for ways of<br />

extending this newly created “hospitality” which<br />

has become a way of giving to FAWCO and its<br />

projects.<br />

My favorite photo of the dinner table ladies of the Cruise for a Cause: Ann De Simoni, Georgia Regnault, Mercedes de<br />

Marchena, Terri Knudsen and Nan de Laubadère.<br />


provide a stress free and effortless booking,<br />

boarding and on board experience which can give<br />

you relaxation that will improve your mood and<br />

add to your ability to think about the journey, the<br />

wider world and your place in it.<br />

So I look forward to the next travel experience<br />

that I can offer to FAWCO and I am confident that<br />

I can help provide those extra magical moments,<br />

the unexpected feeling of coziness found in group<br />

travel and may you enjoy the hypnotic calm of the<br />

sea while I ensure that your every wish and every<br />

whim is satisfied.<br />

On the MSC Orchestra for the 2011 Cruise for Tabitha<br />

Please and thank you<br />

I would include in my melting pot of hospitality my<br />

smile and the ability to listen to my guests’ needs<br />

which are among my most prominent features,<br />

plus the two golden words “please and thank you”<br />

– they go a long way.<br />

I believe the attentive care that I can give to the<br />

guests on-board guarantees for an unforgettable<br />

experience with opportunities to enjoy an aweinspiring<br />

celebration among your FAWCO friends<br />

while raising funds. I’d like to believe that I can<br />

Ann De Simoni was born in Chicago but Italy has been<br />

her home since 1975. Member of AIWC of Genoa for<br />

over 30 years, in her former life she worked as a nurse<br />

outside Chicago. She worked at the International<br />

Hospital in Genoa for 15 years and then like many in<br />

FAWCO, she had to reinvent herself. Her village<br />

adopted her as their visiting nurse, she has been an<br />

English teacher, innkeeper, travel assistant and<br />

blogger. She says that some of her biggest joys come<br />

from her life as a volunteer in various organizations<br />

and her club which led her<br />

to hold several positions<br />

in FAWCO. You may<br />

already know her if you<br />

have sailed on any of the<br />

five charity-friendship<br />

cruises she has organized<br />

for The Foundation, all<br />

sponsored by her club.<br />



Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global women’s NGO (non-governmental organization), an<br />

international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations comprising 58<br />

member clubs in 31 countries on six continents. FAWCO serves as a resource and a voice for<br />

its members; seeks to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide, especially in the areas<br />

of human rights, health, education and the environment; advocates for the rights of US<br />

citizens overseas; and contributes to the global community through its Global Issues Teams<br />

and The FAWCO Foundation, which provides development grants and education awards.<br />

Since 1997, FAWCO has held special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social<br />

Council.<br />


FAWCO is an international federation of independent organizations whose mission is:<br />

• to build strong support networks for its American and international membership;<br />

• to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide;<br />

• to advocate for the rights of US citizens overseas; and<br />

• to mobilize the skills of its membership in support of global initiatives for<br />

education, the environment, health and human rights.<br />


We want this magazine to be interesting for all FAWCO members. In an effort to provide articles<br />

of interest to all of our readers, we have created an online feedback questionnaire. It<br />

should only take a few minutes of your time to complete and will be a great help to us!<br />

Please click on the link or paste it into your browser<br />

to complete our short five question survey.<br />

SURVEY<br />

THANK YOU!<br />


FAWCO receives financial remuneration for page space from advertisers. Views expressed or benefits<br />

described in any display advertisement, advertorial or in any webpage visited online directly from these<br />

adverts are not endorsed by FAWCO.<br />

Copyright <strong>2021</strong> FAWCO<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>© <strong>Magazine</strong> is owned and published electronically by FAWCO.<br />

All rights reserved. All bylined articles are copyright of their respective authors as indicated herein and are<br />

reproduced with their permission. The magazine or portions of it may not be reproduced in any form, stored in<br />

any retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy or otherwise –<br />

without written consent of the publisher.<br />



The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Team<br />

Liz Elsie Karen Berit Michele<br />

For more information about this magazine, please contact a member of the <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> team:<br />

Editor in Chief, Liz MacNiven, inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

Advertising and Sponsorship Manager, Elsie Bose, advertising@fawco.org<br />

Distribution Manager, Karen Boeker, iwdistribution@fawco.org<br />

Social Media Manager, Berit Torkildsen, iwsocialmedia@fawco.org<br />

Features Coordinator, Michele Hendrikse Du Bois, inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org<br />

Acknowledgements:<br />

Thanks to our profilees: Ariadna, Charlotte, Leslie, Mallery, Matt, Pamela, Sanya, Stacey, Susie<br />

and Véronique with thanks also for the use of their photos and those of their friends and<br />

families. Additional thanks to Amy, Ann, Fannie, Janet, Juliah, Kimberly and Mary for their<br />

work on the articles.<br />

The cover photo is of Mallery van der Horst taken in Houston, Texas by Kelli Durham. Mallery<br />

is wearing a dress, custom designed by Sue Sartor. Mallery was born in Wichita, Kansas and<br />

grew up in Texas; she studied recreation, park & tourism science as well as professional<br />

event management. Today she resides in Houston, Texas, with her Dutch husband and their<br />

two dogs. She works as part of a eight person team for Belle Events, putting on all kinds of<br />

different luxury events, including weddings, corporate, social and philanthropic events. This<br />

photo was taken on a festive & celebratory occasion with her team in December 2020. You<br />

can find out more about/follow Belle Events here: www.belleevents.com or on Instagram at<br />

@belleevents.<br />

Special thanks to the proofreading team of Karen Boeker (AWC Denmark), Laurie Brooks<br />

(AWC Amsterdam/AWC The Hague), Sallie Chaballier (AAWE Paris), Janet Davis (AIWC<br />

Cologne), Mary Dobrian (AIWC Cologne), Janis Kaas (AAWE Paris/FAUSA), Carol-Lyn McKelvey<br />

(AIWC Cologne/FAUSA), Lauren Mescon (AWC Amsterdam), Mary Stewart Burgher (AWC<br />

Denmark), and Jenny Taylor (AIWC Cologne and Düsseldorf).<br />

Please note: images used in this publication are either sourced from the authors themselves or<br />

through canva.com.<br />


Coming January<br />

2022<br />

<strong>Women</strong> and the<br />

Environment<br />

Preserving the Planet - Our Biggest Priority<br />

Of all the existential questions challenging the world today, the fate of our planet is “The One”. We must<br />

take care of it. If not, there’s not much point to anything else!<br />

FAWCO has been facing the challenges of environmental disasters since at least 1957 when it sent relief<br />

funds to victims of the Thessaly earthquake in<br />

Greece. The FAWCO Environment Team works<br />

tirelessly to make clubs aware of the issues at hand<br />

and how they and their members can help. Their<br />

hard work brought clubs front and center to the<br />

problem of access to clean water and the work paid<br />

off as FAWCO member clubs raised funds beyond its<br />

wildest expectations for the first Target Water<br />

Project: Tabitha’s Wells for Clean Water in<br />

Cambodia. Never have there been more Inspired<br />

<strong>Women</strong>!<br />

Our first issue of 2022 will introduce you to the<br />

women in FAWCO clubs who have been supporting<br />

the effort to keep the earth alive.<br />

PROFILES: <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> wants to profile the educators and activists, scientists and community<br />

workers who have all taken on the “care and feeding” of our earth. We want you to meet the clever<br />

entrepreneurs who have discovered how to incorporate good environmental practices in their products<br />

and services. We want to share their experiences with our readers.<br />

FEATURES: To complement the profiles, we are looking for women to write feature articles around the<br />

theme of the environment. Once again, this is a broad theme; let us know what you would like to write<br />

about. Our features are 700-800 words plus photos.<br />

To nominate candidates for profiles, please send the candidate’s name, candidate’s email address<br />

and a brief description (50-100 words) of why you think they are inspiring and fit the theme for the<br />

issue. Send the information to: inspiringwomenprofiles@fawco.org<br />

To contribute an article or feature, that you think fits with our theme, contact:<br />

inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org<br />

Photographs are integral to our magazine. We end each issue with a page of a photograph that<br />

offers a unique perspective on its theme. The photo can be provocative, amusing, entertaining and/or<br />

artistic. The photo should lend itself to a portrait orientation and able to fit an A4 page. To submit a<br />

photo that you think says “That’s Inspired!” for this issue please contact :<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />




That’s Inspired!<br />

“Vino Salutat Nobis!”<br />

This photo is from Véronique Bawol, member AWG Paris.<br />

Véronique’s “Joie de Vie” instantly breaks apart any cultural<br />

barriers and the offer of a glass of something seals the<br />

friendship. Whether you are new to Paris or a longtime resident,<br />

meeting Véronique for the first time is as welcoming as a warm<br />

Paris day.<br />


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