Highlights 2021

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profiles<br />

12<br />

25<br />

39<br />


Tech Careers<br />

Aren’t for<br />

Everyone, But<br />

Are an Option<br />

for All Women<br />

Spring <strong>2021</strong>: The<br />

Tech Savvy Women Issue.<br />

It’s Finally Time to Breathe!<br />

Summer <strong>2021</strong>: The Women and<br />

Wellness Issue.<br />

Working Towards an Equitable<br />

World for All<br />

Fall <strong>2021</strong>: The Women and Justice<br />

Issue.<br />

features<br />

8<br />

7<br />

A Letter from the<br />

President<br />

Emily van Eerten<br />

introduces the issue.<br />

Spring Archives: 2017, 2018, 2019,<br />

2020, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Elsie Bose takes a look through the<br />

Spring archives.<br />

16 Team Favorites<br />

Elsie Bose, Liz MacNiven, Karen<br />

Boeker, Berit Torkildsen and<br />

Michele Hendrikse Du Bois pick<br />

out some of their favorites from the<br />

last five years.<br />

54<br />

Hospitality is<br />

Simply Love<br />

on the Loose<br />

Winter <strong>2021</strong>:<br />

The Women<br />

and Hospitality<br />

Issue.<br />

21<br />

Summer Archives: 2017, 2018,<br />

2019, 2020, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Elsie Bose takes a look through the<br />

Summer archives.<br />


29 That’s Inspired<br />

Georgia Regnault, Sallie<br />

Chaballier, Cynthia Smith-Ayed,<br />

Rick Chizmadia, Margaret<br />

Hilditch, Mary Stewart Burger and<br />

Liz MacNiven tell us what and who<br />

inspires them.<br />

35<br />

44<br />

50<br />

Fall Archives: 2017, 2018, 2019,<br />

2020, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Elsie Bose takes a look through the<br />

Fall archives.<br />

Souvenirs from<br />

Around the<br />

FAWCO World<br />

A series of photos<br />

from FAWCO<br />

members.<br />

Winter Archives: 2017, 2018, 2019,<br />

2020, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Elsie Bose takes a look through the<br />

Winter archives.<br />

59<br />

A Club Inspires:<br />

AWG Paris<br />

64 Sharing Inspiring Women<br />

Liz MacNiven explains how and<br />

why you should share the magazine.<br />

65<br />

69<br />

The Evolution of Our Feature<br />

Articles<br />

Liz MacNiven and Michele<br />

Hendrikse Du Bois highlight the<br />

changes in the Inspiring Women<br />

feature articles since the magazine<br />

first began.<br />

“The Right Amount of Sleep is a<br />

Foundation For Living a Full and<br />

Meaningful Life.”<br />

Brenda Nielson tells us about<br />

how best to get some sleep.<br />

in every issue<br />

5<br />

6<br />

71<br />

A Note from the Editor<br />

Liz MacNiven<br />

Five Years On, How We Got Here<br />

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

issue from Elsie Bose.<br />

Invitation to a Garden Party<br />

72<br />

Inspiring You<br />

73<br />

75<br />

More About This Issue<br />

Our Advertisers<br />


“W<br />

e<br />

who make a<br />

must find time<br />

to stop and<br />

thank the people<br />

difference in our<br />

lives.”<br />

A Note from<br />

the Editor<br />

John F. Kennedy<br />

After five years of creating Inspiring Women four<br />

times a year, there are certainly a number of<br />

people I should stop and thank!<br />

1. The FAWCO Board: I’d like to especially thank<br />

the board that first agreed to the proposal to start<br />

the magazine back in 2017, led by Sallie Chaballier.<br />

The current board continues to support our<br />

efforts and new ideas and we very much<br />

appreciate this. I would especially like to mention<br />

Ann Marie Morrow, VP Communications, who is<br />

our boss. She is always quick to come to our<br />

rescue when we are having technical struggles and<br />

helps us generally with whatever it is we need. You<br />

really make a difference in our lives Ann Marie,<br />

thank you!<br />

2. The IW Team: This has grown from two to six<br />

willing members since the first issues. So a “shout<br />

out” to each of them.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Elsie: this magazine wouldn’t even exist<br />

without your drive and vision. It is an honour<br />

and a pleasure to work with you. Thank you.<br />

Michele: the change since you joined the<br />

team in the variety of feature articles is huge.<br />

Thank you for all you do on that.<br />

Karen: without your work the subscribers<br />

and FAWCO members wouldn’t get their<br />

copies of the magazine via email.<br />

Thank you.<br />

<br />

<br />

Berit: thank you<br />

for being willing<br />

to bring your<br />

knowledge of<br />

social media to a<br />

group that was<br />

struggling with it!<br />

Hayley: You’ve not been part of the team for<br />

long but thank you for being so willing to<br />

take over some of the work from me.<br />

3. The IW Proofing Team: Each member of the<br />

team (Carol-Lyn, Celeste, Janet, Janis, Jenny, Karen,<br />

Lauren, Laurie, Mary D, Mary Stewart, Sallie and<br />

Tamar) is invaluable. Your red pens make all the<br />

difference to the quality and professionalism of<br />

our output. Thank you!<br />

4. The IW Readers: We work hard to make this<br />

magazine the best it can be and we appreciate<br />

each and every one of you that reads it. We are<br />

especially grateful to those of you who have<br />

become direct subscribers and persuaded many<br />

of your friends and family to become subscribers,<br />

too (see p. 64 for more on this). Thank you.<br />

5. Our Advertisers: Each one of you contributes<br />

to the work of Inspiring Women and thus to the<br />

work of FAWCO. Thank you.<br />

Liz x<br />

Inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />


Five Years On, How<br />

We Got Here<br />

Inspiring Women Magazine founder Elsie Bose<br />

considers the four Cs.<br />

When purchasing a diamond one considers the<br />

four Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carats. (Notice the<br />

“s” on Carat…)<br />

Inspiring Women has its own four Cs. I realized<br />

this after spending the last few months reviewing<br />

each issue of the magazine in anticipation of our<br />

five-year anniversary. As I re-read them, I realized<br />

that we have established four important planks<br />

that form the foundation of our work.<br />

1. Communication Our 6-woman team lives in<br />

four different time zones. Many FAWCO teams<br />

operate with the same time issues so they will<br />

recognize the challenges. We plan our meetings in<br />

advance; we ask everyone to be on time. (It<br />

doesn’t always work out that way!) We give<br />

everyone the time they need to express their<br />

thoughts and opinions. WE STAY POSITIVE.<br />

2. Creativity With each issue we always expect to<br />

have something different: a new element or<br />

improvement of an element from previous<br />

issues. I love to pose the question, “What if?”. (If<br />

one could hear eyes rolling, I am sure the sound<br />

would be thunderous!). Our “what if” sessions<br />

are not meandering missions to nowhere. We<br />

work with purpose and passion! We listen and<br />

value every new idea. Sometimes it takes a while<br />

to get to a place where we can all agree, but THE<br />


3. Collaboration This team does not dawdle! To<br />

successfully get the magazine out on time we<br />

always remain open to the idea of working<br />

together on some projects. We are not shy about<br />

giving input during the process on things we like<br />

and things we don’t. Real life, good and bad,<br />

also goes on for each of us. If someone needs<br />

help, another one of us pitches in without missing<br />

a beat.<br />

4. Community The magazine wouldn’t exist<br />

without the very special members that we<br />

showcase in each issue. We have said before that<br />

we are astonished and amazed at what these<br />

women have achieved. Their stories are the<br />

reason for the success of the magazine. The<br />

feature stories submitted by members help us<br />

further explore the themes of every issue. We<br />

would not have lasted five years without the<br />

support of the FAWCO boards. The leap of faith<br />

they take to “let us do us” boosts our confidence<br />

and enthusiasm for the project. We are grateful to<br />

all of our advertising partners who invest in the<br />

magazine because they believe that our readers<br />

hold the values their brands represent. And we<br />

are thankful to our enthusiastic subscribers who<br />

have cheered us on at every opportunity.<br />

For me, I am incredibly grateful to our team. Each<br />

issue is a fantastic experience. We work so well<br />

together! I won’t say that we are without drama,<br />

but the drama always revolves around how we<br />

can make each issue and each one of us better. It<br />

is an absolute privilege to work with each one of<br />

them. Together we have crafted from our four Cs<br />

a diamond of a magazine.<br />

Which brings me to my fifth “C”- to Liz, Michele,<br />

Karen, Berit and Haley, the next time we see each<br />

other in person, the Champagne is on me!<br />

Elsie<br />

advertising@fawco.org<br />


A Letter from<br />

FAWCO’s<br />

President<br />

One of the pleasures of being involved with FAWCO is the opportunity to meet interesting people who<br />

have lived similar lives, just in different countries under different circumstances. The details varied but<br />

the themes were the same, and the cumulative delight at the variations in the human experience was<br />

humbling and INSPIRING. At my first FAWCO conference in 2000, I would go back to my hotel room at<br />

the end of each day pinching myself over the extraordinary women I just happened to be talking<br />

with. With a few more conferences under my belt, I simply expected that every woman I met would<br />

reveal herself to be amazing in her own unique way within the first few sentences. And that expectation<br />

was met time and time again. It might turn out that the woman next to me at a gathering had been the<br />

executive editor of a major international newspaper (!) or someone who ran cooking classes for refugee<br />

boys (!) or worked at the UN in a field I support (!) or perhaps had just researched and written a book (!)<br />

or sung at Covent Garden (!) or had survived a terrorist attack (!) or blogged about her yearlong tour<br />

around the world (!) or had fled a war torn region (!) or … the possibilities were endless, and endlessly<br />

fascinating. I wanted to meet everyone.<br />

Clearly, my experience was not unique. In 2017, with the founding vision of Elsie Bose and Liz MacNiven<br />

and the support of many others, FAWCO set out to highlight the accomplishments and fascinating<br />

stories of a wide cross section of FAWCO members from all of our clubs. Setting a theme for each<br />

quarter, the magazine has given all of FAWCO the opportunity to get a better understanding of the<br />

entire organization through the lens of those who are drawn to the mission of FAWCO and their own<br />

clubs. We are a group that endeavors to help each other settle into new lives, and we in turn extend our<br />

support to help our communities, local and global. And we bring our impressive intellect, our significant<br />

skills and our purpose-filled passions, inspired by each other, to accomplish more together than we<br />

could on our own. We LEAN ON our club members when we need support ourselves, and we LEAN IN to<br />

our clubs and FAWCO community as we give of our individual talents for the betterment of society.<br />

Congratulations to the Inspiring Women Team for five years of helping us connect with so many of<br />

the extraordinary women in FAWCO! May the magazine and the ideals of those profiled within continue<br />

to flourish!<br />

Emily<br />

Emily van Eerten<br />

FAWCO President<br />

president@fawco.org<br />


Spring Archives: 2017<br />

“We Hope You<br />

Like It and<br />

Recognize<br />

Yourself in It!”<br />

Inspiring Women launches its<br />

first issue.<br />

The magazine started its journey in the summer<br />

of 2016. With a very simple idea … “Introducing a<br />

new online magazine highlighting the<br />

achievements of individual FAWCO club members<br />

worldwide. The intent is to create a fun and<br />

informative magazine.”<br />

The original plan was very simple. Select a theme<br />

for each issue and send out a request to the club<br />

reps and presidents asking for nominees. The IW<br />

“Team” would create a questionnaire (how hard<br />

could that be?) and send it out to the<br />

candidates. They would return the forms filled<br />

with pithy prose as well as include dozens of<br />

studio perfect photos and we would copy and<br />

paste it all into layout – JOB DONE!<br />

Well, not exactly. Through the next few months,<br />

we established processes and set up guidelines.<br />

Some of our big ideas didn’t quite work out and it<br />

was back to the drawing board from time to<br />

time. The launch originally planned for December<br />

2016 was moved to March 2017 in time for the<br />

FAWCO Conference in Mumbai.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• This issue is the SHORTEST issue to date, only<br />

40 pages. It contained eight profiles and four<br />

features in total.<br />

• The cover shows Alena Nesbitt, daughter of<br />

former FAWCO Foundation President<br />

Suzanne Wheeler.<br />

• The first issue is the only regular issue that<br />

was printed. All quarterly issues are published<br />

solely online.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Grace Wong-Folliet (AAWE Paris) and her freshly<br />

baked macarons.<br />

The profiles clearly illustrate the “How It Started”<br />

to “How It’s Going” story. From fund manager to<br />

wine maker, trade association executive to<br />

freelance photographer, these women’s personal<br />

values, “their brands” were validated by the<br />

choices they made.<br />


Spring Archives: 2018<br />

“I Run Like<br />

a Girl – Try to<br />

Keep Up!”<br />

Pushing ourselves beyond<br />

expectations: Women in Sport<br />

and Fitness.<br />

There is something unbelievably surrealistic when<br />

we are able to stretch our physical capabilities. It<br />

is powerful, it is satisfying, and it makes us want<br />

to push ourselves to the next level of success.<br />

Women in sports in this moment is a topic that is<br />

more exciting and challenging than ever. We are<br />

participating in so many different sports,<br />

something that would have been unheard of ten<br />

years ago. For this issue, we were looking for<br />

women who achieved success as a champion, a<br />

participant, a coach, or an organizer in the sport<br />

of their choice. Or perhaps someone for whom<br />

going for the gold was more significant than<br />

winning the gold.<br />

The women in this issue had different reasons for<br />

participating and excelling in their sport of<br />

choice. They ran faster, jumped higher, and as a<br />

result achieved their “personal bests” both in and<br />

out of sport. Their stories describe winning in<br />

their own personal way.<br />

Fun fact about/from the issue<br />

• We were pleased to showcase 11 profiles in<br />

the magazine featuring eight different<br />

sports. Something for everyone to enjoy!<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Whether winning a decisive victory or achieving<br />

their personal best, participation in sports has<br />

proved to be life-transforming for many<br />

women. Success in competition provides a new<br />

dimension to non-sport activities. Sports can<br />

unite us as teams on the field and as well as in<br />

daily life.<br />

Samantha Day (AWC Vienna) posing in her very unusual<br />

cycling “kit”!<br />


Spring Archives: 2019<br />

“The Beauty of<br />

Showing<br />

Compassion”<br />

So many great stories, it required<br />

two issues: Women Who Persist<br />

Part 2.<br />

We began our third year of Inspiring Women<br />

with a theme that resonated loudly with our<br />

readers. We first presented “Women Who Persist”<br />

in our fall 2018 issue. The magazine received<br />

more profile nominees than any previous<br />

issue. Each story was so compelling, so<br />

empowering, that the editorial staff felt it was<br />

important to run two issues in order to be able to<br />

include all of them.<br />

These women are committed to a wide range of<br />

causes in all corners of the world. Sometimes,<br />

their missions take them to painful places with<br />

spirit-crushing obstacles. But still they<br />

persist. And they succeed.<br />

We asked:<br />

“Big issue or small, what is it about these women<br />

that motivates them to step out on the ledge of a<br />

troubled world and join the journey to make it a<br />

better place. There are challenges everywhere we<br />

look. What made these women different that<br />

they did not look away?”<br />

Fun fact about/from the issue<br />

• With the launch of this issue, the mighty<br />

Inspiring Women team had published over<br />

500 pages of content. That’s a lot of profiles,<br />

features, quotes, photos and ads!<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Sarah Wallace (AWC Genoa) campaigning for human rights.<br />

These “Sheroes” have much common; they have<br />

passion for their causes, the courage of their<br />

convictions and unbounded energy and<br />

determination to right the wrongs. While they<br />

may not reach consensus on how to achieve<br />

the goal, there is never any compromise on<br />

achieving it.<br />


Spring Archives: 2020<br />

“Their Boundless<br />

Energy Helps to<br />

Make Our Clubs<br />

Relevant and<br />

Ready for the<br />

Future”<br />

Getting to know the members<br />

who are the future of FAWCO:<br />

Gen Y and Millennial FAWCO<br />

Women – The Under 40s.<br />

For our first issue of 2020 we turned our focus to<br />

the younger members of our clubs. We asked,<br />

“Who are they, what interests them and how will<br />

they contribute to our clubs?” We were curious<br />

about who has inspired them. What was their<br />

vision for the future? How, in their opinion, can<br />

our individual clubs and FAWCO remain relevant<br />

and play a role in that future?<br />

The women profiled in this issue add a further<br />

dimension to life under 40. Many live in a place<br />

very different from where they were raised. They<br />

have jobs and careers in fields that were unheard<br />

of just 10-15 years ago. While failure is not an<br />

option, a few mistakes have helped them along<br />

their way. They have been told that they were<br />

brave to step outside their comfort zone.<br />

Perhaps they possess (or are possessed) by an<br />

elevated sense of curiosity. They are fearless,<br />

but not reckless. The profiles proved that this<br />

group is living and thriving and ready to make<br />

their mark.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• We published our first poetry feature,<br />

Fickle+n written by Jane Mobille (AAWE, Paris).<br />

• 24 Hours in Luxembourg, a club’s guide to the<br />

city, was featured in anticipation of the<br />

Interim Meeting, scheduled for Luxembourg<br />

in March 2020, which was cancelled. We hope<br />

it will prove useful in 2022!<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Opera singer Brenda Turner (AWC Berlin) in performance.<br />

These women have accomplished so much<br />

already – it was quite breathtaking! And they<br />

aren’t finished. Many are continuing up the path<br />

where they started their life’s journeys while<br />

others have discovered a different route.<br />

Regardless of the direction, they are all<br />

determined to be successful at whatever they do.<br />


PROFILE <strong>2021</strong><br />

Tech Careers Aren’t for Everyone,<br />

But Are an Option for All Women<br />

Spring <strong>2021</strong>: The Tech Savvy Women Issue.<br />

The introduction of tech into our lives for many of us was a combination of curiosity, amusement,<br />

frustration, and eventually, acceptance. And while most of us were working out what was happening,<br />

the industries that are “technology” marched forward.<br />

Unfortunately, women were not part of the parade.<br />

We asked,” Are there members who have moved along the technology tide, coders, website designers,<br />

those who are creating the ‘internet of things’? Those who are redefining reality, virtual or<br />

augmented. We are interested in those creating content for digital platforms. Do you know any of the<br />

influencers who dominate popular media? Finally, where have women climbed high enough in these<br />

industries to break the glass ceiling?“<br />

The women profiled in this issue are changing that. A glance at their backgrounds and experience truly<br />

blows the mind. They are software engineers, web security experts, logistic specialists, web designers,<br />

graphic designers, social media mavens, and more. What they “do” is incredibly interesting and, at<br />

times, unbelievably mind-boggling! But the vital piece in all of their stories is how they use<br />

technology and their skills to bring others along.<br />

Specializing in<br />

Web Security<br />

Susan Spälti, member of the AWC<br />

Bern, Switzerland, describes her<br />

roles in operations research and<br />

internet security.<br />

Although I was born in Pittsburgh, PA, my family<br />

moved every five years between Pittsburgh and<br />

New Jersey. I am one of eight siblings – five girls<br />

and three boys – and my father jokingly referred<br />

to me as “number three child, number two<br />

daughter.” Since we moved so often, we quickly<br />

learned that home was not a house or place, but<br />

where the family was.<br />

I am a child of the 60s and 70s. Very turbulent<br />

times to be sure, but gender roles really had not<br />

evolved. Commercials told women to “bring home<br />

the bacon,” but they still had to “fry it up in a pan.”<br />

Men got the Marlboro man. True, my father went<br />

to work, and my mother stayed at home, but both<br />

Susan Spälti<br />

had bachelor degrees, and my mother worked for<br />

four years in her field until the children came.<br />

They expected their children, regardless of sex, to<br />

help with the housework, take care of the younger<br />

siblings, earn their own pocket money and apply<br />

themselves to schoolwork to the best of their<br />


mathematics as soon as I graduated. OSU was<br />

quite a shock. I went from attending a school with<br />

three departments in one building to one with<br />

three buildings per department. Plus, pure<br />

mathematics was a little too esoteric for me. I quit<br />

after two semesters and got a summer internship<br />

in Washington DC.<br />

Discovering OR<br />

I loved DC and decided to look for a full-time job<br />

there. In 1979, the Cold War was still “hot,” – and<br />

the Department of Defense and its contractors<br />

were offering many jobs for people with my skill<br />

The first desktop computer I used.<br />

abilities. We were encouraged to read, explore<br />

new things, go outside to play, and have lots of<br />

fun. We all understood that we would go to<br />

college if we wanted and were able to. My mother<br />

said, “you raise children to leave home” and my<br />

parents were determined to provide us with the<br />

necessary tools.<br />

Leaving home<br />

I left home when I was 17 to attend Allegheny<br />

College, a small liberal arts school in northwestern<br />

Pennsylvania. I thought I wanted to be a medical<br />

doctor, and Allegheny had a good pre-med<br />

program. As part of pre-med, I had to take many<br />

science courses, including mathematics. After one<br />

college-level course, I was hooked and majored in<br />

math. I loved its beauty and logic. I enrolled at<br />

Ohio State as a graduate student in pure<br />

With my father, husband and Professor Liebling at my<br />

PhD Defense.<br />

With my father, husband and Professor Liebling at my PhD<br />

Defense.<br />

With my family in about 1972.<br />


Consulting from home<br />

While caring for two small children, my husband<br />

and I started a small consulting firm that<br />

developed algorithms, database models, etc. for<br />

the Swiss version of Social Security. Our office was<br />

at home so we could be with the children. After<br />

almost 20 years of working at home, I took a new<br />

job. I enjoyed going to an office outside of my<br />

house and honing my skills in Identity and Access<br />

Management, an internet security field. I worked<br />

in this field until I retired in 2020. My husband<br />

continued with our consulting firm until he retired<br />

a few years ago.<br />

set. I accepted a job with a defense contractor,<br />

devising algorithms to solve logistics problems<br />

and “discovered” Operations Research (OR), a type<br />

of applied mathematics. I loved OR and decided to<br />

go back to graduate school part-time. I got my<br />

masters in OR from George Washington University<br />

in DC and then decided to go full-time for my PhD.<br />

I got a fellowship for the PhD program at Carnegie<br />

Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh and moved<br />

there in 1984.<br />

Moving to Switzerland<br />

At CMU, I met my Swiss husband, Karl, a visiting<br />

research fellow from the University of Bern. He<br />

specialized in OR, and we “clicked” on more than a<br />

professional level. As he only had a one-year<br />

fellowship, one of us had to relocate. Since he had<br />

a job and I was just starting out, I applied to and<br />

was accepted at the École Polytechnique Fédérale<br />

de Lausanne. We married in July 1985, and I<br />

moved to Bern in September. The plan was to<br />

finish my degree, and then we would move back<br />

to the States.<br />

After my retirement, we had planned to travel,<br />

play golf and enjoy life. Although the traveling<br />

and golf plans are now on hold, we enjoy walks to<br />

see the llamas in our village (yes, we’ve got llamas,<br />

or are they alpacas?), talking with each other, our<br />

friends, and our relatives (albeit remotely) and just<br />

being together.<br />

The future for the industry<br />

Although I started out as a mathematician and<br />

was formally trained as a STEM (Science,<br />

Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)<br />

student before that became an acronym, I ended<br />

my career as an IT specialist in Identity and Access<br />

Management (IAM). Most understand the concept<br />

of authentication. When you try to log onto an<br />

application, you are asked your username and<br />

password to “authenticate” who you are. IAM asks<br />

the following questions: Are you allowed to do<br />

what you want? What resources can you “access”?<br />

In today’s world of increasing data breaches and<br />

more rigorous compliance requirements, IAM, a<br />

relatively new field, is constantly evolving and will<br />

continue to do so. Privileged Access Management<br />

(PAM), a subcategory of IAM, is the new hot topic.<br />

In an enterprise, PAM deals with user accounts<br />

that have special access above that of a standard<br />

user, such as system administration accounts.<br />

I was granted my degree in June 1990 but still<br />

have not moved back to the States. While I was<br />

finishing, I was completing another project. In<br />

September 1990 I gave birth to our daughter,<br />

Nina. Fifteen months later, in December 1991, we<br />

welcomed our son Jacques.<br />

My mentors<br />

My earliest mentors were my parents. They<br />

encouraged me to explore many fields and always<br />

be curious. My doctoral advisor, Prof. Thomas<br />

Liebling, was a wonderful mentor who provided<br />

guidance on how to thoroughly analyze problems<br />

and present my results in a comprehensible<br />

fashion. Finally, my husband Karl. Perhaps not a<br />

mentor, but he and I worked as a team, both<br />

professionally and privately, so that we could give<br />

our customers quality solutions while<br />

simultaneously raising a family.<br />

Enjoying Swiss Glüwey with my daughter Nina in 2019.<br />


Many famous security breaches involved these<br />

special access accounts, and PAM controls,<br />

monitors, and audits such accounts.<br />

Quick-fire questions for Susan<br />

1. What things about your career in technology do<br />

you apply to your daily life? Being in IT Security, I<br />

find myself very cautious when dealing with all<br />

things involving the internet. I have learned not to<br />

“click” on something just because I can; I keep the<br />

software and operating systems on my computer<br />

and all devices up to date. I also believe in reading<br />

the manual. In my career, I have spent a lot of<br />

time cleaning up “issues” that could have been<br />

avoided if someone had just bothered to read the<br />

manual first.<br />

2. If you could work with one famous person, past<br />

or present, who would it be and why? I would have<br />

loved to work with Grace Hopper (1906-1992), an<br />

admiral in the US Navy, mathematician, and<br />

computer scientist who, amongst other things,<br />

invented the compiler, an intermediate program<br />

that translates English language instructions into<br />

”computer” language. And better yet, she coined<br />

the term “bug” for an error in your program after a<br />

moth got into the circuits of the Mark I, a<br />

precursor of electronic computers, which she<br />

helped design. I spent a lot of time “debugging”<br />

my code.<br />

With my husband Karl in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.<br />


16<br />


Team Favorites<br />

We asked the Inspiring Women team to go back through the issues, each taking<br />

one year from the last five and answer the same questions.<br />

What was your favorite overall issue theme and why?<br />

ELSIE (2017) Women Rebranded, Spring 2017: It was the first theme for the very first issue of Inspiring<br />

Women. Initially, we selected it because FAWCO had recently rebranded itself, but moreover, the theme<br />

encapsulated life’s journey for many of us - starting out in life imagining how our careers, vocations and<br />

passions were going to play out and how moving away from one’s home country (or joining an<br />

organization of women from another country!) changed that journey.<br />

LIZ (2018) Women Who Persist issue, Fall 2018. We were overwhelmed by how many incredible women<br />

were nominated for the issue, to the extent that we had to split the issue in two and run a part two early<br />

in 2019. The women in this issue do the most extraordinary work and they are all very modest about<br />

their achievements.<br />

KAREN (2019) Women Who Persist II, Spring 2019. We had so many women<br />

who fall under this category that we decided to run two issues for the same<br />

topic, which speaks for itself. For me, this issue (and part I in 2018)<br />

represents FAWCO so well. Many of the women who persist had lifechanging<br />

experiences, and they used them to turn them into something<br />

good for the world around them. What an example, what role models, what<br />

an inspiration!<br />

BERIT (2020) Visualizing A Point of View, Fall 2020 which highlighted the<br />

talented photographers of FAWCO. Having taken four years of photography<br />

in high school and attempted a photography degree in London many years<br />

ago, this really teased out the shutterbug in me that had been lying dormant<br />

for the better part of two decades!<br />

MICHELE (<strong>2021</strong>) Women and Wellness, Summer <strong>2021</strong> perhaps because of the<br />

times we are living. Focusing on wellness – mind and body - was perfectly<br />

timed and I enjoyed reflecting on the different perspectives offered.<br />

What was your favorite feature article and why?<br />

ELSIE (2017) What to Wear: When we started the magazine in 2017, our focus<br />

was on elevating the exceptional women in FAWCO clubs. The process of<br />

nominating and selecting seemed daunting and we didn’t think we had enough<br />

woman power to also research and develop features. An article about a club or<br />

a region and maybe an interesting recipe or two were about all we thought we<br />

could handle. Liz had an excellent relationship with two terrific writers, Robin<br />

Meloy Goldsby and Jane Mobille and asked them to help us out. Each contributed wonderfully crafted<br />

and insightful articles in our early years.<br />

It was difficult to select a favorite from their articles but in our Summer 2017 “Designing Women” issue<br />

Robin wrote about the role that the clothes she wore and the outfits she designed for herself played in<br />

crafting her professional persona as a pianist from her early years to now. This really resonated with<br />

me, not only in terms of her evolution; I also certainly related to some of the trendy things she wore<br />

(and why) during her early years!

LIZ (2018) We have been very fortunate to have Robin Meloy Goldsby write various essays for us. I<br />

particularly like “Don’t Eat Pie”, Spring 2018. In this essay she regales us with tales of her time as an<br />

exercise instructor in New York. It’s laugh out loud funny.<br />

KAREN (2019) “Saudi Arabia: Empowering Nurses” by Angela Wilkins-Bassett.,<br />

Fall 2019. It has all the right keywords for me: equality, appreciation for<br />

diversity and difference, teamwork, compassion, working abroad to improve<br />

women’s health and at home for uninsured and underserved patients and<br />

while doing this, coming to the conclusion that we all can learn so much for<br />

ourselves while teaching them. Rereading it struck a nerve because little did<br />

we know then HOW critical nurses and medical personnel would become.<br />

BERIT (2020) Cyndy B. Waters feature article Seaweed, Fall 2020 has to be my<br />

favorite feature article from the year. Her photographs capture an<br />

indescribable beauty that is women working together for a common goal, to<br />

release themselves from the constraint of their homes and being able to<br />

provide an income to support their children's education. Their story is a moving one. Cyndy's keen eye<br />

evokes a sense of being in Zanzibar with these amazing women with waves crashing at your feet and the<br />

sun bouncing off the water - truly awe inspiring.<br />

MICHELE (<strong>2021</strong>) Recipes for Wellness, May <strong>2021</strong>. I love the variety of ideas and creativity that the<br />

authors used to present their recipes.<br />

Do you have a favorite cover photo from the year and what is it you like about it?<br />

ELSIE (2017) Our cover for Women Rebranded, Spring 2017. For the launch, I wanted a cover that<br />

conveyed three things: energy, fearlessness, and fun. I probably drove Liz to distraction talking about<br />

“my vision” for the cover. I was constantly grabbing photos off the internet, sending them to her, “like<br />

this!” I’d write. But the reality was, we had no staff photographer and<br />

screen grabs were a first-class no-no (GDPR and copyright issues were<br />

setting people’s hair on fire at the time).<br />

During one of my many stays at former FAWCO Foundation President<br />

Suzanne Wheeler’s home in Paris, I was blathering on about “my vision”<br />

and how frustrated I was because I was sure there was a perfect photo<br />

somewhere within FAWCO. I asked her if she had anything. She pulled out<br />

her phone/camera and we started to plow through. We found a photo of<br />

her daughter, Alena, doing a cartwheel on the beach. “Yes, something like<br />

this.” Liz and I played around with it, cutting out some background, and lo<br />

and behold, something “like this” became it!<br />

I love working on the covers because we know that the right photo grabs<br />

our readers. We beg and borrow (we do not steal!) to get the right one for<br />

each issue. But the first one really set the bar for all the rest that followed.<br />

LIZ (2018) The cover for Winter 2018, Women in Music, was of Christine Federspiel-Huvos. I love the<br />

power you can see in her face and hand as she sings. I find myself hearing her voice in my head just by<br />

looking at the photo.<br />

KAREN (2019) The cover for the Health and Well-Being, Fall 2019 is my favorite. At the Inspiring<br />

Women team, we constantly try to improve the magazine, including the layout. Don’t forget, none of us<br />

has a professional background in publishing a magazine, and we most certainly have limited resources.<br />

If you look at the magazine cover before and compare it with No. 3 in 2019, you hopefully notice a<br />

change – it is a much lighter more inviting cover. This, for me, was the beginning of the ever-improving<br />


layout of Inspiring Women; I am proud of all of us. Of course, that’s not the only reason! The woman<br />

on the cover, Carol Brazle, started the Caring Hearts Pillows Project with Rozanne van Rie, is a cancer<br />

survivor. The photo was taken by Brigitte Meuwissen, a member of AWC Antwerp. In my opinion, Carol<br />

looks outstanding; she is at peace with herself, smiles, is calm and healthy. She is a role model in that<br />

respect. I wish we women would always feel and look so comfortable with ourselves; that is true beauty.<br />

BERIT (2020) I am a bit of a magpie in that I love vibrant colors, so it might not come as a surprise when<br />

I say that my favorite cover from the year has to be Sisters Act: Women in Drama!, Winter 2020.<br />

Verónica Isola is absolutely stunning in her red dress and her expression captures the joy that she gets<br />

from being on stage. Admittedly it was the first issue that I worked on as part of the Inspiring Women<br />

Magazine team, so it will always hold a special place in my heart.<br />

MICHELE (<strong>2021</strong>) This is a tough question. Choosing the cover for every issue is<br />

a challenge as we often like multiple covers, each for different reasons. This<br />

holds true when choosing a favorite from the year. If I really have to choose<br />

one, I think it is the November <strong>2021</strong> cover: Not only is it a beautiful photo but<br />

it celebrates celebrations. It’s a happy photo.<br />

Tell me who your favorite three nominees from the year were<br />

ELSIE (2017) Megan Morris, Fall 2017: While all the women in this issue were<br />

extraordinary in their commitment to education, Megan’s story made me feel<br />

very upbeat - a young woman, committed since childhood to help others. Her<br />

passion for teaching seems to be integrated into her being. A woman who<br />

makes the most crucial of professions seem effortless and fun. I loved the photo of her in the ladybug<br />

costume, teaching her students.<br />

Sunny Eades, Winter 2017: This was a wonderfully exuberant and visually rich issue. Sunny is a friend<br />

and her name suits her beautifully, a woman with charm and grace and full of talent. Her personality<br />

comes through in her gorgeous paintings, joyful and serene. She would have also been a great<br />

candidate for an earlier issue that year, “Designing Women,” having worked designing interiors for both<br />

autos and aircraft in her early years.<br />

Carolien Krijnen Summer 2017: Let’s be honest, who isn’t inspired by<br />

someone who lives above her very own chocolate workshop? I loved<br />

Carolien’s story for many reasons, living in Antwerp, one of my truly favorite<br />

cities. She took her passion for chocolate and turned it into an exciting,<br />

delicious business. I was struck by her comment when referring to her life in<br />

Antwerp: “Since we’re centrally located, people drop by every once in a while,<br />

and if I am not running from one appointment to the next, I am happy to<br />

pause and have a coffee with them.” What a charming and talented woman<br />

she is!<br />

LIZ (2018) Krishna Thakrar, Spring 2018: I had never heard of pickleball<br />

before I read about Krishna. I loved the fact that she quickly became so<br />

interested and involved in it that she even set up a club in her host country,<br />

the Netherlands.<br />

Anna Eklund-Cheong, Summer 2018: I am basically in awe of anyone who can write poetry and there is<br />

something very special about a good Haiku. So to read about someone who has won an “honourable<br />

mention” for a haiku she wrote is very special. The haiku is also listed in the Living Haiku Anthology!<br />

Katrin Thürbach, Fall 2018 : I know Katrin personally as she is a member of my club, AIWC Cologne, so<br />

yes, I am a little biased. But what I like about her story it really shows us how one woman can make a<br />


difference by taking small actions. Not everyone is destined to be Malala or Greta Thunberg. But we can<br />

all make a difference in the world as long as we try to.<br />

KAREN (2019) Rosemary Singleton Rauber, Spring 2019 : Rosemary was asked to write about her<br />

experiences being a first-time attendee at a FAWCO Interim Meeting. What she wrote exactly described<br />

my impressions when I attended my first FAWCO Biennial Conference in Mumbai in 2017, and I am sure<br />

many felt the same their first time. I just hope many more women in the FAWCO world will have the<br />

chance to attend FAWCO conferences, interim and regional meetings, and enjoy the professionalism,<br />

competence, appreciation, and friendship that occurs when FAWCO women meet each other.<br />

In addition, I was so impressed with her artwork “Calculated Risks” that she showed at the interim<br />

meeting: It is an art project contrasting images of people seeking refuge. They have calculated the risk<br />

of leaving their homes, often taking perilous journeys, against the calculated risks people make in their<br />

everyday life going on vacation. These are eye-opening paintings. https://www.artplace.ch/calculated-risks<br />

Rebecca de Fraites, Summer 2019 : Although she wrote in the travel issue “Women Inspired by Their<br />

Cities” about the tragic fire that destroyed significant parts of Notre Dame<br />

in Paris, it is also a story about perseverance, hope, coherence, and good<br />

storytelling skills with a pinch of (gallows) humor.<br />

Juliah Rais-Morres, Winter, 2019 : Reading about Juliah and her life was just<br />

great from beginning to end. If you haven't read it yet, please do - it is time<br />

well spent! As a German and a teacher who is passionate about reading<br />

and making a positive impact on teenagers' lives, now living in Singapore<br />

and thus close to Malaysia, there are so many little pieces to Juliah's story<br />

that captivate me and make me smile inside. Looking back at Juliah's life<br />

journey, it's easy to see the common thread woven into her life story.<br />

BERIT (2020) I really enjoyed Tamara Krautkramer's profile piece, Kenya<br />

Culminates A Photo Journey, Fall 2020. For me, a great photographer has<br />

the ability to transport you to where the photo is taken. I feel Tamara does<br />

this with ease. Her bold use of color truly appeals to me. Even in her photos where color isn't<br />

predominant, the lighting is exquisite, telling a story with ease.<br />

Another favorite from that issue is Haley Green's Finding Myself In London Through A Lens, Fall 2020.<br />

Since the age of 17 I have been a self proclaimed Anglophile. Having lived in London for a short stint,<br />

and been back to England on numerous occasions to visit friends and family, Haley's photos evoke such<br />

wonderful memories. She captures everyday life with such ease. I particularly love the photo of the man<br />

walking his dogs in the rain under his umbrella; it transports me back to the rainy autumn days I<br />

enjoyed so much. (I had the honor of meeting Haley in Edinburgh at our Biennial Conference in 2019,<br />

where she shared with me her Instragram handle, postcards.from.london. If you are an Instagram user,<br />

I highly recommend you follow Haley. Her photos are Absolutely Fabulous...pun-intended!)<br />

Lastly I really enjoyed Tammy Mayer's profile Living Zero-Waste, Spring 2020<br />

in France and her feature article Zero Waste, from. I will always be fascinated<br />

by the lives of others and how we end up where we do. Sometimes it can<br />

feel inevitable where we end up, while with others it's all a bit of chance!<br />

After reading about Tammy's journey to France, it seems like she falls into<br />

the former category, rather than the latter, with a little bit of chance thrown<br />

in for good measure. How fitting is it that she would find a social club whose<br />

core is dedicated to the UN SDGs, something that was dear to her?<br />

Tammy's tips on how to live a Zero Waste life I found to be immensely<br />

intriguing, inspiring, yet overwhelming! (Admittedly I was relieved to read<br />

that she herself wasn't completely zero waste, as this made me feel like I<br />


wasn't a dreadful person for not doing everything on the list!) We could all do with consuming less and<br />

I’m happy to say I have managed many of her suggestions since reading them.<br />

20<br />

MICHELE (<strong>2021</strong>) Stacey Harris-Papioannou, Winter <strong>2021</strong>: Greece is one of my<br />

happy places. The culture, including the warmth of their hospitality toward<br />

strangers, is one of the many things I love about Greece. I loved reading<br />

about Stacey’s journey and the experiences she shared about living,<br />

integrating, and thriving in Greece.<br />

Cat Conner, Spring <strong>2021</strong>: I worked with, well really relied on, Cat when I was<br />

president of the FAWCO Foundation. Her technology skills, determination to<br />

solve issues, and patience were quite impressive. I loved reading about how<br />

she didn’t start out in technology and how she has created a career out of<br />

doing something she enjoys but wasn’t part of her official education.<br />

Lindsay Nygren, Fall <strong>2021</strong>: “I’ve learned through my involvement with justice,<br />

that no task is too small or insignificant.” Reading about all the things Lindsay has already done and<br />

what she still wants to do inspires hope - hope that future generations will carry on and do more.<br />

What do you like most about the magazine in general?<br />

ELSIE (2017) When we start out each year planning the themes for each issue, we always feel like we<br />

know what direction the profiles will take. When we did an issue on food, we profiled chefs, of course!<br />

For our issue on sports, we profiled runners, EXACTLY. And for Women and Drama, we profiled<br />

actresses, precisely what we hoped for. And in all cases, these women have achieved so many amazing<br />

things in their lives. However, the little gift package that we unwrap with every issue is the profile or<br />

feature about someone who took a different path and made considerable impact in those fields in a<br />

totally unique and innovative manner.<br />

LIZ (2018) I love the wide variety of women we profile. Each issue has a theme which makes them<br />

different anyway, but even within the theme, we rarely get two candidates the same. The women are so<br />

inspiring to me whatever they do. They find themselves, often living outside their comfort zones,<br />

making a good life and usually being quite humble about what they have achieved. When I first contact<br />

the candidates, I regularly get the response “but I’m not inspiring.” I disagree.<br />

KAREN (2019) Although I am passionate about reading, I sometimes have to make an effort to open the<br />

magazine (even though I am part of the team). But when I am ready to open it and start reading, I am<br />

ALWAYS so inspired by the featured women's lives, stories, passion, and achievements that I can't stop<br />

reading and thinking and admiring them for what they do and share. Reading about FAWCO women<br />

around the globe is a constant reminder for living and enjoying (if possible) your life to the fullest.<br />

BERIT (2020) My mother has always said I am like my maternal grandmother<br />

(I should hope so, I am her namesake) … and that like her, I love reading<br />

about other people's lives. Being a part of a FAWCO club is inspiring in itself,<br />

but there is something to be said about having a publication like Inspiring<br />

Women Magazine. It grants us access to women all over the globe that we<br />

normally would not have known about or been privy to. Their stories are<br />

uplifting and motivating and encouraging, something we all need in our<br />

lives! Long live Inspiring Women Magazine!<br />

MICHELE (<strong>2021</strong>) The diversity. I love the variety of themes and the diversity<br />

of the women chosen to represent the themes. Some themes are more<br />

serious, but all the issues have a balance of hearty and lighter stories. All the<br />

issues are educational and uplifting. Truly, each issue is a collection of some<br />

of the best examples there are of inspiring women.

Summer Archives: 2017<br />

“Anything Is<br />

Possible If You<br />

Allow Destiny to<br />

Cross Your Path”<br />

FAWCO creativity on show for our<br />

Designing Women Issue.<br />

The theme for this issue was about women who<br />

design – taking an idea beyond the point of<br />

creation. We were interested in the process of<br />

vision, to design, to fruition. We wanted to know if<br />

the women’s exposure to different cultures<br />

moves them from their vision or enhances it. And<br />

what defines a designer’s success?<br />

We asked:<br />

“Is there a member of your club involved in the<br />

wide world of design? Perhaps they are an<br />

architect, a town planner, a graphic designer,<br />

dress maker, engineer, interior designer,<br />

landscape/floral designer, textile/fashion/jewelry<br />

designer? In their field, have they done<br />

something of particular interest? We are looking<br />

for someone who designs and has done<br />

something with it, for instances where the design<br />

became more than just a sketch on a pad.”<br />

We weren’t surprised that we received profiles of<br />

such accomplished designers. They dared to face<br />

the challenges of never-been-done-before<br />

skepticism. Their ultimate success in a wide<br />

range of “disciplines” redefines that word.<br />

Fun fact about/from the issue<br />

• The cover was by Clydette DeGroot from AWG<br />

Paris. The image of the singer remains a<br />

complete mystery!<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

“ChocAlicious” Creator Carolien Krijnen (AWC Antwerp).<br />

Creativity breeds creativity! The women profiled<br />

in this issue weren’t successful in only one field<br />

of design. Their achievements in one area<br />

motivated them to try other things. Culture, too,<br />

played a big role in their process, whether the<br />

culture was home grown or came from their<br />

host countries.<br />


Summer Archives: 2018<br />

“She Has a Way<br />

With Words...”<br />

A profound influence and impact:<br />

Women of Words and Language.<br />

The word is … illuminating. Fascinating. Funny.<br />

Frustrating! How does one become successful in<br />

the world of words? We were interested in<br />

finding out what makes people pick up their pens<br />

and articulate their thoughts and visions in a way<br />

that makes its mark on others.<br />

A good cookbook writer can make your mouth<br />

water. A romance novelist should make you cry,<br />

and critical writers should make you think. We<br />

wanted to know: how do they measure success?<br />

And what about “the process”? Do ideas come in<br />

the shower, on the subway, in the garden, or<br />

sitting in an office from 9 to 5? Does chocolate<br />

really help?<br />

Our profilees live with words and work in a<br />

variety of genres – fiction, non-fiction, writers of<br />

columns, curriculums, and haikus. We explored<br />

the beauty of the spoken word as well as how to<br />

effectively use the “best” words online via the<br />

various social media.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• The Inspiring Women team was so inspired<br />

by the achievements of all our profilees in this<br />

issue, we stretched our own “creative<br />

envelope” and wrote new and unique titles<br />

for all of our profiles and features.<br />

• We added a new member to our Inspiring<br />

Women team, Karen Boeker, AWC Denmark,<br />

as our Distribution Manager.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

You cannot truly appreciate the depths of talent<br />

of those who are “good writers” until you attempt<br />

to write yourself. A guiding principle for good<br />

communication is saying more with less. What<br />

distinguishes these excellent writers from others<br />

is the ability to use beautiful words in a way that<br />

vividly paints the picture they want you to see.<br />

Victoria Kellaway (AWC Bogotá), a journalist at home<br />

amongst “friends”!<br />


Summer Archives: 2019<br />

“Letting No Grass<br />

Grow Under Our<br />

Feet”<br />

The travel issue: Women Inspired<br />

by Their Cities.<br />

Welcome to our first “travel issue”! We thought<br />

that the best way to get readers around the world<br />

was to ask FAWCO members to tell us about how<br />

they came to fall in love with the cities they live in<br />

and how they have been able to convert that love<br />

in way that can be shared with others.<br />

We asked:<br />

“Please send us candidates from your club who<br />

make your city come alive for visitors. These<br />

members either do this as a passion or do it for a<br />

living. They can specialize in the mainstream or<br />

the quirky features of your town.”<br />

One of the wonderful aspects of being part of<br />

FAWCO is talking to members of clubs from other<br />

cities. We know that we all have at least one thing<br />

in common: the desire to take adventures<br />

beyond our borders and experience things that<br />

make us grow and expand our personal<br />

horizons. We are curious. But we are not afraid.<br />

Fun fact about/from the issue<br />

• Members were asked to submit their favorite<br />

photos of their host/home countries for our<br />

“Project 62” photo competition. We presented<br />

some of the photos at the FAWCO<br />

Conference. And – yes! There was a quiz! We<br />

asked readers to test their “world traveler”<br />

knowledge.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Mary Stange (former AWC Bogotá member, now Individual<br />

FAWCO member) hugging the Tree of Wishes on a hike to<br />

La Chorrera Falls, Colombia.<br />

Contributors to this issue were not at a loss for<br />

words when talking about the places they lived!<br />

No matter how remote or exotic a place is, to<br />

them it is their home away from home and there<br />

is something unique about it that they willingly<br />

share with others.<br />


Summer Archives: 2020<br />

“This Wasn’t<br />

Exactly the<br />

Summer We<br />

Expected”<br />

The COVID-19 issue<br />

FAWCO Women: Isolating Apart,<br />

Learning Together.<br />

The world was facing one of the biggest<br />

challenges in modern history. How we acted and<br />

reacted would set the agenda for us as we moved<br />

ahead. After originally planning a “Women and<br />

Photography” issue, the Inspiring Women team<br />

felt that it was important to capture what was<br />

happening at that moment and share it with<br />

our readers.<br />

For this very special issue we wanted to profile<br />

FAWCO club members who were called to take<br />

action in some way because of the COVID-19 virus<br />

pandemic. We asked, “Who are the medical<br />

professionals, teachers, community leaders in the<br />

forefront of the fight against COVID-19? Are there<br />

women in our clubs who have chosen to use their<br />

skills and talents in a unique way to assist others<br />

in getting through the pandemic?”<br />

This issue offered profiles in courage, patience,<br />

and hope. We learned about members who<br />

performed with grit and grace in nearly the same<br />

breath. And there was caring and kindness on<br />

every page.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• The Luxembourg Interim Meeting was<br />

planned for March. The last time FAWCO<br />

cancelled its meeting was in 1940, at the<br />

advent of World War II.These decisions are<br />

not taken lightly and those empowered to<br />

make them had to take the health of the<br />

members and the organization into<br />

consideration. Not something anyone<br />

expected when they volunteered to help<br />

coordinate the event!<br />

• We officially introduced two new members of<br />

the Inspiring Women Team. Berit Torkildsen<br />

(AWC Oslo) is our Social Media Manager, and<br />

Michele Hendrikse Du Bois (Munich IWC,<br />

FAUSA) is our Features Coordinator.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Joannie Guy (AW of Aquitaine) ready for work in an LA<br />

hospital during the COVID-19 crisis.<br />

Smart women made sacrifices to help others.<br />

Their achievements made a difference in their<br />

towns, hospitals and schools. Generosity<br />

abounded in this issue. Members gave their time<br />

to help others. They shared their ideas, their tips,<br />

and their humor. When others fell, they lift them<br />

up again.<br />


PROFILE <strong>2021</strong><br />

It’s Finally Time to Breathe!<br />

Summer <strong>2021</strong>: The Women and Wellness Issue.<br />

What a challenge <strong>2021</strong> was for us to maintain personal wellness! The COVID-19 pandemic is a 21stcentury<br />

scourge. It remains to be seen what this virus’s damage will be to health and wellness.<br />

We wanted “to profile women who promote the significance of wellness in daily life and offer the means<br />

to achieve it. We wanted to profile women who work in traditional or naturopathic medicine, exercise,<br />

or meditation. Or they may work in mental health or the arts, nutrition, or diet and they might offer a<br />

means to restore personal order or seek adventure.”<br />

We profiled members who are in tune with the many facets of wellness. Their stories explain how they<br />

made their journey—topics such as promoting good health by pushing the boundaries of our physical<br />

limitations or changes to diet. There were articles about members who support mental health. The<br />

search for wellness spans many disciplines, but they all have one thing in common: they are offering an<br />

opportunity for others to find the key to personal peace and calmness.<br />

“Yoga Brings Me<br />

Zen in an<br />

Instant!”<br />

Maija Airas-Ceri, member of ICW<br />

of Torino, discovered the magic of<br />

yoga when she was pregnant.<br />

Today she teaches it both<br />

on- and off-line.<br />

Maija Airas-Ceri<br />

I grew up in a single-family house in a residential<br />

area of Hollola, Finland, a village close to Lahti<br />

which is a city famous for its winter sports (ski<br />

jumping and cross-country). We spent our winters<br />

cross-country skiing and ice skating. In the<br />

summer we played in the forests and swam in the<br />

nearby shallow lakes. When I was seven years old,<br />

my family moved to Toronto, Canada, for a year.<br />

Since in Finland, children don’t start school until<br />

age seven, my very first year of school was in<br />

Canada, learning to speak, read and write English.<br />


Germany and recruited me to work for her<br />

company in the automotive industry.<br />

Feeling homesick<br />

After a few years in Munich, working in a very<br />

international role in the automotive industry and,<br />

traveling from Malaysia to Brazil, I got homesick. I<br />

transferred to work in Ulm, Germany for the<br />

Finnish telecom company Nokia. I ended up<br />

staying there for 13 years, in the beginning doing<br />

marketing and traveling the world, launching new<br />

mobile phones; later I transferred into research &<br />

development leading an innovation team.<br />

Enter Cupid!<br />

I met my husband, French-Italian Alexandre/<br />

Alessandro in Ulm. We got married in Finland in<br />

the summer of 2005, and our two boys were born<br />

in Germany in 2006 and 2008. In 2012, my<br />

husband’s company transferred him to Lyon,<br />

France. I followed him six months later, when<br />

Nokia laid off its entire workforce in Ulm.<br />

Me in the 1970s.<br />

Leaving home<br />

After finishing high school at age 18, I moved away<br />

from home to study textile engineering in a nearby<br />

town called Tampere. I ended up traveling<br />

extensively during my student years - skiing and<br />

taking cultural trips in Europe. I also did two<br />

summer job trainee exchanges: one in Lyon,<br />

France and another one in Barcelona, Spain, as<br />

well as a longer one-year exchange in Rennes,<br />

France. After graduating, I worked for the Finnish<br />

elevator company Kone in the global after-sales<br />

department. Then an old roommate of mine from<br />

university called me. She had moved to Munich,<br />

Home today<br />

In Lyon, I started my own company, Gotta Joga,<br />

developing yoga apps for European women. In<br />

2016, my husband was transferred again, now to<br />

his hometown of Torino (after 17 years abroad).<br />

So here I am with my now 12- and 14-year old<br />

sons, living in Torino and spending the weekends<br />

and holidays in the nearby mountains skiing,<br />

hiking and riding my mountain bike.<br />

What is wellness?<br />

For me, wellness is harmony and self love. I<br />

started seeking wellness to take care of myself:<br />

practicing yoga, eating healthy, spending much<br />

time in nature and (pre-COVID-19) sharing<br />

experiences with my friends and family. In Finland<br />

we all live in houses that have saunas. For us,<br />

cleaning and relaxing in the sauna is the primary<br />

Teaching a yoga class.<br />


wellness activity. We use the sauna at least twice a<br />

week, often combined with a dip in a lake or snow.<br />

Becoming interested in wellness<br />

I grew up in the middle of wonderful Finnish<br />

nature. It was natural for me to spend time and do<br />

sports outside. In my teens, when I went to high<br />

school in the nearby city and later to study in the<br />

university, it became obvious that the time for<br />

sports was no longer natural. It became necessary<br />

for me to add sports to my schedule in order to<br />

feel well and fit for studying.<br />

I felt the mind-body connection very strongly from<br />

the time I began studying. I did lots of aerobics<br />

and stretching to keep fit. Whenever possible, I still<br />

went skiing, hiking or rollerblading outside.<br />

An introduction to yoga<br />

When I got pregnant in Germany, through my<br />

midwife, I got introduced to yoga. The preparation<br />

for giving birth and the post-natal gym were very<br />

yoga-inspired. Soon after, a Finnish yoga teacher<br />

came to live in Ulm, and we started a Finnish yoga<br />

group in a garage. It was a life-changing<br />

experience for me. I remember that the euphoric<br />

feeling after the first yoga classes reminded me of<br />

the relaxed feeling after coming out of sauna. I<br />

haven‘t stopped practicing since then.<br />

With my husband and kids in 2012.<br />

starting to teach was too difficult for me, that I had<br />

started too late to advance into teaching.<br />

I continue to practice with Amy Petty, my trainer<br />

from the teacher training. Thanks to COVID-19,<br />

she is also teaching online now. Despite the<br />

distance between Seattle and Torino, we are in<br />

touch several times a week. I also find great<br />

inspiration from my teacher and anatomy genius,<br />

Valentina Amato, from Torino. Also Anu Visuri, my<br />

first yoga teacher and my business partner, has<br />

been my inspiration in learning and teaching yoga.<br />

And Vanessa de Haas, my teacher from Lyon,<br />

France, is a yoga genius with whom I continue<br />

practicing today.<br />

Misconceptions about yoga<br />

Many people think that in order to practice or<br />

teach yoga you need to be flexible, young and<br />

skinny. (Instagram phenomenon?) Yoga is really<br />

for everybody. Teaching yoga is a professional skill<br />

just like any other: you do it with passion and<br />

continuous study. You do not have to be a<br />

professional gymnast to be a good yoga teacher. It<br />

is more important to have good pedagogic skills<br />

and good training. Modern yoga is very advanced<br />

in the study of anatomy, taking into account the<br />

needs of different people and body types.<br />

Yoga in the snow.<br />

After 10 years of practice (and starting my own<br />

yoga app business) with teachers in Germany,<br />

France and Italy, I attended a 200-hour yoga<br />

teacher training (certified by Yoga Alliance) in<br />

Turin, Italy. It was organized by a local yoga studio<br />

with the lead teacher, Amy Petty, from Seattle,<br />

Washington in the US. So I have formal training in<br />

modern postural yoga as a Vinyasa yoga teacher<br />

as well.<br />

Overcoming obstacles<br />

I started yoga relatively late (at almost 40 years<br />

old). I also have a yoga business, where I work with<br />

many top European yoga teachers. I felt like<br />

The future of yoga?<br />

During the last year, the online offering of yoga<br />

has exploded as yoga studios had to close down.<br />

We at IWC Torino also do our yoga classes via<br />

Zoom with the hope of being able to do outdoor<br />

classes during the summer.<br />

Benefits of yoga for me<br />

It brings me zen in an instant. Also for a busy<br />

mom, yoga is something you can do any time and<br />

anywhere. Even 15 minutes is already a good<br />

practice. It is important for us moms to take care<br />

of ourselves; we are thus in a happier place with<br />

our loved ones and our colleagues/clients. I am<br />

also happy to be able to make a living as a nomad<br />

via yoga; not by teaching, but through my digital<br />

yoga service “Yoga with Gotta Joga.”<br />


With some of my yoga friends.<br />

Important influences in my life<br />

My mom has been the most hard-working,<br />

generous person I ever met, giving me an example<br />

of someone who never gives up and always keeps<br />

on going. My dad was an innovator and gave me a<br />

good brain that is able to learn.<br />

A different life?<br />

Wellness is already my third career after<br />

marketing and engineering. I think that if I had<br />

lived in another period of time, e.g., the Middle<br />

Ages, I would have been an artisan. I love to create<br />

practical things out of concrete materials: textiles,<br />

clay, paper, wood and even food.<br />



That’s Inspired!<br />

Each quarter for the last five years we have told you about FAWCO members who<br />

inspire us. The Inspiring Women Team decided to ask a few FAWCO friends two<br />

simple questions: “Who Inspires You? And “What Inspires You?” We wanted to<br />

know who and what motivates each of them. Thanks to those who responded!<br />

Margaret Hilditch, Munich IWC, former FAWCO Foundation<br />

Secretary<br />

Who Inspires You?<br />

I think top of my list would be – Michelle Obama. In her<br />

book, Becoming, she speaks about her role in the<br />

White House. She highlights the normalcy of life as a<br />

wife, a mother, a career woman and her demanding<br />

role and unfailing support as the president's wife. A<br />

major inspiration is her ability to be supportive while<br />

still being her own person. As a young, inexperienced<br />

RAF wife in the 70s, I knew there would be little<br />

sympathy if I decided life was too hard with my<br />

husband constantly on deployment and me home<br />

alone with the children. With hindsight, I realized that I<br />

became more resilient and mature, embracing the<br />

challenges and discovering new avenues for my<br />

talents. I never regretted a moment of our time in<br />

military service.<br />

The Hilditch Family in the early days.<br />

What Inspires You?<br />

People who embrace the challenges and<br />

difficulties in life regardless of their circumstances<br />

and situations. In a fast-changing world, we need<br />

people, like Michelle Obama, as role models who<br />

are inspirational, supportive, inventive and<br />

compassionate as we grow and change.<br />

The Obama Family, 2011.<br />


Sallie Chaballier, AAWE Paris, former FAWCO President<br />

Who Inspires You?<br />

My friend (and fellow AAWE Paris member)<br />

Sher Betz inspires me through her work<br />

running ”Les Amis de Hampaté Bâ”, a charitable<br />

association that provides scholarships and<br />

academic support to deeply disadvantaged girls<br />

in Niamey, Niger. Sher personally mentors 60<br />

scholarship girls, giving them the<br />

encouragement and support they need to<br />

complete their schooling and escape the cycle<br />

of dropping out of school, early marriage and<br />

childbirth.<br />

Sher Betz at the Collège Hampaté Bâ in Niamey, Niger.<br />

Sher says, “Year after year, I plant seeds and<br />

see the girls growing and blossoming: they are<br />

a new promise for Niger, a country that<br />

desperately needs, talented young women like<br />

them. Their success has an immense impact on<br />

their life path and on that of their families.<br />

What Inspires You?<br />

It may sound corny, but Paris inspires me. I am very fortunate to live in the historic center of arguably<br />

the most beautiful city in the world, and all I need to cheer up is to walk down my street to the bridge<br />

on the Seine five minutes away and admire the light and the beauty.<br />

A spectacular view of Paris on the Seine, from the Pont Louis Philippe. Photo taken by Sallie!<br />


Georgia Regnault, AWC of The Hague, former FAWCO President<br />

Who Inspires You?<br />

I am inspired by my six grandchildren, ranging<br />

in age from 17-9, as they confront the world<br />

they are growing up in and their thoughts on<br />

improving and saving it.<br />

2019 photo of Georgia’s inspirational grandkids!<br />

What Inspires You?<br />

I am inspired by my 12-year attendance and upbringing at the all-girls Quaker school, Lincoln, in<br />

Providence, RI during the 1950s. It taught me that one should stop sometimes and just be alone with<br />

one's thoughts and that I could do anything as a woman in the future.<br />

Picture of school exactly as it was when I went there -- same red door!<br />


Cynthia Smith-Ayed, AIWC Casablanca, former FAWCO Foundation<br />

VP Communications.<br />

What Inspires You?<br />

The most inspiring thing for me as an adult was joining a group of women runners. Support, advice,<br />

encouragement was in abundance. Running my first marathon at age 50 (husband was waiting at<br />

the finish line) and dozens of other ones around the world allowed me to see a different view of many<br />

famous cities. More importantly it taught me not to say, “I can't” but to say, “what do I need to do?”<br />

Who Inspires You?<br />

My husband of 44 years, Jaloul Ayed. He is an economist, international banker, classical music<br />

composer, writer, and my best friend. He has always aspired to be the best version of himself and<br />

therefore does the same for those close to him.<br />

Cynthia, center, back row with Casablanca Running Group.<br />

Jaloul Ayed.<br />

Rick Chizmadia, FAUSA, former FAUSA President<br />

What Inspires You?<br />

Making music, performing and sharing with<br />

others to make them feel good!<br />

Who Inspires You?<br />

My friend Tyler Collins. He passed away in<br />

2019. He was the most selfless, caring person<br />

that I have ever met. He would go out of his<br />

way to help you and make you feel welcome.<br />


Mary Stewart Burgher, AWC Denmark, FAWCO US Voting Chair<br />

Who Inspires You?<br />

It’s very brief: “my mom and Lucy”. My mother,<br />

Pauline Arnold Schweppe, worked to grow and<br />

develop every day of her life and that<br />

development included becoming a therapist in<br />

her 50s and increasing service to women and<br />

homeless people.<br />

Aretha Franklin<br />

Mary Stewart (R) with Lucy Laederich and Judy Furukawa.<br />

During my first catching of FAWCO fever I was in<br />

awe of the leaders I met. As voting by Americans<br />

overseas became my passion, Lucy Laederich<br />

(AAWE Paris and long-serving US Liaison)<br />

became a hero to me. I watched her use her<br />

knowledge, wit, elegance and networking skills to<br />

fight for the interests of Americans overseas in<br />

many arenas. Like many leaders, she enabled coworkers<br />

to develop new skills to use in the cause<br />

and inspired others to take up the torch when<br />

she had to lay it down.<br />

What Inspires You?<br />

Two things: excellence and service.<br />

Excellence in the arts is particularly inspiring. I have been singing since age eight and I love to hear great<br />

singers individually, but especially in groups. Watching them is delightful too, as the best sound comes<br />

from good technique as well as a good voice. Favorites include Bjørk, Aretha Franklin (give yourself a<br />

treat and listen to her rendition of Nessun Dorma) and choirs such as Soweto Gospel Choir, Les<br />

Mysteres des Voix Bulgares, Chanticleer and my favorite in Denmark, Sokkelund Sangkor, have given<br />

me transcendent experiences. The arts also constitute service to society and many great artists serve<br />

society in more than one way. For example, did you know Aretha Franklin was very active in the US civil<br />

rights movement?<br />

One of my club’s and FAWCO’s primary attractions are the opportunities that they offer for service.<br />

These opportunities also benefit the volunteers by enabling them to develop new skills and abilities.<br />


Liz MacNiven, AIWC Cologne, Inspiring Women Editor<br />

Who Inspires You?<br />

I am inspired by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In<br />

2022, aged 96, she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee<br />

which means she will have served our country for<br />

70 years and is an extraordinary achievement. She<br />

is the longest-reigning British monarch and the<br />

longest-serving female head of state in history.<br />

Certainly not everything is rosy in the house of<br />

Windsor, but I am very grateful for what she does.<br />

What Inspires You?<br />

In the summer of 2016 I got a phone call from the<br />

inspiring Sallie Chaballier who was VP<br />

Communications of FAWCO at the time. She told<br />

me that Robin Goldsby, a fellow member of<br />

AIWCC, musician, writer of numerous fabulous<br />

books and an all round lovely woman, had<br />

recommended me for a new position in FAWCO –<br />

Inspiring Women magazine editor. Robin<br />

thinking I was good enough for the job inspired<br />

and encouraged me to agree!<br />

Robin Meloy Goldsby.<br />


Fall Archives: 2017<br />

“Passion with a<br />

Purpose”<br />

The FAWCO Target Project is<br />

highlighted in the Educating<br />

Women Issue.<br />

The theme for this issue was a “no-brainer”. As<br />

FAWCO clubs entered the heart of the<br />

membership year, many would focus on the<br />

Target Program: Education, Empowering Women<br />

and Girls through Knowledge and Skills. Our<br />

theme, Women in Education, supported those<br />

efforts. We knew this issue had to be special.<br />

We asked:<br />

“Is there a member of your club involved in the<br />

wide world of education? They can be involved in<br />

traditional roles, in academics or, educators who<br />

have traveled a different path, school<br />

administrators who have made a difference or<br />

advocates working to improve education in their<br />

communities. Lecturers, trainer, sports coach,<br />

sports instructor; any kind of educator in fact! “<br />

The women we selected were blessed with a<br />

special vision. Their mission was to bring<br />

education to everyone, whether in traditional<br />

settings or outside their comfort zone. Because<br />

education is absolute: with it, we have everything,<br />

without it, we have nothing.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• This issue of Inspiring Women was the first<br />

issue on the Yumpu platform. We had an<br />

incredible 7130 views!<br />

• During this time the Inspiring Women team<br />

added Marie-Bénédicte Luxem from AWC<br />

Zurich to our team as our Cover Coordinator.<br />

Her contribution greatly improved our work.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

“Passion” is a word that is repeated throughout<br />

the profiles and features in this issue. Educating<br />

others is a calling. In addition to the many<br />

formidable skills one must have to teach, one<br />

must have strength, discipline, courage and a<br />

never-ending source of optimism.<br />

Megan Morris (AIWC Düsseldorf) with her students.<br />


Fall Archives: 2018<br />

“The Difference is<br />

That These<br />

Women Did Not<br />

Look Away”<br />

Women Who Persist, Part 1.<br />

This issue profiled women from our clubs who are<br />

walking the walk. Through their insistence and<br />

their persistence, they set out to right a wrong,<br />

elevate justice and make the case for a better<br />

human condition.<br />

We asked:<br />

“What is it about these women that motivates<br />

them to step out on the ledge of a troubled world<br />

and join the journey to make it a better place?”<br />

Big issue or small, we wanted to dive deeply into<br />

the psyche of those who take those very<br />

important steps. Women’s rights, children’s<br />

rights, poverty, hunger, health or the<br />

environment – there are challenges everywhere<br />

we look. The women we profiled chose their path<br />

and never looked back,<br />

As members of FAWCO, these women take the<br />

organization to a higher place. While they do not<br />

feel what they do is extraordinary, their energy<br />

and determination inspire us to achieve more in<br />

this world.<br />

Fun fact about/from the issue<br />

• The Inspiring Women team received a record<br />

25 nominations for this issue. (A record that<br />

still stands today!)<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

As one would expect, the response to the call for<br />

candidates for this issue was nothing short of<br />

overwhelming. Their stories were so outstanding<br />

that the Inspiring Women team made the<br />

decision to carry over this theme to the Spring<br />

2019 issue, so all the profiles were published.<br />

Jenny Ciucci (Heidelberg IWC) with young women from<br />

“Children First” in Cambodia.<br />


Fall Archives: 2019<br />

“Improving the<br />

State of Women’s<br />

Health is the<br />

Cornerstone to<br />

Improving<br />

Everyone’s<br />

Health”<br />

Targeting healthy lives: the<br />

Health and Well-Being Issue.<br />

Earlier in 2019, FAWCO launched Target Program<br />

4.0 at the Biennial Conference. “Ensuring Healthy<br />

Lives and Promoting Well-Being to Improve the<br />

Lives of Women and Girls" would be the focus of<br />

our next campaign.<br />

Soon, FAWCO Representatives and Presidents<br />

would begin their clubs’ education and awareness<br />

programs. From prenatal care for girls, basic<br />

access to healthcare, cancers in women,<br />

reproductive rights, violence against women and<br />

girls and mental health to aging, there was a lot<br />

of ground to cover.<br />

For the fall issue, Inspiring Women profiled<br />

FAWCO members who are or have been on the<br />

frontlines of health issues.<br />

We asked:<br />

“We want to hear stories from doctors, nurses,<br />

researchers, social workers – any advocates from<br />

your club who are working or have worked to<br />

improve the health of women and girls.“<br />

The women profiled for this issue were<br />

motivated by individual life experiences.<br />

However, they defined their success in one<br />

strong, unified chorus – to help others.<br />

Fun fact about/from the issue<br />

• The look of the magazine is ever evolving and<br />

we went big with a “new look” cover.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Dawn Parker (FAUSA and AWEP) on the job as Director of<br />

Nursing Ministry of National Guard Health, Dammam,<br />

Saudi Arabia.<br />

Helping others brought about two distinct<br />

outcomes. The first was the satisfaction of being<br />

able to help patients and clients attain wellbeing.<br />

The other was the women’s passion to<br />

teach others, whether it was mentoring<br />

colleagues or elevating well-being awareness in<br />

their communities.<br />


Fall Archives: 2020<br />

“Visualizing a<br />

Point of View”<br />

FAWCO photographers focus their<br />

lenses on the world: Women and<br />

Photography.<br />

Those who choose photography as the medium<br />

to artistically express themselves do not have a<br />

blank canvas; there are pictures are all around<br />

them. Their art starts with reality. The creation of<br />

their art is in how they shape the existing scene<br />

through the use the light, color and perspective.<br />

Their artist’s palette also includes a unique item,<br />

serendipity, to be at a place at the exact time<br />

when everything or nothing is perfect.<br />

Photography as a window on the times is<br />

essential. The pictures reveal the current “state of<br />

play”. They help to form and inform our beliefs<br />

and move many people from spectators to<br />

participants. The photographers who take these<br />

pictures speak truth to power; no language or<br />

voice is required.<br />

The Inspiring Women team wanted to know<br />

more about the FAWCO members who have<br />

chosen the lens of a camera to do their<br />

talking. Whether as an expression of art or to<br />

reveal the truth, their pictures are the best way to<br />

illustrate their achievements.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• This issue was our longest issue, coming out<br />

at 107 pages.<br />

• The magazine contains a record 216 photos<br />

in total.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Strength and confidence in a photo by Brigit Meuwissen<br />

(AWC Antwerp) who was inspired by the Black Lives Matter<br />

movement.<br />

The FAWCO women who were profiled in this<br />

issue were amazing artists and storytellers. Their<br />

photos were beautiful, exquisite, and hopeful.<br />

They were strong, confident images but not<br />

lacking in grace, a reflection of the character of<br />

our members.<br />


PROFILE <strong>2021</strong><br />

Working Towards an Equitable<br />

World for All<br />

Fall <strong>2021</strong>: The Women and Justice Issue.<br />

Justice was selected as one of the themes for the <strong>2021</strong> issues in the later part of 2020. George Floyd was<br />

murdered in May of that year. This horrific incident brought to a crescendo the Black Lives Matter<br />

movement and the tympanic roar for justice resounded around the world. How the rule of law would be<br />

disseminated would be a crucial measure of how we value this basic human right now and in the years<br />

to come.<br />

We were eager to profile members who have been seeking justice from grassroots or gleaming<br />

corporate offices. Inequities exist for women, so they view justice through a different lens. Living in<br />

places outside one’s home country adds other filters to the lens. And what role does culture have in<br />

how we view justice?<br />

The women profiled are “on the ground” dealing with the most difficult issues and situations; refugees<br />

and immigration policy, women’s rights, discrimination in education as a barrier to equality, sexual<br />

violence against women, to highlight a few. And because justice is at its best when there is a balance in<br />

the distribution of the rule of law, a program for fathers’ rights.<br />

These women came from various educational and cultural backgrounds. But no matter how or when<br />

they started their journey, they all want to achieve the same thing: a better and more equitable world<br />

for everyone.<br />

“Justice is Truth<br />

in Action”<br />

Kelsey McKay, member of FAUSA<br />

and founder of the non-profit<br />

organization RESPOND Against<br />

Violence, tells us about her work<br />

in the field.<br />

Kelsey McKay<br />

I was born in Florida, where both of my parents<br />

grew up. We quickly moved to Texas, then<br />

Australia (where we lived in Sydney and Perth),<br />

then England and Boston. In 1990 our family<br />

moved to Jakarta, Indonesia where we lived for<br />

eight years until I graduated from high school. I<br />

attended the Jakarta International School starting<br />

in the 5 th grade and was lucky to have a hold on<br />

moving through the end of high school. We would<br />

generally come home for three months during the<br />

summer, where I would get a taste of American<br />

life—going to the beach and making up dance<br />


psychology. There was no major for changing the<br />

world, but I did manage to graduate with honors<br />

with a psychology degree where I focused on<br />

research, statistics, and how they were used to<br />

impact social issues. At the time, I didn’t realize<br />

that I had fallen into what would be my career.<br />

Me aged about four.<br />

routines with my cousins, shopping at a mall, and<br />

going to the same summer camp year after year.<br />

It was at that camp many years later that I met my<br />

husband. I always loved feeling like a typical<br />

American kid for a few months every year, but I<br />

always knew that I was different than everyone<br />

else because of the other nine months.<br />

Leaving home<br />

I left Indonesia after graduating from high school<br />

and moved to Austin, Texas, where I attended the<br />

University of Texas. It was an odd transition<br />

because while I looked like many of the girls<br />

around me, I couldn’t have been more different. I<br />

had never worn makeup, I didn’t know what a<br />

sorority or khaki shorts were, and I wore flip-flops<br />

year-round.<br />

Today<br />

I live in Austin, Texas, with my husband, Jared, and<br />

an (almost) 11-year daughter and (almost) nineyear-old<br />

son. After college, I was grateful to stay in<br />

Austin for law school, and then I just never left. In<br />

2005 I started working as a prosecutor and spent<br />

the next 12 years navigating the world of criminal<br />

justice and learning everything I could about<br />

violent crime and trauma and became a subjectmatter<br />

expert in asphyxiation-related crimes.<br />

Somewhere during that time (2010 and 2012), we<br />

had two children and started a real estate and<br />

renovation business! In the seven years before<br />

COVID-19 I was traveling a few times a month<br />

across the country, training and consulting with<br />

different agencies.<br />

What is justice?<br />

This is a question I ask a lot when I’m training<br />

police officers, attorneys or advocates—all who<br />

work to achieve justice. For me, personally, it<br />

means the validation of truth. The tagline for the<br />

non-profit RESPOND Against Violence I recently<br />

started is: “Justice is truth in action.” It’s difficult<br />

because it seems like such a simple concept, and<br />

an achievable goal—but with an uneven playing<br />

field that punishes survivors, it’s hard to do.<br />

Getting involved<br />

At first, I thought becoming a prosecutor was<br />

essentially a way to do volunteer work that I was<br />

During college, I really became engaged in<br />

learning and consuming information and<br />

processing my perspective and thoughts. I never<br />

took extracurriculars like sports or art—I always<br />

used extra hours to take classes or seminars that<br />

would make me think: epidemiology, presidential<br />

elections, the rhetoric of utopia, political<br />

philosophy, and so on.<br />

Finding my passion<br />

I struggled early on, not quite knowing what to<br />

study, trying economics, special education,<br />

journalism, government, statistics, and<br />

Me with RESPOND colleagues.<br />


understand their perspective to be able to teach<br />

them effectively.<br />

With my family.<br />

passionate about but have benefits, a paycheck,<br />

and be an adult. I was doing “justice” every day,<br />

on every case to the best of my ability. Some days<br />

seemed more significant than others, like trials or<br />

verdicts that sent murderers, rapists or child<br />

abusers to prison. But I started to see that my<br />

involvement or a guilty verdict was not nearly as<br />

significant to the victim or the broken system in<br />

which I was working in. Over the years, I started to<br />

see routine injustice and failures that were<br />

ignored over and over again at the cost of people<br />

and lives. At first, I always believed that victims<br />

were only hurt by criminals who abused them. In<br />

time, I learned that punishment often came from<br />

the trauma of the system that failed to protect<br />

them in a meaningful way.<br />

I spent years working on the local level, trying to<br />

fix the failures one by one, only to discover that<br />

most parts of the criminal legal system are very<br />

resistant to change on the systemic level. When I<br />

left prosecution, I was worried about the survivors<br />

who might not get justice but knew that<br />

meaningful change just could not occur one case<br />

at a time.<br />

Different perspectives<br />

I love learning about a different perspective. I’ve<br />

been lucky to be able to focus a lot of my energy<br />

on the very specific topic of strangulation and<br />

asphyxiation-related crimes, which has also<br />

forced me to understand the issues and<br />

challenges that surround this oftenmisunderstood<br />

type of violence. It has forced me<br />

to learn about aspects of crime that I would never<br />

have navigated. My expertise in the area has also<br />

given me the opportunity to think about the topic<br />

from every perspective. When you walk into an<br />

auditorium full of doctors or police officers or<br />

army generals or defense attorneys, you have to<br />

Fifteen years ago, I discovered an issue: our<br />

community was not responding to strangulation<br />

crimes in a uniform or informed way. Since then,<br />

I’ve talked to anyone who would listen. First our<br />

cadet academy, then our paramedics and<br />

eventually the ERs, probation and parole boards,<br />

people on the plane next to me, and anyone who<br />

dares to sit next to me at a dinner party. As I<br />

found solutions, I have traveled the country to<br />

help the criminal system better respond to these<br />

crimes. Seeing that the same problem exists<br />

everywhere allows the solutions I’ve developed to<br />

be utilized universally.<br />

Rewarding aspects<br />

One of the most rewarding aspects has been<br />

conversations with survivors, especially those who<br />

exist in a world of sexual exploitation. Those<br />

conversations and relationships provide me an<br />

understanding of a world that originally motivated<br />

me to do this work. Growing up in Southeast Asia,<br />

I often saw children and women in vulnerable<br />

positions but lacked insight into how complex the<br />

situation was for them. It is the predators behind<br />

the shadows that force them to the front. Until we<br />

see in those shadows, we will continue to punish<br />

survivors. Talking to survivors and learning from<br />

them has taught me how to create policies that<br />

support safety rather than punish survival.<br />

What’s next?<br />

I hope the future holds a generation that<br />

prioritizes humanity and equality despite<br />

appearance and circumstances. I hope we see<br />

change that provides the vulnerable with a more<br />

consistent and reliable system to live in a safe<br />

world for themselves and their children. I’m<br />

encouraged by my colleagues around me, who I<br />


Giving a presentation.<br />

have found over the years who speak the same<br />

language as me and fight for justice in new ways.<br />

I often encounter defensiveness on issues where<br />

conversations and perspectives are the solutions.<br />

The way we speak to each other in this world<br />

becomes too adversarial (similar to the court<br />

system) and builds walls rather than bridges.<br />

Headlines themselves are rarely informative nor<br />

are they an effort to change the hearts and minds<br />

of society. But they encourage division and<br />

judgment. To shift culture on topics like crime,<br />

gender, and race, we have first to be informed by<br />

truth and accept that the reality for one person is<br />

not necessarily the experience of another. If we<br />

listen more, understand others, we can work<br />

together on issues. There is so much division in<br />

the world and conversations are the bridge to<br />

working together.<br />

I worry that we don’t have enough voices on our<br />

side, and I’m discouraged that gender-based<br />

violence is seen as just a women’s issue—because<br />

women can’t make men stop abusing them. Only<br />

men can do that. But I find good men are often<br />

defensive on the topic. What I have discovered,<br />

through years of training in a male-dominated<br />

culture (policing), is simply that men don’t live in<br />

the same world as I do. Men don’t fear women the<br />

way women fear men. So when the first<br />

responder to a gender-based crime is a male with<br />

a gun—there is an automatic barrier, and it is the<br />

role of an officer (not a traumatized victim) to try<br />

to bridge that gap.<br />

Injustices that I see<br />

After seeing thousands of people victimized by<br />

violence and working with both survivors and<br />

those charged with crimes, I learned that the<br />

criminal legal system often does not help. People<br />

are often defined as a defendant or a victim –<br />

without any context of their experience. As a<br />

result, victims who struggle to live through their<br />

situation are often criminalized for surviving. I see<br />

predators manipulate law enforcement,<br />

communities and judges and worry that our<br />

current system often empowers them by<br />

punishing victims. We need to humanize<br />

populations who face adversity and struggle, due<br />

to trauma, and penalize actual offenders who are<br />

dangerous and pose a risk to our safety. Right<br />

now, we see anyone who commits any type of<br />

crime as a criminal rather than making a<br />

distinction between people and dangerous<br />

criminals. As a result, survivors get caught up in<br />

the penal system as they navigate survival.<br />

The issues are layered and we have a system that<br />

silos every topic rather than dealing with the<br />

complexity. The root cause of addiction,<br />

homelessness and so many other issues is<br />

domestic violence and yet the conversation about<br />

prevention and accountability for that crime still<br />

remains silent.<br />

Policy needs to be evidence-based so that we can<br />

solve real problems with authentic solutions.<br />

Otherwise, we are just making the same mistakes<br />

over and over again and calling it a solution.<br />

When justice is attached to politics, power, or<br />

money – I see this all the time – avoiding<br />

transparency and accountability cover up truth<br />

and progress. At RESPOND Against Violence, we<br />

hope to create sustainable change through<br />

proven practice.<br />

With my daughter.<br />


A typical day for me<br />

My days are absolute chaos. My eyes open and<br />

my immediate hope is that my body rested and<br />

slept well enough to take on the day. Regardless<br />

of the reality, the morning starts with coffee and a<br />

few deep breaths. I’ve almost stopped watching<br />

the news but usually wake up around 2:00 a.m.<br />

for an hour and read Heather Cox Richardson’s<br />

historical review of the day. I get a sweet kiss and<br />

smile from my son, an early bird, and I get to<br />

work. I always dream of taking things off my to-do<br />

list but rarely end the day with anything checked<br />

off. There hasn’t been a day in the last five years<br />

that I’ve been able to read every email, text, or<br />

voicemail I’ve received.<br />

Before COVID-19, I was traveling about 50% of the<br />

time. Since then, my days are a variation of<br />

helping a prosecutor, colleague, or police officer<br />

with a case; supporting a survivor or a family<br />

member understand the reality of the system<br />

they entered; meeting with colleagues from<br />

around the country to develop forward-thinking<br />

approaches, training, or policies; building power<br />

points; presenting virtually to conferences or<br />

communities; working on a variety of publications<br />

to make sure that practitioners have evidencebased<br />

research to support their work; making a<br />

smoothie; making sure the kids are alive; Zoom<br />

meetings; taskforce meetings; reading journal<br />

articles; working on curriculums; scheduling<br />

conferences; creating resources without funding;<br />

trying to keep up with emails, requests; getting a<br />

phone call to deal with an emergency; making<br />

sure the kids did school; figuring out what to do<br />

for dinner. And then watching America’s Got<br />

Talent with the kids, and we all crash. Once in a<br />

while, I have time to wash my hair. Other days I<br />

use dry shampoo.<br />


Souvenirs from Across the FAWCO World<br />

Jump right in! It is midnight and the<br />

sun still bathes a serene glow over the<br />

lakes and forests of Finland in the<br />

summer.<br />

Finland is known for its beautiful<br />

nature and is great for exploring at all<br />

times of year, but there is something<br />

special about the light summer nights<br />

at a Finnish mökki (cabin).<br />

Ann Marie Morrow, FAWCO 1st VP and<br />

member of AWC Finland, Region 2<br />

Frankfurt is a vivid mix of old and<br />

new architecture. This is a view<br />

of the Frankfurt skyline with<br />

Römer Cathedral in the background<br />

from one of six bridges right in<br />

town, crossing the Main River.<br />

Danita Waterfall-Brizzi, President, AIWC<br />

Frankfurt, Region 5<br />


The Eiffel Tower is one of the most<br />

iconic structures in the world. Just<br />

like the Statue of Liberty in NYC, it<br />

represents a city and the feelings<br />

and ideas associated with that city.<br />

For me, Paris represents creativity,<br />

stimulation and romance. I chose<br />

this photo of the Eiffel Tower because<br />

it was taken at sunrise, when the<br />

city is still sleeping; you have the<br />

impression you are alone to take in<br />

the beauty of the iron lady and keep<br />

her as your own personal secret and<br />

romance.<br />

Krystal Kenney, Member-at-large, AWG<br />

Paris, Region 3<br />

The streets of Bogotá are filled with<br />

the shouts of "Aguacate, aguacate!"<br />

from mobile vendors with carts piled<br />

high with bright green orbs. Choosing<br />

the right avocado is a quintessential<br />

skill and art form in Colombia,<br />

utilizing all of one's senses. You<br />

don't just tell the vendor the number<br />

you want to buy, but for when you<br />

want them – to ensure they will be<br />

perfectly ripe when you need them to<br />

be. "Four, please, two for today and<br />

two for Thursday." To me, there's no<br />

better souvenir than experiencing<br />

Colombia's rich agriculture and food<br />

culture in this way.<br />

Mary Stange, FAWCO Rep, AWC Bogotá,<br />

Region 10<br />


Dunnottar Castle is a must. It is one<br />

of the favorite locations for our<br />

photography club to meet, as you<br />

always get a different photo.<br />

Caroline Aylmer Sanford, AAW of<br />

Aberdeen, Region 1<br />

Sunset on the Arabian/<br />

Persian Gulf at the<br />

Saudi Aramco beach.<br />

This beach is popular<br />

because it is one of the<br />

few places in Saudi<br />

where people can wear<br />

bathing suits to enjoy<br />

the beach and the<br />

beautiful waters of the<br />

Gulf. The people in the<br />

photo are dressed in<br />

traditional Saudi garb.<br />

Therese Hartwell, former<br />

President and FAWCO Rep,<br />

AWEP, Region 9<br />


Hassan II mosque. This beautiful<br />

mosque in Casablanca was built to<br />

commemorate the former king’s<br />

(Hassan II) 60th birthday. The<br />

mosque stands right at the edge of<br />

the water, and its 210-meter-tall<br />

minaret is one of the city’s major<br />

landmarks. The building showcases<br />

the talent and craft of Moroccan<br />

artisans. The miles-long coast of<br />

Casablanca and Ain Diab are very<br />

important to the citizens. Walking,<br />

running, swimming and football are<br />

enjoyed there every day. The minaret<br />

can be seen throughout this area.<br />

Cynthia Smith-Ayed, RC and FAWCO Rep,<br />

AIWC Casablanca, Region 7<br />

This photo, taken from Piazzale<br />

Michelangelo, is emblematic of<br />

Florence and its status as an<br />

open-air museum city, the<br />

cradle of the Renaissance.<br />

Diedre Pirro, FAWCO Rep, AILO<br />

Florence, Region 8<br />


Our favorite place to visit will always<br />

be the Grand Place. Filled with<br />

festivals all summer long and special<br />

events throughout the year, it never<br />

disappoints. One such event takes<br />

place every two years that is a<br />

carpet made of flowers. The carpet,<br />

measuring 77 m x 24 m, is prepared<br />

by about 120 volunteers who place<br />

nearly one million begonias in less<br />

than four hours.<br />

Heather Bloemperk, FAWCO Rep AWC<br />

Brussels, Region 4<br />

One of my favorite places<br />

to walk is along Elliot Bay<br />

and the Puget Sound in<br />

West Seattle. The views<br />

encompass Mt. Baker to the<br />

north, the Olympic<br />

Mountains to the west, Mt.<br />

Rainier to the south and,<br />

across Elliot Bay, the<br />

Seattle skyline. The<br />

outdoor art along the way<br />

complements the natural<br />

beauty of the area.<br />

Michele Hendrikse Du Bois,<br />

Regional and Seattle Metro<br />

Coordinator, FAUSA<br />


For months, I walked across this<br />

bridge over the Limmat river every<br />

evening to the main train station<br />

after my German class, so I equate<br />

this view with my becoming a part<br />

of Zürich. I guess, when I close my<br />

eyes and think of Zürich, this is<br />

what I see.<br />

Laurel McDonald, FAWCO Rep AWC Zürich,<br />

Region 6<br />

The dabbawalas are a lunchbox<br />

delivery and return system that<br />

delivers hot lunches from homes and<br />

restaurants to people at work in<br />

India, especially in Mumbai.<br />

Between 175,000 and 200,000<br />

lunch boxes are moved each day and<br />

it is frequently claimed that<br />

dabbawalas make fewer than one<br />

mistake in every six million<br />

deliveries, which has sparked the<br />

interest of many business studies.<br />

If you have the chance to visit<br />

Mumbai, go to Churchgate at 11:30<br />

a.m. and watch – fascinating!<br />

Karen Boeker, now member of AWC<br />

Denmark, in 2014-2015 member of ACIW<br />

Mumbai, Region 11<br />


Winter Archives: 2017<br />

“Art is the<br />

Beauty and<br />

Brightness in the<br />

Universe”<br />

The Women in the Arts issue was<br />

a feast for the eyes.<br />

The perfect theme for the dark days of<br />

winter. There was never any doubt that FAWCO<br />

clubs possessed members with amazing artistic<br />

gifts. The choices would be difficult!<br />

We asked:<br />

“Filling a space in a beautiful way, that’s what art<br />

is to me” – Georgia O’Keeffe. The winter issue will<br />

be devoted to FAWCO club members who have<br />

found a beautiful way to fill the space – and have<br />

made an impact through their work. Their<br />

accomplishments can be in any art discipline –<br />

we leave it for you to decide: What is Art?”<br />

Art is everywhere but it takes a unique talent to<br />

harness it and re imagine it in a different form so<br />

that mere mortals can enjoy it. Our collection of<br />

profilees were outstanding artists from a wide<br />

range of mediums, as well as those who worked<br />

to preserve art by sharing its history with others<br />

or creating exhibits for others.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• The feature “Just for Fun” was introduced in<br />

this issue.<br />

• QR codes were made available enabling<br />

readers to use the app to learn more about a<br />

topic or product.<br />

• By the year’s end, we had profiled at least one<br />

member from every FAWCO region.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Sunny Eades (North American Connection) hard at work.<br />

Many great artists through the ages possessed<br />

complicated personalities or unusual habits. Our<br />

profilees had none of that. The level of talent was<br />

extraordinary, and all our artists were warm,<br />

generous and unassuming, reinforcing Inspiring<br />

Women’s core belief – these women exist in all<br />

our clubs from all walks of life … they are you.<br />


Winter Archives: 2018<br />

“It’s Joy – It’s<br />

Music!”<br />

The soundtrack of the FAWCO<br />

world: Women in Music.<br />

This issue was a great collection of profiles and<br />

the perfect way to end to the year.<br />

A piece of music achieves greatness when it<br />

disrupts time. We were looking for candidates for<br />

this issue that dared to create the language, the<br />

sound, the movement that enter the most private<br />

parts of an individual’s soul. They say those with<br />

musical talent have a gift – but how did they<br />

receive it?<br />

We asked:<br />

“Is music their passion or salvation?”<br />

The people profiled in this issue have astonishing<br />

talent. They shared with us their stories of how<br />

they came to music (or how it came to them).<br />

How did they find the balance between<br />

containing and controlling their talent and<br />

stoking the fire of creativity to achieve artistic<br />

success? Some of our profilees have chosen to<br />

guide others in maximizing their musical<br />

abilities. They shared with us their stories of what<br />

musical success means to them.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• Rick Chizmadia, a member of AWC Zurich and<br />

FAUSA, was the first man to be profiled in<br />

Inspiring Women. Rick has many talents, and<br />

it was a pleasure to include him in this issue.<br />

• The Inspiring Women team used the<br />

advantages of our online platform to bring<br />

sound to this issue. We asked each of our<br />

profilees to provide a link to their music. It<br />

was a special holiday gift from them to all<br />

our readers!<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

Robin Goldsby (AIWC Cologne) at the piano.<br />

Those individuals who can harness the energy of<br />

their artistry and carefully craft it into an original<br />

moment have all of our respect. In music, finding<br />

a new way to play the notes or finding delight in a<br />

fresh way to use your vocal gifts not only moves<br />

music forward, but it also moves the world.<br />

These profilees helped to fuel the movement.<br />


Winter Archives: 2019<br />

“We Can Bridge<br />

Our Cultural<br />

Differences with<br />

Food”<br />

A fabulous “Foodies” tour<br />

featuring FAWCO members and<br />

their kitchens: Women and Food<br />

and … Drink.<br />

At the end of the year, no matter what holiday<br />

you celebrate or where you celebrate it, food<br />

plays a special part. For this issue we wanted to<br />

profile women whose joie de vivre comes from<br />

food and drink.<br />

We asked:<br />

“Do they teach a cooking class; do they make their<br />

own beer; have they written a cookbook; do they<br />

run a restaurant? While simply drinking<br />

champagne does not really qualify you (we would<br />

have too many profiles if that were the case)<br />

being a sommelier would! “<br />

The women profiled were a fascinating and<br />

diverse group of who, while not living in their<br />

home countries, have found their passion in their<br />

host countries through food and drink.<br />

Clearly the passion starts with the wonderful<br />

food and dishes that they discovered while living<br />

in a new place. To understand the history of food<br />

is to understand better the history of the world.<br />

They showed us that food is essential for good<br />

health. How we eat food and deliver it has an<br />

impact on the environment.<br />

Fun facts about/from the issue<br />

• Inspiring Women added a new feature, 24<br />

Hours in … where FAWCO club members<br />

shared insider tips about what to see and do<br />

in their cities. We took our maiden trip to<br />

Paris with AAWE and AWG Paris.<br />

• The team brought back an earlier feature,<br />

Seasonal Recipes, for this issue. Our recipes<br />

included everything from traditional turkey<br />

from the UK to bibingka from the Philippines.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

“Cooking is fun”. Barbara Abdeni Masssaad<br />

(AWC Lebanon).<br />

When the team chooses a theme for each issue,<br />

there is usually a subtheme that emerges from<br />

those featured in the magazine. In this issue,<br />

addition to their love of food and drink, the single<br />

trait that the profilees had in common was their<br />

passion for sharing.<br />


Winter Archives: 2020<br />

“Bravo! Author!<br />

Encore!”<br />

Sisters Act : Women in Drama.<br />

The Inspiring Women team selected drama as<br />

the theme for the last issue of 2020.<br />

We asked:<br />

“What is it about you that you are able to give<br />

oneself over to a character taken from a script<br />

and perform it in front of others?” At a minimum<br />

it requires bravery and brazenness. We also<br />

explored what happens when one plays a part but<br />

has no script. To bravery and brazenness, one<br />

adds a bit of bungee-jumping-like madness. Or<br />

consider the performer that is only allowed one<br />

tool – their voice, to create a character. It would<br />

be like describing a ladder without being allowed<br />

to use your hands.<br />

There is also more to acting than the accolades<br />

from the crowds. We examined the lives of those<br />

whose write and perform to promote wellness,<br />

and a sense of peace.<br />

And, importantly, plays can give us clearer insight<br />

and better appreciation of other cultures and<br />

countries. In the darkness of a theater,<br />

sometimes a new light of understanding shines.<br />

Fun fact about/from the issue<br />

• Another major design change of the magazine<br />

was made to give it a more professional and<br />

modern feel.<br />

What inspired us about the issue<br />

There is an undeniable optimism about people in<br />

the entertainment industry. They do not select<br />

their profession as a last resort. While there is<br />

disappointment to deal with, they get back up<br />

and take control of their situation.<br />

Caroline Wagner Jacobson (AWC Amsterdam) and a famous<br />

friend!<br />


PROFILE <strong>2021</strong><br />

Hospitality is Simply Love on the<br />

Loose<br />

Winter <strong>2021</strong>: The Women and Hospitality Issue.<br />

As <strong>2021</strong> came to a close, getting together with family and friends for year-end celebrations was a very<br />

real possibility. We hoped that those celebrations would be very special as we waited so long to be with<br />

each other. Social events were back on the calendar and everyone hoped it would be a grand and<br />

beautiful experience.<br />

We wanted to profile women who have succeeded in making people feel welcome and special – the<br />

perfect definition of “savoir faire”. We asked,” Perhaps there is a member who has started a unique<br />

business that caters to providing hospitality services to others? Or is there a member who has built a<br />

reputation as a welcoming light in your community?<br />

Enter some of FAWCO’s hospitality experts. Not only do they know how to “par-tay”, but they also do it<br />

in different languages and in unusual venues.<br />

How one is made to feel welcome is the very essence of hospitality. Sharing secrets about one’s city is<br />

the best gift for any guest. And because FAWCO is a worldwide organization, we have the added<br />

perspective of exploring these experiences in different cultures.<br />

The people profiled in this issue demonstrated the ability to have “grace under pressure”, they can think<br />

on their feet and will do whatever it takes to achieve the dreams of their guests.<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 />

event 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 fully<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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 />

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

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

Early days.<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 study<br />

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

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

decided to do my semester abroad with Semester<br />

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

my life. I was able to travel by ship visiting 12<br />

countries over three months and met some of my<br />

best friends to this day. It was an experience that I<br />

wouldn’t trade for anything.<br />

Next steps<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 />

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, starting over as a freelance event<br />

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

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

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 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<br />

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

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

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

was 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<br />

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

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

On my wedding day.<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 />

to 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 />

Setting up for an event.<br />

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

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

Rings) and even printed directly onto chocolate<br />

(Chocolat). The process of getting creative and<br />

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

favorite 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 />

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 />

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 />

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 over,<br />

the event was still going strong - we had plenty of<br />

booze and a great DJ and people were having a<br />

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

unanimously decided that they were done serving<br />

and left the site. I was shocked! We had the venue<br />

for another hour and a thousand guests still on<br />

site – and they were thirsty! Refusing to let my<br />

party down, I rallied the production crew and<br />

recruited two people to join me in tending the bar.<br />

For the next hour, it was me and some colleagues<br />

serving the beer and wine to thirsty partygoers;<br />

and we were able to make sure that everyone<br />

there had a great time and plenty to talk about in<br />

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 they<br />

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

made a berry cobbler, which was looked at very<br />

skeptically until someone decided it was just like<br />

an apple crumble. After that, everyone ate it<br />

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

better with custard than ice cream.<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 the<br />

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

restaurants, venues and event spaces in any city I<br />

live in. Sometimes it is fun, but sometimes it would<br />

be nice to just relax and enjoy! That is why I hired<br />

a wedding coordinator for my own wedding. My<br />

friends and family were surprised, but I wanted to<br />

make sure I could enjoy the day and not attend<br />

my own wedding 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 />

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

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

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

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




A Club Inspires:<br />

AWG Paris<br />

In their centenary year, Cathy Farnan, former Club President, tells us the<br />

club history and Julien McKinney Young, current Club President, introduces<br />

us to it today. AWG Paris is one of seven clubs in FAWCO’s Region 3.<br />

CATHY: When and why was your club started,<br />

and by whom? The beginnings of the American<br />

Women’s Group in Paris are shrouded by the<br />

passage of time, world wars and missing<br />

documents. We know that our women’s<br />

association was originally started in 1921 and<br />

called the American Women’s Club in Paris.<br />

and women of nations associated with the USA in<br />

the Great War, to create a center of social and<br />

educational activity and to assist in furthering<br />

American philanthropy in France. Despite the<br />

changes throughout the world, our mission and<br />

philosophy haven’t changed significantly in over<br />

100 years!<br />

Sharon Nossiter (President 2017 – 2019) reached<br />

out to the American Library in Paris and learned<br />

that the American Women’s Club in Paris (AWC<br />

Paris) was referenced in the first edition of the<br />

directory published by the American Chamber of<br />

Commerce in 1925. AWC Paris was noted as a<br />

“service club that really serves”, and their<br />

objectives included to serve American women<br />

either resident or visiting in France, to encourage<br />

friendly relations between the women of the USA<br />

With the lockdowns in Paris during COVID-19, I<br />

turned to the Internet to learn a bit more about<br />

our origins. First of all, I apologize that I am neither<br />

a researcher nor a writer, but the information that<br />

I found really is quite fascinating! It would be a<br />

wonderful book about the evolution of women’s<br />

clubs and how women throughout the decades<br />

created something bigger than themselves for the<br />

greater good and to make an everlasting impact<br />

on their adopted communities. Beginning with<br />


quickly evolved into a service club. The younger<br />

(and mostly single) working women connected<br />

AWC Paris with the YWCA to provide<br />

accommodations and a social salon for the<br />

American women involved in the Great War or the<br />

social works connected to the wounded. Miss<br />

Constance Clark, who had studied hotel<br />

management and hospitality at Simmons College<br />

in Boston and had experience with Hostess House<br />

at Camp Lewis, was asked to supervise the project.<br />

In 1919, after the end of the Great War, with<br />

continued financial support from the YWCA, AWC<br />

Paris focused its efforts on assisting the American<br />

Gold Star Mothers. The mothers and sisters of the<br />

fallen Americans wished to visit their loved ones'<br />

graves, and the members of AWC Paris provided<br />

rooms, directions and assistance to over 100,000<br />

Gold Star families.<br />

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ (a Library of<br />

Congress website of America’s historic<br />

newspapers), I found multiple references in the<br />

society pages of the New York Herald, Washington<br />

Evening Star and many other US newspapers. As<br />

an early version of Facebook, these weekly pages<br />

reported announcements regarding American<br />

arrivals in Paris with specific references to the<br />

American Women’s Club in Paris luncheons,<br />

Thanksgiving dinners and speaker events. And to<br />

my great surprise, I found references to AWC Paris<br />

as early as 1914!<br />

So who were these original founders of the<br />

American Women's Club in Paris, and how did<br />

AWC Paris become AWG Paris? The earliest<br />

reference, in 1914, to the American Women’s Club<br />

in Paris (AWC Paris) announces the formation of an<br />

“exclusive club in Paris” by Lady Randolph Churchill<br />

(mother of Winston Churchill) and Mrs. Charles<br />

Clark. While Lady Randolph Churchill primarily<br />

resided in London, she spent quite a bit of time in<br />

Paris socializing with her international friends. In<br />

the early 1900s, women’s clubs were popping up in<br />

cities all over the US and in major cultural cities<br />

throughout the world. Newspapers reported on<br />

their local clubs as well as on significant events<br />

from clubs overseas. However, the winds of war<br />

were swirling, and France and the UK became<br />

deeply involved in the Great War. As many wealthy<br />

Americans departed Paris, this elite social club<br />

As the economy of France rebounded in the 1920s,<br />

many American women followed their husbands<br />

overseas to live an expatriate life. Paris was full of<br />

joie de vivre in the 1920s: the Jazz Age, the Lost<br />

Generation, writers, photographers, socialites and<br />

travel by ship were booming. By March 1921, the<br />

YWCA had decided to withdraw from Paris.<br />

Without the funding from the YWCA, the American<br />

Women’s Club in Paris needed to evolve once<br />

again. The members wished to carry on their<br />

mission of service to American women visiting<br />

France, but did not want to charge for their<br />

assistance to women searching for their loved<br />

ones. In the spring of 1921, a clever invitation was<br />

sent to all the women’s clubs in the USA, offering<br />

local women’s clubs an opportunity to affiliate with<br />

AWC Paris for a small membership fee!<br />

AWC Paris was formally incorporated in New York<br />

City on March 25,1925. The first official President<br />

of AWC Paris was Mrs. Louise Sherwood Connett;<br />

Members of AWC Paris at a luncheon, tea and fashion show<br />

in 1933.<br />


together to discuss the need for an American<br />

women’s organization. These women led the<br />

charge to nominate Dorothy Leet as the President<br />

of the freshly re-organized American Women’s<br />

Group in Paris.<br />

Thus, in 1952, the American Women’s Group in<br />

Paris (AWG Paris) was officially reborn, according<br />

to a reference in the Journal Officiel de la<br />

République, “Groupement de femmes<br />

américaines à Paris, encourager et developper des<br />

activités sociales, cuturelles et éducatives parmi les<br />

femmes américaines en France et contribuer à<br />

promouvoir les relations franco-américaines dans<br />

tous les domaines possibles. ”<br />

Mrs, Louise Connett, who served as the FAWCO 1st VP<br />

from 1932 to 1934 and was the second FAWCO President,<br />

succeeding Caroline Curtis Brown, was also the first<br />

President of AWC Paris!<br />

First VP, Mrs. Louise E. Berry-Wall; Second VP,<br />

Mrs. Margaret A. Beekman, and over 35 other<br />

members served in various committee chair and<br />

board positions.<br />

While the AWC Paris had proved to be adaptable<br />

to the times, in 1936 it became very clear that it<br />

would be difficult for the club to continue in Paris<br />

with the approach of WWII. Americans were<br />

leaving Paris in droves, and those expats who<br />

chose to stay often sent their wives and children to<br />

safer residences in the US. According to the AWC<br />

Paris minutes in our archives, the last regular<br />

meeting of the AWC Paris was held on October 13,<br />

1936 at the Hotel Lancaster with only seven<br />

members present and primarily concerned the<br />

sale of the AWC club building. The Executive<br />

Committee determined that the club would<br />

continue meeting informally, but officially the AWC<br />

Paris would be in abeyance until further notice.<br />

Although we haven’t researched much beyond the<br />

early 1950s, the Washington Evening Star<br />

(November 23, 1958) reported on the “American<br />

Women in Paris Tour of New UNESCO Building”<br />

and (May 19, 1959) reported on a “Conference<br />

Slated for Paris,” with the American Women’s<br />

Group in Paris hosting the 14th Biennial of the<br />

Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas.<br />

The more I learn about the remarkable women of<br />

AWC Paris who forged friendships, created<br />

communities and contributed to society, the more<br />

proud I am of how AWG Paris has remained true to<br />

its origins, continuing to foster and encourage<br />

social, cultural and educational activities among<br />

American women living in France and to assist in<br />

furthering Franco-American relations. I don’t know<br />

what challenges the next 100 years will bring to<br />

AWG Paris, but given the club’s ability to pivot over<br />

the years, I have great faith that the members of<br />

AWG Paris will continue to welcome American<br />

Perhaps the intrepid women of AWC Paris weren’t<br />

able to meet in Paris, but not even a world war<br />

would prevent them from gathering together.<br />

Declaring that the “friendships made in Paris are<br />

precious ones,” many AWC Paris members met in<br />

New York in 1938 with the intention of “carrying<br />

on” the AWC Paris mission.<br />

After the end of WW2, on November 28, 1949, a<br />

group of 16 American women representing<br />

different circles in Paris were asked to come<br />

Dorothy Leet in 1949.<br />


esidents and visitors for decades to<br />

come…”Friendships made in Paris are precious!”<br />

Final Note: Many of the early founders of the AWC<br />

Paris received recognition and Medals of Honor for<br />

their philanthropic and charitable works in France<br />

and Europe, including the Legion of Honor from<br />

the French government for their work with the<br />

Women’s War Relief Corps (a division of the Red<br />

Cross in France), War Blinded and the Sailors &<br />

Soldiers Clubs.<br />

JULIEN: How many members do you have, and<br />

what are their nationalities? We have 217 active<br />

members, of whom 143 (66%) are American, 27<br />

(12%) are French and 9 (4%) are British, and we<br />

also have members from Finland, India, Ireland,<br />

Germany, Denmark, Colombia, South Africa,<br />

Sweden and the Philippines.<br />

How does the club run? The Club has an elected<br />

board. Board members are suggested by the<br />

membership and by the Nominations Committee.<br />

The slate of proposed officers is voted on as a<br />

whole by the active membership.<br />

What kind of events do you have in your club?<br />

Our Activities Team organizes our events which<br />

can be paid, such as a tour of a museum, or free,<br />

such as the monthly Cafe Chat. For example, last<br />

November, they organized 29 different events<br />

attended by 138 members. The events included a<br />

sit-down potluck Thanksgiving dinner for members<br />

and families, a visit to an artist’s studio, a guided<br />

tour of Père Lachaise Cemetery, a hike in the<br />

countryside, tennis, French-English Conversation<br />

Exchange (over coffee), cheese tasting, an evening<br />

apéro social get-together and a weekly jogging<br />

group that meets in the Tuileries Garden.<br />

Do you raise money for any particular cause?<br />

We support Serve The City, a group that provides<br />

food and items to the homeless, and La Soupe<br />

(L’Église de la Sainte Trinité ) who provide free<br />

lunches to those in need, as well as the FAWCO<br />

Target Project. Last spring we held a Zoom<br />

“Games Night” to raise money for Les Maisons de<br />

Femmes, an organization that helps domestic<br />

violence victims.<br />

What else would you like us to know about<br />

your club? As you can see our members were<br />

always an adventurous and courageous group. Life<br />

in Paris through the years of the Great War and<br />

the years after were hard. The American Women’s<br />

Club partnered with the YWCA to help those in<br />

need and created a lively and warm-hearted<br />

"home away from home” for its members.<br />

Not much has changed in the ensuing century of<br />

AWG Paris’s existence. During the COVID-19<br />

pandemic – even during the national lockdown –<br />

AWG Paris members continued our support of the<br />

homeless community within Paris and FAWCO’s<br />

Target Project. We learned how to do things online<br />

and extended our social and educational activities<br />

to the “Zoom verse.” As soon as it was possible,<br />

our members met in person outdoors as much as<br />

possible. We happily continue the culture of<br />

courage, adventure and caring that has<br />

characterized our club from its very inception.<br />

AWG Paris Board Members and former President Cathy Farnan.<br />




Sharing Inspiring Women<br />

Editor Liz MacNiven explains how and why you should<br />

share our magazine.<br />

It is for this reason that we would like to ask every<br />

reader of this <strong>Highlights</strong> issue to ask one friend or<br />

family member (they don’t have to be a FAWCO<br />

club member) to subscribe to receive the<br />

magazine directly into their inbox. If you don’t yet<br />

subscribe yourself, why not click this link<br />

SUBSCRIBE and sign up now, too?<br />

Five years after the magazine was first launched,<br />

Inspiring Women continues to evolve, going from<br />

strength to strength. Originally, it was published as<br />

a PDF document sent out via email. Today, it is a<br />

fully-fledged, online magazine, which is published<br />

on the platform Yumpu. This allows us to use<br />

multimedia tools, such as videos, as well as the<br />

written word.<br />

We are very proud that Inspiring Women has the<br />

largest number of direct subscribers of any<br />

FAWCO publication, but we are determined not to<br />

rest on our laurels. Every subscriber we attract<br />

means the work of FAWCO reaches more people<br />

across the globe. It also makes the magazine more<br />

attractive as a place to advertise to businesses all<br />

over the world. This then leads to an increased<br />

advertising revenue for FAWCO, which then<br />

furthers our ability to do such good work on behalf<br />

of women and girls.<br />

The magazine is important to FAWCO for a variety<br />

of reasons, the main one being to highlight the<br />

achievements of individual FAWCO club members<br />

worldwide. But another important aspect of our<br />

work is to bring the work of<br />

FAWCO to a wider audience.<br />


The easiest way is to click this link :<br />


But, if for any reason that doesn’t work, try this:<br />

1. Go to FAWCO.org<br />

2. On the right side of the homepage under the<br />

yellow banner “Quick Links for Members”,<br />

click on Inspiring Women.<br />

3. On the Inspiring Women page, click on the<br />

blue button SIGN UP NOW on the right hand<br />

side.<br />

4. Complete the form, making sure you check<br />

Inspiring Women in the list of publications.<br />

A new development for the Inspiring Women<br />

team in <strong>2021</strong> was the launch of our dedicated<br />

Facebook page. We would love you to click the<br />

link to “like” and follow the page and ask your<br />

friends and family to do the same for exactly the<br />

same reasons, as we want to increase our<br />

subscriber numbers.<br />

Every subscriber or follower we attract represents<br />

a contribution to the work of FAWCO. It costs the<br />

person subscribing nothing, and they get a regular,<br />

free copy of this fabulous magazine every quarter.<br />

Subscribing is very easy, and it makes a difference<br />

to what FAWCO can achieve through its work. So,<br />

why not sign up now?<br />



The Evolution of Our Feature<br />

Articles<br />

Editor Liz MacNiven and Features Coordinator Michele Hendrikse Du<br />

Bois highlight the changes in the Inspiring Women feature articles<br />

since the magazine first began.<br />

in existence over 40 years and hosts many events<br />

during the year. Their monthly shopping bazaar<br />

sounds a lot of fun, and it raises money that goes<br />

back into the local Filipino community, so it helps<br />

others, too. Read about them here: A Club Inspires<br />

Early prose articles<br />

For the first couple of years, these were written<br />

for us by Robin Meloy Goldsby, member of AIWC<br />

Cologne, Germany, and by Jane Mobille, a member<br />

from AAWE Paris, France.<br />

Liz: In 2017, when we sat down to create the very<br />

first issue of Inspiring Women, we knew that<br />

whilst we wanted to showcase the amazing and<br />

inspiring worlds that the women of FAWCO live<br />

in, a magazine with just one type of article could<br />

get rather monotonous. So we came up with<br />

three other features for the issue: one on a<br />

FAWCO region, one on a specific club and a special<br />

prose feature.<br />

Club features<br />

Our club and regional features have been a mix of<br />

large and small, distant and closer to home. Over<br />

the last five years we have featured a total of 21<br />

clubs from all the FAWCO Regions, under the<br />

banner “A Club Inspires.”<br />

Robin wrote mostly under the heading “Home and<br />

Away.” Here are highlights from my own two<br />

favourite articles of hers.<br />

Home and Away: Everyone Here Speaks English<br />

(click to read) – I think many of us who have lived<br />

in a second language can really relate to the trials<br />

involved that Robin so eloquently describes:<br />

“English had always been my protection, my<br />

armor, my waterproof layer of textured wool that<br />

keeps me comfortable and dry. German, in spite of<br />

all my years of practice, still feels more like an illfitting<br />

coat from a secondhand store, purchased<br />

for me by someone who wasn’t sure of my size.”<br />

FAWCO clubs come in all shapes and sizes, but<br />

we ask them the same questions, which we hope<br />

give our readers ideas they might copy in their<br />

own clubs. We also ask contributors to tell us<br />

some more about their city or region and give us<br />

some top tips of places to see if we are ever there<br />

in person.<br />

I only have space here to highlight one of the<br />

features, so I am going to choose one that feels far<br />

away and exotic to me! (Editor’s privilege maybe?)<br />

AWC The Philippines, in Region 10 (now), has been<br />

Robin Meloy Goldsby.<br />


Home and Away: Circle Back Home (click to read) –<br />

Robin describes life as a series of ever-widening<br />

circles, some of which intersect, some that don’t,<br />

but most of which should be appreciated. “A good<br />

circle brings me joy: a perfect white plate holding<br />

my not-so-perfect dinner; the silver-blue irises of<br />

my daughter’s eyes; a symmetrical pancake I’ve<br />

Jane Mobille.<br />

cooked myself; a New York City bagel, unadorned.<br />

(…) Circles. Curves. Loops. They define my life.<br />

They have led me far away. They will also lead me<br />

home. Eventually. Zu Hause. Home. At Last.”<br />

Jane Mobille, our other early writer, works as a life<br />

coach, so she often uses what she has learned<br />

from this work to reflect on the theme of an issue.<br />

Our February 2018 issue had the theme Women in<br />

Sport and Fitness. Jane wrote about how some of<br />

her clients had used sport as a way to combat<br />

other issues in their lives.<br />

Sport & Fitness - Antidotes to Life’s Challenges<br />

(click to read). While telling the client stories, Jane<br />

encourages us readers to think of ways that sport<br />

and fitness could improve our own lives if we let it.<br />

“We can all take comfort in the knowledge that<br />

sport and fitness are available as a way to work<br />

through the challenges and suffering that we will<br />

face at different times in our lives. Really, aren’t<br />

they the most perfect antidotes?”<br />

musical instrument I would be..” We ended up with<br />

four pianos, four cellos, two French horns, a drum<br />

kit, a sax, a singer and a bass! (Click here to see the<br />

answers: Part 1, Part 2)<br />

I played the cello many years ago, and it can be a<br />

simply beautiful sound. So I especially like what<br />

UK-based Robin Smirnov, a singer and member of<br />

Chilterns American Women’s Club International,<br />

said about it: “I would be a cello for sure! A cello is<br />

beautiful and curvy and makes the most divine<br />

dark and powerful sounds. Girl power at its best.”<br />

Features by new members<br />

Determined to keep things fresh, in early 2018 we<br />

introduced another new feature. Called “First<br />

Take,” it was designed to give newer club members<br />

a voice in the magazine. Our first one was written<br />

by two women (Lyn Herr and Teresa Perez y<br />

Landazuri), new to their club in Hamburg,<br />

Germany, who were so enthused after attending a<br />

FAWCO fundraiser and awareness evening that<br />

they went home and organized a fundraiser<br />

themselves! The family fun run was a big success,<br />

with more than 120 participants, and raised over<br />

£2000. Click here to read: First Take<br />

Then there was my personal favourite First Take,<br />

which was written by Celeste Bennekers of AWC<br />

Antwerp. She wrote a wonderfully evocative<br />

feature about the first FAWCO event she attended,<br />

which was a glittering fundraising concert held at<br />

the Hall of Mirrors at the Paleis op der Meir in<br />

Antwerp, Belgium. I love what she says in it about<br />

a FAWCO woman from Germany she met at the<br />

concert: “Not only is she a woman of expat life –<br />

the true definition of courageous, strong and<br />

defiant – but also what I am quickly learning to be:<br />

a FAWCO woman – one who takes all that<br />

Mixing things up<br />

Towards the end of 2017, we decided it was time<br />

to mix things up a little and added a new feature<br />

to the magazine. Called “Just For Fun,” it asked the<br />

women profiled in the issue to answer an (often<br />

humorous) question such as “If you were an<br />

animal what would you be?”, “What do you want to<br />

be when you grow up?”<br />

My own favourite question came in the December<br />

2018 Women in Music issue, and was “If I were a<br />

Celeste Bennekers in the Hall of Mirrors.<br />


knowledge and energy to transform it into<br />

something more meaningful and worthwhile than<br />

her own agenda.” Click here to read the whole<br />

article: First Take.<br />

There were two more First Take articles in total.<br />

One was about attending the 62nd Commission on<br />

the Status of Women meetings in New York for the<br />

first time, written by Karen Boeker of AWC<br />

Denmark. Click here to read: First Take. There was<br />

another about attending a first FAWCO Interim<br />

Meeting in The Hague. This was written by<br />

Rosemary Rauber from AWC Zurich, who had been<br />

invited to show her artwork, Calculated Risks, at<br />

the meeting. Click here to read: First Take.<br />

Expanding the number of features<br />

The feedback from readers on our increased<br />

number of features was very positive, so in Spring<br />

2019 we decided to look for new writers. Via posts<br />

on social media, we let FAWCO members know the<br />

types of articles we were looking for and<br />

encouraged them to send their work in to us. We<br />

were thrilled with the results.<br />

member of AIWC Cologne, it was about her<br />

experiences giving birth in her non-native country.<br />

She starts the article, “Before I begin, I’d like you to<br />

recall the most frightening thing that’s ever<br />

happened to you; something you had no control<br />

over and where the total outcome of the situation<br />

depended on someone else.” Click here to read<br />

more: “Everyone Has a Story. Welcome to Mine!”<br />

We also introduced an occasional feature called<br />

“24 Hours in….” where a local club member gives<br />

us the top tips on where to go and what to see in<br />

their adopted city or area. We have featured Paris,<br />

Luxembourg and Florence (click on place names to<br />

read) so far. If you would like to submit something<br />

about where you live, do please get in touch!<br />

By the fall of 2020 it had become clear that<br />

features would be approximately half the content<br />

of our magazine and that readers were enjoying<br />

the mix of these and the profiles. So it was time to<br />

get some help with commissioning more: enter<br />

Michele Hendrikse Du Bois!<br />

Michele:<br />

From our Travel issue of June 2019, you may<br />

remember the article written by Rebecca De<br />

Fraites about the devastating fire in the Notre<br />

Dame Cathedral in Paris. Click here to read: Paris,<br />

France: April 15, 2019 – The Fire.<br />

I also enjoyed the article by Jennifer Barnet of AWC<br />

Amsterdam, which was about some of the trials of<br />

hosting visitors as expats and had some great tips<br />

for those visitors! Click here to read: Be Our Guest.<br />

Just Don’t Let the Cat Out<br />

One of our most commented-on features was<br />

printed in the Health & Well-Being Issue in<br />

September 2019. Written by Tracie Mayer,<br />

Tracie Mayer with her son, Marc.<br />

I was thrilled to join the Inspiring Women<br />

magazine team, but I was immediately challenged<br />

by the uncertainty brought to FAWCO member<br />

clubs by COVID-19. What should we do with the<br />

new and popular feature “24 Hours in…” when it<br />

looked like no one would be travelling for a while?<br />

What about club profiles, which often focused on<br />

events – also on hold or evolving due to stay at<br />

home mandates?<br />

COVID-19 features<br />

What came out of a need to temporarily replace<br />

“24 Hours in…” is still one of my favorite visual<br />

pieces. The magazine’s theme was Visualizing a<br />

Point of View, so we asked members to submit<br />

their favorite souvenir photos. The result was<br />

Souvenirs from Across FAWCO’s World, a photo<br />

essay covering all 11 FAWCO regions and FAUSA.<br />


Following the success of the souvenir photos, we<br />

started including a montage feature related to<br />

each issue’s theme. Sometimes these were written<br />

by an individual; others were compilations from<br />

multiple members. I particularly like our Recipes<br />

for Wellness in the May <strong>2021</strong> issue and the sister<br />

features in the September <strong>2021</strong> issue, where<br />

members of the FAWCO Human Rights Team<br />

share what justice means to them and why they<br />

are part of the Human Rights Team.<br />

When the Summer 2020 issue was produced, we<br />

all thought the COVID-19 crisis would soon end.<br />

However, as we all know, that was not to be. We<br />

found that for the next year, many features,<br />

whatever the magazine’s theme, had a COVID-19<br />

angle. We made great efforts to balance the need<br />

to address the seriousness of the situation and<br />

how it was affecting our lives with positive and<br />

optimistic articles.<br />

symbolic, uplifting or just simply beautiful help tell<br />

the stories our writers are sharing.<br />

FAWCO Member Clubs continue to inspire<br />

Throughout 2020 and <strong>2021</strong>, in true FAWCO<br />

fashion, FAWCO Member Clubs evolved and<br />

continued to offer support and activities to their<br />

members, even if those services were provided<br />

virtually. So the feature “A Club Inspires”<br />

continued, and in 2020 we visited IWC Sorrento,<br />

AWC Oslo, AWC Zurich and AWC London, and in<br />

<strong>2021</strong> AWC Perth, AWC Zurich, AWA Vienna and<br />

AWA of Kenya.<br />

Finally, for the Winter <strong>2021</strong> issue, we reintroduced<br />

“24 Hours in…” with a visit to AILO Florence. With<br />

the hope of seeing COVID-19 in the rearview<br />

mirror and travel ahead of us, we are ready for<br />

this too once again, to become a regular feature.<br />

Photos, photos and more photos<br />

Our final issue for 2020 was Sister Act: Women in<br />

Drama. As in the previous issue “Visualizing A<br />

Point of View,” the focus on drama produced<br />

fabulous photos and an increase in active links<br />

to videos.<br />

The two photograph-intensive issues generated<br />

lots of positive feedback, so we started asking for<br />

“as many photos as possible” to be submitted by<br />

each person profiled or writing a feature article.<br />

The addition of photos, whether silly, poignant,<br />

AWC London members on a trip to a peony farm in Kent.<br />

Fresh ideas – expanding our writer base<br />

In <strong>2021</strong>, we started looking at The FAWCO<br />

Foundation’s Education Award and Development<br />

Grant recipients to see if there were any<br />

connections to our themes. Of course there were!<br />

This new source added previously untapped<br />

FAWCO members and their children to our pool<br />

for profiles and as feature writers. Our first piece<br />

was by 2018 Education Award recipient Fintan<br />

Viebahn in the Women and Technology issue What<br />

is Data Privacy?<br />

We continue to look for new feature ideas and<br />

writers. For example, we were thrilled when Mary<br />

Adams offered to pen an original poem, In<br />

Character, specifically for our magazine.<br />

Starting in 2022, we are introducing “Inspiring<br />

Reads”, a short feature focused on a book written<br />

by a FAWCO or FAUSA member.<br />

Do you have an idea for a feature you would<br />

like to write or know someone who should be<br />

writing for us? Upcoming themes are<br />

announced in each current issue and are on<br />

the FAWCO website, so take a look; and if you<br />

have an idea, please contact us at<br />

inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org.<br />



The feature articles, in every issue of Inspiring Women, cover widely differing aspects of the theme of<br />

the issue. In the summer of <strong>2021</strong> the theme was Women & Wellness and Brenda Nielson sent us the<br />

following article about getting more sleep. It was one of our favorite articles of <strong>2021</strong> and a topic of<br />

importance to so many of us (!), so we thought it was worth reprinting for you here in the <strong>Highlights</strong><br />

issue. Hope it helps you to get some more sleep...<br />

“The Right Amount of Sleep is a<br />

Foundation For Living a Full and<br />

Meaningful Life.”<br />

Brenda Nielson, holistic health instructor and member of AWC<br />

Denmark, tells us about how best to get some sleep.<br />

We all know how it feels when that alarm clock<br />

rings too early or, after a poor night’s sleep we are<br />

simply not feeling at our best. So how much sleep<br />

do we really need? Babies can sleep 12-14 hours<br />

in total a day and the need falls off until the teen<br />

years. Adults need from 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per<br />

night until around age 70, when we’ll benefit from<br />

an extra hour or so, which could be a midday nap.<br />

Teens are a bit of a special case and can be<br />

confusing and frustrating to parents because they<br />

can be full of energy one moment and the next be<br />

found in deep slumber, apparently shirking their<br />

duties. In fact, teens possess the energy and<br />

recoverability of childhood but the rapid physical,<br />

social, mental, and emotional growth of the teen<br />

years is so intense that teens need more sleep<br />

than adults – just like their grandparents. But<br />

instead of napping, however, extra night time<br />

sleep usually works best for teens.<br />

A few decades ago, it became popular for career<br />

folks to sleep six or fewer hours a night (a type of<br />

alpha-badge in our high pressure, get-it-done,<br />

faster world.) In fact, this conflicts with more<br />

recent sleep research that reveals a pattern of 90-<br />

minute sleep cycles, where we alternate between<br />

dreaming and mental processing and rapid eye<br />

movement (REM) sleep and the deeper, delta and<br />

theta wave, non-REM sleep when toxins and waste<br />

products are removed and cells repaired. Waking<br />

up in the middle of one of these cycles can cause<br />


Suggested essential oils for sleep (see text for usage)<br />

Select a total of 5-7 drops essential oils from this list. Mix and match, according to your mood:<br />

Atlas cedarwood Cedrus atlantica (endangered,<br />

source responsibly)<br />

Clary sage Salvia sclarea<br />

Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globus (for stuffy airways)<br />

German or Blue chamomile Matricaria recutita/<br />

Matricaria chamomilla<br />

Lavender Lavendula officinalis or L. angustifolia<br />

Roman chamomile Anthemis nobilis/<br />

Chamaemelum nobile<br />

Rose Rosa damascena (strong; maximum 1-2 drops Rose otto, Rose absolute or Rose CO2 extract)<br />

Vanilla Vanilla Oleoresin, Vanilla CO2 Extract or Vanilla Absolute (do not purchase products<br />

labeled vanilla essential oil)<br />

Virginia cedarwood Juniperus virginiana<br />

Ylang ylang Cananga odorata var genuina (Extra or Complete)<br />

grogginess until that 90-minute cycle is completed.<br />

Most adults thrive on five of these 90-minute<br />

cycles per night = 450 minutes or nine hours a<br />

night, most nights. Sorry, weekend catch-up<br />

doesn’t have quite the same effect. To adjust your<br />

sleep cycle, wake up at the same time every day,<br />

including weekends. If you need more or less<br />

sleep, adjust the time that you go to bed.<br />

Occasional morning grogginess CAN be helped<br />

by caffeine but wait until around 10:00 a.m.<br />

before that cup of coffee if you want to avoid<br />

stressing your stress-sensitive adrenals and<br />

disturbing your circadian rhythms. Caffeine has a<br />

half-life of around eight hours so, for a good<br />

night’s rest, your last cup of coffee should be early<br />

to mid-afternoon.<br />

We all know about creating a relaxing and clutterfree<br />

sleep area, airing out the bedroom and the<br />

effect that blue light from computer, television<br />

and phone screens has on falling asleep. But did<br />

you also know that Feng Shui’s ideal placement of<br />

your bed should allow you to see your bedroom<br />

door; and that your head should be in the east?<br />

In the text box, I have recipes for using essential<br />

oils to wind down toward healthy sleep. Swirl 3-5<br />

drops of pure essential oils into your bath just<br />

before you get in. Or you could diffuse 3-5 drops<br />

of essential oils into your bedroom after airing<br />

out. Or you could make a room and pillow spray<br />

by adding 5-7 drops of essential oils to a 10-30 ml<br />

spray bottle that has been filled with a<br />

combination of purified water and vodka. Shake<br />

before using and make in small quantities to keep<br />

your oils fresh. My recipes are utilizing pure,<br />

therapeutic grade essential oils, but be sure to test<br />

yourself for allergies before using them.<br />

Getting the right amount of sleep is a foundation<br />

for living a full and meaningful life. Sleep needs<br />

vary from person to person and throughout our<br />

life but quality sleep can make a difference in our<br />

careers, relationships, physical and mental health<br />

and even our weight. Poor sleep hygiene could<br />

mean giving up on our goals and dreams because<br />

we lack the energy and vitality to make it happen.<br />

Love yourself enough to figure out what works for<br />

you, so you can get your best night of sleep, night<br />

after night. I wish you sweet dreams!<br />

Brenda Nielson hails from AWC Denmark. She<br />

writes and teaches about holistic health (including<br />

sleep!) and personal development based on science,<br />

tradition and the ancient mystery schools. She<br />

holds degrees in radiography, naturopathy ibm,<br />

aromatherapy and metaphysics. Sign up for her<br />

newsletter or receive an e-workbook on your sleep<br />

habits: brlyni@gmail.com using the description<br />

“Sleep.”<br />




Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global women’s NGO (non-governmental<br />

organization), an international network of independent volunteer clubs and<br />

associations comprising 56 member clubs in 28 countries on six continents.<br />

FAWCO serves as a resource and a voice for its members; seeks to improve the<br />

lives of women and girls worldwide, especially in the areas of human rights,<br />

health, education and the environment; advocates for the rights of US citizens<br />

overseas; and contributes to the global community through its Global Issues<br />

Teams and The FAWCO Foundation, which provides development grants and<br />

education awards. Since 1997, FAWCO has held special consultative status with<br />

the UN Economic and Social Council.<br />


FAWCO is an international federation of independent organizations whose<br />

mission is:<br />

• to build strong support networks for its American and international<br />

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<br />

for education, the environment, health and human rights.<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 2022 FAWCO<br />

Inspiring Women© Magazine 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 Inspiring Women Team<br />

Liz Elsie Karen Berit Michele Haley<br />

For more information about this magazine, please contact a member of the Inspiring<br />

Women 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 />

Profiles Coordinator, Haley Green, inspiringwomenprofiles@fawco.org<br />

Acknowledgements:<br />

Thanks to all our 308 profilees from 60 FAWCO clubs over the last five years, with thanks also<br />

for the use of their photos and those of their friends and families.<br />

Additional thanks to the Inspiring Women team, as well as Cathy, Cynthia, Emily, Georgia,<br />

Julien, Margaret, Mary, Rick and Sallie for their additions to this special issue.<br />

Special thanks to the proofreading team of Karen Boeker (AWC Denmark), Sallie Chaballier<br />

(AAWE Paris), Janet Davis (AIWC Cologne), Mary Dobrian (AIWC Cologne), Tamar Hudson<br />

(AIWC Cologne), Janis Kaas (AAWE Paris/FAUSA), Carol-Lyn McKelvey (AIWC Cologne/FAUSA),<br />

Lauren Mescon (AWC Amsterdam), Mary Stewart Burgher (AWC Denmark) and Jenny Taylor<br />

(AIWC Cologne and AIWC Düsseldorf).<br />

Please note: images used in this publication are either sourced from the authors themselves or<br />

through canva.com.<br />




We are very grateful to our advertising partners for helping us make Inspiring Women a<br />

success. Our objective for Inspiring Women was to produce an upbeat and informative<br />

magazine that would engage members across the FAWCO world, with the hope that its popular<br />

appeal would attract advertisers. When new first started we asked our advertisers to take a<br />

leap of faith with us. They did and we have not looked back.<br />

To keep annual dues costs low, FAWCO needs revenue from outside sources. Throughout the<br />

years it has relied on advertisers and sponsors to augment its income. This revenue has<br />

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

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

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

Over the last few years, FAWCO club members have partnered with us to advertise their<br />

products and services. EVERYONE benefits from their participation. These women are<br />

enthusiastic and bring high energy to the organization. They have much to share beyond their<br />

products and services and it is wonderful to see this group grow each year.<br />

In this special issue of Inspiring Women, we wanted to acknowledge all of FAWCO’s current<br />

advertisers. We encourage club leadership throughout the FAWCO network to share our<br />

publications with their membership. Our advertising partners have valuable products and<br />

services, and we want your members to take advantage of what they offer. Please do what you<br />

can to support them!<br />

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

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

with special thanks to:<br />

BetterHelp p.63<br />

Janet Darrow p.15<br />

London & Capital p.76<br />

London Realty p.58<br />

My Expat Taxes p.58<br />

Ponte Travel p.43<br />

Rodan + Fields p.34<br />

The Pajama Company p.28<br />

The Short List p.2<br />

Yummylicious Serums Paris p.63<br />



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