A lively Board

A new Board was elected at the latest General Assembly. First of all, let us honour our new President!

Véronique Debieuvre was unanimously elected by the Board of Directors. She is grateful for this endorsement as it shows approval of all the work that began over a year ago towards reshaping the association through a change of the statutes.

”As Vice-President, then President ad interim by circumstance, I invested myself fully in this process, closely linked with the Ministry, so that the Association could benefit from a President who is a key pillar."
Véronique has spent many years abroad and undertaken a lot for Bienvenue. She is tireless in her pursuit of other activi-ties, particularly within her parish and her large family. "Meeting others and facilitating exchanges between different nationalities is part of my DNA.” A very dynamic DNA indeed!

Catherine Jeantaud, vice-president, achieved the same result. She joined Bienvenue in 2018 as a Representative of College A: "My husband was ambassador in Vilnius, Lithuania at the time. I work in the conversation group, being responsible for the advanced level. I like it, since it allows me to share with our foreign friends French culture that is very dear to me. Everything flows through language.
"Welcome is in line with my mindset: being open to plurality, getting to know others and respecting them in their differ-ences. It is essential to maintain links with the diplomatic corps in Paris. Nothing can succeed without mutual under-standing.

Stéphanie de Senneville, former treasurer alongside Armelle de Coudenhove, is taking over this role. "After studying science at Dauphine, I must admit that I enjoy numbers and round figures in accounting. I am pleased to apply my technical skills to this position at Bienvenue.
She is a member of both the "History of France and its institutions" and "Bridge" groups.

Odile Nicoloso has always been active abroad, following her husband, a diplomat. His latest post, Saudi Arabia, en-couraged her to invest in opening up Bienvenue even more to regions such as the Middle East and Africa. "I know there are difficulties. All the more reason to help diplomats’ wives and their spouses learn to love our country, by sharing a set of social practices with them"
She is a former high school literature teacher, currently in charge of the ciné classe group (Advanced French 1)

Jane Etienne was born in Australia to a British father and an Australian mother. Her husband is a French diplomat whose last post abroad was as Ambassador to Kazakhstan. Jane loves nomadic life and discovering different cultures. "International experiences are at the heart of my life. I know what it is like to have to integrate into a new country. I understand the expectations of diplomats, and I admire this concern for hospitality within Bienvenue, which illustrates French excellence. I am very fond of France and wish to inspire people to love it as well.

Elisabeth des Lyons is certainly no stranger to us, having already served two terms under the presidency of Christine Faure. Following the turmoil of the pandemic years, she now aspires to move the association forward with composure. Her commitment to the Board again was motivated by this observation she made: "Covid brought about a new mentali-ty for all of us. We were and still are compelled to avoid mundane and superficial aspects of life. Most people prefer to aim for what is most essential instead. For me, this includes working for Bienvenue.

By Francine Boidevaix

©Bienvenue