Meet the 2013 - 2015 Board Members

logo graphicThe FAWCO Foundation was established over 40 years ago by the FAWCO Board as the philanthropic
arm of FAWCO.  The election of The FAWCO Foundation Board of Directors is held during FAWCO
Interim Conferences. President, Vice-President of Communications, Secretary and Treasurer are
elected by the Council of Representatives.  Elections and terms of office for all officers are governed
by The FAWCO Foundation Bylaws. The newly elected Board of Directors takes office at the close of
the FAWCO Conference. Administrators, Coordinators and Chairs are appointed by the
President for the two year term. In accordance with the 1967 Articles of Incorporation which
establish The FAWCO Foundation as a non-profit corporation in the State of Missouri, additional
members of the Board of Directors (VP for Programs and VP for Fundraising) are elected by the
out-going Board of Directors. A Parliamentarian serves in a non-voting appointed position and is
named by the President.


Michele Hendrikse DuBois  

Michele Hendrikse DuBois - President

Munich IWC

Starting her expat experience in 2005 in Amsterdam, Michele joined AWC Amsterdam serving
as Communications Chair and President. She comes to The Foundation with experience gained
from chairing the Philanthropic Strategy and Focus Committee in 2008 and attending FAWCO
Conferences. With a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology and experience working
as team coordinator, she brings important organizational and communication skills to the
position. Relocating to Germany from the U.S with her husband, she is now a member of
Munich IWC. Working more closely with the FAWCO Board will be one of her major goals.

Cynthia Smith-Ayed  

Cynthia Smith-Ayed - VP Communications

AIWC Casablanca

An experienced FAWCOite, Cynthia has been Regional Coordinator, served on the Presidents'
Task Force and the Health, Environment and U.S Voting Overseas Committees. Starting her
first experience abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, she met her husband and has
lived abroad ever since. She is a member of AIWC Casablanca, has served in numerous
positions including President, and was Co-Chair of the 2011 FAWCO Conference in Marrakech.
A great supporter of The Foundation, she and FAWCO member, Gwen Dellar, ran the
"Marathon des Sables"on behalf of The Foundation to raise funds for the Members Skills
Enhancement Award.

Suzanne Wheeler  

Suzanne Wheeler - VP Fundraising


Suzanne has lived the expat life ever since she graduated from university and traveled the world
in her capacity as an Air Force Officer. She has many years of experience within FAWCO and The
Foundation having served as FAWCO Rep, FAWCO Foundation Secretary and The Foundation
Awards Administrator. She says that becoming involved in The Foundation has been her
raison d'être and has been focusing on it ever since.

Nan de Laubedère  

Nan de Laubedère - VP Programs

AAWE Paris

An active attendee of the past 13 FAWCO Conferences, Nan has served as Regional Coordinator,
Presidents' Coordinator and Administrator for The Foundation's Education Awards. With a degree
in Art History, she has worked at museums in Italy, U.S and France. Married and with three
grown children, she is a member of AAWE Paris and has held many positions including President
and FAWCO Rep. She is interested in finding solutions to increase fundraising to contribute to
The Foundation's programs.

Margaret Hilditch  

Margaret Hilditch - Secretary

Munich IWC

Born and educated in Northern Ireland, teaching and music have been her passion throughout her life.
Her life in Germany started when her husband was sent on a NATO tour. A member of Munich IWC,
she has served as President and after being invited to attend the conference in Vilnius, encouraged
her club to join FAWCO. She comments: "The Foundation helps to demonstrate the worthwhile
nature of charity work which can change lives dramatically".


Kathleen Coughlan - Treasurer

AW Surrey

With an MBA in Accounting and Finance from UCLA and years of working as a Controller for
various companies in the Los Angeles area, Kathy is also a Founding Member and Advisory
Board Member of a charitable foundation based in Bangkok, which is designed to help
disadvantaged women and to educate children.   She has more than 6 years experience
as Treasurer of AW Surrey, serving first in the late 1990’s with Melissa Mash.  In Kathy’s
own words – “I feel that we all are one people on this earth and we who have been
advantaged must support those that are not.”

Elsie Bose  

Elsie Bose - Parliamentarian

AWG Paris

Elsie Bose has had the privilege of belonging to three international volunteer organizations
and each one has been a life changing experience. As 1st VP of AWC Brussels she chaired
the Clubhouse Renovation Committee. She served as president of the American Women’s
Club of Toronto where her board established a scholarship endowment program at the
University of Toronto. Currently living in Paris, Elsie was president of the AWG Paris from
2003-2005 where the organization expanded its programs and its membership.

Elsie went to her first FAWCO conference in Stockholm. She was (and is) truly in awe of
the people that make FAWCO such a successful organization. She was elected to the
Foundation Board in 2004, served as Director of the Developments Grants Fund and
in 2008 was elected The Foundation’s president. She served on the Philanthropic Strategy
and Focus Committee, which developed the Target Program.

Elsie attended Mary Washington College and received a BA in Criminology from the
University of Maryland. She spent her professional career as a retail executive with
four major US department stores.

2014-2015 Administrators

Kelly Al Nashmi - Development Grants Program

Kelly was born in Southern Indiana and spent her childhood there never realizing the overseas adventure that lies ahead.  While attending Indiana State University – Evansville, she met her Saudi husband, Adnan, and then began her overseas adventure in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, in 1989.  Kelly has four children, two daughters and two sons ranging in age from 28 – 15 all living in the U.S.  While living in Saudi Arabia, Kelly owned and operated a preschool business for 20 years before returning to Indiana with her youngest son to attend school. Kelly is a past president for AWEP and has served in several positions since joining her local club in 1994. Kelly has been actively involved in BSA in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and Evansville, IN for 10 years. Her oldest son is an Eagle Scout.

Kelly attended her first FAWCO Conference in Berlin in 2006 with her parents and immediately became involved in FAWCO activities.  She has served on several Nomcoms, the Target Selection Committee for the first Target Project Program, Education Support Committee Chair, and has been the DG Administrator since 2010. While living in Indiana, Kelly’s actively involved in the United Neighborhood of Evansville and her local Neighborhood Association, GLNA and Bosse High School PTSA.  Kelly is presently attending University of Southern Indiana and will graduate in May of 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood. After her youngest son graduates from high school, Kelly will return to the desert oasis, Al Khobar.



Tessa Wheeler, Education Awards Program

Tessa Wheeler's sister Suzanne, introduced her to FAWCO in 2003. She became a member of FAUSA in 2010, and is now the Regional Rep. for the Mountain West Region. She attended the Korea and Dublin FAWCO conferences as well as the Water Project Mediterranee Cruise. She lived overseas for eight years while in the military from 1986-1994. She and her husband retired from the military to Colorado Springs, Co., in 2003.




Marie Benedicte-Luxem, Target Fundraising Coordinator

AW Zurich

Marie Bénédicte Luxem was born in Paris, France, where she lived till she moved to Switzerland to study at the Hotel Management School of Lausanne. From then on she moved from place to place, later on together with her husband and their 5 children. Apart from staying in Europe, she lived in Australia, Cyprus and Mauritius. She discovered the American Women's Club when she moved to Cologne, Germany. She joined the charity committee and became Charity Chair from 2009 to 2011. In January 2013 she moved to Zürich where she is now a member of the AWZ. Marie Bénédicte is thrilled to serve as the Target Fundraising Coordinator and happy to carry on helping women and girls in need of assistance.



MELISSA MASH- Counselor Liason

 Melissa became involved with FAWCO in 2000 when she was President of  the AWSurrey club.  She has served on the FAWCO Board under 2 Presidents, as Secretary and VP Reps.  She has served on several committees and has been the FAWCO Rep for AWSurrey also.  She was President of The FAWCO Foundation from 2009-2011 and was Nominating Chair thereafter.  She married a Brit 31 years ago and they have moved across the Atlantic many times.  She is very proud to be a recipient of the Caroline Curtis Brown Award.





What are MDGs?

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.  --


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Fawco Foundation

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Who We Are

The FAWCO Foundation was created in 1967 and is the philanthropic arm of FAWCO, a network of independent American and international volunteer organizations representing private-sector American citizens overseas. FAWCO consists of over 64 clubs throughout the world.

The Foundation’s sole purpose is to aid charitable, educational and scientific programs that are the passion of FAWCO and its member clubs. We are a US non-profit corporation, registered in the State of Missouri as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

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