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The Board

Meet The 2024/25 Board Of Directors

The WAC Board of Directors all volunteer their time, experience and expertise to oversee all aspects of the English Social Club and Learning Tree School. They are a group of people dedicated to the advancement of the WAC’s ideas and mission, ensuring that its constitution and bylaws are upheld while also being responsible for representing the interests of its members and leading the direction of the WAC.

Julia Neale - president
President

Julia Neale

Provides operational and strategic governance to the WAC.

Julia is originally from Canada; Switzerland has been her home since she first came to Zurich as an au pair in 2009. Her Swiss/British/Canadian family has called the Uster area home since 2020. 

Julia is a former international primary school teacher and is the founder of Happy Day: Bumps, Birth and Beyond, leading hypnobirthing and postpartum courses. 

In addition to being a mom to her two little boys, WAC volunteer and teaching new families about birth and the postpartum, she enjoys gardening, crafting and practising yoga. Her favourite down time activities are watching gentle British reality TV, eating chocolate and long talks with friends over coffee.

Contact Julia

Vice President

Dionne Brown

Presides in the absence of the president and is the liaison for the Learning Tree school

Dionne, also fondly known as Dee, first came to Zurich from London, UK in 2018 with her Polish husband and daughter.

After many years of working in the City of London as a European Commercial Real Estate Manager inside the Mining Industry, the family decided to relocate. 

After the initial settling in period of moving to a new country with a small child, Dee found the WAC after doing a Google search, looking for a community bringing people together and the opportunity to forge new friendships. She is very happy that she did that search. 

Dee previously held the Events Chair and Business Chair position.

In her free time, Dee enjoys bike riding, exploring the different cantons and socialising with other families. Dee’s husband enjoys snowboarding and she is still yet to try this with their daughter. 

Contact Dee

Rashidat Thomas - treasurer
Treasurer

Rashidat Thomas

Budget management and administering financial processes

Rashidat fondly known as Tosyn moved from Essex, UK to Switzerland in 2014. Before relocating to Switzerland, Tosyn worked as a corporate tax specialist and has a finance and IT background, with over 15 years’ experience within several industries in the UK. 

She is currently the chief officer in charge at the Thomas household, which comprises of 4 beautiful children and a loving husband. 

Tosyn has been a member of the WAC since she moved to Switzerland in 2014 and all her children have attended and are still attending classes and events at the WAC. They really enjoy the educational and social aspects.

Tosyn enjoys being part of the WAC’s community, and is always happy to volunteer. She has previously served as the Events Chair and has served multiple board terms as the Treasurer. She enjoys working alongside the other wonderful ladies of the Board. 

Tosyn says that being part of the WAC aided her family’s settling process in Switzerland. Tosyn enjoys socialising with friends, watching movies and walking.

Contact Tosyn

Board Secretary

Karin Weidner

Manages all Board documentation, policies and procedures. Records meeting minutes

Karin is from Germany and received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Bern. 

She has previously lived in Barcelona, San Diego and Tokyo, where she worked as researcher for a University and Pharmaceutical company. 

Karin has been living in Uster since 2018 with her husband and two children. 

She became a member of the WAC when her daughter started preschool in 2019. She has served multiple terms as a Board member at the WAC, firstly as the Marketing Chair, then as Vice President.

Karin’s children are now at complete ease with English despite having two non-native speakers as parents; they enjoy being part of the WAC community and can even hold independent conversations when on holidays overseas. 

Karin enjoys spending her time with her husband and two children; together they have a passion for traveling, eating and playing board games.

Contact Karin

Karin Weidner - secretary
Anja Hirt - marketing
Marketing Chair

Anja Hirt

Responsible for marketing including publications, website and advertising

Anja grew up near Dresden in East Germany, but has also lived in the U.S, Canada, Hungary and Poland. Before becoming a mum, she was a Project Manager and worked on various global transformation projects, mainly in the field of HR and Compliance.

Anja relocated as an Expat to Lausanne, Switzerland in 2009 for work where she met her husband Francois. Since 2016 they have been living in Zurich Oberland together with their 2 daughters, Vivien (6) and Nadine (12).

Anja loves WAC’s unique international community and appreciates the creative, educational and fun classes for her children. She has always enjoyed volunteering on the WAC Board and held previous positions that included Secretary, Business Chairperson and President. Anja will be moving to Rapperswil this summer, but would love to continue volunteering on the Board for another year as Marketing Chair.

Outside the WAC, Anja enjoys hiking and skiing, a good inspiring book and travelling new roads.

Contact Anja

Events Chair

Kimberley Meyers-Thum

Event management for the WAC

Kimberley fondly known as Kim and her family (husband, two children ages 5 and 7, and puppy) moved from San Francisco, CA to Zurich in October 2019. She and her family have fallen in love with the Swiss scenery and quick access to delicious chocolates.

Prior to moving to Switzerland, Kim earned her Master’s degree, and worked in, the field of Early Childhood Education as an educator and director in Houston, Orlando, Chicago, and San Francisco. Having transitioned from a 15-plus year career in ECE, she now thrives (most days) as a stay-at-home mom. Passionate about movement, Kim is beginning the journey of obtaining her Physical Training certificate with a focus on women’s health.

In her spare time, Kim enjoys long hikes, cooking, traveling with her family, and watching the Bravo Housewives franchises. She is excited about joining the WAC and helping to create amazing memories with this wonderful community!

Contact Kimberley

Business Chair

VACANT

The main point of contact for current and new business opportunities

Board Support Staff

Ieva Ciceri - club office manager
Office Manager

Ieva Ciceri

Manages all in-house office services, reporting directly to the President

Ieva is from Latvia and has lived in Switzerland since 2013. Before moving to Switzerland, she lived in Cambridge, UK. Her husband is from Italy and they have 2 children who both find the WAC their second home and love it dearly. 

Ieva has been an active member of the club from the moment she arrived in Switzerland and has held previous Board and Chair positions at the WAC before taking on the role of Club Office Manager in 2019. 

The WAC has helped her to settle in Switzerland, find friends and given her the satisfaction of having some other responsibilities, outside of being a mum. She loves hiking in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland, cycling and having a relaxing moment with a cup of tea and a good book.

Contact Ieva

Bookkeeper

Charikleia Tzalla

In house Bookkeeper, reporting directly to the Treasurer

Charikleia, fondly known as Hara is an accomplished Finance professional and the Bookkeeper for WAC. She was born in Athens, Greece, where she lived and worked as a Chief Accountant in the Financial Services Industry until 2017. 

Hara relocated to Switzerland and she is inspired daily by her husband and their two children. 

Hara has had a broad range of responsibilities with a positive attitude and tireless energy. She has a proven track record of expertly managing projects from inception to completion, and she is carefully executing all responsibilities to minimize risk and maximize productivity. 

In her free time, she likes swimming and walking in the beautiful Swiss woods.

Contact Hara