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International Neighbors Board Members

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

By Dale

This month, we would like to present to you the International Neighbors Board Members. All these women volunteer their time to help make the activity groups and the programs offered by International Neighbors possible. We asked each of them to tell us three interesting things about themselves.

President: Andra B.F.

Andra has been the IN President for the last three years. She is also the leader of the Singing Group. She tells us that she loves to be physically active and that music is always on her mind. In fact, sometimes she wishes that some of those songs would just go away. Animals and pets bring her great joy and laughter because they can sometimes be very silly.

Vice-President: Jennifer N.

Jennifer loves to travel and learn about different cultures. Thanks in part to her job, she has travelled to 67 countries and lived in 4 of them. Her goal is to see 100 countries and live in 5. She loves downhill skiing and learning about architecture.

Secretary of the Board: Adrienne S.

Adrienne is from New Zealand where she met her American husband during a sea kayaking trip. They came to Ann Arbor in 2008 for a 2-year sabbatical and are still here. They have three daughters; two in college and one who will be in college next year.

Conversation Groups Coordinator: Dale M.

Dale is the leader of the weekly Conversation and a Discussion Group. She joined International Neighbors after she retired from teaching 17 years ago. Every year, she escapes Michigan winters by spending two months in Florida, but she enjoys the spring in Ann Arbor.

Discussion Groups Coordinator: Lianne H.

Lianne grew up in Ann Arbor. After graduating from Carleton College, she moved to China, where she lived and worked in Suzhou and Shanghai, and spent her spare time travelling around the country. After she worked on her MA at the University of Michigan, she returned to Beijing to study and was there for the ’08 Olympics

Reading Groups Coordinator: Carole W.

Carole moved to Ann arbor in 1977 and joined International Neighbors in 1993. She has been leading an English Conversation Group since 1993 and two Reading Groups for almost 20 years. Carole is addicted to reading books (mostly mysteries) and watching movies (except horror).

Special Interests Groups Coordinator: Melissa T.

Melissa coordinates the Special Interests Groups like cooking, hiking, and knitting. She leads the Knitting Group, a Discussion Group, and a Reading Group. She was born in the borough of Queens in New York City. She lived in Geneva, Switzerland, for three years and had to learn French. She has visited all but one (North Dakota) of the U.S. states and 40 countries.

Tea Groups Coordinator: Robyn F.

Robyn has lived in Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, England, and China. The English side of her family came to America in 1637 and the Chinese side in the 1850’s. Robyn’s favorite English tea is Earl Grey and her favorite Chinese tea is Oolong.

Ambassadors Coordinator: Vesna O.

Vesna leads a Conversation Group, the Mystery Book Reading group, IN Foodies, and the Chat & Chew Group. She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, and mystery books and she also loves movies. She skies downhill and cross-country and her hobby is birdwatching.

Communications Coordinator: Rebecca D.

Rebecca was born in England, brought up on an island in Scotland and moved to the U.S. in 2014. She fell in love with a Michigander and his three wonderful kids so she moved here with her son in 2018. Rebecca loves running businesses and volunteering for organizations that support others. Rebecca lives on a Christmas Tree Farm near Dexter (Urquhart’s Tree farm) and every winter her family comes together to help run the farm and sell trees and hot cocoa!

Neighbors Coordinator: Janine C.

Janine has been an IN member for 20 years. She leads the Wildwood Tea Group. She is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and has lived in Michigan for 30 years. Professionally, she is a Physician Assistant currently teaching first year PA students at Concordia University.

Co-Editor Newsletter: Phyllis S.

Phyllis has travelled to 6 of the 7 continents and loves to try recipes from all over the world. She has 3 children, 6 granddaughters, and 2 great-granddaughters.

Co-Editor Newsletter: Shirley M.

Shirley leads the Mystery Book reading Group. After finishing her degree in Art Education in her birth country, Brazil, Shirley went back to the high school she had attended and taught there for three years. One of her students was her own sister who is nine years her junior. In 1992, Shirley came to Ann arbor to work on her MFA at the University of Michigan. She met and fell in love with an American and that’s why she is still here even though she doesn’t like Michigan winters.

Nominating Committee Chair: Gretchen F.

Gretchen has two granddaughters who live in Los Angeles. They are 3 ½ years old and 16 months old. In the photo, she is enjoying breakfast with granddaughter Mimi. Gretchen loves to exercise! Her favorite sport is pickleball. She can show you how to play. She loves to read and enjoys mysteries and historical fiction.

Treasurer: Karina O.S.

Karina is Brazilian and the proud mother of two boys (Johnny and Murilo). She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and finance. Karina moved to the U.S. in 2015 because of her husband’s job transfer to Michigan. She loves to spend time with her family and friends, and she loves to work on manual

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