Meet the Board 2016 - 2017
Lidy Grisel - Chairman
When I moved to Amsterdam, after living in countries like Singapore, Japan, Ukraine and Russia for fifteen years, I was surprised to feel a bit of a culture shock. I am Dutch but coming back to The Netherlands almost felt like a new expat posting to me, though I had previously lived here for a long time. To breach this gap I decided to use an approach similar to the one that had worked for me in foreign countries: I became a member of the International Women’s Contact.
From my first day at IWC Amsterdam I was welcomed with open arms, and I have enjoyed meeting new people who can grasp, and relate to, my international experiences and ideas. It was the perfect way to keep utilizing what I'd learned abroad, and I love the idea of maintaining an international community in my home country.
Soon after I joined IWC I started participating in various interest groups. Although members have come and gone from these groups over the years, I'm glad to be part of these evolving communities. I also greatly enjoy participating in IWC´s various tours and outings, and am always amazed at how much effort the IWC members put into organizing them. While I regretfully lack the time to see all we do, I'm proud that we have such a wealth of activities that this regret can exist.
My 3 (almost) grown up sons don’t ask for my everyday attention anymore and I have time to devote to IWC’s international community. It was already a pleasure working with the IWC board as Chairman during the past few years, and I would be honoured to be given another chance to help the board run IWC. I look forward to seeing how IWC will continue to grow, and intend to create a pleasant environment for all our members.
Valerie van der Meulen-Sheppard - Vice-Chairman
I come from the Caribbean and grew up between the two islands of Barbados and Trinidad, where I was born. I’ve lived most of my life in Barbados, where I raised my family of five children. I married my Dutch husband Meindert in 2013 and Holland became my home, after having lived all my life in the tropical Caribbean islands. I have, however, travelled extensively and love meeting and getting to know people from different countries and cultures.
My work experience was in the field of executive administration and human resource management within regional Caribbean organizations. I started singing at an early age, performing on radio, television and stage in amateur musical shows over the years. I’m an Honorary Member of the Barbados Polo Club and enjoy the sport as a spectator. My interests are in the creative arts and history, and my leisure time is spent in painting, photography, video editing, recording family history and now the challenge of learning Dutch. I also enjoy using social media as a great way of staying closely connected with my family and friends abroad and sharing with them my new way of life here in Europe.
Through the IWC I have explored so much of Holland and made many new friends. I appreciate all that the club has to offer and enjoy being able to give back the warm welcome that was extended to me. In 2014, I became Vice-Chairman of the Board and have found it fulfilling to be able to work alongside other members of the Board in running the club. I serve on the Multimedia Team, with particular responsibility for the IWC's website and Facebook.
Rose Matulin - Secretary
I was born in Australia and lived in Sydney and then the Gold Coast until I moved to Amsterdam three years ago for my husband's work. I have three grown up children who still live in Australia. I have a degree in Health Information Management and before moving here I worked part time as a Clinical Coder. My interests include travelling, walking , playing Mahjong, golf and shopping.
I loved living here straight away and after joining the IWC my life has been enriched
greatly. I have met some amazing ladies from all over the world and enjoy many of the
activities offered by the Club. I enjoy working with the IWC Board in the position of Secretary and hope I can give back the warm welcome extended to me to other new members.
Rebecca David - Activities Officer
I was born and brought up in England where I started my career as a computer programmer/ systems analyst. At the tender age of 24 I started contracting and work took me to America, Hong Kong, Melbourne and France. It was whilst in France I met my husband, Andrew, and we lived there until just two years ago when we moved to Amsterdam because of his job. I have three nearly grown up children who still keep me occupied from time to time. I have previous experience in Board work, as I was a major player in the association that ran the international section of my children's school in France.
I am loving the city life of Amsterdam after a provincial life outside Nice and have appreciated the support of the IWC. It's wonderful to meet so many friendly and talented ladies - I truly believe that a place is made by the people you know. My interests include sailing, walking, yoga, reading and lately, canasta. I look forward to participating in the club as activities officer from September 2016 and hope to provide some memorable experiences for everyone.
Liselotte Roug Odhnoff - Programme Officer
I am of Danish-Swedish origin but grew up on the Caribbean island of Dominica. I have a PhD in Phonetics from Stockholm University and worked as a researcher there for many years. More recently, I administered a small consultancy firm of my own, providing translation and text editing in Danish, Swedish and English.
I am married to Petter and we have three adult children, Charlotta, Lovisa and Gustav. I have a deep love for classical music, especially from the baroque era and I sing in Het Amsterdams Gemengd Koor. I also enjoy many sports as well as embroidery, sculpturing and yoga.
As we plan to stay on in Holland, I have taken on the challenge of learning Dutch and getting to know the Dutch way-of-life. The warm and welcoming members and the friendly ambience of the IWC has played an important role in me feeling at home in this new home country.
Jane Paech - Membership Officer
I am Australian and have been living in Amsterdam since 2013. My two grown up sons are both living in Sydney. I have a degree in Economics and practised as a Chartered Accountant for a few years before moving into the corporate world where I’ve held various roles in finance and business administration and also ran my own business for five years.
I feel very fortunate that I joined the IWC after arriving in the Netherlands as it has enabled me to meet many lovely people and take part in outings and activities with others who share my interests. Reading, history, Pilates and playing mahjong and cards are some of the pursuits that I enjoy. I hope to continue the warm welcome extended to new members in the role of Membership Officer.
Jeanette van den Broek - Treasurer
I was born in Amsterdam and studied languages in Lausanne, Cologne, Bournemouth and Florence. I lived and worked in Italy in a holiday resort in Riva del Garda for 3 years, then managed a hotel for 5 years in Germany. In between I also managed drugstores. For the greater part of my life I was involved in the travel business, training hostesses, contracting hotels and apartments for the Dutch market and managing travel agencies.
Now I am retired and enjoy my free time by traveling, playing bridge, golf, skiing and being a member of the IWC Amsterdam since 1998. I joined the board in 2005; first as Publicity Officer, Treasurer, and Extra Board Member. I am the Treasurer, as well as a member of the Multimedia Team, Newsletter Editor and Open Door Coordinator.
Jacie Kuchan - Member at Large
I am an American born and raised in a small town called South Milwaukee in the midwestern state of Wisconsin. I always wanted to travel and experience other cultures. My first trip to Europe was when I was 21 years old. I am a retired professional ballet dancer who then married my husband Tom, moved to Chicago, Illinois, had a set of identical twins, and completed my Bachelors of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the Chicago Medical School. Via my husband's job we lived in Berlin, Germany for 5.5 years and In Dubai for 3 years. We returned to Chicago where I completed my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago . My most recent job entailed working at an out patient Physical Therapy clinic with dancers, sport related injuries as well as all musculoskeletal aches and pains from teenagers to the geriatric population.
We moved to Amsterdam 1.5 years ago for my husband's job but this time without our children as they finished university and live and work in the states. The IWC is a wonderful club that helped me meet new friends from many cultures. I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Amsterdam and look forward to many happy years here.
Kim Colman - Public Relations Officer
I was born and raised in South Africa. My background has been in sales and customer services, having owned and operated my own business there. Despite this, I felt that I wanted to be able to achieve more from a different aspect, regarding the well-being of others. I have always been involved with people and enjoy this interaction. This has led me down a path to search for ways that would enable me to assist and heal others on a more personal level. After a few years of studies in various modalities, I became a qualified reflexologist and a practitioner of Quantum-Touch and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). I am a stress management coaching and counselling professional as well as a counsellor for children and adolescents.
When I was living in Johannesburg, I served as a volunteer with the Randburg South African Police Service in their Trauma Unit. This unit assists with all trauma-related incidents as well as responding to crime scenes.
I moved to the Netherlands with my husband and daughter at the end of 2011 and just love living in Amsterdam. Being a member of the IWC has certainly helped me to settle into a new way of life in The Netherlands and has enriched this experience tremendously.