About Us


Happy 50th Anniversary AIWC, we have so much to celebrate this year! From our first meeting in April of 1971, with thirty members present, our Club currently includes over 300 amazing women from more than 35 countries. The American International Women’s Club (AIWC) is a registered non-profit, non-political and non-denominational English-speaking organization. We support the international community in Frankfurt and the surrounding Rhein Main region, roughly from Bad Homburg to Darmstadt, Wiesbaden to Hanau and everywhere in between. 

We are a dynamic group providing friendship and support among women and their families who are living in the region, whether short term expats new to Germany, or long term residents looking for an international connection. We enjoy our time together and have fun with a variety of activities, services, charitable and social events, sports, and interest groups.  Of course with Covid there have been many restrictions to what we can do, so we've gone virtual and are creatively staying socially active until we can meet together again. 


It's important that we give back; we hold a variety of fund-raising activities to raise money for local charitable organizations in addition to volunteering in other ways. Over the years the club has had a wonderful impact on so many different organizations.  We're proud to be members of FAWCO, the Federation of American (and International) Women Overseas. Your AIWC membership opens up opportunities to access FAWCO conferences, workshops, and scholarships.  You can get involved in human rights causes, and even participate in United Nations meetings in New York. 

We support our members going through a rough patch with our confidential CARES (Crisis Assistance Resources Emergency Services) program.  CARES also focuses on lifting us up with wellness workshops, support and recognition, it's more important than ever with the challenges of today.


What we're about

New Friends
The club provides the opportunity to immediately make friends in your local area and throughout the club. All members are in one of our 6 'Neighborhoods': Bad Homburg/Oberursel, Greater Bad Soden, Frankfurt, Kronberg/Königstein, Darmstadt & Surrounding areas, and Wiesbaden & Surrounding areas.  It's not a limitation of course and members can attend events in all neighborhoods. Each Neighborhood is led by volunteer Neighborhood Coordinators, with monthly meetups scheduled.

Support Settling In
Finding it challenging to feel 'at home', especially with the Covid pandemic? We get it. We can help. Make friends and learn from other members about local English-speaking resources, businesses, craftsmen, babysitters, pet-sitters, or learning another language. You'll be feeling more settled in no time with our collective experience supporting you.

Activities
We stay active with group walks, hikes and biking around this beautiful region. Monthly All Club Coffees/After Dark Cocktails, book clubs, interfaith studies, German or Italian conversation groups, day and overnight trips, tennis league, wellness workshops, games, several Mom's groups for a range of children's ages, Working Women group and more. There is something for everyone and of course we welcome fresh ideas for new interest groups.

Events
Our monthly electronic newsletter, website and Facebook page keep us up to date on the many events in and around the greater Frankfurt and Rhein-main region. This year we will have many large and small events celebrating our 50th Anniversary!

Networking
Connecting with such a large, international membership base, our club offers great opportunities for  networking and meeting other professional women in and around Frankfurt. 

Volunteer Opportunities
As a non-profit organization, our amazing volunteers keep the club running and growing.  We chair a variety of Executive and General Board positions, along with neighborhood coordinators and interest group leaders.  

The AIWC is committed to both helping our members enjoy their stay in Germany, as well as contributing to the host country that has welcomed us! Come join us and help us live our motto: 

When Women Support Each Other, Incredible Things Happen!

A Note From Our President

I first came to Germany for work years ago as a single woman. Someone at work suggested I join this club. I was skeptical about having time for it, but found out I could participate a little or a lot, so decided to give it a try, and found others in the Working Women’s Group “like me". I came back to Germany some years later as a working mother of a young child and re-joined to take advantage of the Mother’s Corner group, and to my relief, found others “like me", and raising a third culture child. When I left my corporate job, I found responsibilities in the club that fulfilled my project management/leadership need, and again found others “like me".

Other people move here with a working spouse and are skeptical if they will ever find a place here in a foreign land. The language, the culture, the system structure - all seemingly different from what you are used to can be quite overwhelming at first. But with a little courage and mindfulness, and as the Beatles song goes, “a little help from our friends” (albeit new ones), the experience can be so rewarding.

For myself, and many alike, the AIWC has provided just that. In the time I have been a member I have seen the positive impact it has on my local community, and also for  myself.   With the many groups under the umbrella of the AIWC opportunities are there for everyone: from taking a sabbatical from the usual responsibilities back home, feeding that desire to travel, giving time, talents and treasures for a charity, taking on a board position, tapping into your inner Picasso to create a masterpiece, or even sweating it out on the tennis courts, the opportunities are endless - and it’s only a matter of finding what fits you.

This community is a physical representation of so many possibilities and opportunities. Because at the end of the day, the club is only as great as the people who make it up. Each of us come together with our own experiences, knowledge and ideas, bringing something new each and every day to the community. So to both our current members and those yet to be, I hope the AIWC will help you discover how to make your time here in Frankfurt simply unforgettable, and so importantly, to know what a positive impact you make.

I wish you all the best in finding your place here and helping others find theirs too!

Danita Waterfall-Brizzi
AIWC President 2019 - 2021

Current Executive Board


Danita

Waterfall-Brizzi

President

aiwcfrankfurt.president@gmail.com

Danita hails from Seattle, Washington. Recruited from grad school and Russian studies in the states, she has since then lived and worked abroad in six countries. She is now growing roots here in Frankfurt with her Italian husband and 15-year-old daughter. With her recent job change from cargo management at Delta Air Lines to the flexible world of independent aviation consulting, she is enjoying the opportunity to re-engage with women and families here in the AIWC. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, piano, jogging, and lots of family activity. She has already done so much to energize the AIWC, most recently by serving as President for 2019-2021.



Melissa McClain

First Vice President

aiwcfrankfurt.1vicepresident@gmail.com

Melissa recently moved to Germany with her husband of 17 years and her four children. They live in Oberursel and plan on staying in Germany; with the automotive industry for 3+ years. She is a secondary education teacher but has worked exclusively at home since her children were born. She has been involved in numerous boards within her community, has been a constant volunteer/chair for various events and she enjoys planning and hosting at her home and different venues as well. In her spare time she loves being outside or camping/traveling with her family.  She looks forward to being involved with AIWC not only for the comradery of international women but to help raise awareness and funds for various important causes throughout the Frankfurt region.



Zili (Angela) Shi


Second Vice President

aiwcfrankfurt.2vp@gmail.com

Angela moved to Königstein with her husband and daughter in 2017. Her husband works for Marriott and her daughter attends the International School of Frankfurt (ISF).  They previously lived in Turkey, China, Hong Kong and Egypt before moving to Germany. Angela has a bachelor's degree in industrial design and has worked several years both as a freelancer as well as a managing director in the retail trade and luxury goods business. She also has marketing and public relations experience in the same field. She works as a free-lancer as well as a managing director in the retail trade and luxury goods business.  She is an artist and enjoys sharing her talents.



Mary Grace

Gerstner

Secretary

aiwcfrankfurt.secretary@gmail.com

Mary Grace Gerstner moved to Königstein in August from Kansas City, Missouri but says that it has been like coming home since she and her family lived here from 2012-2015. Her husband works for Boehringer Ingelheim in the animal health division and they have three children. Her oldest son, William, is a Junior at Purdue University; middle son, Ian, is a freshman at Kansas State University, and daughter, Micah is a sophomore at Frankfurt International School

For the past 21 years, she has been a stay-at-home mom running the household, taxiing the kids to their outside activities, and volunteering at both the grade school and high school in the library, school office, cafeteria, and special events. In the work environment, I worked for computer software companies in the marketing field where I ran the logistics help desk and supported the sales personnel. I have a variety of interests including reading mystery novels, entertaining family and friends, and traveling.



Heidi Jung

Treasurer

aiwcfrankfurt.treasurer@gmail.com

Heidi Jung hails originally from New Jersey. Prior to moving to Germany, she worked many years as a VP in Finance for Deutsche Bank in New York City and then London, where she met her husband.  They settled near Wiesbaden in Hünstetten-Görsroth ten years ago to be near his family, and raise their now seven-year-old twin boys.

Heidi has been very happily involved with AIWC for many years, she is also a Neighborhood Coordinator for Wiesbaden/Mainz and was Data Manager before becoming Treasurer in 2020.  Her interests include enjoying her family, photography, travel, being creative, reading, and is very much looking forward to seeing everyone again soon.



Stacey LoFrano Harrison

Nominations

aiwcfrankfurt.nominations@gmail.com

Stacey's roots are in Detroit Michigan.  Her family moved to Oberursel in August 2019 from Shanghai, China.  She enjoys meeting new people and traveling.  She and her boys try to learn to say please and thank you in every country they visit.  Currently practicing social distancing, they are enjoying their work and studies at home.  Their dog could not be happier with this arrangement!

Stacey looks forward to using her communication skills from over 20 years in real estate, as well as her expat life, to help grow our chapter of the AIWC.



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