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

Our Mission Statement

To help maintain and grow our non-profit, English-speaking women’s club to continue to provide support, friendship, networking, and social and charitable opportunities for both those new to the Rhein-Main area and women who have made it a long-term home.

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 Former 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


Mary Grace Gerstner

President

aiwcfrankfurt.president@gmail.com

I moved to Königstein im Taunus, August 2018 from Kansas City, Missouri but it has been like coming home since we lived here from 2012-2015. My husband, Damian works for Boehringer Ingelheim in the animal health division and we have three children. My oldest son, William, graduates from Purdue University in May and has accepted a job in Bologna, Italy. My middle son, Ian, is working in a kitchen at a golf club in Dublin, OH, and daughter, Micah will graduate from Frankfurt International School in June and will attend the University College London in the fall. For the past 23 years, I have been a stay-at-home mom, running the household, taxiing the kids to their outside activities, and volunteering in schools, PEO, and AIWC. For the past two years, I have been the Secretary on this AIWC board. I have a variety of interests including reading mystery novels, entertaining family and friends, and traveling. I am looking forward to bringing the Club out of the pandemic and celebrating the 50th Anniversary.



Melissa McClain

First Vice President

aiwcfrankfurt.1vicepresident@gmail.com

I moved to Germany a little over a year ago with my husband of 17 years and our four children. We live in Oberursel and plan on staying in Germany; with the automotive industry for 3+ years. By nature of my college degree, I am a secondary education teacher but have worked exclusively in our home since our children were born. I have been involved in numerous boards within our community, have been a constant volunteer/chair for various events and I enjoy planning and hosting at our home and different venues as well. In my spare time, I love cooking and camping/traveling with my family. I look 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
I moved to Königstein with my family in Oct 2017. My husband works for Marriott International group and my big daughter will graduate from ISF (International School Frankfurt). the small one was born in 2019 October. We previously lived in Turkey, China, Hong Kong, India, and Egypt before moving to Germany. I have been working for 14 years in the retail trade and luxury goods business. Art and photography are my passion. I find inspiration every day everywhere. My goal on the board is to brighten your mood and increase your creativity.



Lisa Paganini

Secretary

aiwcfrankfurt.secretary@gmail.com

I am Brazilian American, put my career on pause 20 years ago to go on a journey of 5 international moves in 4 different countries. Mother of Arthur, a junior at the University of Illinois, and Isabella, a 10th grader at FIS, I enjoy traveling, hiking, cooking, and reading. I have done volunteer work in schools and churches, and I would like to use some of my experience with moving and adjusting, to help new families in our area. I am looking forward to being more involved with AIWC, and to meeting everyone again soon.



Heidi Jung

Treasurer

aiwcfrankfurt.treasurer@gmail.com

I'm originally from New Jersey and lived 6 years in London prior to moving to Germany. I worked many years at Deutsche Bank in various finance roles in New York City and London, where I met my husband. Ten years ago we settled in the countryside near Wiesbaden, in Hünstetten, to be near his family and raise our now seven-year-old twin boys. I still remember my early days here and the relief I felt once I found the wonderful international women of AIWC. I've been very happy to support the club as a Neighborhood Coordinator for Wiesbaden/Mainz for many years, as well as Data Manager, before becoming club Treasurer in 2020. I am very much looking forward to this year as restrictions lift and we can meet in person together again, travel, have fun and fully celebrate our 50th anniversary, such a huge milestone for the club!



Stacey LoFrano Harrison

Nominations

aiwcfrankfurt.nominations@gmail.com

Hallo! My roots are in Detroit. We moved to Oberursel in 2019 after living in Shanghai, China since 2015. My 2 sons attend FIS. Corona has helped us to discover the beauty of many trails in the Taunus but we do look forward to traveling further soon! This will be my 2nd year serving as Nominations Chair. Last year, by getting creative, we were able to gain membership despite the lockdown. This year, I will miss my Membership Chair aka "Partner in Crime" Elizabeth Thornton, but look forward to working with Anne Marie Newman! Join us as we plan an amazing year to celebrate the anniversary of our club! #1971

American International Women's Club e.V. -  Frankfurt, Taunus, Rhein-Main

+49 (0) 6171 580835

aiwcfrankfurt@gmail.com

 
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