President & Managing Editor of Panache – Mary Ann Rivet
Mary Ann was born in Louisiana but moved to Venezuela when she was 6, returning to the US where she attended MIT. She moved to France right after she graduated in 1970. The question “where are you from?” is tough to answer – she often replies, “Paris” or “I vote in Massachusetts!” She spent her career in French firms, initially in training, then in IT, occasionally as free-lance translator, before earning a graduate degree in human resources and spending 15 years as HR manager in a pharmaceutical firm. She joined PAN in 2007 after getting early retirement, since her busy professional life left her little spare time. She has served as managing editor of Panache since 2009, and succeeded Patricia Monacelli as President in 2012.
Secretary & Activities Coordinator – Danielle Johnson
Danielle was born in Watertown New York, a small town in upstate New York. She attended Russell Sage College and spent her third year at “Sciences Po” in Paris. She went on to Harvard Business School where she got her MBA and moved into her first job in Market Research at John Hancock in Boston. She then met Dick Johnson; they married and moved to Philadelphia. Two years later Dick got a job in Rotterdam and Danielle in Brussels. After 4 years in the Netherlands, they moved to Hamburg, then back to Holland where Danielle studied art history at the University of Leiden, obtaining her doctorate when she moved back to Paris. She recently finished a book on Architectural Sculpture from 1100-1175 in the Ile-de-France (the transition from Romanesque to early gothic sculpture). Danielle has served as Secretary of PAN for a number of years. She and Dick very kindly make their home available on a regular basis for PAN events and its now famous parties.
Other Board Members
Directory Editor-in-Chief – Tessa Smith
Tessa was born and bred in London and never expected to end up in France. She attended 9 schools before the age of nine, 3 in the US during WW2. The deprivations in England in 1949 drove her to accept entry to Vassar College in the US, where she graduated in 1954. Returning to England she worked on and off for 30 years with IBM UK, and is proud to report that she has been an IBM pensioner for over 30 years. She married an English lawyer who moved to France in 1984 to supervise his firm’s Paris office and when he retired, they settled part-time in a country house south of Tours in the Loire valley. Tessa joined PAN in 1989 and is responsible for running the PAN database (containing all the membership information), sending out invitations to PAN events and for the herculean task of producing the annual Directory. She also feeds the current PAN website (soon to be replaced) and proofreads Panache.
Events Coordinator – Geneviève Lobier
Geneviève was born in the South of France where she spent her childhood before coming to Paris. She studied Spanish and Latin-American civilizations at Paris X – Nanterre University and at the Institut des Hautes Études d’Amérique Latine in Paris. She then obtained a Masters in French as a second language at the University of Besançon. She was a French and Spanish teacher for several years, before accompanying her husband to Birmingham, Alabama, and later to Los Angeles. Altogether, she spent 6 years in the United States with her family.
Geneviève served as the General Secretary of FAVEC (National Federation of Associations of Widows and Widowers) in Paris for 15 years. She joined PAN a few years ago, and is currently its Events Coordinator, in charge of canvassing the Paris cultural scene, coming up with interesting ideas for things to do or see, and dealing with the practical side of organizing them.
Editor-in-Chief of Panache – Dimitri Keramitas
Dimitri is originally from the state of Connecticut but has lived in Paris for years. He was educated at the University of Hartford and University of London. He taught in the French university system for years. More recently he created a training business specialized in training legal professionals, as well as a legal translation business. He’s also an award-winning writer specializing in fiction and film criticism. Aside from being editor-in-chief of Panache, he heads the creative writing department at WICE and is a member of the organizing committee of the Paris Writers Workshop. He’s served on the board of PAN for nearly two years, editing Panache, dealing with the text side of the new web site, and organizing literary events.
Graphics Advisor – Peggy Ford-Fyffe King
Peggy is a native of Washington, DC, and grew up in adjacent Northern Virginia, with a slight detour for school in New Orleans. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She worked in various graphics jobs in Virginia before moving to New York to pursue a full-time career as a graphic designer, gaining experience as an art director, creative director, then principal of her own free-lance design business. While in NY, she was the recipient of several awards for her work, among them two Creativity International Awards, and an Addy from the Art Directors Club of New York. She has continued to work as a free-lance graphic designer since relocating to Paris in the early 90s. A member of the PAN Board for many years, she first served as editor-in-chief of Panache (which she also named), and is now graphics advisor, working with other members on the new website, and designing the directory covers, logo and various graphics materials.
Art Events Coordinator – Karen Pratt-Riggen
Karen is a photographer with a Master’s in Linguistics from the Sorbonne – a priori, nothing to do with photography. However, this led her to starting a company for teaching English in several French ministries, one of which had a dark room where she was introduced to the magic of photos. Her passion for photography started the first day in that dark room, even though she now wouldn’t set foot in a dark room, having found a new love: digital. Capturing the essence of places where she is and things she sees is her goal as an avid photographer. Apart from photography, she enjoys life with her husband, who generously puts up with her consuming passion. Karen is in charge of organizing the PAN Art Show, scheduled for May 2017, for offering suggestions and input on exhibitions and visits to artists’ studios, and, of course, for providing photo content for the new website.
Activities Coordinator – Vivian Cruise
Vivian was born in Cincinnati, Ohio; her mom is Swiss and her dad was Austrian. She spent most of her younger years in Switzerland before pursuing university studies at Sarah Lawrence and at Bank Street College in New York, where she obtained an MA in Child Psychology. She practiced as a child psychologist in NYC before moving with her husband Roger to Paris, where she now works with children from a variety of backgrounds. Her son Daniel was a year old when they first arrived in Paris, and her daughter Caroline was born here. Vivian and Roger generously open their home to host the PAN annual meeting and legendary Christmas caroling party.
Special Projects – Sandra Freland
Sandra was born in Pennsylvania of a French mother and American father but moved from country to country during her childhood, so – like many PAN members – is hard put to say where she really is from. She attended Smith College and the Institute of International Relations in Geneva before moving to France in 1965. She has worked as a journalist for major US publications and as a freelance researcher, translator, writer, editor – just about anything to do with words – since then. An early member of PAN, she has served as editor-in-chief, then contributing editor to Panache, and subsequently as vice-president. She is currently working in tandem with Dimitri Keramitas on the overhaul of the content for PAN’s new website.
Social Media, Cultural Events and Alum Liaison – Erin Cowgill
We are currently looking for volunteers to fill the 3 following positions:
Classical Music Events Coordinator
Jazz, Pop, Rock Events Coordinator