“Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.”

– John F. Kennedy

2024-2025 Prospective WICE Board Members

The following WICE members are running for board membership for the coming year.

Elisabeth Iriart

Born in Bordeaux, where she grew up and studied finance and management, Elisabeth started her career in the wine business before moving to Paris to work as an executive in the Industry. 

After 15 years in Paris, she  went back to her passion, oenology, by passing the WSET (Wine  and Spirit Education Trust) Diploma  in London.  As a certified WSET Educator, she’s  been training other wines/spirits lovers (professional or not) and also collaborates with the Bordeaux Wine School as well as the  BNIC  (Bureau Interprofessionel du Cognac), for courses or events.

Elisabeth also loves cinema, cultural life in Paris, traveling, and making new friends from all over the world. She joined WICE last fall primarily to practice English, and then to be a more active member.

Rick Jones

Rick joined WICE soon after moving to Paris in July 2018, and he has served as President since July 2022.

Prior to moving to Paris, Rick spent 20 years as a U.S. Naval officer, and then 18 years in various leadership positions in information technology, knowledge management, and data science. He has a BA in mathematics and philosophy, an MS in information technology management, and a graduate certificate in applied statistics. He's also a beginning Go player, and an aspiring jazz flutist.

Mary-Jo Reef

Before retiring to France, Mary-Jo was a professor of sociology at a state university. WICE was instrumental in her decision to retire to France, as many of her closest friendships originated through the WICE conversation groups. She has served on the board for the past two years, and she has been the Director of the French-English In-person Conversation groups for five years.

Nathalie Rodgers

Nathalie Rodgers was born at the gates of the U.S. capitol on Bastille Day many years ago. Her Burgundian artist mother and her Southern engineer father then moved the family to Southern California where she spent her formative years.  After high school, she relocated to France where she attended classes at the Sorbonne and taught English. After several years in Paris, Nathalie returned to the U.S. to finish her studies and raise a family. Nathalie has been a member of WICE since 2013, and she has served as Treasurer over much of the past year.

Susan Townson

Originally from Wellington, New Zealand, Susan comes to France (and WICE) via a career in London as an energy information assistant. Although Susan originally joined WICE in 2021 for the language classes, she is now a member of several literary groups, an occasional participant in the monthly pétanque games, and she just completed a stint as an assistant organizer in the Paris Writers Workshop. She like gardens, hiking, handicrafts, Shakespeare, reading and writing, and playing her ukulele. 

Jay van Wagenen

Jay van Wagenen has been a full-time Paris resident since 2017. Before that she was founding partner and creative director of a boutique advertising agency specializing in direct marketing. Jay has been a member of WICE since 2018 and Co-Director then Director of WICE Languages since 2021. She has also been the WICE Vice-President since July 2022. Jay attended Barnard College, majoring in American and English literature, and has a passionate interest in cinema, books, and fiberart.

Kate Wolter

Like Josephine Baker, Kate has deux amours: living in Paris, but always a New Yorker. In her life, she's been a singer, an executive assistant, a bookstore manager, a supernumerary, lived in a cabin (chop wood, carry water), a hat check, une femme de ménage, an actress, and now—after years of quilting—she's teaching herself to sew. In all of it, there has been one consistent element, the people in her life. And she is thankful there are lots of wonderful ones here in WICE, which she's been a member of since 2022, and a WICE board member for the past year.