Our Team


Michelle Ho GardeyMichelle Ho Gardey: Co-President

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After 17 years in New York City, I packed up my life in 2012 to join my Frenchman husband, whom I had met on the NYC subway. Prior to France, I worked in investment banking, investor relations, fitness and yoga. In Lyon, I have ignited my passion for cooking, and I love spending time at Lyon’s food markets and traveling through the countryside in search of regional foods and wines.


Freya DamrellFreya Damrell: Co-President

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A Dutch-American citizen, I moved to France 8 years ago. I lived, studied and worked in Paris until we moved to Lyon in autumn 2015 and enjoy getting out and exploring this beautiful city and its surroundings. Originally hailing from the coast of Maine, I love being able to enjoy both a European lifestyle and yearly family trips back “home.” With a degree in French and International Relations, I worked as the Cultural Program Coordinator at The American University of Paris and now look forward to helping plan events for the ACL.


not really DerekDerek Hageman: Membership

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Originally from the Twin Cities, but made Denver, Colorado “home” for the last 15 years before moving to Lyon in the fall of 2014. Career path has led me from the Peace Corps (Senegal, West Africa) to opportunities after grad school in Investment Banking and Private Equity. Happily married to an amazing woman from Montreal, Canada. For fun, I enjoy traveling, skiing, triathlon, and drinking delicious French wines.


Lauren RouletLauren Roulet: Events

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I am a French/American citizen. After ten years spent in New York, I moved back to France in 2011. I am a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and have been working as professional photographer since 2007. I enjoy travelling, doing yoga, skiing and exploring the beautiful city of Lyon and its surroundings.



Shannon DillmanShannon Dillman: Secretary

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I’m an American and have been living in Lyon for over five years, but I’m originally from a small town outside of Philadelphia. I also spent two years in Auburn, Alabama working on my Masters Degree in Communication Studies at Auburn University. I worked as a professor teaching communication studies to undergrads for a few years before I got a job as a communication consultant. My husband was offered the opportunity to move to France and we decided it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. Since living in Lyon, we’ve traveled a ton, tried lots of new foods and wine, and I’ve consulted on and off. I have two little Lyonnaise kids who were born here and have had the luck of growing up bilingual and eating delicious pastries. I love Lyon and the exposure to the French culture, but also enjoy the reminders of home the ACL has to offer with it’s different events throughout the year.


Mark GallopsMark Gallops: Treasurer

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My wife Ann and I moved to Lyon in the fall of 2017. After 30 years of working and living in New York and Brooklyn we retired and moved to Lyon to explore France and more of the world. After graduate school in Sociology at Columbia I worked for over 25 years at Time Inc directing media and market research. We love Lyon, its history, culture, gastronomy, architecture and vitality. We enjoy the many festivals in the city — cinema, dance, music, theater, la Fête des Lumières– and are using Lyon’s perfect location to visit the fascinating and diverse regions of France. Aussi, on aime le vin !


Sam FinocchioSam Finocchio: Webmaster

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I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Lyon in the summer of 2011 after having lived in the Netherlands and then Grenoble, where I served as Technology Officer of the English-speaking association, Open House Grenoble.



Becky ReynaudBecky Reynaud: FAWCO Representative

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Becky is originally from Berkeley and is a conference interpreter. She is married to a Frenchman, Denis, and has two daughters in grad school.

Becky was co-President of the American Club with Eric Way from 2004 to 2006. She is now the club’s FAWCO Representative, keeping members informed of the federation’s work to promote expat’s interests and helping young members apply for FAWCO education grants.