Our Board

Dana Baron, President

Photo of Dana Baron

Dana Baron has been a member of AFLCR for many years and has taken many courses with the Alliance. He especially enjoys the courses devoted to literature.

Dana’s love of French language and culture grows out of his Québecois heritage. His grandfather came to New Hampshire from Québec in the 1920s seeking work in the mills. With this as a starting point, Dana began a genealogical journey that led back through time down the St. Lawrence River to Ile d’Orléans where the first Baron ancestor arrived from Normandy in the 1670s. Wanting to continue the journey, he decided to learn to speak French so he could pick up the trail on the other side of the Atlantic. In 2009, he got the opportunity to do so. Though he found no new genealogical information, he still recalls the first time he knocked on a door and had to speak French to the woman who answered.

The AFLCR played a major role in building Dana’s dream of speaking French. He was active with AFLCR in the past, working on events and activities: the Burlington International Festival, the former annual Vergennes French Celebration, trips to Quebec, and more. Now he’s glad to be giving more to the organization. A strong and healthy language school; fun and interesting activities; conversation groups; a strong sense of community built around a love of French language and culture—these are what Dana works toward as a member of the AFLCR board.

After a career in IT, Dana retired in 2017 and recently moved from Essex to Shelburne with his wife Karen.

He can be reached at president@aflcr.org.

Marjorie London, Secretary

Photo of Marjorie London

Marjorie London has been a Francophile since taking her first French class in high school. French was her college major. She spent her junior year in France and, after college, worked at the United Nations with French-speaking people. Her career took a turn when she went to law school. After some thirty years working as a lawyer, she retired to Vermont. Several trips to France over the years rekindled her passion for French language and culture. Since retiring, she has taken a number of French classes with the Alliance Française and, during the pandemic, participated in a number of online activities.

Marjorie brings to the board a passion for French language and culture. In her professional life, she had significant experience in organizational leadership roles and in dispute resolution techniques. She uses her legal skills and her enthusiasm for expanding networks among English and French-speaking people in support of the AFLCR. She considers the French School to be a critically important part of the Alliance and enjoys addressing the challenges that the organization faces. 

Marjorie previously served on the board of the Bixby Library in Vergennes, made presentations in support of the Humane Society in Middlebury, and volunteered for various projects at the Bixby Library and the Charlotte Senior Center.

She can be reached at secretary@aflcr.org.

Kevin Mead, Treasurer

Kevin Mead

Kevin is president of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association, which represents captive insurance company owners, managers, and other stakeholders doing business in Vermont—the largest captive insurance domicile in the United States. For sixteen years, Kevin was CEO of PrimeGlobal, a worldwide association of accounting firms. While there, he merged three organizations into one and grew the organization by 400 percent. From 2018 to 2020, he was vice president of resource development at Spokane County (Washington) United Way, where he developed fundraising and volunteer initiatives. 

In Vermont, in addition to serving on the AFLCR board, Kevin volunteers at Green Mountain United Way and is on the supervisory committee of North Country Federal Credit Union.

Outside his professional and volunteer responsibilities, Kevin is a rugby referee and restores and rides old motorcycles.

He can be reached at kmead@bellsouth.net.

Mel Bourgault, Director

Photo of Mel Bourgault

Mel Bourgault brings to the board her many years of involvement in the field of education and a passion for French, which she comes by honestly as the granddaughter of a French professor.

She graduated with a BA in French language from the University of New Hampshire. After a full year of total immersion studies at the Université de Neuchatel in Neuchatel, Switzerland, she was awarded a Certificat d’Études Françaises. Over the course of the next thirty years, she taught French in public secondary schools in Alaska, Vermont, and New Hampshire, earning an M.Ed. in the process. 

Upon retirement, Mel searched for a way to maintain her French language skills and interest in French culture, and happily discovered the Alliance Française. She has been a loyal member of the AF, first in Portland, Oregon, for over ten years, and more recently in Burlington. In both cities she participated in AF classes as well as in cultural events too numerous to mention. As a former educator, her focus as a board member is to support the continuation of the excellent school that is at the core of AFLCR.

She can be reached at mebourgault2000@yahoo.com.

Erik Trinkaus, Director

Erik Trinkaus learned French as a child during a year spent in Paris with his family. After a hiatus of a dozen years, he returned to France as a doctoral student in anthropology to work on prehistoric human remains and Paleolithic archeology. That work, which led to an academic career shedding light on the nature and origins of early modern humans across Eurasia, involved frequent stays in France, especially in Paris and Bordeaux. It also led to time spent with his family exploring various regions of France, meandering through small towns and country roads, sitting in cafés, and talking with people. Through the work, friendships with colleagues, and time living in France, he has developed an appreciation of many things French, including the language in its various forms. 

Erik has been involved in the Alliance Française from 2016 in St. Louis and from 2019 in Burlington. Through conversation and literature courses, he has come to appreciate and support the missions of the Alliance Française: to impart to diverse audiences both the French language and an understanding of the cultures of francophone countries. This was reinforced by the historic French background of St. Louis and now by the very much living connection of northern Vermont to Québec and things Québécois.

As an anthropologist at heart and as a researcher and teacher by training, Erik brings to the AFLCR enthusiasm and skills to help foster the dual mission of the Alliance Française. As such, he hopes to promote both the French language in its variety and nuances and an appreciation of the cultural diversity of France and of the francophone world. 

Erik can be reached at eriktrinkaus1@gmail.com.