ISABELLE KELMAN / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Isabelle Kelman was born and raised in Paris, France. She moved to Irvine, California in 2001 with her three children and husband. She was first introduced to the Alliance Française in New York in 1995, where she trained to become a French literature teacher. She began at the Alliance in Newport Beach in 2005 as a professor. Isabelle moved up in management at the Alliance Française in 2007, when she became director of the Newport Beach location. She is currently continuing to teach French literature and is attending Cal State Long Beach to obtain her Masters in French literature to further her education. She is focusing her teaching in 19th century literature. She enjoys skiing and hiking with her family.
She is a certified TCF/DELF/DALF examiner and she is currently teaching every level of French.
ELENA R. / TEACHER
Elena Rolland has been teaching French at the Alliance Française for over a year. She also works with the International School of Los Angeles and is the Instructor in charge of the program “Mommy and Moi” at the Campus of Orange. Passionate about the interface between first and second language acquisition, Elena advocates for bilinguisme and its memory benefits.
She is a mother of three children and moved to Irvine with her family in 2014. Previously, she has lived in Bordeaux for over twenty years and is very fond of the regional south-western cuisine. Her favorite: the Canelés de Bordeaux!
Elena is currently attending the Irvine Valley College and is taking classes in College English Writing.She is involved in the Friendly Visitor Program with the Council on Aging Southern California as a volunteer.
In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, baking, hiking and reading.
PASCALE C. / TEACHER
I moved to the US 20 years ago with my hubby and my two year old baby. After adapting to the “American way of life” I took the opportunity to have another baby, who is the “real American” of the family!
I taught French for adults and students in Long Beach during a couple of years and during 10 years I was a High school French teacher in a famous and extremely demanding Charter School in Tucson, Arizona. I love to teach French and its fabulous culture. Specifically, I have a strong experience in teaching AP French.
The dark side of my life (because everyone has one!) is a passion to make “entremets”. I really enjoy the difficulty of baking these cakes and I always find a good excuse to create a new one when I am not teaching! I also enjoy having a drink once in a while (un petit apéritif!) with my friends and family like people do in the South of France, where I grew up.
Finally, I have a (big!) cat named Zizou, like the nick name of the famous French soccer player Zinedine Zidane, and because I have 3 fans of soccer at home!
Antoine B. / teacher
I moved to California only 6 months ago to follow my spouse. Leaving my country, Belgium, was challenging at the beginning but I am moving forward and adapting myself to this new life in this new world!
Back in Belgium, I was a historian for a government agency in Belgium, where I used to set up exhibitions. It was also a real pleasure to do the guide tour of the exhibitions and to have the chance to pass on my knowledge and my experience. I guess that is why I am so excited to work for the French Alliance where I can, once again, pass on my French culture and language.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading or listening to music at the pool. And of course once in a while having a Belgian beer under the sunny sky of California.
MargaUx C. / MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION MANAGER
Volunteer at the Alliance.
Margaux has always lived in the south-west of France in a small town called Mimizan, very close to the ocean. She holds a degree in communication, she worked in the world of advertising and she speaks Spanish.
In September 2017, she decided to leave France to join her husband to discover the United States and more particularly California.Wanting to share culture and the French language, Margaux decided to join the rewarding adventure of the French Alliance in Newport Beach!
She loves graphic design, the ocean, skating, wine and of course traveling!
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
GABRIEL FRISBY / PRESIDENT
Gabriel Frisby, CPA is co-owner of a small public accounting firm located in the City of Orange. Born in Anaheim, raised in Trabuco Canyon, and educated at California State University Fullerton, Gabriel is a true OC native. Gabriel lives in the City of Orange with his wife and daughter. However, his interests extend beyond the orange curtain. He enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures. In 2006, after his second trip to France, he committed to learning the French language and joined the Alliance Francaise Orange County. Recently, thanks to the tutoring of the Alliance Francaise Orange County team, he was awarded a DELF Level B2 diploma from the French Ministry of Education. When time permits, Gabriel enjoys surfing, rock climbing, and cycling.
Hieu Nguyen / VICE PRESIDENT
Hieu Nguyen is a tenured associate professor of marketing at California State University Long Beach where he has been since August 2007 after completing his Doctorate in marketing at University of Texas at Arlington. At CSULB he teaches marketing principles and marketing management at both undergraduate and graduate levels. His research focuses on emotional attachment to brands, consumer transformation, anti-consumption and has been published in academic journals as well as covered by the popular press. Hieu’s father went to a French school in Hue, Vietnam, and was fluent in French and instilled in him a keen interest in all things French. After a three-month sabbatical in Paris in the fall of 2014, Hieu fell in love with the City of Light and decided he needed to learn French to be able to speak the language when in France, not English. Hieu has been taking French classes at Alliance Française in Newport Beach since August 2017. In his free time Hieu enjoys traveling, visiting museums, going to the beach and playing sports.
ANTOINE KELMAN / TREASURER
Antoine Kelman has lived in Orange County since 2001. He has a Masters in Science/Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris, France; a Ph.D in Computer Science from Paris VI University, France; and he attended the Executive Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer - North American Payment at Oberthur Technologies. He has been involved at the Alliance since 2005 where he has served as treasurer and as the Webmaster from 2006-2015. He enjoys playing tennis, hiking and skiing.
HUGUETTE SCHAER / SECRETARY
Huguette was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland and landed on the US shore over 20 years ago. She has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Temple University in Philadelphia and is presently working at Turtle Rock Elementary School in the computer lab helping students K through 6. She enjoys walking, skiing, yoga, and discovering new places.
LESLIE TERPIn / BOARD MEMBER
Leslie Terpin grew up in Oregon. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Oregon State University and spent her career in the insurance industry. She has lived in Southern California since 1987 and began taking French classes at the Alliance in 2002 following her first trip to France in late 2001. She continues as a student today in the literature class. She has been involved with the Alliance in various capacities since that time, serving as a committee chair or board member. She is an avid baseball fan, loves to read and enjoys traveling.