The Women’s Activity Club is a volunteer-run organisation, or Verein, located in Uster, Switzerland. We are dedicated to helping expat families settle into their new Swiss lives and integrate into the local community.
The WAC started its life from humble beginnings, as a small sewing circle in the home of Mrs Mary Lou Mettler. Soon after its creation, our small group had grown to become a club and started to offer services such as playgroups, exercise classes and a babysitting cooperative, with the aim of helping expats settle into their new lives. Following its overwhelming success, Mary Lou’s husband Ari Mettler, of Mettler-Toldeo, offered the use of a company building, known as ‘The Barracks’. This soon became a hub of activity, allowing us to once again expand and host larger events, such as wine tastings, flea markets and soon, became home to a pre-school and library. In 1997, the Woman’s Activity Club became a Verein.
Today, we have grown to welcome over 200 members and their families, from 42 countries, worldwide, including Peru, Indonesia and Zimbabwe. We also have an increasing number of Swiss nationals, many married to expats, who have lived overseas and want to continue to speak English, whilst meeting other like-minded adventurers.
We are a welcoming community of expats and have a diverse and truly international community, who can identify with the process of relocating to a foreign country. Most importantly, we are a home away from home for families who are new to the area.
Meet the 2017/2018 Board of Directors
The Board of Directors are all volunteers who oversee all aspects of Club life and The Learning Tree School. It is a group of people dedicated to the advancement of the WAC’s ideals and mission.
Ieva Ciceri, President
Oversees and promotes the welfare and goals of the Club.
Ieva is originally from Latvia and she's lived in Switzerland for just over 2 years. Before moving to Switzerland she lived in the UK (Cambridge) for 5 years. Her husband is from Italy and they have a fantastic 2 and a half year old boy Franco who keeps them happy every day. Ieva believes that the WAC is a fantastic place for kids and mums where to find new friends, new hobbies, new skills and simply have lots of fun. She's met so many wonderful people thanks to the WAC!
Jana Parkin, Vice President
Liaises with the school
Jana has 3 daughters, 2 Guinea pigs and a husband. She's lived in Zurich for 7 years now and runs the Girls Club, the Parent-Child Book Club, and at one time the Zoom Zoom Zoom playgroup. Jana is working towards getting a degree to be a science teacher and has a background in plant science as a horticulturist and landscape designer. She loves reading books, gardening, stand up paddle boarding, ballroom dancing with her husband and hanging out with her kids and girl friends.
Juliana Mazza, Treasurer
Oversees Bookkeeper, WAC accounts and all outgoing payments.
Juliana is Brazilian and she's worked for a long time in cash flow management for an American Company. She moved to Zurich in the second half of 2016 due her husband's work and now Is dedicating her time to learning German and taking care of her 2 year old boy and her husband. Her hobbies are: travel, running and dessert cooking.
Philippa Milz, Secretary
Manages all documentation, policies and procedures. Records minutes of all meetings.
Philippa is a Brit who's lived in Zürich for over 15 years. She's mom to 3 boys and she's busy playing taxi driver, peace keeper and chief entertainment officer! Previously she worked at Hewlett Packard as Pricing Manager and Financial Analyst. Since becoming a full time mom Philippa has found the WAC playgroups to be her lifeline and she's at the WAC most days.
Anja Hirt, Business
Responsible for long and short-term courses.
Anja grew up in Germany, but has previously lived in the U.S., Canada, Hungary and Poland. Before becoming a Mom she has worked on various global transformation projects for international companies. Anja relocated to Lausanne, Switzerland in 2009 for her work, and moved to Uster in August 2016 together with her husband and 5-year old daughter. They love to socialize with the WAC international community and have already benefited from quite a number of WAC events and weekly Pilates and ballet classes. Anja is excited about finding new courses and activities where WAC members can both socialize and learn something new.
Roberto dal Corso, Marketing
Oversees all marketing activities, including publications, website and advertising.
Roberto has two sons and is married to Kathy who teaches preschool and explorers. He moved to Switzerland from South Africa 16 years ago is a global Marketing Executive with more than 20 years’ experience. Has a burning passion for cycling.
Melanie Miller, Membership
Manages WAC’s relationship with its members. Assigns volunteer resources where needed.
Melanie and her family moved to Switzerland in 2014 from Boise, Idaho in the US. She was very happy to find the WAC and a place where her 2 daughters are able to continue using their native English and meet families from all over the world. Melanie is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm about the WAC and what it has to offer with other new members.