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 2018/2019 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.
Philippa Milz, President
Oversees and promotes the welfare and goals of the Club.
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.
Ieva Ciceri, Membership Chairperson
Manages WAC’s relationship with its members. Assigns volunteer resources where needed.
Ieva is originally from Latvia and she's lived in Switzerland for just over 4 years. Before moving to Switzerland she lived in the UK (Cambridge) for 5 years. Her husband is from Italy and they have a fantastic son Franco who keeps them happy every day and a baby daughter. 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!
Annie Forster, Treasurer
Oversees Bookkeeper, WAC accounts and all outgoing payments.
Annie has been a member of the WAC for the past five years, since she first moved to Switzerland. She is an Australian born Chinese (now also Swiss) married to a Swiss. She has previously volunteered in various roles - as a Playgroup Coordinator, at our lovely library and as a board
member in the Treasury role. Both her girls (aged 11 and 8) enjoy coming to their Reading and Writing lessons and it’s a credit to the wonderful WAC teachers for providing such a nurturing environment. She has moved around Asia a lot and worked primarily in the finance field with insurance companies and family offices.
Jennie Eriksson, Vice President
Liaises with the school and works closely with the President
Jennie has lived in Uster since January 2018. She and her husband are both Swedish and have spent time in many different countries; the past three years in New Jersey in the U.S. Jennie is a teacher by profession, and she worked a lot back in Sweden. Her plan was to continue working in New Jersey but instead she stayed at home taking care of the kids. She could never imagine being a stay-at -home mom full time, however her two girls Ruth and Mia and she have had an amazing time discovering new places and cultures. Naturally Jennie finds some days can be harder than others so finding the WAC made life easier!
Carolina Sanchez, 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 daughter, and in 2018 added a new baby daughter to their family. 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.
Chrisy Restelli, Marketing
Oversees all marketing activities, including publications, website and advertising.
Chrisy is originally from Malaysia and has been living in Switzerland since August 2011. Prior to moving to Switzerland, she was in legal practice in Malaysia for several years before joining the corporate world as an in house legal counsel. From 2013 to 2016, she had a small business selling Usborne books and has held book exhibitions in various schools and events all over Switzerland. She is married to a Swiss and has a son, Matteo. She first joined the WAC for the playgroups when her son turned 2. He is currently in the Explorers class and loves it very much.
Sarah Gyr, Secretary
Manages all documentation, policies and procedures. Records minutes of all meetings.
Sarah is originally from the UK but spent six years living in Italy before moving to Switzerland over seven years ago. After moving various times, she has finally found my forever home in Wermatswil, close to Uster. Sarah started coming to the WAC playgroups four years ago with her son, and she now has two children who both happily attend Preschool. Sarah is excited to become Secretary this year and is looking forward to giving something back to the school where not only her kids but also she herself has had many fun times and met so many lovely people.