Just as its name says, FAUSA stands for the alumnae arm of the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, an international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations consisting of around 80 member clubs in 38 countries, with a total membership in excess of 15,000. When the members of those clubs return to the US, many of them join the FAUSA network of expatriates and returnees to keep their connection to their clubs, maintain overseas friendships, and to continue to participate in world affairs through the FAWCO task forces and NGO activities. They also benefit from the support of fellow returnees in experiencing the joys, challenges and changes involved in returning home to the US. FAUSA members and children are eligible for The FAWCO Foundation education awards, and may also nominate projects for a Development Grant. Members may also nominate a project for FAUSA’s philanthropic projects.
FAUSA membership is open to Americans who have lived overseas, as well as individuals born outside of the United States, whose goals are compatible with those of FAUSA. There four types of membership:
- Regular - open to members or former members of FAWCO clubs
- Associate – open to individuals who have lived overseas but were not members of FAWCO clubs
- Couples – open to Regular and Associate members and their partners
WHERE DID WE MOVE FROM?
FAUSA members are also offered the opportunity to explore the US upon their return by participating in Getaway and Annual Meetings which are held in various parts of the country in the Fall. Although they are business meetings where FAUSA matters are discussed and voted upon, they are also filled with fun and interesting social activities. “Getaways” have been held in Boston, MA; Provincetown, MA; Red Lodge, MT; Chicago, IL,; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, Washington; New York City; Longboat Key, FL; Durango, CO; Houston, TX; Charleston, SC, Napa, CA, Cincinnati, OH, and Colorado Springs, CO. Members, their families, and guests are encouraged to attend, and there are workshops, speakers, tours and dining opportunities—not to mention wine tastings—varied enough to meet everyone’s interests and tastes.
Like the FAWCO clubs abroad, FAUSA’s members contribute to its management by volunteering to serve in various capacities. The five elected officers (President, First and Second Vice Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer) make up the Board of Directors.
The Officers of FAUSA for the 2015-17 term are:
- President: Janet Darrow
- First Vice President- Communications and Public Relations: Rick Chizmadia
- Second Vice President-Membership: Carol Boren
- Secretary: Leslie Nelson
- Treasurer: Kathy Coughlan
The Board of Directors is assisted by appointees who serve as Standing Committee Chairs, Historian, and Webmaster:
- Parliamentarian: Jane Inderland
- Philanthropic Liaison: Liz Hemminger
- Historian: Nancy Thornley
- Nominating and Board Development: Jane Indreland
- Website: Debbie Hastings
Special Committees work with Board Members and Website Chair. They are:
- International Liaisons - Louise Greeley-Copley
Members are urged to volunteer for service on the Board, as Chair, or member, of a Committee, or to suggest a new committee appropriate to the needs of the membership.
FAUSA membership is divided geographically into Regions (including an International) and Metropolitan Areas, headed by Regional (RC) and Metropolitan Coordinators (MC). The largest number of members is found in the Southeast region, followed by the Great Lakes and New England. The fewest number is found in Puerto Rico. There is a wide spread of ages represented among our membership, with 1% under 30; 4%, 70 and over; 11%, 30 and over; 6%, 40 and over; 34%, 50 and over; matched by those 60 and over, 34%.
The Metropolitan Areas hold periodic activities, as do the Regions that have no MAs. Many groups invite other individuals who also have lived abroad but who have not yet joined FAUSA, which is another way of meeting those who speak our “language.”