The Paris American Club began as informal luncheon meetings in 1940, but was officially incorporated as a Type A corporation on August 24, 2001 for the purposes of a 501(c)(7) non-for-profit corporation, with its principal offices in the city and state of New York.
Its purpose is to:
- Conduct, operate and maintain a social club;
- Provide friendship and socialability among its members;
- Foster, develop and promote better understanding among citizens of the community;
- Continue the tradition established by Benjamin Franklin in 1777 in Paris, France by organizing meetings where members, all involved in the Franco-American community of New York, can interact and foster bonds of friendship between France and the United States.
The seven-member Board of Directors has the control and management of the affairs and business of the club, which is administered by the Officers, who by virtue of their positions, are members of the Board.
The Officers include a President, the chief executive officer of the association, who is responsible for the general management of the affairs of the corporation and carries out the resolutions of the Board of Directors, a Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary.
Any member in good standing who has attended at least three events during the prior year may be a candidate for Director. Candidates shall inform the Board of his or her candidacy prior to the date of the Annual Meeting, held at the January meeting.
The Directors hold a calendar-year term of office for two years and may be re-elected upon the expiration of their term. Once elected, the Directors appoint the Officers. The Board may also establish committees of interested members to manage various activities as needed.
Board of Directors (2022–2023)
John F. Bennett, President
John F. Bennett joined the Paris American Club in 2007 and served as its vice president from 2011-15. A native of Newburgh, NY, and lifelong Francophile, John earned his BS in French at Georgetown University, spending his junior year at the Faculté de Lettres in Nice.
John enjoyed a 28-year management career with Berlitz Languages, eventually directing North American operations, where he was responsible for 50 language centers and some 2,500 employees.
John founded Alouette Communications, originally with French partners as MAYA Press in 2006. Alouette provides marketing and communications services to many New York-based French organizations, including the Taste of France.
Among his cultural affiliations, John is a member of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Non-profit Coordinating Committee of NY, Chefs de Cuisine Association of America and the James Beard Foundation.
John studied the history of graphic design at Parsons, the New School for Design, speaks French, some Spanish and Italian, and loves to cook and entertain an eclectic group of friends at Château Village, his apartment in Greenwich Village of 35+ years. Ever the bon vivant, his motto is: “On ne vit qu’une fois!”
Francis Dubois, Speakers
Francis Dubois was born and raised in Alsace, France, and had a very distinguished career with the United Nations. He started his career in Uganda, and then served at Headquarters in New York before being assigned to the Palestinian Territories as the Deputy Coordinator of the UN Secretary General. Francis was then posted to Iraq as the Head of the UN Office (with the rank of Ambassador), and subsequently in Algeria and Tunisia in the same capacity.
Since his early retirement, Francis is an active member of several non-governmental organizations and serves on their boards. Presently, he serves on the board of the Paris American Club and is also President of Le Comité La Fayette, in New York; both organizations promote French-American relations.
Ludovic Dubrana, Treasurer, Activities
Ludovic Dubrana has been an active junior member of the Paris American Club since 2017, volunteering to organize the last three years’ pétanque tournaments on Minetta. He has also attended some of our premier events this year, including the Vermont Ski Weekend, April in Paris and the Soirée d’automne. An avid athlete, he enjoys in running, soccer, surfing, skiing, sailing, squash and tennis, in addition to pétanque.
Ludovic has extensive international experience, after growing up in France, he has lived in Zurich, Warsaw and Hong Kong, residing in New York since 2012 and is holder of a US green card. A finance professional, he has most recently served as Director of Hedging Strategy Development at AXA US, here in New York.
He is a member of FIAF, Parlor Social Club and the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative. Ludovic is committed to the development of membership and is an outstanding example of the next generation of the Paris American Club.
Hilary J. James, Vice President, Activities
Hilary J. James is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Brown Harris Stevens. As an accomplished professional with more than 25 years of experience, Hilary is respected by her colleagues and her clients for her expansive knowledge of the Manhattan real estate market. Hilary’s buyers and sellers benefit from her professionalism, discretion and vast understanding of the often-complex process of buying and selling in the City.
Before joining Brown Harris Stevens in 2014, Hilary was a marketing executive and Director of Sales for Bristol Plaza’s developer, Milstein Properties, working with the managing partner and senior executives in launching the luxury condominium at 200 East 65th Street. Responsible for the development, marketing and management of the thirty-day minimum stay concept, she successfully reached a global market of multinational corporations, the diplomatic corps, the entertainment industry and private individuals.
Born and educated in England, Hilary began her career in the film industry and has held positions with Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers. Fluent in French, she lived in Paris for four years until Warner Brothers brought her to the States to work in their New York office.
She subsequently founded her own theater company and produced Off-Broadway plays by Samuel Beckett, Jean Reavy and the Obie Award winning Hess, written and performed by Michael Burrell.
Ms. James, who has been a member of the Paris American Club since 1995, serves as its Vice President and plans and coordinates Club events.
Mathieu Legendre, Secretary, Outreach
Mathieu Legendre arrived in New York in 2016, joining the club in 2017. Born and raised in Meaux, between Paris and Reims, Mathieu studied law in Paris II Assas for five years before coming back to his hometown to work as a junior lawyer. At 25, he founded his own practice with two partners.
In 2011, Mathieu came to New York for the first time and met his future wife, who joined him a year later in Meaux, where they got engaged and married.
In 2016, they moved back to New York and Mathieu works now as a consultant. He also moderates our monthly non-judgmental français conversation sessions on the second Tuesday or each month via Zoom.
Mathieu is also passionate about French and American history, and he is the author of a book about World War I.
Committee members assume responsibility for various club activities and goals, holding meetings as needed to formulate and then present action plans and proposals to the Board. The President is an ex officio member of all committees.
Hilary J James
Outreach and Membership
View the October 2019 Member Survey results here.
|FRANCOIS HUGHES DE MONTMORIN||1998-1999|
|MYRON L. HURWITZ||1976-1997|
|ALEXIS C. COUDERT||1972-1975|
|ADRIAN H. ALCAN||1969-1971|
|MICHEL L. DREYFUS||1966-1968|
|RICHARD DE ROCHEMONT||1963-1965|
|H. GREGORY THOMAS||1960-1962|
|THOMAS H. KOERNER||1956-1959|
|FERDINAND V. COUDERT||1952-1955|
|FRED H. HOTCHKISS||1949-1951|
|His Excellency the Ambassador of France to the United States|
|His Excellency the Ambassador of France to the United Nations|
|His Excellency the Ambassador of the United States to France|
|The Permanent Representative of the Principality of Monaco to the United Nations|
|The Consul General of France in New York|
|The Commercial Counselor to the French Embassy in New York|
|The President of the American Club of Paris|
|The President of the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée in Paris|
|The French Deputy of Overseas French for the United States|
View the 2021 990-EZ Federal Tax filing.
View the 2019 990-EZ Federal Tax filing.