about us

This site is intended for all people, including non-members, who are interested in the activities of L'Union Alsacienne located in New York. You will find a sample of our activities, newsletters, and links to Alsace. Founded in 1871, L’Union Alsacienne is a vibrant organization of Alsatians living in the United States, of Alsatian-Americans, dedicated to upholding their Alsatian heritage, and friends of Alsace. For nearly 150 years L’Union Alsacienne has played an important role in the lives of newly-arrived Alsatian immigrants, providing them with a feeling of community and contact with others from their beloved province. More recently a new generation of Alsatian-Americans has created a wider base of membership. We are not only the native-born immigrants who came to the United States seeking new opportunities. We are also their wives and husbands, their children and grand-children, all holding Alsace close to our hearts, keeping Alsatian culture and heritage alive, and promoting knowledge and understanding of its traditions and products through L’Union Alsacienne.



Andrea Markson

Acting President


Andrea Markson was born and raised in Colmar, France. She became a Registered Nurse in France in 2008 and worked for a few years at the American Hospital of Paris and then at the Hospital Robert Debré where she specialized as a children/teenager diabetes educator. She moved to New York in 2011. 


She learned English and took her Nursing Board exam to become a RN in the United States. She worked as a School Nurse at the Lycée Français of New York. After spending nearly a decade as a nurse, Andrea wanted to create her own company and become a professional organizer.


She started WelOrganiZ in 2019 to help people and businesses with various organizational projects, including: office and home organizing, room configuration and optimization, move-in / move-out decluttering and paperwork management (including transitioning to paperless). She believes in a new approach to help people organize their home, workplace and mind to feel calmer, more confident, focused and efficient.

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Capucine Bourcart           

Website, Newsletter editor

& Social media

Capucine grew up in Guebwiller, in the beautiful Vallee du Florival. She settled in New York in 2006 and lives and work in Harlem. Capucine is an artist whose work is based on photography. She has exhibited in Europe and in the US. She has been an active member of l'UnAl since 2010 and she is now in charge of the newsletter and the website.


Francis Dubois             


Francis Dubois was born and raised in Strasbourg, and had a very distinguished career with the United Nations. He started his career in Uganda, 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: he is a member of l'Union Alsacienne since 1983. 

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Liliane Rubin              

Vice President

Liliane grew up near Place de la République in Strasbourg. She married James Rubin from Boston in 1969 and has two children and three grandchildren. She divides her time between the exquisite village of Mittelbergheim and the excitement of New York City.


She taught French at every level from K through AP for 32 years in both private and public schools on Long Island. While teaching she tirelessly took groups of her French students to France almost every year, receiving students from France in New York as part of an exchange. She loves to be active and helpful to others, and so, as soon as she retired, she joined l' Accueil New York to welcome francophone families to the city. She also helps with the elderly who are members of L’Age d'Or, which is organized within the French Consulate.


Despite these involvements, Liliane’s heart is with L'Union Alsacienne. She first heard about the Union in 1990 through friends visiting from Strasbourg. She promptly joined in 1991. Since her retirement, nearly 10 years ago, she has organized almost all of the Union’s Spring lunches and Christmas dinners. She adores Alsace and rejoices when she can speak her native Alsatian on Saturdays at the local market near Mittelbergheim. There, too, she belongs to the S’Tulipel, a civic association that helps enhance in the life of the village, for example, making tartes flambées during weekly events, arranging tastings of vin nouveau, and showing an outdoor movie every summer—the last one being about the wonderful Alsatian illustrator Tomi Ungerer.


Jerome Degreve

Sponsors Relations

Jérôme Degreve was born and raised in Strasbourg. He arrived in New York in 2016 to complete his MBA, and he met his wife Lizette there. They live in Brooklyn and both joined UnAl in 2019. Jérôme is in love with his native Alsace, and is very interested in its history. He works as sales manager in the United States for LDE, the main French school bookseller, located in Molsheim, Alsace. Jérôme works with Andrea on sponsorship issues for UnAl.



Renée Pecot-Xenakis

Acting Member

Renée is a native New Yorker who works as a Compliance Officer for a foreign bank in the city.

With her parents born in Europe, she was raised in a polyglot household teaching her the love of languages. Her undergraduate work included French and German as well as Economics, she, also, possesses an MBA in Economic Crime Management.


During summer vacations in her youth, Renée traveled to Soultz (next to Guebwiller) where her grandmother was born and neighboring Germany to visit other relatives. Renée’s father was born in Paris and her grandfather is Breton. Being passionate about Alsatian culture and the region Renee was happy to find Union Alsacienne of New York marching in the Steuben Parade in 2016.


Since 2019 she has been helping with activities and recently joined the Board. She is excited to assist the organization in various capacities, reaching more members and making new friends.

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Lauren Zoebelein            


Lauren Zoebelein first started learning French when she was 12 years old. When she was in 8th grade, her French teacher was Liliane Rubin. She first learned about the Union Alsacienne in 2012. Lauren has lived in Washington, DC, Paris, Brussels, Zurich and moved to Manhattan in 2019.

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Xavier Ritsch             


Xavier arrived in New York in 2016 to live with his wife Michelle, a native of the city. Xavier quickly became a member of L’Union Alsacienne and is now it’s Treasurer. In addition to managing UA finance, he contributes to organizing events. He found in L’Union Alsacienne a home away from home and made true friends. During the last 3 years, Xavier has been working as an accountant and corporate consultant for French companies that are settling in the US. In his free time, Xavier likes riding his bicycle in the city and going on adventure-weekends: and go hiking, rafting, skiing,...


Marc Seybold           


Marc Seybold joined the UnAl in order to make sure that the association continue to exist and is here for the next generation, to be part of something that helps keep a cultural connection alive and that continues its mission.


At a personal level both of his parents come from Alsace and the rest of my family are all there so UA helps maintain a connection to family roots.

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Benoit Meister            

Retired President

Benoit grew up in Wintzenheim, next to Colmar and at the entrance of the Vallee de Munster. He got a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Strasbourg, and moved to New York in 2005. Benoit slowly climbed the ladder of power at l'Union Alsacienne, from 2nd Vice-President in 2006 to 1st Vice-President in 2012 to President in 2018. He recently retired (as President) and relocated to Denver, CO, and still helps the bureau with day-to-day business matters.