Holly Richmond, President
Holly Richmond joined the Alliance Française in 2009 with the aim of improving her French. For many years she was a Vice President of Marketing as well as Vice President of Private Client Services in the financial services industry before leaving to receive a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and becoming a writer and editor. With a deep love for the written word, she is captivated by the beauty and nuances of the French language. She is happy to lend her professional experience and love for the French language and culture to her role as President.
Elizabeth McInerny, M.D., Vice President and Events Committee Co-Chair
Elizabeth McInerny, M.D., was born in New Brunswick, the only officially bilingual province in Canada. She is a dual US-Canadian citizen. She was exposed to the French language early, in school and daily life, in addition to having a grandmother whose first language was French. She continued to study French in college, subsequently going on to pursue a career in Medicine. While in Canada, her children attended French Immersion schools. She and her husband, Dr. Mark Johnston, emigrated to the USA in 1997. Beth, as she is known to friends, retired in 2018 after 38 years as a physician. She and her husband, also an Alliance member, travel frequently to France, where they have family connections. She has taken numerous classes through the Alliance in order to improve her fluency in the language. She is delighted to be a part of such a dynamic and diverse group with a shared enthusiasm for French language and culture, as well as wider interests in travel, cuisine, music, theatre and the arts.
Marty Skomal, Secretary and Bylaws Committee Chair
Marty Skomal is recently retired as director of programs after thirty years with the Nebraska Arts Council. He has served as a conference presenter and panelist for numerous state arts agencies, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts , the National Endowment for the Arts and the President’s Committee on Arts & Humanities. He is also a former National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient in the Arts Administrative Fellows Program. Marty has also directed the theatre program at the Omaha Jewish Community Center, acted with the Nebraska Theatre Caravan and served as production Manager at Chanticleer Theatre in Iowa. Marty holds degrees in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska and Theatre Arts from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and studied children’s theatre and British literature at Trinity College in Carmarthen, Wales, U.K. He also has performs a one-man show based on the life of the French Chef, Georges Auguste Escoffier.
Jerry Syslo, Treasurer
Jerry Syslo is a lifelong resident of Omaha and retired from a 40-year career with a major American bank, most recently as SVP in Global Treasury Management Sales. Jerry holds a B.A. in Journalism from UNO and an MBA from Creighton. A European trip several years ago re-kindled an interest in the French language and culture. He continues to participate in French classes offered by Alliance Française, building on years of high school and college studies.
Sue White, Board Member and Education Coordinator
Sue White is a UK/USA dual national who has lived in the United States since 1983. Sue and her husband Gerry came to Omaha after living in Massachusetts. She has also lived in Belgium and Switzerland. Sue worked for Air France for eight years and as a French teacher for thirteen years. She has always maintained contact with the French-speaking community in Europe and the United States, and continues to visit France for at least two weeks every year. Recently retired from full time teaching, Sue is delighted to assist the Alliance Française with her French language, teaching, and organizational skills.
Susie Baer Collins, Board Member and Communications Committee Chair
Susie Baer Collins fell in love with the French language back in 9th grade, pursued it in high school and college, then put it on a shelf for about 40 years. On retiring in 2014 after serving for twenty-seven years as Associate Artistic Director for the Omaha Community Playhouse, she joined the Alliance and renewed her French studies. Susie continues to work in Omaha theatre as an actor, director and dialect coach. In addition to a number of awards received for her work as a director and actor, Susan was the recipient of The Omaha Theatre Arts Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, the Nebraska State Governor's Artist of the Year Award in 2014, and the Omaha Arts and Entertainment Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.