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Introducing the FISW Board

Mpitulo Kala-Lufulwabo, Board Chair


Mpitulo Kala-Lufulwabo, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a parent, board member, and member of the executive, finance, diversity and strategic planning committees at FISW. Mpitulo, and his wife Richelle, joined the FISW community in 2017 and have two children at FISW.


Mpitulo holds B.S.E and M.S.E degrees in Electrical Engineering, from the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pennsylvania, respectively, along with an MBA in finance and management from Columbia University. He has spent the bulk of his career in technology and strategy roles, currently working as a mergers and acquisitions strategy executive.

Elizabeth Sholander, Vice Chair

Elizabeth Sholander brings over 20 years of finance and banking experience to the FISW Board. In her current role as Senior Vice President and Senior Credit Administrator at Columbia Bank, she works closely with the Chief Credit Officer to develop, implement and maintain credit risk controls.  In addition to her volunteer work with FISW, Elizabeth serves as the President on the Washington Women in Need Board, is a board member of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Risk Management Association, is the 2016/2017 Chair of the Washington Bankers Association’s Senior Credit Committee and a Steering Committee Member of the King County Corporate Volunteer Council. Elizabeth is graduate of the University of Washington. As a native of the Puget Sound region she enjoys spending her free time being in the outdoors with her two boys who have been attending FISW since 2011.

Yigal Elnekave Treasurer

Yigal Elnekave has 14 years of finance experience across 3 companies: Ubisoft, Amazon, and Microsoft, as well as 6 years outside of finance in the Amazon Books Category and at Microsoft Bing as a product manager.

In his current position as Director of Finance at Microsoft, Yigal partners with Microsoft’s strategic sourcing team for component procurement and assembly of Xbox, Surface and Hololens. He helped Microsoft navigate through volatile macroeconomic environment including Integrated Circuit component shortages during COVID-19 followed by global recession.

Yigal earned an MBA from Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University.

A father of two children at FISW, Yigal is happy to join the Board as Treasurer.


Nicole Francois, Secretary

Nicole Francois is a communications consultant who advises executives and subject matter experts. In her professional role she focuses on effective internal communication, engaging the community with clarity, and helping client improv their public speaking.  

To FISW Nicole brings a spirit of collaboration and a focus on dynamic messaging across platforms.  

Nicole earned a postgraduate degree in Leadership from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and an undergraduate degree in Communications / Journalism from Seattle University.  She speaks English and is proficient in French.   

A proud FISW mom, Nicole is a supporter of bilingual and multicultural education. 


Ayanna Gore, Board Member

Ayanna Gore brings deep experience in educational leadership, most recently as the Executive Director at Summit Sierra High School in Seattle.  Prior to that she worked in Chicago, spending several years working with schools as an instructional coach as well as in multiple school leadership roles after that.  She received her doctorate from DePaul University, and her dissertation title is, “Am I a Systemic Iniquity Interrupter? Understanding the Influence of Critical Race Educating Through the  Narratives of Alternative Ed. Black Educators.” Currently she is the VP of Selection at Teach For America and Dr. Gore is excited to bring her unique perspective and experience to support the growls and growth of FISW.


Rob Harrahill, Board Member

Rob Harrahill brings nearly 20 years non-profit management & governance experience to the FISW Board.  He has worked for several of independent schools in the Seattle area during which he helped double admissions and help each build a new campus.  Additionally, he has consulted with several French schools in the United States.   As a partner with Altruist Partners and the Lowcountry Groups,  non-profit consulting firms, he works with organizations to apply best-practice strategies and business modeling to achieve phenomenal growth and financial sustainability.  As a true Francophile, he has been on the boards of the French American Chamber of Commerce PNW and FISW.   He has a strong commitment to bilingual education and the exemplary French educational program


Deborah Marquardt, Board Member

Deborah is a parent, and board member.  Deborah, her husband Thomas, and family joined the FISW family in 2014, and now have three children attending FISW, with one to graduate in 2023! 
Deborah brings to the board more than 20 year of experience in health and medicine as a practicing general surgeon and intensive care physician, long-standing leadership and logistics experience in medicine and prior military service, and experience in and passion for education.  She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine participating and running multiple educational courses, and is an Associate Program Director for the school’s postgraduate training program in General Surgery.


Theresa Mosier, Board Member

Theresa grew up in Bremerton, WA. She received her B.S. and M.Eng degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.  After university, she returned to Washington and worked for 10 years at Microsoft as a software developer.

Theresa joined the FISW community in 2012 and has two children at FISW. Theresa has served as the Board President, Board Secretary and as a member of the executive, strategic planning, and head search committees at FISW. 


Heather Trescases, Board Member

Heather is an experienced leader in the non-profit field, with an emphasis on community engagement and the cultural sector. She is Principal & Founder of Figure8 Consulting, LLC, and previously served 11 years as Executive Director of Eastside Heritage Center in Bellevue. Through Figure8 Consulting Heather works with individuals, companies, and organizations to develop community partnerships and facilitate collaborative projects and initiatives. Currently, Heather serves as Director of Development for KidsQuest Children’s Museum.
A native of Toronto, Canada, Heather attended public and private French immersion schools from Kindergarten through High School. She holds a Master's in Public History from the University of Waterloo, an Honours B.A. in History from Queen's University, and a Licence d'Histoire from l'Université de Paul Valéry in France. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2002, Heather worked for the Canadian Privy Council Office in the areas of Foreign Affairs and Heritage Canada. Heather is active in the local community, serving on the Bellevue Parks & Community Services Board, the Visit Bellevue Washington Advisory Committee, and she is an involved member of the Rotary Club of Bellevue.
Heather and her husband Nicolas have 3 children, who have attended FISW since 2011.

Lee Ajayi, Board Member

Lee Ajayi is a creative and customer focused design professional with experience in architecture, interior and urban design. He has demonstrated proficiency in managing large complex projects, multi-disciplinary and cross-functional teams . Additionally Lee is well versed in conflict resolution, team management and development as well as effective communication with high level executives and keys stakeholders.
Currently Lee is a Director at the Freeman Company where he directs and manages a multi-disciplinary team of designers, architects, and consultants across the built and digital environments to create engaging human centered places and deliver world class experiences to our customers. Lee has been a parent at FISW for three years.

Valérie Sornette, Board Member

Valérie was born and raised in Metz, in the Lorraine region of France.  She earned her MBA in International Finance from the Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) School near Paris.  After studying in Barcelona, and working in Peru and Australia, she arrived in the US in 2001 where she initially worked in the automotive industry in Auburn Hills, MI before quickly relocating to Los Angeles, CA and setting in Bellevue, WA in 2008.
Valerie has over 16 years of experience in various roles in finance in the video game industry and in the online travel space.  She recently expanded to a more operational function in eCommerce globally.
As any true Pacific Northwest lover, Valerie enjoys spending time outdoors and discovering nice places to eat with her husband Glenn, daughter Oceane and son Tristan. They have been part of the FISW community since 2012 and have loved meeting so many interesting parents!

Eric Beaulieu, Board Member


Eric has 11 years’ experience in financial control and P&L management.  

Before moving to Switzerland, Eric was promoted Director of the FRENCH AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE in Seattle, WA. Facing a dramatic drop in the revenue, he implemented drastic measures to avoid bankruptcy and kept cash to bounce back when the crisis is over. He worked 11 years for KENZO (LVMH Group) where, among several positions, he implemented financial control, contributed to recovering net profitability of the KENZO Apparel Division and managed the P&L of the Leather Goods department. Prior to the fashion industry, he was Financial Controller in the car industry, for ECIA (Peugeot Group) where he implemented a new controlling system based on forecast and management by exception to focus on priority subjects. Eric has a Master in Business Administration (Major in Financial Control) at INSEEC Business School in Paris, France. 

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