Our Team


Meet Our Executive Director

Martin Lafitte, Executive Director

Martin arrived in Denver in September 2015 to take over Philippe Marsé as Director of Alliance Française de Denver. After a BA in Japanese Studies in INALCO, Martin chose to specialize in teaching French as a Foreign Language and obtained a Master’s Degree of Didactics of French as a Foreign Language from the University Paris 7 Denis Diderot.

Bonjour ! I spent the last seven years working abroad in the education and cultural fields in various countries such as Japan or Jersey in the Channel Islands. I am now very excited to be for the first time in the USA and especially in such a beautiful place as Colorado! I am really delighted to take over Philippe’s position and take up the challenge of expanding the Francophonie and Francophilie in the Denver area. I am passionate about French language and culture, and can’t wait to share that with you! Don’t hesitate to come and meet me at our offices on Galapago Street. My door is always open!

Our Staff


Sonja Balstad

Office Manager

Although her background is in financial operations, Sonja has been studying French since junior high and is currently brushing up her skills by taking classes at the Alliance Française.



MAGALI Echenne Brieva

Administrative Assistant


Magali was born in the South of France. After completing an Associate Degree in secretarial work and a Bachelor Degree in English Studies, she studied two years in Nice and one year in Oslo Norway. After having met her husband who is American she moved to Denver one year ago.


Marketing and Development


While earning her B.A. in French Language and Literature at the University of St. Thomas Nicole interned at the Alliance Francaise of Mpls/St Paul. She stayed involved as a volunteer and chair of the programs committee until she moved to Denver and found a new home at the AFD!

Emmanuelle Pourroy

Education Coordinator and Teacher

Emmanuelle has taught French and humanities for over twenty years at universities east of the Mississippi, including Washington University, MO.

Zoé Hommertzheim

Learning Programs and Teacher

Zoé is a native French speaker and has created and managed her own language and music school in Kansas City in all levels for all ages. Zoé created Pluma Magazine an online and print publication for French learners.


Our Teachers


Anne Timmerman

Anne loves the arts. She studied Art History at the School of the Louvre and worked in the movie and TV industry for Canal Plus before moving to Canada and the United States.

Antoine Alawoe

He has taught French at the AFD for 6 years and enjoys helping those achieve literacy. Before the AFD, he lived in Paris teaching high school science and mathematics.


Jean-Claude Hounou

Jean-Claude likes going to the movies, traveling and watching soccer. He has been teaching French for 27 years (12 years at the AFD) and truly enjoys sharing Francophonie with others.

Blandine MacLean

Blandine graduated in sciences in London (UK) where she also trained to become a French teacher. She says: “More than anything else, what I am trying to convey in my classes is the love of learning.”

Céline Lévesque

Céline’s passion is teaching French, which she has been doing for 15 years. She values a good rapport with her students and listening to their needs.

Christian Dallet

Christian has taught science and French to junior high school students. He enjoys teaching French at the Alliance Française de Denver.

Claudia Lewis

Teacher (Centennial)
Claudia’s professional focus has been in the field of environmental education. She has taught French and Spanish for many years. She teaches adult classes in Centennial.


Private Teacher only
Stephanie teaches French and English. She spent two fabulous years living in Nice and Dijon. When not teaching French, she plays with her poodle Mac and teaches yoga.

Bethany Kazakevicius

Bethany studied in Brussels and worked in Europe as an English assistant. She received a bilingual MA in diplomacy and conflict resolution from the U. Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

Françoise Bres-Gude

Françoise has taught French in Paris to business students and foreigners from all over the world. She also leads group tours in France for American artists every summer.

Hélène North

Teacher (Evergreen)
Hélene has taught French and English in France, Great Britain, the U.S., and China. She was the head of Denver Int’l School and taught at the Evergreen Montessori Middle School for 15 years.

Lise Roussin

Private Teacher only (Boulder)
Lise has taught French at the Alliance Française de Denver since 1998. She now only teaches private classes in the Boulder area and loves what she does.

Julie Pierre-Whitney


Julie holds a Master’s degree in European History and teaching credentials. She has taught French both in Belgium and the U.S.A (all ages and grade levels). She loves art, history, traveling… and being a teacher at the Alliance Française!

Isabelle Marques

Private Teacher only
Isabelle started her career as an elementary school teacher in northeast France. She taught French at the Denver International School for almost all grade levels.

Edwige Wagner

Teacher (Boulder)
Edwige has an Applied Foreign Languages degree in English and Spanish from The Sorbonne Nouvelle de Paris and a Business degree from the Paris European Business School. She has been teaching at AFD since 2013.

Board of Directors

The Alliance Française de Denver is grateful to our dedicated supporters and advisors from the local business, academic and cultural community. Our Board of Trustees consists of both French and American members who are actively involved in AFD's growth. We thank you for your vision and your support!

Christophe Poulet, President
Linette Hayat, Vice President
Reynald Bodeux, Treasurer
Fritz Bart, Secretary
Michelle Benewitz, Fundraising Committee Chair

Joe Crystal, Building Committee Chair
Emma Glass, Marketing Committee Chair
Juliet Mann, Volunteer Committee Chair
Christian Roche, Cultural Outreach Committe Chair
Melissa Young, Strategic Planning Committee Chair

Danielle Badler, Board Member
Susan Fedel, Board Member
Catherine Bedard, Board Member
Liz Ward, Board Member
Catherine Potter, Board Member

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Alliance Française de Denver
571 Galapago Street
Denver, CO 80204


M-Th 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
Fri 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Sat 9:00 AM-12:30 PM


M-Th 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
Fri 9:00 AM-5:00 PM


Blossom French Bilingual School
4700 Sioux Dr
Boulder, CO 80303


Center for the Arts Evergreen
31880 Rocky Village Dr.
Evergreen, CO 80469


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6950 E Belleview  Ave Suite 103
Greenwood Village, CO 80111