Board of Directors

Tom Brusstar (JYF 1984-1985), President

Tom participated in JYF as a student at the University of Michigan in 1984-1985.  While in Freiburg, Tom lived in building 30 in the Studentensiedlung.  Tom now lives in Chicago and works as an attorney.  He looks forward to guiding the AYFAA in supporting its long-term scholarship goals.


Karl Brenner (JYF 1984-1985), Vice President

Karl participated in the JYF program from 1984 to 1985 year and had an incredible life-changing year that included meeting his wife—Christine—also a JYer from University of Michigan. The large JY/AYF group from that year has stayed together over the years and he talks to someone almost daily from the group. They have hosted reunions of the group at our cottage on anniversary years and it is a joy and privilege to see these people as their lives change and watch their kids grow up. Karl and his wife and are physicians living just outside Ann Arbor.


Michael Leitch (AYF 2011-2012), Chairman of the Board


Michael Leitch is the secretary of the Board of Directors. Michael participated in the AYF program during the 2011-2012 school year as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lived in Stühlinger. He currently lives in the Twin Cities area where he works as an analytical chemist in the pharmaceutical industry.


Julie McConnell (JYF 1984-1985), Secretary

Julie Franz McConnell is part of the 1984-85 cohort of the JY/AYF program from the University of Michigan.  Her brother, David Franz, also participated in the program during the 1988-89 school year from the University of Wisconsin.  Motivated to pursue international business after that amazing JY year, Julie attended the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) and then worked several years for German multinationals, Siemens and Bayer, both in Germany and the US.  Since 2001 she has been working part-time for a small but growing software company with her husband, while raising their three daughters.  Julie lives with her family in the Chicago area.


Elizabeth Kunze (AYF 2012-2013)

Elizabeth Kunze is Co-President of the association and a Co-Chair of the scholarship committee and was an AYF student in the 2012/13 cohort. She has happy memories of hiking through Schönberg, a quick run from her WG in Vauban. Elizabeth is a second generation AYFer, whose dad, Joe Kunze, was part of the 1983/84 AYF cohort. Elizabeth is earning a Masters in Social Work degree at UW-Madison while working part-time at AARP.
AYF alumni traveling to Madison are welcome to reach out. She has a spare bedroom downtown and enjoys catching up with old friends and making new ones.


Additional Board Members:

  • Kelly Baldwin
  • Erich Bergmann
  • David Dries
  • Laura Downer
  • Michael Makowski