Founded in 1954, the American-Austrian Society, Washington, DC is a non-profit organization whose objectives are to encourage and support the perennial friendship between the United States and Austria, to promote the understanding of Austrian culture, and to assist both American and Austrian institutions in bringing educational programs about Austrian arts, science, and trade to the Washington metropolitan area.
The Society's stimulating cultural and educational programs are centered around the artistic, humanistic, and scientific achievements of Austrians and Americans with ties to Austria.
The Society has been granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service. Members may deduct membership fees and contributions to the Society from their Federal taxes.
Roman Binder has been on the AACS Board since 2019 and was elected as the Society’s President in May 2023, when he took the helm from Ulrike Wiesner, who has been serving the AACS in various roles for many years. Roman is an Austrian national who moved to Washington, DC from his home town Vienna more than 20 years ago. He has since worked for the World Bank as a Program Manager and is currently a Senior Human Resources Professional. He holds master’s degrees in business administration from both the Vienna University of Economics and Business and Lancaster University, UK. Roman and his wife Kimberly enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and mountain biking, as well as musical performances, ballroom dancing, and traveling (not only to Austria! ;-).
Carol Bloomquist Traxler (1st Vice President), has been active in cultural events in the DC area for three decades. She has taught Viennese waltz and Austrian, German and Swiss folk dances in the DC area with her late husband, past AACS president Herbert Traxler; they also trained the Opening Cotillion for local Viennese balls and DC Karneval Dancers for Fasching and Karneval. Carol is a recipient of the Goldenes Verdienstzeichen from Austria, the German Friendship Award from Germany, and was named Austrian American of the Year from the German Society of Maryland. Her formal education includes BA and MS degrees from University of Wisconsin and Ph.D. from UCLA. Carol has retired as research scientist from Gallaudet University. A past president of the Washington Saengerbund, she currently leads the Alpine Singers, sings with the Washington Saengerbund, and pursues genealogical research.
Karin Millett (2nd Vice President) She holds a doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Denver and retired from her position as a Director with the World Bank in 2010. Karin, who hails from Ireland, is a fluent German speaker and spends six months of the year with her husband in Vienna.
Michael Korenchuk (Treasurer) has been a member of the board of AACS since 2009 as a way to celebrate his maternal grandmother's roots from Bernstein, Austria. He has rotated between Treasurer and Director during his time on the board. Michael also is the Senior Finance Director for Supernal. Supernal is combining research in aerospace, autonomy, robotics, and services to design an innovative electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) aircraft tailored to the mobility needs of future cities. Prior to joining Supernal, Michael spent over 14 years in Public Accounting and focused on leading and managing Internal Audits, Sarbanes-Oxley implementation, and control rationalization for Fortune 100, public, private, and pre-IPO companies, global for-profit, and not-for-profit entities.
Andrea Bauerfeind (Secretary), a Certified Association Executive and experienced Convention Professional, currently serves as Director at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Andrea has a proven track record of success in department, project, portfolio, and event management in the non-profit, private, and government sectors. A member of AACS since 2016, Andrea also sings with the Washington Saengerbund and the Alpine Singers.
Donal Donovan (Director), a joint US and Irish citizen, has served on the Board of the AACS for over ten years. He holds a Ph.D in economics and spent almost thirty years with the International Monetary Fund, including as a Deputy Director. Since retirement, he has worked extensively with the Irish and European authorities on all aspects of macro financial management and is the joint author of a major work dealing with Ireland and the euro debt crisis. Donal has also participated in many media presentations on these subjects. He is an avid visitor to Austria and Germany.
Megan Staszak (Director) has been a member of AACS since 2012 serving in both Treasurer and Director Roles. She enjoys celebrating Austrian culture and traditions with her husband Michael, including her engagement in Tirol, Austria in 2016. Megan also has fifteen years of consulting, accounting and audit experience working with domestic and international Fortune 500 companies. She has experience in forensic accounting engagements, including assessment and analysis of financial data relating to court-ordered settlement programs, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act inclusive of the build-out of compliance programs and anti-corruption audits, internal investigations, and expert witness cases.
Former AACS President, Ulrike Wiesner and current AACS President, Roman Binder