Board of Directors
Charles Matt, President
Charles is a native of South Louisiana. His love of French began when hearing his father conduct business in Cajun French. He studied French in Tours, France prior to attending graduate school at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) where he earned an M.A. & S.T.B. degree.
Charles is a financial advisor with over twenty-five years of experience. He and his wife & daughter have travelled to France frequently over the years. Charles was elected President of the Alliance Française in July of 2017.
Elena Aguirre-Guidet, Board Member
Elena is a native of San Diego, CA and has lived in San Antonio since 2013. She’s fully bilingual in Spanish and English, and began learning French as a teenager. Elena has been passionate about French language and culture ever since.
She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in International Business from San Diego State University, with a focus in Marketing and French Language for Western Europe. Elena completed her marketing specialization in Toulouse, France while attending l’école supérieure de commerce de Toulouse (Toulouse Business School).
She helps the Alliance Française de San Antonio grow its online presence through digital marketing, and to support ongoing programs.
Glenn MacTaggart, Secretary
Glenn became a Francophile as a teenager when he first studied in Vichy and Paris. His family French connections include his great-granduncle’s daughter who married French Count Jacques de Lesseps, his father-in-law who served as Honduran Ambassador to France prior to his election 30 years later as President of Honduras, his sister-in-law who was born in Paris, and his wife who lived her early childhood in Paris.
Glenn earned M.A. and J.D. degrees at St. Mary’s University which was founded by French priests. He continues his French language studies and enjoys annual Bastille Day visits to Paris. Glenn has been a practicing attorney for over 40 years including 30 years of active and Reserve service in the U.S. Army from which he retired as a Colonel.
James G. Lifshutz, Board Member
Mr. Lifshutz was born and raised in San Antonio and left only to receive his education – including a Bachelor of Science in Industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Lifshutz followed his father and grandfather into his family-owned companies engaged in real estate development, investment, and management. While this includes a variety of real estate types in locations all over San Antonio and elsewhere, Mr. Lifshutz’s concentration, as well as his passion, has been developing projects in downtown San Antonio and its near-in neighborhoods.
Mr. Lifshutz has financially supported, and has served on the boards of, numerous not-for-profit organizations that promote and support the arts and humanities, community radio, protection of the environment and enhancement of parks and green space, services to underprivileged youth, and social justice causes generally. Mr. Lifshutz travels assiduously, is a devout Francophile, and is the former Honorary Consul to France.
Mitch Millar, Membership Coordinator
Mitch is a native of Central Illinois who has lived in San Antonio for over 16 years. His love of French began in the early 1990s while studying on his own, and more recently, making great progress by attending the local Meetup French conversation group over the past six years.
He enjoys traveling to France, and has visited Aix-en-Provence and surrounding towns in the summers of 2013-15. Mitch is also conversational in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian – studying Modern Greek as well. He is the facilitator for the Meetup French conversation group at Blanco and 410, and serves as administrator for the Facebook group “Language Diary Journal”.
Mitch joined the Alliance Française de San Antonio’s Board as Membership Coordinator in 2017.
Mary Cardenas, Treasurer
Mary is a third generation descendant of Belgian-American immigrants from Couesmes who settled in Belgium, IL. She is an advocate of languages and Francophile culture, believing that they link us to our past, present, and future.
Mary obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in French from Purdue University, and completed a year of study abroad in Strasbourg, France. She also holds a Master of Science in Taxation from the University of Texas, San Antonio. Mary is C.P.A. and Director of Tax for Clifton Larson Allen, LLP.
She contributes her professional expertise to help L’Alliance Française de San Antonio, and views her support as an opportunity to weave French into the cultural fabric of our historically vibrant city through contact with other Francophones.