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About Us
About Us

Board of Directors & Staff

The Swiss Center’s enthusiastic Board of Directors and its president are leading efforts to increase visibility of the nonprofit organization, grow its unique collections and attract more visitors in person as well as online and through social media.
The Board of Directors has made a commitment to a number of strategic options to ensure the Swiss Center’s financial future including the Swiss Roo✚s Society. We are an organization that understands a rich past is enhanced when investing in the future.
John Etter, Board Chair
Business Consultant
Of Swiss descent, John Etter has 20+ years’ experience in the financial services industry.  He also owned a distribution company servicing 2,500 locations in Wisconsin and Illinois. Etter has been a Vice President of a large Eastern financial services company, American General Manager for an international firm, and owner/entrepreneur involved in distribution.

Etter has served on various Boards including the University Club on the UW Madison Campus, Madison Metropolitan YMCA. the Boy Scout Council serving south central Wisconsin. He is involved in several startup companies formed out of research at the University of Wisconsin.
Frederic Behrens, Board Treasurer
International Investment Advisor
Frederic Behrens was raised in a Swiss-American household. Growing up with a father from Switzerland and a mother from rural Pennsylvania has instilled a strong sense of Swiss culture and heritage. 
Behrens currently works as an international investment advisor at Thun Financial Advisors in Madison, Wisconsin. He primarily advises American expats and cross-border families with connections to Switzerland, Great Britain, and Hong Kong on tax and financial matters.
Ed Brand, Board Secretary
Product Sales Specialist at Fluke Biomedical
Ed Brand, who is a dual citizen, brings strong sales and marketing experience to his board position as well as his passion for his Swiss heritage which he supports in so many ways including singing with the Jodel Club New Glarus, New Glarus Maennerchor and playing the alphorn.
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Menzi Behrnd-Klodt
Attorney and Certified Archivist
Menzi Behrnd-Klodt has Swiss roots and diverse professional experience including being an attorney and archivist. She has served on nonprofit and professional association boards and worked as a consultant on both collections and legal issues to large and small historical societies and cultural centers.
René Wälti
Advertising and Design

When René Wälti immigrated to Canada in 1972, he planned to gain experience abroad and improve his English. But like so many other Swiss immigrants with the same idea, he ended up staying. Wälti is the past president of the Toronto Swiss Club and is retired from a career in advertising and design.

His heritage brought him to the Toronto Yodeling Choir. Later he became a member of the Canadysli Carnival Group and he is regularly performing with the Theatre Group.
Timothy H. Wurgler
Music and Swiss Heritage
Tim Wurgler has deep respect for the work of the Swiss Center of North America and is excited to share his talents and time as a Board member. Tim was Program Director for the Wisconsin School Music Association for ten years. He has directed the Milwaukee Liederkranz and Milwaukee Damenchor as well as being active in the German singing societies of Wisconsin. He is currently the director of the Männerchor New Glarus and the Jodlerklub New Glarus.

Born and raised in New Glarus, Tim is proud of his Swiss heritage with strong ties to the Canton of Glarus, especially the village of Elm. He celebrates that pride through music and family. His roots are in the first settlers of New Glarus and in Switzerland.
Duane Freitag, Honorary Director
Duane Freitag has been involved in the Swiss Center for many years including the formative years in the early 2000’a.  He became a member of the Board of Directors in 2005. The Greendale, Wisconsin man is a native of New Glarus, Wisconsin. Duane has been active in historical and cultural activities in New Glarus in addition to writing many articles and books about the Swiss Colony and its impact over the decades. He retired in 2000 after a career as a newspaper reporter and editor with the Milwaukee Journal.
Tom Kuhne, Honorary Director
Digital Media Manager
Tom Kuhne spent 6 1/2 years on the Board of Directors serving a majority of those years as Board Chair. His strong business and technology experience helped guide the Swiss Center through two website upgrades as well as expand into social media.  Tom has strong Swiss roots and continues to provide ongoing support.

Donald G. Tritt, Honorary Director
Born in Columbus, Ohio of Swiss ancestry, Donald G. Tritt is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He has a B.S. degree from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

In Columbus he is a member of the Swiss Beneficial Society, a trustee of the Grütli Verein and a life trustee of the Swiss Home Association. He has served the Swiss American Historical Society as a First Vice President and currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board. In 1999 he published Swiss Festivals of North America and in 2006 published a biography of the Swiss natural scientist Leo Lesquereux (1806-1889) for which he was awarded the Gonzenbach prize.

As President of Tritt Family Research he co-edited Volumes I and II of Tritt Family History: 1562-1750. Don was the catalyst for the idea of creating a national Swiss cultural center and instrumental in establishing its initial planning committees and Board in 1999. He has served as a dedicated member of the Board since its founding.


Beth Zurbuchen, President/CEO
As President of the Swiss Center, Beth Zurbuchen works closely with the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C. and Swiss Consulates in New York and Chicago now closed) to identify the mandates and opportunities to help put the Swiss Center on the awareness map with the Swiss government and general public. With her strong Swiss Roots, she is proud of the accomplishments of the only Swiss cultural/heritage center in the United States and Canada.  The non-profit organization, based in New Glarus, Wisconsin actively promotes and protects Swiss culture, heritage and roots. Beth joined the Swiss Center of North America as its President/CEO in September 2008. Her work history includes 23 years as a television news journalist where as a lead news anchor; she was journalist-in-chief as well as strategic spokesperson.
Ruth Anderegg, Polka for the Swiss Coordinator
While she is always available for volunteer duties at the Swiss Center, Ruth Anderegg is the driving force behind our successful Polka for the Swiss fundraiser.  She has been planning Silent Auction Basket ideas for quite some time already.  Polka for the Swiss will be April 15, 2018 at the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant, in beautiful New Glarus, Wisconsin.  She'll make sure you know it is from 3-7 p.m. Want to donate or volunteer? Let us know at
Jarryd Lowder, Volunteer Digital Media Producer
Born in in Iowa City, Iowa, Jarryd Lowder resides in Glarus, Switzerland with his family after having lived in New York City for nearly two decades. Jarryd has many ideas to help promote Swiss culture, heritage and roots through today's changing world of multimedia.  Catch his beautiful photographs and stories on the Swiss Center's Facebook Page.  While not helping us out and being a great father, Jarryd is a photographer for the Glarner Woche newspaper and he works at Schule an der Linth as a Workshop teacher for digital multimedia.

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