Get to Know Us

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Tracie Frese

Executive Director

What drives a person’s curiosity towards places of the world? For Tracie it was her parents’ old movies of the Taj Mahal and pictures of Europe. It was the arrival of National Geographic in the mailbox each month.

Directing UI gives Tracie the chance to channel that childhood wonder and help the community engage in cultures and opportunities they may not otherwise experience. Previously the Director of the Columbia World Affairs Council, and an alumni of Clemson University,Tracie brings nonprofit leadership as well as a drive to advocate for global awareness in the Upstate.  Married to Chris Frese, Tracie has 3 sons: Thomas, Harry, and Cole. Born in Ohio, raised in Alaska and South Carolina, and having lived in Malaysia, she believes that “The most interesting people in the world are interested in the world around them.”

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Christine Hofbauer

Office and Program Manager

Christine started with UI as an English Conversation Facilitator and volunteering with the silent auction and other events. As the Office and Program Manager, Christine supports the language program, special events, relocation needs, and the Women’s Club. Christine previously worked as a consultant with Ernst & Young, which led her to a project at Greenville Health System and subsequently a new home in Greenville, SC (with her German husband and three children). Prior to settling in Greenville, she and her family lived in Germany for 4 years and traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, and Mexico.

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Caren Senter

UI Month Program Manager

Caren Senter recently joined UI as Program Manager of Upstate International Month. She holds a B.A. from Amherst College, and both an M.A. (Philosophy) and a J.D. from Duke University. After practicing law for over 10 years in Connecticut and raising her two children in Pennsylvania, Caren moved to Greenville in 2014 and was thrilled by the cultural diversity she discovered here. An avid tennis player and cyclist, she enjoys hiking, working out, and walking her English springer spaniel. Growing up in New York, traveling extensively throughout Europe, and spending most of her life in the Northeast, Caren is excited to call the Upstate home.

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Britta Street

Co-Chair of the Board

Britta Street learned about how the other half lives when the Berlin wall came down in 1989 … and the people on the other side were … people.  Having lived in 2 ‘different’ worlds, each having their own ideas (and misconceptions) about the other, was the basis for her interest in understanding the lives and cultures of people in other countries.  Through her employer, Rödl & Partner, Britta became involved in Upstate International in 2016 and she and her husband are frequently sighted at UI events throughout the year.  Her favorite programs involve speakers from different countries who share their thoughts and experiences for us to learn from and to gain a better understanding of our international community. Britta has an undergraduate accounting degree from the University of Baltimore and her Masters of Professional Accountancy from Clemson University.  She is passionate about her family, animals, and the great outdoors, and puts them all together on frequent hikes throughout the region.  Britta was voted as co-chair in January 2018 and she is looking forward to bringing her enthusiasm and love for all things international to UI.

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Janet Krupka

Co-Chair of the Board

Raised in Philadelphia, Janet came to South Carolina to attend USC’s Master in International Business program.  Upon graduation, she joined Michelin North America, and except for a few short years, has been a resident of the Upstate ever since.  Janet is “the intern who never left” Michelin, and over the course of her career, has enjoyed roles in Sales and HR.

Janet and her husband, Tom, have three children, now all young adults, and their family has expanded to include two terrific sons-in-law!  In the community, Janet has served on various boards and is a graduate of Leadership Greenville and also the Diversity Leadership Institute.  She is passionate about international diversity and has been involved with Upstate International since 2008!

Our Board

Alka Bhavsar

Aarna Journeys

Carey Fleming

Betania Freire

Southern First Bank

Monique Glass

Alliance Française

 Melody Horton

Elliott Davis Decosimo

Yugi Kishimoto

Clemson University (retired)

Janet Krupka

Michelin North America Inc.

Rob Rowen

Global Action Coalition

John Runion

Pinnacle Financial Partners

 Rebecca Sigmund

Ogletree Deakins Law Firm

Tracey Smoak

BMW Manufacturing

Britta Street

Rödl & Partner

Klaus Westerwelle

TransDomo

Eric Whitlock

229 Design