Lillian holds a Master’s in Law from the University of Fribourg and a STEP certificate in trust and estate management. A polyglot and bookworm since childhood, she is fascinated by every aspect of the human condition, from literature to art to psychology. Her many activities include volunteering at the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and she spent several years overseeing the activities and administration of a non-profit supporting development projects around the world. She has also worked for a Geneva law firm specialising in corporate, foundation and tax law.
A long-time member of the Société de Lecture, along with her family, she joined our team as executive director in April 2019. What she loves most about her job is the incredible people she gets to meet every day, the dynamic team she works with, and the intellectual stimulation it gives her. Outside of work, her passions include her family, travel, cooking, games, culture and, of course, reading.
Her family is her refuge, her animals her constant companions, and the Société de Lecture her second home. Delphine has been at the helm of the Société’s cultural events for the past 20 years. She grew up with the Société de Lecture, and in turn has nurtured its growth. In 2009, she was recognized by the French Academy for her service to French literature with its Prix du Rayonnement de la Langue et de La Littérature Françaises, and in 2013 she was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and in 2022 elevated to Officer of the same Order. Her first loves – complemented but not replaced by literature – were theatre and dance: she spent eight years promoting and supporting stage arts with Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Foundation for Culture. She holds a Master’s in Political Science from the University of Geneva, a Federal certificate in public relations, and a diploma in Spanish language and culture from the University of Barcelona. Her volunteer activities include 10 years as a member of the steering committee of Clair Bois Foundation for the disabled, where she was in charge of media affairs. She has been a member of the boards of Am Stram Gram Children’s Theatre and the Geneva Book Fair’s Fondation pour l’écrit.
Books challenge Delphine intellectually and emotionally; nature fills her with peace and wonder. She loves nothing more than travelling the world to clamber up a glacier in crampons, and she has summited more than 10 4,000-meter peaks.
A long-distance walker and lover of the byways, Emmanuel has traveled to Compostela and Rome from Switzerland. He has crossed the Alps and Corsica, among other places. He is the author of “Très Saint-Père, lettres ouvertes au pape François” (Ed. Salvator, 2018) and of “Via Jacobi, sur le chemin suisse de Compostelle” (Ed. Saint-Augustin/Heidi.news, 2020). A journalist attached to Swiss Radio and Television for more than 20 years, he is co-producer of “Faut pas croire”, the religious and ethical TV program of RTSreligion. He holds a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Geneva and a Master’s degree in audio-visual journalism from Boston University. He is an avid film consumer and a keen reader, and is in charge, at the Société de Lecture, of developing the English-speaking program and communications.
After obtaining a master’s in finance from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Tours-Poitiers (FR), followed by a second master’s at the University of Hull (UK), Olivia began her career as a financial analyst in a private bank. She then worked in consulting before moving into financial audit at a shipping firm. Olivia has been a member of the board of trustees of the Geneva chapter of La Main Tendue in Geneva for several years, and is currently its treasurer. When not busy being a mother to her charming twin daughters, she can be found enjoying her two hobbies, reading and the theatre.
After a baccalaureate in literature and philosophy, followed by a Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of Lyon II, Maxime completed a graduate certificate in documentation science at the University of Geneva. Before joining the Société de Lecture as head librarian in 2003, he worked for the United Nations library and archive, and several public libraries in Geneva.
He knows the Société’s collection inside and out and has a thousand stories to tell, books to recommend and literary treasures to share with members.
Having initially followed a commercial curriculum, Katia obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from the Haute Ecole de Gestion de Genève. She then obtained a Master’s degree in Luxury Marketing.
Passionate about watches, fashion and gastronomy, Katia is also a great lover of art and cinema. Her priority is to guarantee a high level of service. To achieve this, she can count on her accuracy, her thoroughness and above all her interpersonal skills.
After a first master’s degree in cultural anthropology and experiences in the academic field, Marie decided to move towards a profession that had attracted her for a long time, that of librarian. In 2022, she obtained a master’s degree in Information Sciences at the HEG of Geneva.
She loves traveling and (of course) reading in French, English and Spanish, with a soft spot for fiction and Latin American literature.
After attending university in Lyon, she taught music for several years before training as a librarian. She has been sharing her enthusiasm for and love of books with the Société de Lecture since 2008.
Her interests range widely from embroidery to classical music (she sings and plays the recorder and bagpipes), film (she has a soft spot for ’30s and ’50s cinema) and, of course, books of every description.
The permanent team reports to the Executive Committee, which is comprised of 12 volunteer members. Its responsibilities include planning the Société’s activities – such as lecture series, debates and workshops – supervising the permanent team and providing ad hoc support. The Executive Committee is elected by the AGM of the members of for a four-year term, renewable for two further years.
Members of the Executive Committee:
Antoinette Borgnana, Lillian Chavan, Delphine de Candolle, Philippe de Moerloose, Mariana Pictet, Stéphanie Barbey, Thierry Dana (president), Nicolas Zufferey (vice-president), Christian Buenzod, Manuel Bouvier (treasurer), Céline Gautier, Isabelle Jacob-Nebout, Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (not on the photo)
Members of the Reading Committee are nominated by current members and confirmed by the Executive Committee. Every year, this group of avid readers and book-lovers selects roughly 1,000 new or donated books to add to the collection. Their selection and book reviews are shared with members through the Société de Lecture’s monthly magazine, Plume au Vent.
Members of the Reading Committee :
Christian Buenzod (président), Hélène Leibkutsch, Bruno Desgardins, Pascale Dhombres, Jacques-Simon Eggly, Catherine Fauchier-Magnan, Fadiah Haller-Assaad, Tatiana Hervieu-Causse, Sharon Mordasini, Soussan Raadi-Djalili, Petr Shmatenko, Dominique Thouvenin as well as our librarians: Christiane Bernadac, Maxime Canals et Marie Merminod.
Established in 1997, the Société de Lecture Foundation owns the historic townhouse, built in the 18th century as the residence of the King of France’s representative in Geneva, which has housed the Société de Lecture for more than 200 years.
The Foundation’s mission is to promote reading and to support the activities of the Société de Lecture. To realise this aim, the Foundation uses, maintains and restores the building on an ongoing basis.
The Société de Lecture enjoys rent-free use of its premises, while the other parts of the building are let commercially. The Foundation uses this rental income to fund ongoing investments in the building and to contribute to the costs of operating and furnishing the Société de Lecture.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees, all of whom are members of the Société de Lecture. Three members of the Executive Committee sit on the Board.
VISUAL COMMUNICATION MADE BY
Rebecca holds a Federal Diploma in Photography from the School of Photography in Vevey (2007) and completed a BA in visual arts at the Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design de Genève (HEAD) in 2010. Her practice includes both personal and client projects. Her personal work has been selected for the Fotofilmic Traveling Exhibition (2018–19) in Thessaloniki, Vancouver, Paris and New York. She participated in a project spearheaded by the Musée de l’Elysée, “Humanitarian Principles: Here and Now”, which travelled to Venezuela, Poland, Ukraine, Spain and Switzerland (2018–20). Her work has also been shown at Pully Art Museum (2017), Photo15 in Zurich (2016) and Centre de la Photographie in Geneva (2015). She was a recipient of a City of Geneva workshop grant in 2016–19.
Magali studied art in France before completing a postgraduate degree at the School of Photography of Vevey and a certificate at the Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design (HEAD) in Geneva. In recent years she has been a regular presence backstage at La Comédie and the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Her interest in the theatre complements her work with the Société de Lecture authors. A common thread runs through these various collaborations and enriches her personal practice, from the Nouvel Opéra Fribourg and various music festivals to fashion store Bongénie’s In the Mood magazine, alongside photographer Sandra Pointet. She also participated in the City of Geneva 2014 photography project and exhibition “Vis-à-vis” in which 8 photographers were invited to document their neighborhood. Her current projects include “Recadrage”, an exhibition she is co-curating with Karelle Méniné, and “Causerie,” with Céline Bolomey, in collaboration with La Comédie.
Pascale trained as a graphic designer at the Ecole des arts décoratifs in Geneva back in the days of pen and paper, but has since honed her craft by mastering every new digital tool that has come her way. With her love of fine writing instruments, passion for drawing and boundless talent and creativity, she injects a dash of freshness and originality into all of the Société de Lecture’s communication materials.