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About Us

Founded in 2011, Fluent City is an innovative language training organization, offering instruction to individuals, groups, and businesses in 11 different languages. Through in-person classes, online tools and corporate training, Fluent City provides a contemporary curriculum and highly interactive approach that has made it one of the country’s fastest-growing language companies. The team is an ambitious, passionate group of language and travel lovers. Combined they speak over 20 languages. Get to know them below!

James Rohrbach

CEO

James has had a passion for culture and languages for as long as he can remember. He has studied seven languages, including French, which he learned fluently while teaching English in Lyon. As an entrepreneur, he is dedicated to making the world better through education. Previously, he founded a Study Abroad portal and served in leadership roles at two other EdTech companies. In his spare time, he hangs out with his family, reads fiction, tries to teach himself the piano, and wanders through art museums around the world.

Rikard Björkdahl

Creative Director

Rikard is Fluent City’s Creative Director. He was born and raised in Sweden. He moved to Spain early 20’s where he ended up running his own design studio building websites for fashion companies like Zara. Now a New Yorker for 6 years he spends most of his time outside of Fluent City in design magazines, on his bike and cooking.

Becky Goodman

Director of Operations

Becky heads up the operations team at Fluent City. She holds an M.A. in Social Thought and Humanities from NYU and specializes in start-up operational strategy, hospitality and company culture. Becky has worked across a variety of cultural disciplines including positions at David Byrne’s Studio, The NoMad Hotel & Dinner Lab. She loves traveling with her polyglot partner, trying to keep up all the languages she knows, and is known around the office for her epic gastronomic adventures.

Jared Graf

Head of Marketing

Jared heads up the marketing team at Fluent City. He's studied Latin, Greek and Dutch at various points of his life, all of which come in handy in his day-to-day life. Prior to Fluent City, he spent ten years in San Francisco where he worked on growing three startups, including a two-sided travel marketplace, a video platform and a successful eCommerce clothing company. He enjoys partnerships, running in the mountains, a good cocktail bar and, perhaps most of all, tacos.

Neil Kumar

Director of Sales

Neil heads up Sales at Fluent City. Prior to Fluent City, Neil held leadership roles across technology sales, and spent 6 years trading energy options. Neil has been working on his Spanish skills since he started with Fluent City and can now tout himself a confident beginner. Neil loves spending his free time traveling, skiing, and researching unaffordable cars.

Robert Walport

Director of Product

At Fluent City Robert has found a place where he can combine his background in technology with his passion for education to take Fluent City to new and awesome places. Earlier in his career Robert was a founding employee of the FinTech startup Sharewave where he grew their core product from the ground up until its acquisition by Gust. Outside of work Robert is a theatre obsessive which has led him onto the young board at Playwrights Horizons and into the commercial arts sector as an investor in Broadway shows.

Anthony Amitrano

Group Class Coordinator

Anthony built a strong foundation in sales starting at a FinTech company in 2015. With a liberal arts degree from Dickinson College, he’s living his passion in sales providing a service for people looking to educate and better themselves learning language. He’s in charge of leading group classes and on a mission to move Fluent City’s unique brand to other cities across the U.S. During his spare time, Anthony loves playing basketball, surfing, skiing, and going to the beach with his friends.

Lauren Abuouf

General Operations Manager

Lauren is Fluent City’s General Operations Manager overseeing group class and customer service operations at the company. Lauren’s first introduction to Fluent City was in 2013 as a student, and she later joined the company full-time in 2015 as a Student Success Coordinator, supporting customer experience initiatives. Lauren’s a huge fan of world music (especially Brazilian pop, soca, and Afro-beat) and when she’s not jamming out to the world’s best tunes, you can catch her taking epic bicycling trips around the Tri-State area.

Carlie Copeland

Software Engineer

Carlie is a full-stack engineer and ‘Jill of all Trades’ within the Fluent City technology stack. She has a passion for creating stellar online learning experiences and believes in the impact of fostering online education communities. Prior to becoming a software engineer, Carlie had a career in chemical engineering, but she swapped chemicals for code and now spends her days building the technology behind Fluent City. Outside of the office, Carlie is a avid cyclist, coffee buff and headphone connoisseur.

Hannah DiBruno

People Operations Coordinator

Majoring in French at Rutgers led Hannah to spend a year abroad in Paris, studying and working as an English TA to French high school students. After graduating, Hannah worked as an assistant at The Glore Group where she produced parties, forums, and the Urbanworld Film Festival. At Fluent City, she found her niche in People Operations and loves working with teachers. Outside of work, she loves piano bar karaoke and trying out all the best restaurants in New York.

Julian Espinoza

Head of Local Markets

Julian is currently focused on spearheading local marketing efforts within Fluent City’s newest market, Chicago, with the long-term goal of helping FC expand throughout the country. Prior to Fluent City, Julian headed market growth for an on-demand alcohol delivery app, co-founded one of Chicago’s largest music festivals, and was the first employee of a robotics start-up. Outside of FC you can find the Spanish-bilingual exploring cities through their culinary offerings or at the cinema watching way too many movies.

John Goodman

Frontend Developer/Designer

John got into the tech world after graduating from Bates College with a dual major in History and English, and has been working on growing his front-end engineering skills since, driven by a love of making all kinds of interactive experiences, from websites to games. During his free time he also works on the low-tech end of building engaging experiences, helping to run a small independent theater company that puts up shows around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Elizabeth Greenaway

Retention Marketing Manager

As a college student, Elizabeth’s Mandarin studies left her completely unprepared for daily life in China and at Fluent City she’s always finding ways to help others to avoid that frustration and feel rewarded by what they learn. Prior to moving to New York, she lived in China before moving on to seven year stint at Australia’s largest liquor & wine retailer with roles in acquisition, retention, email & social media.

James Neimeister

Business Development Representative

James developed a passion for learning languages early on, picking out a Russian textbook for his 10th birthday. He studied Spanish and Russian at Kenyon College, spending his junior year abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, and another year in Ulan-Ude as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant after graduating. James started working at Fluent City in 2015 as a Russian instructor and now organizes our corporate and non-profit classes. His proudest language achievement is having read Andrei Bely’s Petersburg in Russian.

Andrew Olshevski

Manager, Talent & Culture

Andrew has spent virtually his entire career making Fluent City an outstanding place to learn a new language. After joining in 2014 as a French Instructor, Andrew later took a full-time position as Enrollment Advisor before transitioning to his current role as Manager of Talent & Culture. A former French major, Andrew was inspired to pursue a career in language education after returning home from teaching in Senegal and France. When not at Fluent City, Andrew enjoys running, discovering new music and watching Eagles games.

John Rutledge

Engineering Lead

John is a human swiss army knife, former Austinite, and the Lead Engineer at Fluent City. Prior to becoming a software engineer John's career path took him through psychology, film, graphic design, marketing, and computer animation. A fluent Japanese speaker, his hobbies include electronics, comparative mythology, dancing, 80's pop culture and various "indoorsy" activities.

Marisa Shapley

Online Lessons Manager

Marisa joined Fluent City in 2017 as an Inside Sales rep to assist in all things group courses and private lessons but quickly progressed into business development for the online lessons department. Marisa’s background is in luxury fashion and she is a professional makeup artist outside of Fluent City! Marisa comes from a quiet town near Princeton University and now lives in New York City. She thrives from being surrounded by so many different cultures, the hustle and bustle of the city, and all of the delicious restaurants!

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