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Julien Fitzgerald

Founder and CEO

Julien was only supposed to spend a year in the United States. But life had other plans...

While finishing up his college degree and perfecting his English through a study-abroad program, Julien met his future husband, Christopher. The two connected in part due to their love of language, travel, and culture - and were able to learn and share each other's languages and customs through dates, interactions with friends and family, and trips together.

After years of teaching French at other institutions, Julien went on to found The French Collective, where creating a social atmosphere that is relaxed and primed for exchange is at the heart of all we do. Through classes, workshops, events, and media, we offer the opportunity to learn more about the French language and culture for people of all levels of interest and expertise.

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Dr. Christopher Fitzgerald

Director of Operations

Dr. Christopher Fitzgerald is an internal medicine and pediatrics specialist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and is the organizational backbone of The French Collective. He is bilingual in Spanish and English and learned French alongside his husband, founder Julien Fitzgerald. He truly believes that a relaxed social setting is the ideal place to learn and practice a language! 

Kimberly Zerkel

Creative Director

Kimberly Zerkel is at the heart of all things creative here at The French Collective. She is responsible for blog articles as well as social media. Kimberly lived in Paris for over ten years and studied translation and literature at The Sorbonne. Her fluency in French came from living the language every day, from work to home life to creative pursuits. She is excited to develop bilingual media for the site and social platforms. 




The French Collective exists to celebrate the French-speaking world. We want to create classes, workshops, media, and events based around French language and cultural practices. Everything we do should be social, celebratory, fun, and pleasurable.


We strive to create a community of members who feel that they can access our media and events, regardless of their fluency in French. We welcome all to engage and participate at whatever their comfort level might be, which is why we will work to provide something for French speakers and English speakers. 


Although everything that we do is created through a French lens, we want to provide services that can appeal to nearly anyone. This means celebrating good food, good wine, music, literature, and more. Ultimately, we want to make French language and culture more approachable to everyone.


It is our sincere hope to use our organization to make French education inclusive. We want to dissociate ourselves from preconceived notions of elitism and embrace the diversity and multiculturalism in the French-speaking world. We believe whole-heartedly in liberty, equality, and fraternity and will do all we can to promote them!

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