Voilà l'été! 🌞
The FACCMN stays with you during the summer!
Welcome to a beautiful Minnesota summer! This is the best time of year to explore the beauty of our parks and lakes so as the fitness instructor says: get out there and just move! 

If you are reading our newsletter for the first time, welcome! If you’re new to our site, please enjoy all the activities and news the FACC in Minnesota has to offer; if you’re one of our several members, welcome back to another newsy letter. 

This year marks our 40th anniversary as a chapter in Minnesota so in keeping with our year so far, we will continue with a full calendar of events. I hope all or some of them will be right up your alley of interest as we try to make our events a ‘little something for everyone’!

Our annual meeting, held at the Mia on June 21st, was a success in several ways. We welcomed our three new board members whose bios are listed below onto our board. We have a strong and active 10 member board of directors. And of course our wonderful hard working Executive Director, Odile. I am personally delighted to have such wonderful strong candidates help us with our continued mission to bring business opportunities between Minnesota and France, along with fostering activities we sponsor that strengthen our state and France. In a short business presentation, which took care of the official ‘must do’, I included a re-cap of past year activities and number of participants at our events: over 650! We’ve had a great year so far: we’re only half way so be on the look out for the next half!

Another highlight of our meeting: a docent guided tour of French art through the galleries of the Mia. Our experienced Mia docents, Julie and Martha, gave us a retrospective of French artists and their works spanning over three hundred years, from the 17th Century through the 20th. I want to again thank all of you for coming on the tour as I know the docents so enjoyed having you. This is our second year at the Mia and hopefully we’ll be back next year!

I hope to see you at our events throughout the year and again I want to thank you for your interest in the FACC. You are such a positive factor in strengthening the relationship between Minnesota and France!

As I write this, the World Soccer is in full heat as France has moved to the final so I will sign off with "Allez les Bleus et Vive la France!”

Nancy Christine Allen
President of the FACCMN
Welcome New FACCMN Board Members
Alex Duval is President of the Duval Companies which create design, development and policy solutions for public, private and nonprofit ventures that enhance the built environment. He has over eighteen years of experience working on projects in the United States, France, Italy, China, Korea and India. Prior to founding Duval Companies, Duval was a Director with Portman Financial, the private investment office of the Portman family with assets under management of over $1.5 billion; a Director with Portman Holdings, a real estate development company that has developed over 50 million square feet of space; and Project Manager with John Portman & Associates leading the design and planning of large complex projects in the US and abroad. 
In addition to his professional work, Duval serves as Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Design. He has been active as an invited speaker at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Tongji University, Georgia Institute of Technology and other institutions of higher education. He is a member of the Harvard University Alumni Real Estate Board. Duval earned the Master in Architecture from Harvard University and graduated from the University of South Carolina with the Bachelor of Arts in English. He is an Oblate of St. John’s Abbey, married to Kjersti Monson and has two children, Olan and Bene. They live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Duval was born in Paris, France, is a dual citizen of the United States and France and is bilingual in English and French. 

Patrice Groisiller is an accomplished Product Development Executive with a career that spans over 30 years leading and supporting product design, development, marketing, and business development operations for Caterpillar, the world leader in heavy equipment products. As an international manager, he has a record of accomplishment in leading large organizations located in Europe, Asia, and the US and is effective in working within a global footprint. Patrice speaks English, French, Japanese and Spanish, which makes him effective in communicating with local management
Patrice’s background includes a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, which enables him to work in all aspects of the manufacturing value stream including workflow, production, and quality. And as product and process expert he is recognized for driving Process Improvement through the application of Lean Six Sigma Continuous Improvement initiatives. 
Patrice’s career brought him to leadership positions in Logistics in a General Manager position in Asia, managing facilities in Australia, Singapore, Japan and China supporting internal and external client business. He moved into the position of Global Operations General Manager, Parts Distribution, where he managed a 22 - parts distribution center around the world ($1.1B in parts sales).
His most recent assignments provided Mr. Groisiller with the opportunity to lead Caterpillar’s global product development, sales, product support and marketing efforts as the Global Product Line Director in Minneapolis and later in Peoria (Illinois).
 Patrice just retired from Caterpillar Inc. and relocated to Minneapolis where Patrice holds Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from INSA Lyon (National Institute of Applied Sciences) (France) and an Associate’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering – Bordeaux University (France). He is married to Marie Groisiller and they have 2 children, Cosette and Timothee.
Patrice looks forward to joining a group that fosters international exchanges between France and Minnesota, creates values and generates growth in business, culture and global understanding. 

Chris Jackson has his roots in the Twin Cities, along with many branches throughout the world thanks to a lifetime of international experiences. With a belief that trade and commerce are ideal means to advance international cooperation and understanding, he has sought to contribute to this mission throughout his career. Entrepreneurial at heart, he founded his own medical company in Paris, France, where he lived and worked for 12 years. He and his British fiancée, Clara, then moved to the Twin Cities to be near family and benefit from the quality of life that the area offers.
He currently works in business development for Montréal-based Insum Solutions, an IT consultancy specializing in Oracle APEX. He looks forward to joining a dynamic group of cosmopolitan and dynamic professionals striving to foster ties between Minnesotan and French-speaking business communities.

Greetings from Odile Hedoire-Young, Executive Director
As Chamber Ambassador with prior international business development responsibilities in the private and public sectors, I have had my fair share of leadership opportunities and I have learned to grow in several leadership areas. When I think of leadership, I think of leadership that brings value to others.
What I attribute to my success (as little or big as it may be), is the ability to listen and think positively forward. I believe that few things are as powerful in leadership and developing relationships as being a good listener.

Some of you may think of me as a quiet and reserved leader and there is some truth to this, but don’t let me fool you, I am not a Finn! I do hang out a lot with my dear Finnish friends, but I am French indeed and, if leadership is the ability to influence others, then I choose to do so through listening and interacting with a positive forward attitude.
Today, I would like to gather/gain(?) your thoughts and opinions in an effort to better serve you. I would be very grateful if you could take 3 minutes of your time to answer a few questions and/or share your thoughts. Please click here to begin
Featuring FACCMN Members
Scott Garoute
Member since 1978

Let’s hear from one of our valued members who has been with the Chamber from the early days!

Scott Garoutte, joined the chamber in his capacity as Air France sales manager for the area. 
At the time Scott was looking for networking opportunities with companies doing business in France and French companies doing business in Minnesota. 
Scott grew-up in the Twin Cities, attended the Calhoun Elementary School and Minneapolis West High School. Scott worked at AAA while going to college at the University of Minnesota. He actually started during his senior year in high school through a work program. When he graduated in 1958, Scott was offered a position to manage the AAA office in Rochester but while investigating living in Rochester he received a draft order from President Eisenhower. After two years service he returned and in 1963 left AAA and went to work for the Cunard Steamship Company where he became District Manager. In 1967, he left Cunard for Air France and with his wife LaVonne enjoyed a 5-day trip across the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth. He returned from South-Hampton, then Cherbourg Westbound to New York, which was the last Atlantic crossing of the Queen Mary which in is now docked in Long Beach California where it is used as a hotel.
From 1969-1973, Scott managed the Air France Cleveland office. Scott had studied Spanish in high school and he went on to taking French night classes while in Cleveland. In 1978, he joined the FACC. In 1985, Air France decided to consolidate the Midwest business out of Chicago and all managers were transferred to the “windy city”, yet Minneapolis remained Scott sales territory. In 1983, Air France sent the sales managers back to their local territory and Scott and his wife moved back to Minneapolis. Scott retired from Air France in 1991. At the time, his wife LaVonne was working for General Mills.
Scott has served on the board of directors for several years. He met Morris Levy, one of the founders of the FACCMN, when he was General Manager for the Sofitel in Bloomington (the first in America). 
Scott appreciates the many and varied opportunities the Chamber has offered. He cannot say enough about the value of networking events and the many opportunities the FACC offers to cultivate business contacts. Being able to use the Franco-American business networking channels to put his services in front of the membership was a nice perk that certainly contributed to growing his business with Air France. Scott worked hard to build his client base but he credits the chamber for helping him to do so. Scott has relatives in Cassis France.

Jon Yorde
Sales representative at Lindenmeyr Munroe

“Being a member of the FACCMN opens a lot of doors. It’s like having a wide open view over the world” answered Jon when we asked him why he decided to join the chamber.

Jon Yorde, who has 30+ years experience in the paper industry, joined the Lindenmeyr Munroe company in 2013. Lindenmeyr Munroe is a stable private business that offers a wide range of solutions in terms of paper and packaging in the U.S., since 1859. Their main clients are commercial printing companies.

Jon truly enjoys working in this company, that allows him to be an outside seller. Indeed, he loves to be out with people, and to always learn more about their needs. “My phone is always on, even at night, in case of emergencies.” said Jon, who explained to us that he is really committed to taking care of his customers and to creating a trust-based relationship with them.

Jon loves the independence of his job, and is particularly proud of the business contact he created on his own through cold calling. Despite his long experience, he is willing to always learn to become a better seller. 

By joining the FACCMN, Jon hopes to bring an international and multicultural perspective to the local companies he is working with. “I love traveling in Europe! I’m taking German lessons too (...) it opens my horizons and gives me the opportunity to deal with different cultures”, he told us.

We are really happy to count Jon as one of our valuable members and wish him the best within our community!

FACCMN Trade Services
Becoming a host company with the VIE program
The FACCMN regularly receives inquiries from French companies looking for a Minnesota host company with office space availability.
These inquiries are for participants in the VIE program and in order to meet the requirements the local company has to:

  • Employ a minimum of 3 full-time employees, 2 of whom are American citizens, residents, or Green Card holders at the site of activity
  • Have sufficient structure to provide daily hands-on supervision 
  • Be/become a member of the FACCMN Chapter
  • Provide exposure to American cultural activities
  • Agree not to hire the participant during or at the end of the J-1 visa program in the U.S. for a period of 1 year

If you are interested in exploring the opportunity of becoming a host company for the VIE program, please send your company profile to Odile Hédoire-Young: director@faccmn.com
Not yet a member?

Introducing FACCMN Summer Intern
Lara Knoblauch
Intern at the FACCMN
Join us in welcoming Lara, summer intern at the FACCMN.
Lara just completed her sophomore year at the IAE School of Management in Lyon, France. She has a dual citizenship, is passionate about traveling, plays basketball and is a great addition to the FACC team! So glad to have you with us Lara!
French Film Festival: Lumières Françaises
July 13-19, 2018
A week-long film festival celebrating the brightest talent in French language independent cinema presented by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. Lumières Françaises introduces an exciting new generation of rising francophone talent on both sides of the camera, from rebellious comedies to exquisite dramas, and vivid documentaries.
Read more - All films presented with English subtitles
Bastille Day with Alliance Française
July 15, 2018
Join Alliance Française and Meritage Restaurant for Bastille Day on Sunday, July 15 from noon to 6 pm in St. Paul’s Landmark Plaza!
France vs Croatia World Cup 2018 Final at Brit's Pub
July 15, 2018
Rendez-vous at 9:00 AM. Kick off will be at 10:00 AM
Allez les Bleus!
Rendez-Vous du Jeudi
September 20 & October 18, 2018
A Monthly Business Networking Event and an Opportunity for FACC Member Companies to do a presentation.
Go to the FACCMN website for details!
Annual Gala
November 16, 2018
The annual Fête du Vin and fundraising event, is re-known for French flair and elusive “Je ne sais quoi!”, Consistency in providing the best food and wine, a relaxed yet stylish ambience and a sophisticated range of entertainment provides members with the perfect opportunity for formal and informal networking.
More details coming soon!
European Christmas Market
First two weekends in December
The European Christmas Market in St. Paul is a free event based on the traditional, charming, and festive open-air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season. Shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts and decorations from local vendors, drink Glühwein (spiced mulled wine), and taste European inspired food and delicacies during the first two weekends in December.
French Innovation Weeks 2019
April 2019
French Innovation Weeks is a celebration of French innovation and savoir-faire in the Midwest. It consists of a variety of events that showcase the best of French science, technology, innovation in all areas and more generally the idea that innovation is a positive factor in the relationship between our two countries and our people.  
Contact the FACCMN to learn about French Innovation Weeks 2019
Webinar "Discover the J-1 & VIE Exchange Visitor Program"
Given the increased focus on globalization within business, our "Discover the J-1/VIE Program" is more relevant than ever! Experts discussed the latest developments in the J-1 Intern and Trainee programs, and provided great tips and resources for international recruitment, diversifying your team, and the streamlined J-1 visa application process.
FACCMN job board
Post a job or an Internship offer on the FACC website
This service is free for member companies. Available to non-members for a fee.
Also see current candidates:
Coline Pourtier

I am an:  Young Professional 

Desired Business Sector:  Marketing & Communication

Desired Position:  Marketing/Communication

Location Requirements:  Minneapolis/St. Paul; Twin Cities suburbs

Date Available for Employment:  10/1/18

Visa Situation:  French Citizen-VIE

Julie Derycke

I am a:  Graduate

Desired Business Sector:  Marketing, Communication & Advertising

Desired Position:  VIE/Internship

Location Requirements:  Minneapolis/St. Paul, FargoGrand Forks, ND

Date Available for Employment:  01/01/19

Visa Situation:  J1

Benjamin Ducharne

I am a: ​Graduate of INSA, Lyon, France (July 2018)

Desired Business Sector: Mechanical Engineering

Desired Position: VIE (12 or 18 months)

Location Requirements: Minnesota

Date Available for Employment: September 2018

Visa Situation: J-1​​

Victoria Prasek

I am a:G raduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN May 2018

Desired Business Sector: Marketing

Desired Position: Full Time

Location Requirements: Twin Cities

Date Available for Employment: 7/22/18

Visa Situation: ​​

Thank You to our Corporate and Business Members!
Thank You for your support!