OUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
EVP, Solstiss Inc.
Sandrine Bernard is the Executive Vice-President of Solstiss, Inc., a subsidiary of Solstiss Sarl. Solstiss is a renowned manufacturer of fine lace textiles supplying the Ready-to-Wear, Haute Couture, Bridal, Lingerie, Home Decor and Film/Theatre industries around the world. Ms. Bernard oversees the New York and Los Angeles offices. She is in charge of the American and Canadian markets.
Ms. Bernard began her career in Germany as a Brand Manager for Pimkie, a European fashion line, after which Sandrine was developing product lines and a salesforce in Europe for the intimate apparel division of Chevignon. In 1997, she joined the Pindière Group where during her 7 years there worked successively in the areas of Export Management, Marketing and finally Head of Sales (France & International) before relocating to New York and consulting for well-known fashion and cosmetic brands including Chanel, L' Oréal and Kering.
Ms. Bernard is the President of the Club 600, a member of the French American Chamber of Commerce and of Fashion Group International, as well as an Adviser to the French Ministry of Commerce.
A graduate of SKEMA Business School in Lilles, France, Ms. Bernard also studied at the University of Valencia (Spain) and at Fachochschule Osnabruck (Germany).
President, AMB advisors
Anne Busquet is President of AMB Advisors where she advises companies on business strategy, marketing and development, and a Managing Director at Golden Seeds Group, an Angel Investment Group .
Ms. Busquet started her career at Hilton International in Paris before joining the American Express Company in New York where she held several high executive positions including Executive Vice President Card Marketing, U.S. President of Relationship Services and President of Interactive Services and New Businesses. She created and led a Strategic Venture group. Simultaneously, as a Division President within the American Express Company she led global interactive initiatives and sat on the American Express Executive committee
Within InterActiveCorp (IAC) an internet commerce conglomerate, Ms. Busquet became CEO ofLocal and Media Services, and led a group of businesses including, Citysearch , Evite , Entertainment Publications (EPI), ServiceMagic and TripAdvisor .
Ms Busquet serves on the Board of Pitney Bowes, IHG Group, MTC and Provista Diagnostics.
Ms. Busquet received her B.S. from Cornell University and her MBA from Columbia University. She is a Trustee of French Institute Alliance Française , American Romanian Foundation and Columbia Business School. She is a French–American dual citizen.
Executive Director and Co-founder, FAEA, SVP Human Resources, Pernod Ricard USA
Emmanuel Cargill is a senior vice president Human Resources at Pernod Ricard USA, the co-leader in the global wines and spirit industry in charge of all HR capital and corporate services. He works with great people, passionate about their work , the company portfolio (Absolut, Chivas , The Glenlivet , Beefeater, Kahlua, Perrier Jouet ..) and culture.
Prior to Pernod Ricard USA in 2009, he was chief operating officer and executive vice president for Marnier Lapostolle North America (NYC), subsidiary of Marnier Lapostolle Group (Grand Marnier) responsible for the development in North America of a portfolio of spirits (Grand Marnier) and wines (Casa Lapostolle , Sancerre). He managed the US implantation of this company and lead its development for 15 years.
Emmanuel Cargill came from Paris, France to the USA in 1983 (MBA) and started his career in brand management (General Biscuits, Bongrain , Lactalis / Societe ).
He is an executive director for the French American Chamber of Commerce NY, and an advisor to the French Trade Council (CCE). He lives in Bronxville NY.
Executive Director and Co-founder, FAEA, President, Transmark Partners
Recognized as a leading expert on business creation, brand management and organization development, Yves Coleon has 30+ years experience working with Fortune 100 companies , start-ups and other leading brands in the consumer products sector to grow their revenue and profit lines.
Yves founded Transmark Partners in 2001, and continues to oversee many of the firm's accounts directly leading all strategic consulting and marketing assignments.
Since moving to the United States 30 years ago, Yves has assumed senior marketing management positions launching new products and developing new marketing campaigns for several of the world's best known consumer product companies such as: General Foods, Kraft and Haagen-Dazs where he was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.
Prior to founding his management firm Yves served six years as President/CEO of Lalique North America and led the significant growth of the French luxury house in the United States market.
Yves is a frequent speaker on the subject of market strategy, entrepreneurship, and intercultural management both in France and the United States.
An active member of the international business community in New York, he was appointed as Trade Advisor to the French Government in 2000 and is a co-founder of the French American Entrepreneurship Award to help young French entrepreneurs launch their business venture in the US ( www.faea-us.com ).
President KXASSOCIATES, INC.
From launching companies in the United States to heading her own business, Annik Klein’s diverse business experience brings a strong expertise to the Communications and Management programs she spearheads. Her impressive career began at Air France where she was head of the ticket office in charge of sales and client relations for the company’s New York operation. Next, as Executive Vice President of Petrossian, she launched, promoted and developed the famous caviar brand in the U.S.
Annik then joined Maud Frizon USA as its President, restructuring the company, opening boutiques in various cities and developing a series of Maud Frizon licenses. A few years later, she became the President of Jean Louis David USA, settling the company in New York by opening eight salons, supervising more than 200 employees and developing a dynamic management and communications strategy.
In 1995, Annik created KX Associates, Inc. undertaking Marketing and Public Relations and Event Planning for such well-known clients as: Cannes Midem Organisation, Evian, Paul Bocuse, Roger Vergé and Régine. She also managed all aspects of fundraising and special events for major corporations and charities such as “A Night at the Oscars,” Cirque du Soleil, Pratt Institute, Lancôme, and Calvin Klein. KX Associates is well known now for organizing and launching European Trade Shows in the US.
Annik is a Foreign Trade Advisor to the French Government (CCEF Conseiller du Commerce Exterieur). She belongs to several prestigious organizations including The Fashion Group International, CEW, The American Society of the French Legion of Honor, and Club 600.
In 2008, Annik was awarded The Order of Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honor) by France’s President Sarkozy.
Founder & CEO of 1000 Passions Inc.
With the goal of establishing www.1000passions.com as the leading website for behind the scenes experiences, Draghi has developed a strategic focus on gathering people who are passionate about their activities and ready to share unique moments with 1000 Passions' customers. For example, one can watch a working rehearsal with award winning choreographer Camille A Brown and her company; or grab a spray can and work on a mural with artist Jesse Edwards, whose graffiti can been seen in cities all over the country .
Prior to launching 1000 Passions, Draghi spent 25 years as a partner in different ventures in the software telecom industry, specializing in IVR, Call Center and Voice over IP platforms. In charge of sales in EMEA until a buyout in 2006, he has always worked to present and sell the innovative solutions the market was looking for .
He earned a Master's Degree in Telecoms in 1988 from Paris VI University. He lives and works in Westchester, NY .
OUR ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Norbert Benaiche is an international accounting and financial expert who spent over 40 years at Deloitte (including 30 years as a partner/senior partner). He is currently transitioning to a medium-size CPA firm in New York focusing on the middle-market and cross-border deals between Europe (mainly France) and the US.
Norbert worked in France (specializing mainly in international audits, investigation audits and due diligences) then in Asia (Hong Kong and Tokyo) where he created the Deloitte Asia-Pacific French desk and was responsible for acquisition due diligences and the coordination of Deloitte's French clients in the region. From 2002 to 2014, Norbert led the French Business Services Group of Deloitte in the US (“ French desk ”) and was responsible for the client service to the firm's French clients in the US as well as for the support to the US teams, the development of services, and the relationship with the French community.
Norbert is also a Director and a member of the Executive Committee of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, New York and has supported the French-American Entrepreneurship Award for the last three years.
Founder and managing partner of Palais des Thés USA
Cyrille Bessiere is the founder and managing partner of Palais des Thés USA, the North American venture of French premium tea company Palais des Thés. Since Palais des Thés USA was founded in 2010, the company has developed its activities both in B2C (retail shops and e-commerce) and wholesale/B2B2C.
Prior to joining Palais des Thés in 2010, Mr. Bessiere was a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in Paris and in the US. He was specifically involved in business development and corporate strategy topics in a wide range of industries including pharma, automotive, private equity and Telco.
Mr. Bessiere graduated from HEC Paris in 2004. He spent a semester at University of Western Ontario in Canada.
Managing Director, FACC
Martin Bischoff is Managing Director of the French-American Chamber of Commerce in New York City. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the operations of the organization, including fundraising, budgets, board meetings, elections, committee development, increasing membership and administering the Chamber's J-1 Visa program.
Prior to joining the FACC, Martin was CEO of Labrador Regulated Information Transparency, Inc., a Paris-based company that files financial statements with the SEC and produces annual reports and proxy statements with a goal of making these documents more useful and readable for investors. During Martin's tenure at the head of the U.S. subsidiary, the company grew from start-up phase to earning more than $1 million in revenue with clients that included many Fortune 500 companies.
Prior to joining Labrador, Martin Bischoff previously served as Managing Director at the French-American Chamber of Commerce for more than seven years. From 1991-2001, he worked for France Telecom, both in New York and in Paris, rising through the organization to become Director of Business Development for France Telecom's internet subsidiary in the United States. Martin worked for 3 years as an Adjunct Professor of Multicultural Communications at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He consults regularly with French and American expatriates on cultural issues related to doing business on the other side of the Atlantic.
Martin holds a MBA in Management, Information Systems and International Business from New York University's Stern School and a B.A. in French and Spanish from Le Moyne College.
Founder & Managing Director, Fraiche PR
After leading international PR campaigns for image-driven brands at Diageo, Seagram and Coty, Diana Castelnuovo -Tedesco founded New York City-based Fraiche PR in 2005 to offer creative communications to an interesting mix of clients.
Havingworked in Paris for several years , she was eager to reestablish ties with France, so in 2006 she partnered with Jane Peck to launch Fraiche Europe, based in Paris. Together they offer bi-lingual services to French companies and organizations.
Assignments have included projects in the USA for Palais des Thes , Maille , The City of Dijon, Givaudan , and Yann Arthus -Bertrand.
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Co-Founder and COO of Placemeter
a TechStars NY startup that raised close to $8MM to turn any live video feed into data and make cities smarter. Florent's experience includes founding Casahop, another venture-backed social travel company, and leading Business Development and National Sales for Gilt City as it grew from 0 to over 150 employees. Before that, Florent lead Corporate & Business Development as well at Mobile for Hachette Filipacchi Media, a leading magazine publisher.
Florent was educated in France, graduate from Sorbonne University in Law and Sciences Po Paris.
Chief Sales Officer, The Digital Marvels Inc.
Gilles Rousseau is currently Chief Sales Officer at The Digital Marvels Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based omnichannel solutions that enables luxury and fashion companies to offer customers a seamless and personalized shopping experience across all touchpoints.
Previously, Gilles served as the Head of Hennessy Cognac U.S. Business Unit at LVMH, and as the Head of Marketing and Communications at Van Cleef & Arpels (Americas).
Gilles was also part of the management team at TripleHop Technologies Inc., which became one of the most prominent and innovative providers of search engine and CRM solutions, acquired by Oracle in 2005. He began his career at Publicis Worldwide.
Gilles has been a Foreign Trade Advisor for the French Government since 2001.
A native of France, Gilles holds a Master's degree in Information & Communications Sciences from the Sorbonne University.
Co-Founder & CEO, Poutsch
Melchior Schöller is the co-founder and CEO of Poutsch , an online polling platform that won the 2012 FAEA. He previously worked at Lazard where he participated in a dozen of closed mergers, acquisitions and financing projects. He covered various industries including technology and advised companies like Deezer, Companeo and other internet based businesses. Before that, Melchior was in the Telecom Media and Entertainment team of Capgemini Consulting where he worked on issues like mobile payment and television targeted advertising. But it all started with Livestream where he worked on business development initiatives.
Melchior is a graduate of the NYU Stern and Steinhardt schools. He also obtained a M.Sc and B.Sc degree in Economics from Maastricht Universiteit.
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Principal, Ernst and Young
Stephan is a principal in the transaction advisory service department of Ernst & Young in New York.
Stephan's career started in 1995 in the corporate finance department of Ernst & Young in Paris working on M&A activity in France. He emigrated to the US in 1996. Over his 15-year experience at Ernst & Young in New York, he has provided financial advice on transactions and valuation issues to over 500 US and French companies US in a variety of industries including consumer products, media & entertainment and financial services. More recently, Stephan has focused his transaction activities on investment managers including private equity, venture capital and hedge fund firms.
Stephan is also the North East Sub-Area Leader for French Inbound activities. In his role, Stephan oversees the activity of France-based clients working with Ernst & Young in the US North East region.
Stephan is a board member of the French-American Chamber of Commerce NYC. He holds a CFA charter and an MBA from Columbia University.