Nancy Heinerscheid, President
Nancy serves as current President on the board. She came back to the Twin Cities after being in Europe for 13 years and is now retired and spending her time enjoying an active life the Twin Cities offers which includes volunteering on our board, and tutoring Spanish and English. Nancy was the FACCMN Executive Director during most of the 90's before heading the Democrats Abroad for Luxembourg while living there. She enjoys the urban life of Minneapolis and is eager to keep her bike wheels pumped and ready for mobility.
Mark McNeil, Vice President
Mark McNeil's career has concentrated on international transactions and legal structures. With degrees from Duke University and Harvard Law School, he worked with a San Francisco law firm and then moved to Japan to assist a professor at Kyoto University and advise two Osaka law firms. Back in the US, he became international counsel for Medtronic, and for 10 years assumed various international positions at Cray Research, the world-leading supercomputer company. Re-entering private practice, he led the international section at Lindquist & Vennum in Minneapolis for 15 years and in 2014 established his own solo firm for international law, McNeil Global Law LLC.
Mark studied French and other languages in high school and college and visits France whenever possible. His wife is an extensively published professor of French literature and his daughters are bilingual. He is active in international organizations and is a former Director of the FACC, a current Director of the German American Chamber of Commerce (Minnesota Chapter), past President of the Minnesota World Trade Association and World Trade Week, and legal adviser to the Midwest Global Trade Association. He was recently elected to membership in the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.
Véronique Liebmann, Treasurer
A native from Annecy, France, Véronique holds a bachelor's degree in Business from Lyon University and is a certified Early Childhood Montessori Teacher. She is the Founder and Director of the French American School of Minneapolis - French School, Preschool and Elementary. In May 2004, she was awarded the "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Véronique was also the recipient of the Palmes Académiques Award.
Morgan LeNaour, Secretary
Morgan received his PhD in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry from l'Université du Droit et de la Santé (Lille II) and is a Pharmaceutical R&D professional. As a founder at Motif Property Enhancement, LLC, he is a R&D scientific leader with years of experience in all core pharma disciplines (MedChem, CADD, assay technology, DMPK, CMC, IP) and is well connected to the Minnesota Medical Alley Association.
Jerome Chateau, Director
Jerome Chateau founded Normande/French Genetics in 1997, with the aim of promoting sustainable genetics and practices in the U.S. cattle industry. Originally from Paris, Jerome holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort; a master's degree in public health & epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, which he attended on a Rotary Fellowship; and is ABD in comparative literature and cultural studies from the University of Minnesota. Many listeners in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area also remember him as the host of a popular radio show about French music and culture, on public radio station KFAI.
A past president and a current Director of the French-American Chamber of Commerce/Minnesota, Jerome has also served as a speaker and organizer at numerous dairy and grazing conferences. The French government awarded him the title of Chevalier (Knight) du Mérite Agricole in 2004, for his work on behalf of both U.S. and French agriculture. He has resided in Minnesota for over two decades.
Hélène Donzelot, Director
Hélène was born in Normandy in a family of horse breeders and entrepreneurs. She was raised on the East part of France in Franche-Comté. After high school, she moved to Versailles for her preparatory classes in business management.
Thanks to high skills mathematics and history, she entered HEC which is a 130 years old institution and number one business school in France with famous alumni like former French president François Hollande. She graduated with honors and since then has been progressing in the world of corporate finance within international companies (mainly American among them Lexmark, PWC, and YUM!) to reach the role of CFO of Pizza Hut Europe. Hélène has lived and worked in over 3 continents: Europe (Paris and Orleans in France and Geneva in Switzerland), Asia (Guangzhou in China) and America (New York). She settled with her family in Minnesota in 2016. Her husband, Ivan, who she met in high school, is currently the global manufacturing director at 3M, they always managed to balance their openness to the world and the respect of their French culture considering it as their family foundation. They have three children Eve (19, studying at McGill Montreal), Diane (14) and Jules (12, adopted in China)/ The two youngest are studying at the French immersion program in Edina. Hélène is living her French culture not only through language (the spoken language at home) but also through politics, news, history, food, movies and even sense of humor. She also enjoyed downhill skiing, traveling, cooking and has a true passion for history.
Nicole Frank, Director
Nicole is an attorney practicing business litigation at Robins Kaplan LLC. Prior to entering private practice, Nicole was a judicial law clerk on the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and, prior to law school, a high school teacher of language arts. She has degrees from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities where she double-majored in French Studies and English.
Nicole has a keen interest in foreign languages, having studies French and Latin since high school, and expanding to Italian and Spanish in college. Among the languages she has studied, Nicole's adoration of French language and culture is unmatched. To improve upon her speaking and comprehension skills, she attended credit-earning sessions at Concordia Language Villages during her teen years and studied abroad in college at the Université Paul Valery in Montpellier where she perfected the art of eating pastries and formed life-long friendships.
Wanting to share the benefits of learning French with a larger segment of Minneapolis, as part of the Governing Council's Executive Board, Nicole helped to launch and oversee Pierre Bottineau French Immersion, a tuition-free French elementary school in North Minneapolis and Minnesota's first self-governed school under Minn. Stat. § 123B.045 in 2012. Today, the school is now part of Minneapolis Public Schools and offers French immersion to elementary students as Minneapolis French Immersion at Cityview.
Ed Hayward, Director
Ed Hayward, an attorney at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly since 1975, has devoted his practice to international transactions, in New York, Brussels, Belgium, and Minneapolis. He deals with matters relating to inbound and outbound investment and international litigation. Ed attended the University of Aix-Marseille in France and received his B.A. in French literature from Stanford University. After serving in Germany as a captain in U.S. Army Intelligence, he earned his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard.
He is a member and past Chair of the Minnesota District Export Council, past Chapter President and National Secretary of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, a Director of the German-American Chamber of Commerce (Minnesota Chapter), legal advisor and Director of the Alliance Française (Minnesota), as well as a Councilor and former Chair of the International Business Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Ed has spoken frequently on topics relating to international trade, investment, and dispute resolution. In 2012, Ed was named by the French Government as a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit).
Steve Riedel, Director
Steve Riedel joined the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) in July 2001, and is the regional trade manager for environmental & energy industries and for Western Europe. Previously, Steve was responsible for the markets in Southeast Asia and Australia. He serves as an ex-officio board member of the German, French and Finnish American Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota.
Steve received a master's degree in international business in 1986 from Schiller International University in London, England. Prior to joining the trade office, he had a 14-year career with the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service officer.
Louis Wendling, Director
Louis Wending, a French citizen was born and raised in Alsace, France. Louis holds an MBA degree from Institut Européen d'Etudes Commerciales Supérieures, Université de Strasbourg, Alsace, and a CLU degree (master's in insurance) from American College, Bryn Mawr, PA.
Louis is the owner of Wendling Financial Group, LLC, a retirement & estate planning firm in Eden Prairie, MN, with over 1,200 clients, $300 million in assets. Fluent in 5 languages, working knowledge of 2 languages, fluent in 3 dialects, Louis is also a longtime member of French American & German American Chambers of Commerce (GACC) and Director and Secretary of GACC.
Louis has extensive community, association and club involvements, as well as experience in event organization, fundraising and membership expansion. His hobbies include reading, traveling, photography, music, hiking and wine collecting.
The Minnesota Trade Office promotes international trade and provides information, training, and counseling to Minnesota businesses active in the international marketplace. Regional trade managers assist Minnesota exporters, arrange trade missions, host foreign delegations and promote foreign direct investment in Minnesota.