Nancy Christine Allen, 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.
Morgan LeNaour, Treasurer
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.
Patrice Groisiller, Secretary
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.
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.
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 studied 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.
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.
Alex Duval, Director
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.
Chris Jackson, Director
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.