Gary Birnberg, since January 31st 2017, you are the President of the French-American Chamber of Commerce of Miami. Can you introduce yourself? I am a commercial dispute resolution professional, with a dual background in law and business. A native of Minnesota, I lived and worked in France, Italy, and Brazil, before settling in Miami over twenty years ago, including having received my MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau and working at the management consultancy Oliver Wyman in Paris. Miami has offered a wonderful home for me to raise my family and to develop my career, which continues to be very internationally grounded, with particular focus on all axes of French, Brazilian and American commercial relationships.
Why did you chose to represent this Franco-American organization here in South Florida and what is the first message you wish to send to the FACC's members? I became active in the FACC about twenty years ago and have been a member of its board of directors for much of this time. The FACC has gone through a great transformation over these years, blossoming from a small and informal footprint into a substantial organization. Our primordial goal over the coming years will be to ensure the richness of the value proposition that we offer to the local business community. When I refer to community, I mean not merely French companies residing in or entering Florida, but of all local commercial interest that have or could be encouraged to have ties with France. I want to see the FACC become the premier and central point for cross-border business relations and development in Florida and one of its leaders in the world.
The FACC Miami has announced a more extensive calendar of events with the 10th Anniversary of The French Weeks and an increased budget. How do you forsee your role at the Head of the organization, which seems ready for the battle? This battle theme is quite appropriate. The organizational leader in battle needs to be not just fully invested in the success of the organization, but capable of articulating a cogent, relevant, and attainable vision of its raison d'être. He or she must develop the relationships necessary to create a shared sense of investment and commitment to action. I welcome enthusiastically all members of the Florida business community to engage with the FACC to see the advantages that association with it can bring and to contribute to its becoming an ever-growing motor of economic development for our community.