What: FACC kickoff
When: Thursday, Aug. 23, 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: The INCubator, 100 Cherokee Blvd.
For more information or to RSVP: Contact Gladys Pineda-Loher at 423-763-4345 or email@example.com
In a coordinated effort to strengthen Chattanooga’s position in the global business environment, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has helped establish the area’s first French-American Chamber of Commerce subchapter, chamber officials announced Thursday.
Developed in collaboration with local community leaders and the FACC Southeast, the organization will celebrate its launch with a kickoff event held at the International Business Council’s monthly meeting Aug. 23. Sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and coordinated in partnership with the FACC Southeast, the gathering will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. at The INCubator, which is located at 100 Cherokee Blvd. International food will be provided at this free event. Additional details are listed below.
Led by French-native Nasera Souidi, who serves as the FACC Chattanooga regional director, president-elect of the IBC and IT project manager for BCBST, FACC Chattanooga aims to strengthen business ties among Chattanooga’s community of French companies and residents.
Gladys Pineda-Loher, who serves as business diversity coordinator for the Chattanooga Chamber and helped establish the subchapter, said having an FACC presence in Chattanooga will enhance the area’s attractiveness to French companies looking to invest in the southeastern U.S.
“As a community with an increasingly global presence, establishing a local French-American Chamber of Commerce chapter is the latest step in our communitywide effort to create a friendlier environment for international companies,” Pineda-Loher said. “By supporting Chattanooga’s diverse businesses with resources such as this, we strengthen connections at home that could eventually create more business opportunities both locally and abroad.”
With plans already underway to host a delegation of French businesspeople in Chattanooga later this year, Pineda-Loher said the FACC Chattanooga subchapter will serve as a key point of contact for the Chattanooga Chamber as it develops the group tour.
As a nonprofit, member-funded organization, FACC Chattanooga is governed by a volunteer committee comprised of community leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists who are passionate about Chattanooga and the French language and culture, officials said.
“FACC Chattanooga will primarily work to develop relationships and create awareness of bilateral commercial, educational and cultural opportunities,” Souidi said. “Our vision is to be the liaison for bilateral French and American commercial development. Ultimately, we hope to help establish 10 companies in Chattanooga in 10 years while enhancing intercultural relationships through our programming along the way.”
—Coordinate quarterly social and networking events
—Promote FACC services and attract membership
—Welcome French delegation to Chattanooga in fall of 2012
—Participate in the October Culture Fest at the Tennessee Pavilion
—Actively participate in IBC programs
—Coordinate Beaujolais Nouveau events in Chattanooga
—Participate in regional events organized by FACC Southeast
Further details about FACC Chattanooga’s structure and role in the community will be delivered at the kickoff event, which will feature insights from a number of area business leaders. Presenters will include Ron Harris, director of workforce diversity for BCBST; Charles Wood, vice president of economic development for the Chattanooga Chamber; Daniel Bowers, executive director of the FACC in Atlanta; Souidi; and Lawrence Quinn, president and CEO of Alstom.
The discussion will highlight the importance of emerging demographics to business, Chattanooga’s economic and social environments as they relate to foreign investment, the community’s ability to work with a multicultural vision, and ways the local business community can partake in the opportunities ahead.
Attendees are encouraged to register in advance.