Sixth VIE Awards Ceremony held at the French Residence

The sixth VIE Awards Ceremony has been held at the French Residence showcasing the increasing success of France’s International Business Volunteers (VIE) Programme.


20 October 2016

Ambassador Sylvie Bermann hosted the ceremony, which was followed by a networking event involving the candidates, former VIEs and sponsors.

Nearly 400 volunteers in the UK were eligible for the awards. Twelve candidates were shortlisted to outline their experience to a jury consisting of company directors, French Foreign Trade Advisers President Olivier Morel, directors of Business France and former VIEs.

The panel looked at each VIE’s contribution to their company’s success, their integration into both the business and the country, and their passion and determination.

The awards were divided into four categories: Major Groups, SMEs, Créative France and the Jury Prize.

The Major Groups prize went to Charles Spinnewyn-Bouvet of the Faurecia group. During his VIE posting, Charles worked as Resident Engineer in charge of liaison between Faurecia’s R&D centre in Valencia, Spain, and its Fradley factory in Staffordshire, which manufactures spare parts for Land Rover. Sponsors numberly/1000mercis and Coface provided the prize of a Eurostar return ticket from London to Paris and a cheque for €1,000.

In the SMEs category, Pierre Le Blan of the Fédération des Industries Mécaniques won the prize for his work representing three French SMEs in the UK: Galilé Energie, which supplies equipment for the nuclear industry, Mure et Peyrot, which specializes in safety knives, and CMAR, which builds special, Rail-Road and maintenance vehicles. Sponsors Saint Gobain Gyproc and Weber Saint-Gobain provided an easyJet return ticket and a €1,000 cheque.

The Créative France category went to Justine Potier for her work at RPC – United Closures and Plastics. Justine showed great creativity and self-confidence in persuading her Scottish colleagues to adopt new processes. Thalès provided her with a €1,000 cheque and a Eurostar return ticket.

Maïlys Galy of the Compagnie des Desserts won over the jury with her enthusiasm and passion of her pitch (and perhaps the cake she brought along!). Maïlys works from London on the company’s global development, and her daily duties include sending containers of dessert to China and meeting clients in the USA. She won the Jury Prize of a €500 cheque provided by EasyRoommate/Appartager, an easyJet return ticket and a kitchen robot provided by Groupe SEB.

The VIE programme is organized by Business France UK in cooperation with the French Foreign Trade Advisers in the UK, and its sponsors were easyJet, Saint-Gobain, Les Cidres Brun, Eurostar, Coface, numberly 1000merci, Groupe SEB, EasyRoommate, Thales Alenia Space et Remy Cointreau.

More than 40 applications were received this year – double the previous number. The decision was therefore taken to make the competition a yearly event.

To see photos from the ceremony, click the image below.


Published on 06/11/2017

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