On Monday, April 8, about 40 of us assembled at the Graydon offices in the Scripps Tower for wine, snacks, and a discussion about the legacy and the future of the French American Business Alliance within the EACC and our community. The conversation was facilitated by Carla Walker, who among other things leads the Nancy Sister Cities Association here in Cincinnati. Walker started by asking people why they decided to attend the event, eliciting responses like “I want to see FABA’s leadership role in the French business community reinvigorated” and “to see FABA become an Ambassador for Cincinnati in France and for France in Cincinnati.”
Walker then asked groups seated at tables to work through three sets of questions related to the “Whats,” the “Whys,” and the “Hows.” (For example – “What is happening in our region that we can leverage to advance our efforts?” and “Why should we want to make an impression on the business community?” and “How do we build a sustainable FABA?” Many great responses emerged – just a sampling below:
- Let’s leverage educational and cultural events to raise awareness of and deepen U.S.-French business ties
- FABA can connect peers in the business community
- A focus can be promoting trade and investment
- FABA needs to revive and revise its brand to reflect growth in the relationship
- FABA needs to facilitate new connections across the community
- An opportunity to mitigate risk amidst accelerating change
- More structured engagements with French companies in region
- Collaborate with relevant organizations (like Alliance Française)
- Develop Annual themes (maybe even with annual awards) to bring focus
The next step is to convene the FABA board -- along with others energized by this topic – to transform the ideas and the energy generated by this discussion into a cohesive plan that can be implemented quickly and sustainably. If you are interested to be part of that discussion, please contact EACC Executive Director Todd Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 513-762-3724.
Thanks to our friends at Graydon for hosting us; to Carla Walker for facilitating the discussion, and to everyone who attended!