Community Contribution Award
This Award will recognize excellence among individuals and organizations contributing to the
French-American community in the Pacific Northwest
Community Contribution Award Guidelines can be found here.
Virginia Joplin - Verbio
Eric Thuau - French American School of Puget Sound
Olivier Fontana – UFE Seattle
Rob Harrahill – Altruistic Partners
Véronique Dussud - Retired
Hélène Costa de Beauregard - GarageHop
Thierry Rautureau, The Chef In The Hat, Chef and Owner, Luc & Loulay:
Thierry Rautureau, “The Chef In The Hat,” is a prominent local and national figure who has been operating restaurants in Seattle since 1987. Today Thierry operates two restaurants Luc & Loulay Kitchen & Bar as well as TKRA consulting, a culinary consulting company. Thierry’s mission is to promote French cooking and French culture at its best, while providing guests with culinary experiences showcasing the French basis of cooking using fresh, local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients. The Chef In The Hat team strives to accommodate its guests’ needs and provide a special experience. The Chef In The Hat has received local and national recognition over the last 30 plus years that he has been a restaurateur in Seattle and has been featured in numerous national and local TV shows such as Top Chef Masters, Top Chefs, Good Morning America, New day Northwest and many more. He is a Chevalier de l'Ordre du Merite Agricole and a winner of The James Beard award for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest. Thierry is affiliated with many non-profit organizations in Seattle including as a board member at the Alliance Française, at Food Lifeline (hunger relief organizations), at Visit Seattle, and at Seattle Restaurant Week, and as an Ambassador for the Apprenticeship Program at FareStart. The Chef In The Hat has also helped raise funds for many nonprofit organizations including Food Lifeline, FareStart, l' Alliance Française, Visit Seattle, Children's Hospital, JDRF, Cancer research, many schools, and children programs. The Chef In The Hat also provides food to various events including the annual dinner of the Alliance Française and the Yearly Bastille Day Celebration at Luc, and acts as a co-host on a local radio show “Seattle Kitchen” with Tom Douglas for the last 15years. Thierry has had the chance to work and teach many of his past and present employees, many of which have established their own business or restaurant. Thierry has employed hundreds of people and worked with dozens of farmers and suppliers. He is married to Kathy and father of Ryan & Adrian.
Marie-Ange Wood, Director, Alliance Française de Seattle:
Marie-Ange Wood was born and raised in Normandy and moved to Paris to complete her education and begin her career working in Information Technology. She eventually decided to change her career while raising her two daughters and working as a Teacher of French as a Foreign Language in the UK. In 2005 she moved to the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters. In 2008 Marie-Ange joined the Alliance Française de Seattle as a French language instructor and was given responsibility for all teaching activities in June 2010. In December 2010, she became Executive Director of the Alliance Française de Seattle. The Alliance Française de Seattle is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the French language and the understanding and enjoyment of Francophone culture in Seattle and the Puget Sound area. It also serves to foster greater understanding between the people of the US and France by encouraging linguistic and cultural exchange. As the Executive Director of the Alliance, Marie-Ange has strengthened the organization to offer new opportunities and services to the communities, businesses and people of the Pacific Northwest. The Alliance is now a recognized language school, offering engaging and interactive classes and is now also a center for examinations in French language proficiency. The many language programs and Francophone cultural events at the Alliance allow the youth of the Pacific Northwest to discover other cultures and have increased the Pacific Northwest communities' awareness of the Alliance Francaise, the French language and Francophone culture. The programs have also enabled local businesses, organizations and individuals to be better prepared for work, study and travel in the Francophone world. Since Marie-Ange became Executive Director, membership of the Alliance has doubled to some 1,250, income has also more than doubled, enabling continued investment in capability and offering, increasing its professionalism and ensuring the long-term future of the organization.
Fabienne Mouton, Associate Director, Center for Career Connections, Bellevue College:
Fabienne Mouton has more than 20 years of volunteer experience in higher education, nonprofit-organization environments, International Career Coaching as well as a full career in Career Development. Having moved to Seattle in 1998 from France, Fabienne understands the cultural and language challenges that individuals face when seeking work in a new country. Fabienne has made it her mission to help others transition from their country to Washington and better understand the work culture and how to fit in. With a special focus on the French community, Fabienne helps expats with career and education transition by offering free job trainings and job search workshops in French to groups at Bellevue College and at Microsoft, one-on-one meetings, and facilitating job-search support groups. In addition to her role as Associate Director Career Center at Bellevue College, Fabienne volunteers with many organizations - including USE Seattle. UFE Seattle is the local chapter of the Union des Française de l’Etranger (Union of French Expatriates). Established in 1927, the UFE is a resource for French-speaking people with the goal of welcoming, supporting, and animating the French and French-speaking community in the Puget Sound area. Fabienne has also volunteered with the FACC PNW for the “salon de l ’emploi” for several years and since 1998 has helped thousands with career transitions from their country to the WA environment. Additionally, Fabienne is an active member of several nonprofit organizations such as the Puget Sound Career Development Association where she has served as president. She also volunteers with ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) to help veterans transition from the military to civil life, as well as with Stem to help low income populations and minorities access education into Stem fields. Fabienne is passionate about helping people to reach their career goals and find their potential by identifying their strengths. Helping those people is vital to the success of the Puget Sound business community as well as to the growth of the Northwest economy.
Linda Witt, VP Communications, Fédération Nationale des Alliances Françaises USA:
Linda Witt has been active in the French-American nonprofit sector through several organizations, from 2002 to present. From 2002 to 2006 she raised close to $2M as Development Officer for the nonprofit French-American International School in Portland, Oregon. In 2006 she took over the helm as Executive Director at the Alliance Francaise of Portland, leading that organization to the rank of #7 in the U.S., and revenues of close to $750K. In 2009 she joined the FACC PNW and has worked with Jack Cowan on projects including Beaujolais Nouveau, French Fest and Bastille Day. In 2015 she retired from AF PDX and became the Vice President of Communications for the national board of Alliances Françaises USA, where she coordinates communication among the 350 leaders of Alliance Française chapters throughout the USA and helps organize national conventions. In Portland, Witt continues to program and execute up to 50 cultural events per year including film events in partnership with TV5MONDE and quarterly wine education events featuring French vintners. She manages the annual Beaujolais Nouveau festival that draws live TV coverage and assists with the open-to-the public Bastille festival that draws 6,000 visitors and coverage from three news outlets.
Misa Bourdoiseau, Retired:
Misa Bourdoiseau is a retired administrator and French teacher who has been involved in International Education for 50 years. As a French-born and educated dual French and American citizen, Misa actively promotes the language and culture of France and French speaking countries in the Pacific Northwest community and beyond. She contributed to the creation and development of several organizations in the region as well as co-owned and managed a French restaurant from 1978 to 1987 where teachers brought their students to experience French cuisine and practice their French. She also hosted many meetings of what would become FACC of the PNW. As a former Executive Director of the Alliance Française de Seattle, President of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) for WA/ AK/BC/AB chapter, and Chair of the National Education Committee of the Federation of Alliances Françaises-USA, Misa has contributed to the well-being and vitality of the French-American community in the Pacific Northwest. From 1987 to 2008, she directed the ACE Language School and Alliance Française de Seattle, increasing membership, creating and developing school and cultural programs for adults and children. In the last 10 years, after retirement, Misa helped the EFGS, an after school French language program, as a Board member and Adviser. At the same time, she helped establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State of Washington and the Académie de Nantes, France in 2012. Thanks to the MOU between Washington State and the Académie de Nantes, a dozen of partnerships between schools of our region and the Nantes region were established. This gave the opportunity to participating students and teachers to exchange and share experiences via video- conferences or other media. It also provided many with the opportunity to visit another country for the first time, improve their language skills, live with a host family, acquire new competencies, adapt to new practices, and develop social skills. Misa served as a liaison in this project for several years.