Preti Flaherty Hosts Consul General of France, Christophe Guilhou During Visit to Maine

May 11, 2010 – Portland, Maine – Preti Flaherty hosted the new Consul General of France, Christophe Guilhou, during his first official visit to Maine since he took his position in August of 2009. Preti Flaherty Attorney Severin Beliveau, who also serves as the Honorary Consul of France, arranged a two-day agenda of meetings and events to support the Consul General's objective of strengthening Franco-American culture by identifying business connections and opportunities within the five New England States.

Consul General Guilhou spoke to a group of Preti Flaherty clients and friends at a luncheon held today in Preti Flaherty's Portland office. He and Severin Beliveau made remarks on the Maine International Trade Center's upcoming trade mission to France, as well as the importance of fostering Maine's Franco-American heritage and culture.

During his trip, Guilhou will also visit the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston, attend a luncheon with Governor John Baldacci at the Blaine House, visit the University of Maine in Augusta and meet members of Le Club Calumet in Augusta. His trip began with a visit to Thornton Academy in Saco.

Severin Beliveau has served as the Honorary Consul to France for over fifteen years, and participated in the 2005 Trade Mission to France which generated $5 million in contracts for the State of Maine. He received the French Legion of Honor Award, the highest distinction France awards civilians, in 2008 for his leadership on key projects to improve the relationship between Maine and France. He is also the President of the American Association of the Forum Francophone des Affaires, the Maine-based United States chapter of a worldwide alliance of 36 French-speaking nations working to promote economic development through business, industry and technology exchanges.