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3 QUESTIONS TO... Damien Coppens, VIE at SICA2M

By Thomas Prieur,
FACCC, Director, Business Development

"Good morning Mr. Coppens. First of all, can you describe your mission and activity, here in the Carolinas?

My assignment for the company SICA2M consists in assessing the potential of the US market as well as analyzing the conditions of a development in the Carolinas. I am also the main contact person in North America for our partners, suppliers and potential customers.

SICA2M used to work in the USA with local partners for their existing customers (as Michelin for example). However, it is very difficult to keep doing business on a market where you are not present nor represented. Aware of the opportunities, the company's management has decided to start developing the business here.


SICA2M doesn't have its own office in the Carolinas yet, but Palmetto Precision Machining, a partner based in the Greenville (SC) area, agreed to be the host company for the VIE mission. I share an office and Bryan Batten, the director, helps me to network with local companies.

The VIE is a win-win program for companies and candidates looking for an assignment abroad. Companies benefit from a flexible system and the administrative support of Business France and the French American Chamber of Commerce. Young professionals get the opportunity to gain work experience in a multicultural environment and to travel at the same time.

And, precisely, what is SICA2M's activity ? And what has been your own career so far?

SICA2M is a company from the West part of France (Loué - Le Mans Area). We are specialist in industrial conveying technology. We design and manufacture automated systems (robots, conveyors, vision systems, etc.) for a smooth production flow. Our clients are manufacturers, mainly in the automotive and tire sectors, but we offer also industrial solutions to other manufacturing industries.

I turned 29 during my mission, so I am a young professional with already some experience. After completing my master's in electromechanical engineering, I started my career working for Toyota in Belgium before moving to French Guiana for a three-year mission with Cegelec Space. And now, here I am in the Carolinas.

Finally, why the choosing the Carolinas and what help did you get from the French-American Chamber of Commerce?

The main reason is the thriving manufacturing industry in the Carolinas, especially in the sectors that we target: automotive, advanced manufacturing, aerospace. There are many opportunities in these two southeastern states and a lot international companies are located here.

My host company is a member of the FACC Carolinas, so I benefit also from the membership. The Chamber was very helpful even before my arrival. Following my meeting with Jean-Louis Vanderstraeten, he introduced me to other economic development organizations and recently, he visited SICA2M in France.

Good luck Mr. Coppens. We do hope your project will be a success!"

Welcome to the FACC Carolinas

Who we are? The FACC Carolinas is a not-for-profit organization serving both North and South Carolina.

Our mission is to foster business relationships between France and the United States as well as to serve the ongoing business needs of corporate and individual members throughout North Carolina and South Carolina.

How do we do that? The FACC Carolinas achieves these objectives by facilitating information sharing, networking and by offering international business services to its members.

Chamber News

It is a pleasure to announce the election of Jeanne Morel to the Board of Directors. 

Jeanne is a marketing, communications and design professional with more than 15 years of experience in France and the United States. In both countries, she has worked with a broad range of companies, from local businesses to international enterprises, in a variety of industries. Through Jeanne's company Jemorel, she now helps a diverse group of clients in the Charlotte area grow their businesses and develop their brands. In her free time, Jeanne develops and promotes initiatives for Charlotte's community of francophones and francophiles in addition to supporting several non-profit programs.

Jeanne will be our (but not restricted to) Event Coordinator. Before becoming a member of the board, Jeanne was already active with the Chamber as organizer of the "2017 French Culture Festival" to name only one.   

Bienvenue Jeanne!

Part-time Volunteer Internships

The FACC Carolinas is seeking conscientious college students or recent graduates who would like to join our mission as a part-time volunteer. Interested candidates will:

  • Commit to learning new skills and assisting the Executive Director and the Administrative Coordinator in the daily operations of this non-profit, member-supported business association.
  • Promote a positive image of the FACC to raise our visibility in the community.
  • Embrace a variety of responsibilities which include working in a small office environment with a strong entrepreneurial business spirit. Increasing levels of responsibility based upon successful completion of assigned tasks and duties.

 For more information, follow this link.



1 EUR1.18 USD


Contact us - Contactez-nous

French American Chamber of Commerce
of the Carolinas

Maison de France
5510 Munford Road
Raleigh, NC 27612

Office: (919) 413-8481

Français - English

General inquiries :

Executive Director : Marie-Claire Ribeill

Why not North and South Carolina?

Pourquoi pas les Etats de la Caroline du nord et du sud ?

Jean-Louis VANDERSTRAETEN, Directeur Général de la CCIF Caroline du Nord - Caroline du Sud évoque le climat des affaires aux États-Unis et les secteurs porteurs de la région.




Companies that support the FACC Carolinas

    • Actemium
    • Aleph Wines
    • Aplix
    • Areva
    • BOMAG Americas
    • Beneteau
    • Biomerieux
    • CRDA
    • Cafe Monte
    • Central SC Alliance
    • Charles River
    • Charlotte Regional Partnership
    • Dassault Systemes
    • FPL Food, LLC
    • Faircloth Farms
    • GE REnewable
    • Grapevine Distributors
    • Imex Management
    • K&L Gates
    • Nesa
    • Oglee - Deakins
    • Palmetto Precision machinery
    • Parker Poe
    • REEL USA
    • Roedel
    • Saati
    • Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP
    • Speech Advantage
    • Technekes
    • Volvo Group
    • Vossloh
    • Wells Fargo
    • Williams Mullen
    • Woodlane