Expands TNECD’s international presence to 10 countries in Europe and Asia

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community (TNECD) has announced the addition of two international representatives for Spain and France that will focus on attracting new foreign direct investment (FDI) to Tennessee.  

TNECD has named Lorenzo Vignal and Sergio Fribolle to serve as the new directors of business development for France and Spain. As Tennessee’s primary representatives in France and Spain, Vignal and Fribolle will be the main contacts for Spanish and French companies exploring new operations in the U.S. 

“Overseas recruitment has been a crucial part of TNECD’s strategy to lure new investment and high-quality jobs to Tennessee,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “We’re excited to bring onboard Lorenzo Vignal and Sergio Fribolle, who both bring considerable experience, relationships and expertise to our international team. TNECD now has a presence in 10 countries across Europe and Asia and I’m confident our seasoned representatives abroad will ensure Tennessee continues to be one of the leading destinations for FDI in the U.S.”

Based in Paris and Lyon, France, Fribolle has dual Spanish-French citizenship. As the international business development manager at Salveo Group, Fribolle has deep trade and investment experience in the French and Spanish markets. He has a B.S. from the Institute of Business Administration in Bordeaux and a Master’s of International Commerce from ECEMA Business School in Lyon. 

Fribolle previously worked for the French Chamber of Commerce in Bordeaux as a financial business analyst and as an international project manager for the Salveo Group, where he assisted several companies penetrate the French market. 

Vignal previously served as a Mexican diplomat for three decades, serving as Mexican Ambassador to Sweden, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine as well as Diplomatic Advisor to Mexican President Vicente Fox. Vignal graduated from the College of Mexico with a focus in International Relations. He later acquired a Master’s degree in Public Policies and Administration under the joint aegis of Mexico’s top five higher education institutions. 

During the 1990s, Vignal founded two Mexican companies that specialized in international trade. A dual citizen of Mexico and France, Vignal is senior vice president for the Americas and partner of Salveo Group, where he has assisted the international expansion of French, Canadian and Mexican companies. Vignal resides in Paris. 

More than 75 French-owned businesses operate in Tennessee, collectively employing more than 9,200 Tennesseans. Spanish-owned companies employ more than 900 Tennesseans. Since 2011, TNECD has secured investments from 13 French companies and four Spanish businesses, totaling approximately $387 million in investment and more than 2,700 job commitments. 

In addition to the new offices in France and Spain, TNECD currently has representatives based in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Benelux, China, South Korea and Japan. 

Tennessee was the top state in the country for job creation through foreign direct investment in 2013 and 2015, according to IBM-PLI’s Global Location Trends report. In total, there are approximately 950 foreign-owned business establishments in Tennessee that employ more than 140,000 people. 

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development 
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.




filter background