Marie-José Labaye, the experience of international business
Marie-José Labaye, who founded the consulting firm Keystone Strategy Consulting Group LLC in Atlanta, has been a French foreign trade adviser since 2008. With 20 years of experience in mergers and acquisition business, Marie-José Labaye is also deeply committed to humanitarian associations in order to “give back to society the good that has been given to her”.
Hailing from the Bordeaux region, Marie-José Labaye holds a Ph.D in International Business and Tax Law and a Masters Degree in Business and Tax Law, Finance and Management and Computer and Data Processing. Her first professional experience taught her that she had a feel for company strategy and bargaining, as well as company innovation. Her first job was at Motorola, at their Toulouse branch, as a financial deputy executive director, and during her 20-year career she gained an invaluable experience through prestigious jobs at Motorola, Warner Lambert, Tyco Toys, Flowserve and Alcan Inc.
Her family roots (a French mother born in Dakar to a family coming from the French West Indies) helped her to fulfill her desire for a career abroad. Her abilities led her to work and live in numerous countries, including the U.S., Southeast Asia, Japan, China and Europe, where she mainly worked on mergers and acquisitions as well as enterprise creation. This international experience allowed her to create an international network of contacts that she uses daily, such as Vicki Gordon (Collins-Gordon LLC) with whom she works on projects regarding France’s visibility. It is the same for her strategic alliance with Astrid Androsch-Hiesinger (AlwaysBetterConsulting), regarding companies’ growth in Europe and in the U.S.
In 2006, Marie-José Labaye started a new professional project and created her own company, Keystone Strategy Consulting Group LLC. After a short stint in Atlanta in 1998 with Alcan, she decided that this is where the company’s headquarters would be located, in order to enjoy urban life, nice weather and economic opportunities offered by Georgia’s capital. Her main goal is developing strategies for companies and anticipationing market changes: “companies are like human beings, they can either decide to grow on their own, or they can develop themselves with a partner, through an alliance.” Thanks to that, this French-American citizen found a way for people to benefit from her experience and guide companies to reach the U.S. market.
Apart from her company, Marie-José Labaye holds a position as French foreign trade advisor and offers her expertise to French companies willing to get into the U.S. market. Even though she left France in 1986 to pursue her professional career, her French culture still plays a crucial role in her life. Her position as an adviser allows her to create a link between her two cultures. She also acknowledges the role played in the economic missions - Ubifrance, which advises French companies to help them have a better understanding of the American market. According to her the economic missions – Ubifrance is extremely important in identifying the purposes of joining the American market, which can be disastrous if unsuccessful.
She wishes to expand her company, and on a personal level she wants to give back to the community the good that she has obtained: this is why she is committed to the Global Soap Project Association, which delivers soaps given by hotel chains. These soaps are recycled and sent to refugee camps, notably in Africa. This desire to give back to the community can also be seen in her desire to help the future generations reach their potential. She wants to train entrepreneurs of tomorrow by giving them advice, and helping them fulfil their mission.