Gilles Bonkoski is Executive Director of the French American Chamber of Commerce-San Diego. He joined the organization in 2013. Under his leadership, the FACC-San Diego has significantly grown its corporate service offering to support French businesses’ expansion in the US, increased network opportunities, business tours and event programming to foster business relationships between French and American professionals, and also expanded its services to assist US-based companies looking to grow their operations in France. Additionally, Mr. Bonkoski is managing director of the Ouistart Business Center, a vibrant work space dedicated to French and American entrepreneurs.
Previously, Mr. Bonkoski was branch director and led two large agencies at SFR, a leading French telecom company. He successfully grew large accounts with aggregate sales of over 20 million euros and oversaw sales support services. During his tenure, he created new programs to increase sales productivity and was awarded many accolades, including Manager of the Year and Best Agency in New Business for his ability to develop, motivate and lead teams and grow the business. He started his career at Young & Rubicam working on advertising campaigns in the Latin America market.
Outside work, Mr. Bonkoski is an avid aviation enthusiast and enjoys flying recreationally and traveling in his spare time.
Sales Operations Manager
Aurelien Leger serves as Sales Operation Manager at the French American Chamber of Commerce – San Diego. He is responsible for helping companies grow their business in the U.S. and Europe through developing and implementing business development strategies.
Formerly, Mr. Leger was Business Development Manager, South East Asia, for TCC Global, a leading loyalty marketing company. He was responsible for growing the business across Asia, defining and implementing sales and go-to-market strategies, executing loyalty marketing programs both in-store and online, and helping top-tier retail clients drive customer engagement and increase frequency of visit and basket size. He closed numerous deals ranging in size from $100k to over $1 million. Prior to TCC Global, Mr. Leger was General Manager, Hong Kong, for KRDS Group, a leading digital marketing agency. He opened the Honk Kong office, ramped up sales and operations, and closed defining deals with such major brands as H&M, Disneyland, AXA, and L’Oreal.
In his free time, Mr. Leger is a long-distance runner, having completed the Honk Kong marathon five times. He also enjoys spending time in the kitchen, cooking delicious dishes for family and friends.
Michael Chow serves as Business Development Coordinator at the French American Chamber of Commerce-San Diego. He is responsible for assisting French companies grow their business in the U.S. through a vast array of customer management services and providing member programming and services.
Prior to joining the FACC, Mr. Chow was a part of the marketing solutions team at KeepItGrowing, where he executed four successful marketing campaigns that led to a significant increase in views across social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in. He also was Operations Associate at NewBeeDrone, compiling market research and trends in the US micro-drone industry, designing a customer loyalty system, and launching and running effective marketing campaigns.
In his spare time, Mr. Chow can be found in the kitchen combining textures and flavors to create such mouth-watering delicacies as hand-wrapped dumplings, swiss-sauce chicken wings, and bulgogi beef, to name a few.
After enjoying 10 years of experience in Finance in a Construction firm in Paris, Sylvie decided to step outside of her comfort zone by crossing the planet and enrolling in a Business Program at UC San Diego
Why? Because she considers that we live in an ever-evolving world and she also believes that it is important to continue to learn!
Recently, she joined our dynamic team as a Business Developer & Analyst, in parallel with her studies at UCSD! In just a month, we found out about her rigor for accounting, optimizing processes, and her talent in making crepes!
Her new life in San Diego in a nutshell: bodyboarding and hiking!
Her life’s motto: “it always seems impossible, until it’s done” Nelson Mandela.
Sylvie looks forward to meeting with you during our future events!
Our Board Members
Claude Benchimol, Ph.D. is President of the Board of the French American Chamber of Commerce – San Diego and has served as a director since 2012.
Dr. Benchimol has extensive executive experience in the healthcare sector. He serves as President of Damol Innovation LLC, a consulting practice focused on technology-based innovation in healthcare addressing areas such as product planning, technology differentiation, processes and organization. Prior to Damol, he was Senior Vice President, Biological Information Systems at Life Technologies, a $3.6 billion life sciences company. After joining Invitrogen (now part of Thermo Fisher) as the Senior Vice President of R&D, he held several executive roles, leading the development of biological reagents and spearheading the development of instruments, from desktop devices to complex sequence DNA machines. Under his leadership, the rate of product introductions quadrupled and revenue grew five-fold during his tenure. Earlier in his career, he served in a variety of executive positions at GE Healthcare, including Vice President of Global Technology, which grew into a $2 billion enterprise.
In addition to the FACC-San Diego, he is very active in the industry and in the community, with current or past service on a number of corporate, advisory, and non-profit boards, including the Dean’s Advisory Council of the UCSD School of Physical Sciences, the U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Foundation, Bente Hansen Company, CureMetrics, CONNECT SpringBoard Program, and Art of Elan. He was also inducted in the French Academy of Technology in 2003. Dr. Benchimol received a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Systems Science from UCLA. In his spare time he enjoys photography, playing the guitar, attending live concerts and spending time with his family.
Mr. Toury brings expertise in entrepreneurship and has worked in the Pharma industry and the CAE industry. With 20 years of experience in science and international business, Mr. Toury is an expert in international development. He currently serves as Deputy General Manager and Chief Business Officer for Neuro Service based out of France.
Former Head of Investor Relations at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, POZEN Pharmaceuticals, and Atos.
CEO and founder of Time Flies
Head of citrix business unit at Microsoft
Head of International Clients, SVP at Bank of the West
Entrepreneur Fragrance Industry
Doron Malka is the president and founder of Ameba Marketing, Inc., a thriving and full-service marketing communications agency with a strong client base consisting of local, national and international organizations.
In 1996, Doron founded Ameba Marketing, a full-service branding and marketing agency. Today, Ameba Marketing boasts a vast array of successful clientele in various industries ranging from philanthropy, healthcare, life sciences, biotech and technology to toys, consumer products and professional services, with a wealth of award-winning campaigns to its credit.
Doron was born in Jerusalem, Israel where he acquired his first leadership role as a member of Israel’s paratrooper unit. After completing his BA in International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1991, he then received his MBA from San Diego State University, and in 2014 received his Doctorate degree in Business Administration. In 2017, Doron published his first book, BRANDcebo – The Powerful Placebo Effect of Brands and its Impact on Our Behavior and Performance.
Doron is an avid soccer fan and espresso connoisseur. He lives in San Diego with his wife and four children.
Principal at Benito Law Firm
Senior Vice President Consumer Banking at Axos Bank.
Senior Director, Career Development Center at the University of San Diego
CEO at The X Concept
Committed to helping our clients succeed
About us: Who We Are
Based in San Diego, we are a non-profit institution that empowers companies to reach their full potential. Through our expertise in business needs and regional regulation laws, as well as expansive network of U.S and French industry leaders as well as government officials, we help our members gain tremendous momentum to grow their business. Our mission is to enable and empower businesses by providing them with crucial resources, including but not limited to an extensive network, advice on best business practices,
FRIENDLY AND APROCHABLE
To help companies grow is the core of our mission
Since 1995, our team has succeeded in understanding the challenges of French-American companies and creating reliable services to meet them all.
We craft tailored services to the need of both American and French based companies. Our clients benefit from our experience in both countries and our vast network.
We offer unique connections opportunities and events for our members to foster business relationships in San Diego and California.