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New director for Minnesota Trade Office

Gabrielle Gerbaud starts as executive director for the Minnesota Trade Office on Wednesday. Photo courtesy DEED.

The Minnesota Trade Office, the liaison between state exporters and the world, has a new executive director.

Gabrielle Gerbaud, a former Polaris Industries manager, will take over for Kathleen Motzenbecker, the Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Monday.

"Gabrielle knows what it takes for businesses of all sizes to be successful in the global marketplace," DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a news release. "Her wealth of international experience and work at one of Minnesota's greatest companies makes her a great champion for our businesses and overall economy."

A native of Spain, Gerbaud is fluent in Spanish, French and English. Which could come in handy, given that Canada and Mexico are the state's largest trading partners.

"I look forward to working with the Minnesota business community, our small businesses and manufacturers, to highlight all that our great state has to offer the world," she said in Monday's release.

Gerbaud will start in her role Wednesday.

The Trade Office, established in 1983, primarily assists small and medium-sized firms with export programs and services.

State manufacturers, farms and others exported more than $19 billion worth of products and services to 207 countries last year.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

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