Minnesota Trade Office names new director

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) named  Gabrielle Gerbaud, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office.

Gerbaud, formerly a Polaris Industries manager with 14 years of experience in international business and trade,  replaces Kathleen Motzenbecker, who left late last year for an executive position with the Medical Alley Association. Gerbaud will assume leadership of the Minnesota Trade Office on Wednesday.

A native of Spain, she speaks fluent Spanish, French and English.

“Gabrielle knows what it takes for businesses of all sizes to be successful in the global marketplace,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “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.”

Prior to her work at Polaris, Gerbaud was managing owner of the Hotel Punta Couso in Santiago de Compostela, Spain; general secretary and business development manager for the Thomson Prometric standardized-testing firm in Madrid, Spain, and Manchester, England; and international relations manager for E.N. Mercasa, an organization within the Ministry of Agriculture that is responsible for food policy in Spain. Gerbaud has traveled to 29 countries on business and worked with 12 other countries on business matters during her career.

She holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and international relations from Boston University and a Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certificate from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.