We'd like to introduce you to the members of our managing board and other Esker leaders!
Jean-Michel BérardFounder & Chief Executive Officer
Jean-Michel BérardFounder & Chief Executive OfficerJean-Michel Bérard founded Esker in 1985, shortly after earning his engineering degree from the Lyon Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA). As President of Esker's Board of Directors, Jean-Michel is responsible for defining and executing Esker's business strategy with the Board of Directors. He oversees the Asia-Pacific subsidiary to stay in direct contact with customers and prospects in the emerging markets. He also represents Esker to the financial community, IT analysts and the press. Jean-Michel was named the 2013 Engineer Entrepreneur of the Year by the weekly French news magazine l'Usine Nouvelle and Entrepreneur of the Year for the French Rhône-Alpes region in 2013 by EY. He was also named Entrepreneur of the Year for France in 2000 by EY.
Emmanuel OlivierWW Chief Operating Officer+33 (0)4 72 83 46 46
Emmanuel OlivierWW Chief Operating OfficerAs Worldwide Chief Operating Officer, Emmanuel Olivier leads Esker's operations worldwide, covering sales, marketing and consulting activities. He also supervises Esker's finances and is in charge of its financial communication and investor relations. Emmanuel joined Esker in 1999 as Chief Financial Officer and was promoted to his current role in 2003. Prior to joining Esker, he worked as an Audit Manager for Ernst & Young for seven years, including two years in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA). Emmanuel was awarded a Master's degree in Business Administration in 1991 from SKEMA Business School in Nice Sophia Antipolis, France, and earned a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) qualification from the state of Pennsylvania, USA.
Invited members of the Board of Directors
Jean-Jacques BérardVice President Research & Development
Jean-Jacques BérardVice President Research & DevelopmentJean-Jacques Bérard is Vice President, Research and Development at Esker. In this role he implements product strategy and oversees product planning and development. Jean-Jacques joined Esker in 1995 as Project Leader for the SQL team and later moved to Research and Development (R&D) Manager in 1997. In 1998 he advanced to his current role. Prior to Esker, Jean-Jacques was R&D team Manager at Arthur Andersen Consulting in Lyon. Jean-Jacques received his engineering degree in 1988 from the Lyon Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, France.
Eric BussyVice President Marketing & Product Management
Eric BussyVice President Marketing & Product ManagementAs Worldwide Corporate Marketing and Product Management Director at Esker, Eric Bussy is responsible for the development of strategic products, services and solutions. Eric joined Esker in 2002 as Director of Marketing Communications, and in 2005, extended his responsibilities to include product management. Prior to Esker, Eric worked as Field Marketing Manager for two years at Seal's and Cdtel in France, and prior to that, spent three years as an international Product Manager working on projects for France Air and Melink Corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eric received his Master's degree in Business Administration from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce IDRAC Lyon, France.
Claire ValenconyDeputy Chief Operating Officer
Claire ValenconyDeputy Chief Operating OfficerAs Deputy COO, Claire Valencony is responsible for maintaining and driving operational results in all Esker subsidiaries (excluding USA and Canada). Prior to this position, Claire was Sr. Director, Global Strategic Alliances and successfully managed Esker’s worldwide partner strategy. From 2014-2018, Claire was in charge of business development and strategic alliances for Esker in North America. As Country Manager at Esker France from 2011-2014, Claire was responsible for all operations (sales, marketing and consulting services) in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. Claire joined Esker in 2003 as Marketing Manager for France. Her responsibilities extended to include the management of Esker’s partner network and, in 2010, the small and medium business sales team. In 2011 she was appointed Country Manager. Prior to Esker, Claire was Marketing Manager for Logica CMG in the Business Process Outsourcing branch in London UK and, prior to that, Marketing Manager for Kremlin, Exel Industry Group, in Chicago, IL. Claire received her Master’s degree in Business Administration from EM Lyon, France. From 2015-2018, Claire was also a judge and mentor for the MassChallenge and MIT Sandbox programs in Boston, MA.
Steve SmithU.S. Chief Operating Officer
Steve SmithU.S. Chief Operating OfficerAs U.S. Chief Operating Officer at Esker, Steve Smith is responsible for all operations in North, South and Central America. Steve joined Esker in 2003 as the Director of Sales. Prior to Esker, Steve spent 17 years at Equitrac Corporation as the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and two years in sales at Pitney Bowes. In 1984 Steve earned his bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Finance from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, USA.
Nicolas MouginWW Consulting & Support Director
Nicolas MouginWW Consulting & Support DirectorNicolas Mougin is the Worldwide Consulting and Support Director at Esker since 2020. He joined the company in 2007 as a Project Manager for the internal deployment of SAP. With the creation of the International Professional Services team serving Esker’s key strategic accounts in 2009, Nicolas took on the role of Engagement Manager. Before joining Esker, Nicolas was a Consultant for the SAP environment, working in a variety of roles including Developer, Functional Consultant and Project Manager at Atos, Sopra Steria and IBM. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Université de Bourgogne.
Ari WidlanskyWW Director for Revenue Growth & Strategic Alliances
Ari WidlanskyWW Director for Revenue Growth & Strategic AlliancesAri Widlansky, Esker’s Worldwide Director for Revenue Growth and Strategic Alliances, joins the Esker Board of Directors with over 20 years of experience working in various positions in the areas of Direct Sales, Sales Leadership, Revenue Growth and Strategic Alliance Management in the SaaS technology sector. For the last 10 years, Ari’s work at Esker revolved around helping global B2B organizations obtain efficiency and gain greater returns from their order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes. After three years of leading the indirect sales channel for Esker Americas, Ari’s new role expands to a worldwide level. Ari received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Indiana Universities Kelley School of Business and his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Florida Atlantic University.
Members of the Associate Board of Directors
Pascal BivertEuropean Sales Director
Pascal BivertEuropean Sales DirectorAs European Sales Director, Pascal Bivert is responsible for the sales strategy and operations for all Esker subsidiaries in Europe (excluding France and Benelux). He has held this position since 2018. Pascal joined Esker in 2010 as Key Account Manager and was promoted to Sales Manager in 2014. Prior to Esker, he worked in Sales for Sony and Bouygues Telecom. Pascal received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Grenoble Ecole de Management, France.
Nicolas BragardWW Chief Information Officer
Nicolas BragardWW Chief Information OfficerAs Worldwide Chief Information Officer, Nicolas Bragard leads Esker's internal IT operations worldwide, covering IT infrastructure, cybersecurity and internal applications. Nicolas joined Esker in 2002. Prior to joining Esker, he worked as a Chief Technology Officer for ST Groupe, an IT services company headquartered in Paris, for 15 years. Nicolas received his engineering degree in Computer Science, Electronics and Electromechanical Technology in 1987 from the Ecole supérieure d'informatique électronique automatique, Paris, France.
Aurélie GuimeraWW Director of Human Resources
Aurélie GuimeraWW Director of Human ResourcesAs Esker's Worldwide Director of Human Resources, Aurélie Guimera oversees all HR plans and strategies to support Esker’s global business, while providing an excellent experience for employees. Aurélie joined Esker in 2011 as Recruitment Specialist. In 2019, Aurélie became HR Business Partner, with her responsibilities expanded to include Learning and Development matters and a variety of other HR projects. In 2020, Aurélie was appointed Deputy Director of Human Resources, and took over as Director of Human Resources in 2021. She assumed the responsibility for global HR in Europe and Asia Pacific. Prior to Esker, Aurélie worked as Deputy Manager at Ecole Supérieure de Commerce et d’Organisation (ESCO) Business School, and as HR Generalist for Lloyd’s Register. Aurélie received her Master's degree in Business Administration from ESCO in collaboration with the Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale.
Thomas HoneggerCOO France
Thomas HoneggerCOO FranceAs Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Esker France/Benelux/Switzerland since 2014, Thomas Honegger develops Esker’s sales, marketing and consulting activities for this region. His focus is to give strategic guidance and direction to ensure that Esker achieves its mission and objectives, thereby actively contributing to Esker’s growth and corporate strategy. Thomas joined Esker in 2005 as Key Account Manager and was then appointed Sales Director for Esker France, leading his team in supporting large businesses in their digital transformation. Working in collaboration across teams, Thomas drove commercial efforts on key initiatives, formulating and implementing strategic recommendations to result in effective account planning and sales execution. After graduating from the Business School of Toulouse (TBS), Thomas specialized in B2B transactions and large-scale SAP implementation projects.
Dan ReeveVP of Sales, Esker North America
Dan ReeveVP of Sales, Esker North AmericaAs Vice President of Sales North America, Dan Reeve is responsible for recruitment, training and direct sales for Esker, supporting a team of excellent Sales Managers. Having operated in this capacity for 10 years, he was previously a Sales Rep, successfully developing the American Midwest and the Pacific Northwest, and establishing Esker’s Denver office in 2017. Dan joined Esker in 1999, spending the first few years in Business Development for the Benelux and Scandinavian countries, building up channel and direct sales paths for those regions, then moving into large enterprise accounts while assisting in leading direct sales in the UK. After obtaining an Economic Development degree from the University of Derby, England in 1997, he completed a Courts Furnishers Graduate Managerial Program, which allowed Dan to discover his passion for Sales and the importance of great Customer Service. Dan is a veteran of the British Army and the Wisconsin National Guard and deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of Operation Telic. He has actively promoted the hiring of veterans into various roles within the Sales team.
Catherine PlasseWW Chief Financial Officer
Catherine PlasseWW Chief Financial OfficerAs Chief Financial Officer, Catherine Plasse manages and coordinates Esker’s Finance teams worldwide. This role involves overseeing the creation of accurate financial reporting while ensuring the preservation of company assets by minimizing risk, as well as developing Esker’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) approach and fortifying this mindset throughout the organization. Along with her 15 years of experience providing strategic input to executives and overseeing Finance functions at international companies in various industries, Plasse brings expansive knowledge to her role. In addition to other previous positions, she spent two years as Financial Analyst at GDF Suez, then as Financial Controller at Suez Group in Paris before moving to the U.S. to take on the role of CFO for SUEZ. Catherine holds three degrees in International Business Administration, from Northumbria University (BA), IAE France (master’s degree), the EDHEC Business School (BA), respectively, a Certification in Sustainable Transition Management from HEC Paris and in Principles of Sustainable Finance from Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
Marie-Claude BernalPresident of the Supervisory Board
Marie-Claude BernalPresident of the Supervisory BoardMarie-Claude Bernal graduated from the HECJF School of Management in 1967, and later received her MBA from the University of Chicago in 1971. At Banque de Neuflize, she was one of the first women in France to manage a mutual fund. In 1977 she joined Wellington Management in Boston, one of America’s oldest and largest independent investment management firms with over $550 billion of managed assets, where she helped initiate and grow the international investment department, becoming a partner in 1994.
Nicole Pelletier-PerezVice President of the Supervisory Board
Nicole Pelletier-PerezVice President of the Supervisory BoardNicole Pelletier-Perez began her career at Digital Equipment as a systems engineer and then as manager of technical teams. She joined Oracle France in 1988 to create the public sector division and then Director of Oracle Applications. In 1994 she was appointed Managing Director of SAP France. In 1996, she joined Wincap Software as Vice President of Sales in Europe and Japan and in 1999 she was recruited by IBM Europe. In 2011, she joined the hardware division of IBM France and upon its sale, integrated Lenovo as Director of Partners. She has been a board member for Actif DPS since 2015 and a member of “Women Business Angels” since 2016. She is a graduate of Lyon I University (Masters in Computer Science) and IAE Aix-Marseille (MBA).
Jean-Pierre LacSupervisory Board Member
Jean-Pierre LacSupervisory Board MemberJean-Pierre Lac began his career in the Rhône Poulenc group in 1975. He joined the Philips group in 1991 as the Financial Director for France, then as Global Treasurer based in the Netherlands. He returned to Rhône Poulenc in 1997 as CFO of the Agrochemicals division. Lac joined the SEB group in 2001 as CFO, a position he retained until his retirement in 2014. He held various associative positions as President of Lyon Place Financière et Tertiaire from 2013 to 2019 and then as National Coordinator of Places Financières Régionales. He is also an advisor to the Economic Social Environmental Council of the Auvergne Rhône Alps Region and administrator of various industrial or tertiary companies.
Steve VandenbergSupervisory Board Member
Steve VandenbergSupervisory Board MemberSteve Vandenberg is a Global Black Belt with Microsoft Security Solutions Area supporting enterprise and government organizations in their digital transformation and assisting them in facing cybersecurity, compliance and privacy challenges. He has previously led the cybersecurity teams for power generation and smart meter infrastructure at BC Hydro, a Canadian utility. Before joining Microsoft as a Cybersecurity Architect in 2016, Steve was a Senior Managing Consultant, Security Strategy and Risk, at IBM. He holds numerous certifications, including Azure Solutions Architect Expert, Certified Information Privacy Professional, Certified Cloud Security Professional and Certified Information Systems Security Professional. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
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