In the fall of 2014, Claude Fuger, Managing Director for Haulotte Group North America, approached the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance in need of some assistance. Fuger had worked with the Alliance 10 years prior on a project that did not end up in Hampton Roads. However, he remembered what a great experience he had with the Alliance team and decided to call upon them for a new project. The service he received over the next 12 months exceeded all expectations.
Fuger sought to establish a new North American headquarters for Haulotte, a French company that specializes in manufacturing aerial work platforms (AWPs), scaffolding, seating and bleachers. He interacted with many organizations along the East Coast and found the Alliance to be the best partner to aid with the transition.
"The Alliance was terrific throughout the process," said Fuger. "I had one main contact person, which was unlike many of the other regions I approached. We also had unique needs and at times our situation was a challenge. But the Alliance stayed with us and made us comfortable with the decision to come to Hampton Roads."
Haulotte decided on Virginia Beach for its North American headquarters. The company favored our region's port facilities and strategic location along the Mid-Atlantic. Fuger, who hails from France, has made several moves over his 30+ year career. He believes the transition to Virginia Beach was the easiest, and for that he credits the Alliance.
"The Alliance scouted office locations, introduced us to city and business leaders and helped our employees find housing," said Fuger. "These are people I can trust."
That's why, as a newly-initiated Hampton Roads resident, Fuger plans to stay involved with the Alliance for all his business needs.
"I am happy to help the Alliance welcome other businesses to the region, particularly if they come from France or French-speaking parts of the world," said Fuger. "I had a fantastic experience with the Alliance. Without a doubt the move to Hampton Roads was the right choice."