Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, We have gathered tonight to pay a personal tribute to five personalities who have for years played a leading role in the development of corporate philanthropy, in companies, associations and foundations.

You know the particular responsibility of my department and the importance of its commitment in this area. Listening to civil society, businesses and foundations, he has carried out all the legislative advances since twenty-five years – I am thinking in particular of the law of August 1, 2003, which is at the origin of an unprecedented development of generosity in the service of the general interest in our country.
This law, now considered to be one of the most successful in the world, deserves little tinkering. I personally would like to see a new measure for small and medium sized enterprises. I mentioned it recently before a committee of the National Assembly, charged, under the chairmanship of Michel Herbillon, to report on cultural patronage. Listening was very favourable, but the budget context is, as you can imagine, much less favourable.
On the contrary, this same context means that today we would rather defend this remarkable legislation. You know that, in the middle of this month, two parliamentary amendments almost called into question the mechanism governing donations by likening them to “tax niches”.
The mobilization of the philanthropic sector, in particular of the Fondation de France, the French Centre of Foundations and France Générosités, which I would like to salute here, the line of defense adopted by my colleagues of the Government and me-The first of these projects will eventually be withdrawn and the second rejected.
The harm would indeed have been serious for the associative world in particular, but this is also true for all works of general interest, public or private. So let’s stay vigilant.
What needs to be strengthened more and more is, in the cultural field as in so many others, collaboration between the public and the private. It is not only about funding, but also about skills, the complementarity of which is obvious. The issue is both economic and social.

In this regard, I would like to briefly mention to you the idea I launched a year ago of creating an endowment fund for cultural democratization. The fight against all forms of exclusion, for social cohesion and the recognition of diversity, necessarily requires a renewed mobilization in favour of cultural democratization. This is an increasingly shared ambition and responsibility between the private sector and public authorities. Large corporations, through their foundations, are already doing remarkable work in neighbourhoods, hospitals, schools and prisons, supporting hundreds of associations and public bodies that work every day – and most often anonymously – to create or recreate social bonds, promoting access to culture and creation for all. Together with young people in particular, they are helping to shape the future of our festivals and museums, and to create new cultural players. Several business leaders, foundations and philanthropists have already joined this fund by providing it with financing and resources. It will be created by the end of the year.
The mission of the InPAct fund. Initiative pour le partage culturel” - that is its name - will therefore be to cross the expertise of the private and the public on these issues of democratization, and to provide support and visibility to the actors, especially associations, the most exemplary and innovative. We’ll choose them together.
You are all great patronage professionals, so it is legitimate and important that the Minister of Culture and Communication keep you informed of his initiatives in your field of action, when he wishes to express his gratitude and friendship to you.
Dear Elisabeth Delorme,
Historian and geographer by training, you were interested in the sciences of education and the transmission of knowledge at an early age - which led you first of all, when you joined Electricité de France, towards human resources.
Coming from a family world where culture was very present, you integrate it as a major training element for the executives of your company: «Leaving the professional context», you say, “through films, plays or novels, you can take a critical distance from yourself.”
As a member of the Charente-Maritime General Council as Chief of Staff to the President, you will devote a large part of your energy to the development of the heritage of this magnificent territory and the dissemination of contemporary creation. You work in particular for the Vauban sites, classified as World Heritage, but also for the enhancement of coastal heritage or the Citadelle of Brouage.
You are also behind the backup of Fort Boyard, now known by all.
As part of your duties, you are also very attentive to the presence of culture in the rural world. You have thus contributed to the creation in Saint-Jean-d'Angély of a Centre for European Culture, the network of which will soon be under the aegis of the Hippocrene Foundation to which I recently had the pleasure of presenting the distinction of Grand Patron of Culture. The most beautiful shows of Avignon will be presented there. “Arts education and cultural democratization,” you say, “go hand in hand with the training of the citizens we are.”
In 1995, Pierre Gadonneix, President and CEO of EDF-GDF, called on you to create the GDF Business Foundation, where you will work for the development of young people through culture, and where you set up a remarkable program of restoration of stained glass windows combined with a public commissioned approach in favor of contemporary creation. The objective is twofold: to promote the craft - that of master glassmaker - and the creation, thus contributing to the revival of the stained glass window. You then develop very close ties with my department and its heritage branch.
The question of territories is also for you the safeguarding of their environment. The GDF Foundation is involved under your leadership in the rehabilitation of the Pointe du Raz and the Cirque de Gavarnie. Together with Anne Vourc'h, you contribute to the creation of the Grands Sites de France network.
Finally, you work, through the GDF Foundation, for cultural democratization: I will mention for example the support provided to Unis-Cité in the context of Lille European Capital of Culture or Zarina Khan for her writing workshops in colleges.
When you join, always at the request of Pierre GADONNEIX, the EDF Foundation, you are therefore one of the most prominent figures in cultural patronage, where your sensitivity, your ability to discern, and your great interpersonal skills are deployed. I am particularly grateful for the support that your foundation has given to projects and institutions of my ministry such as Les Portes du temps, Monumenta 2011, the Centre des monuments nationaux, Studio 13-15 of the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, or the Quai Branly Museum, to name a few.
I hope that this relationship to which we are particularly attached will continue under the presidency of Henri PROGLIO, which has extended your missions to the sciences and international solidarity without losing sight of culture and its importance in social cohesion.
It is therefore with great joy, dear Elisabeth Delorme, that on behalf of the French Republic we make you a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Bénédicte Menanteau,
Before I mention your actions over the past three years as General Delegate of ADMICAL, to Olivier Tcherniak, allow me to recall a few milestones of your remarkable career.
First of all, as a diplomat, you served in Morocco, the United States, and then the United Nations. In particular, I would like to point out that you were Vice-Consul of France in Chicago from 1983 to 1985.
You then joined Paris and the business world by becoming, from 1990 to 1996, director of off-media financial communication at EUROFI, Bélier Corporate and then Euro RSCG Finances.
In 2001, you firmly entered the world of patronage and philanthropy by creating the MOTRICE Foundation, recognized for its public utility, the first dedicated to the cerebral palsy of children. You carry out this work in partnership with associations of parents of children with disabilities and the Ministry of Research.
You are also called to create and manage the Fondation d'entreprise L'OCCITANE, where you set up programs of general interest in France, Brazil, Bangladesh and West Africa around three axes: the entrepreneurship of women in poor countries, support for the visually impaired and nature knowledge holders. It is in this context that in May-June 2006, on the occasion of Rendez-vous aux jardins, you set up, in the heart of the Royal Palace, in partnership with Truffaut, an ephemeral labyrinth garden that takes visitors through meanders of lavender, verbena, mint, sage and roses - with great success that this department remembers.
In September 2009, you finally took the lead of ADMICAL, as General Delegate, under the presidency of Olivier TCHERNIAK. You develop the activities of this association to make it even closer to corporate sponsors, their projects, needs and expectations, with a single objective: to develop corporate philanthropy in all areas of general interest, including culture, with the concern to raise particularly the awareness of SMEs, which is in line with the action of my services, and I thank you very much.
You are also a director of CEREC, the European network, founded in 1991 with the support of the European Commission and major European foundations representing patronage in the field of art and culture.
More recently, you have been invited to join the High Council of Associative Life, created by the Prime Minister and installed on October 20 by my colleague Luc Chatel. I recall that its mission is to enrich the dialogue between public authorities and associations.
Finally, I will not forget to point out that, from 1996 to 2004, you created and managed a sculpture workshop in Paris, and that you continue to carry out personal work in this field.
I am very pleased to honour your journey and your commitments.
Dear Bénédicte Menanteau, on behalf of the French Republic, we make you a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Stéphane Martinez,
It is the values of sport, which you have practised at a high level, and your attachment to your family that have been decisive in your career and your commitment to patronage. 
At the age of 22, you and your twin brother took over MARYSPORTS, a family business with 40 employees, which specializes in designing and manufacturing community sports equipment and track and field equipment. Your competitive spirit leads you to travel – I’m told you were in São Paulo in recent days – to develop your company’s export performance.
Your open-mindedness and your ability to work for the general interest meant that you were destined to work for the Maine-et-Loire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, of which you are one of the elected members, missions mainly related to bringing together companies and other economic, political, sports and cultural actors: creating links for, you say, a better positioning of the company in its environment.
As President of the Commission for Economic Information and Products within this Chamber of Commerce, you are at the origin of an exemplary business foundation, Mécène & Loire, which since 2007 brings together 24 companies from Maine-and-Loire and supports projects and promoters of particularly innovative and original projects in the fields of Culture, Solidarity, Sport, Environment and Science . You have recently created an important prize for photography, which you know is particularly important to me.
As President, you are currently working with your team on the renewal of this organization, which has been emulated in several regions by our partners in the economic world and our regional cultural affairs departments: I am thinking in particular of the Fondation Mécénat Catalogne and the business foundation that is about to create the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Caen, in close liaison with the DRAC Basse-Normandie.
For Mécène & Loire, your goal is to increase the number of founding companies to 40 and to double their funding, focusing in particular on cultural projects.
I would like to thank you personally, dear Stéphane Martinez, for this remarkable application of the charter for the development of cultural patronage signed in 2005 between the Assembly of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry and my Ministry - As you know, I have a charter that I was keen to renew last year.
Dear Stéphane Martinez, on behalf of the French Republic, we make you a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Frédéric Néraud,
A graduate of the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, public service section, and a former student of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, you began a public career by holding successively, as civil administrator, two positions at the Ministry of the Interior: the first in the Directorate-General for Local Authorities, and the second as technical adviser to the Secretary of State for Local Authorities. You then joined the Ministry of Justice and then the Ministry of Economy and Finance, before becoming director at the Crédit Local de France, in charge of regional planning and decentralization issues. So you have both the profile of a great servant of the state and a man of business.
In addition, you were elected to the Loiret General Council in March 2008 as Deputy Mayor and then Mayor of Dordives between 1995 and 2010. You are the Vice-President of the Committee on Social, Cultural and Youth Affairs and in charge of cultural affairs. You are also, since 1997, Vice-President of the Community of Communes of the Quatre-Vallées, in charge of culture, heritage and tourism , as well as President of the Rural Film Culture Association since 2008, and member of the Board of Directors of Culture O'Centre, the Centre Region Cultural Agency.
This background in the senior administration of the State, your experience in the banking and associative sector and your elective mandates certainly made you an ideal candidate for the management of the Heritage Foundation, where you entered in 1998, as Chief Executive Officer to the President, before becoming Deputy Chief Executive Officer and then, in 2002, Chief Executive Officer, a position you continue to hold.
To this great Foundation recognized of public utility, created in 1997 by a law of the will of the State, you have been able to give, benefiting from the confidence of two successive presidents, Édouard de Royere and Charles de Croisset, but also of very great patrons, an exceptional dynamism and breath. The role played by the Foundation in safeguarding small heritage has made its reputation; the protected heritage has not escaped it since 2007, at the request of this ministry, you have agreed to make it the primary vehicle of patronage for the conservation, restoration and accessibility of private historic monuments.
There are hundreds of operations launched and led by the Heritage Foundation under your authority. They help make citizens across our country aware of their responsibility for their heritage. I would not hesitate to say that you, your teams and your delegates in the regions deserve the greatest credit for having developed what is called “popular patronage” in favour of monuments. small and large, which contribute to the beauty and attractiveness of our territories. And I see that this exemplary action is gradually spreading to other sectors of cultural life - although we still have a lot to do to encourage SMEs and individuals to support cultural life, a factor of economic dynamism and social cohesion.
It is therefore with pride and gratitude, dear Frédéric Neraud, that on behalf of the French Republic, we make you a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Last but not least, Dear Olivier Tcherniak,
Holder of a doctorate in economics from Paris-Dauphine, after a post-doctorate in economics at the University of California at Los Angeles, you began your career in 1976 in the Directorate General of Telecommunications.
After various responsibilities, you became Director of Communications at the France Telecom Group when it was created in 1987, then, from 2004 to 2010, Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Solidarity. It is in this capacity that you are behind the Orange Foundation, of which you are the Secretary General at the same time as Vice-President of the Cité des Télécom Foundation. In 2008, you were elected president of ADMICAL.
We all know here tonight: you have given the Orange Foundation a major role in the financing of vocal music and the accompaniment of artists and musical ensembles: the Royal Chapel, Il Seminario Musicale, A Sei Voci, Organum, Accentus, Musicatreize, Doulce Mémoire, Indigo, Cinq de Coeur, Matheus, Elyma or the Talens Lyriques. You support the training and professional integration of singers, you are committed to festivals and opera productions… In November, the Orange Foundation, which you left to take a very active retirement, organized the 20th “Voice Night”, an event that is highly recognized by the musical and cultural community and contributes to the visibility of many artists and foundations. It’s a great success story, and it’s your initiative.
It has always been a strong commitment for you, both in your personal and professional life, to bring talent to the fore and to give as many people as possible access to culture. I recall that you are, among others, the president of the association Music'O Senior, which offers lyrical concerts to dependent elderly people living in institutions, and that you volunteer to make audio recordings of cultural magazines for an association dedicated to the blind. In this regard, you are leading exemplary action in favour of cultural democratization.
As president of ADMICAL since 2009, in which you succeeded Jacques RIGAUD, you are a fervent defender of the cause of cultural patronage in general, and more particularly of patronage dedicated to creation. In particular, you have created a Culture Commission within this association, bringing together corporate sponsors and personalities from the cultural world, to define the new contours of sponsorship and to invent the future of corporate engagement in this field.
I would also like to congratulate you, on behalf of my department, for having come up with the idea and for having published, as part of your presidency of ADMICAL, a charter of corporate philanthropy that expresses its essence and interest in the various players. This important document, which has gathered many signatures, should inspire, in my opinion, the applications made of our legislation.
It is probably both out of pride and discretion that you have never sought a distinction that you have long deserved.
Dear Olivier Tcherniak, on behalf of the French Republic, we make you a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.