13 july 2022
He started his career in the banking industry in Belgium where he was born. Gilles Vanpoucke then pursued a career in the industry he likes most: Architecture and Design.
In 2010, he became Export Manager within Europe for a Belgian based manufacturer of high end building material and in 2012 he started their North American subsidiary from the ground up. This company grew to become a market leader in North America with a local production facility in Dallas, TX and a showroom in Manhattan, NY.
Learning from this experience he started GVP Global Advisor, a company which helps Belgian businesses start up in North America. It was in this capacity that Gilles was introduced to Umbrosa’s unique umbrella products and their plans to start a subsidiary in the USA. After working together on developing a business plan for Umbrosa Inc., Gilles was impressed with how management approached the startup phase and immediately established local inventory which shows that the US market is a key market for Umbrosa. He was equally impressed that the confection of fabrics at the Umbrosa’s production facility is done by hand, it shows their love for the product and the quality they want to deliver.
It made it clear to Gilles that a small team of people can do incredibly things and he can’t wait to be part of that team!
He will become the VP of Business Development starting on August 1st, based out of Los Angeles. Gilles believes that in order to build long term business relationships, setting clear and beneficial expectations between manufacturers and their partners is key.
In his free time, Gilles loves to spend time on the beach and in the kitchen. If he’s not cooking himself, he likes to go explore new restaurants in the area.
With his wife he also started a sock brand which helps dogs in need, with every purchase they donate a portion to a local pet organization, Fritz ‘n Chewy Apparel Company allowed them to combine their love for dogs and design apparel.
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