notre jeunesse !
by Suzanne Gammon
California’s Silicon Valley may seem like a world away from Sturgeon Falls to many, but a young man who grew up in West Nipissing is now making his mark there. Frederic Marchand is part of the technological and green revolution led by visionary businessman Elon Musk, and he’s one of the bright minds behind the new Tesla 3 electric car.
When Fred’s parents, Joanne and Pierre Marchand visited him in California, they were privileged to get a tour of the impressive Tesla plant, a gigantic facility where 6,000 people work to assemble thousands of vehicles per week for a rapidly growing market. However, their son’s own office at the Palo Alto headquarters, where some of the world’s most innovative new automotive design and engineering work gets done, was off limits - a sign of just how advanced and sensitive his projects are.
Fred was in Sturgeon Falls for a family visit recently, and the Tribune caught up with him to find out more about his passion for cars and how he landed his exciting position of Senior Firmware Engineer at Tesla.
Growing up in Sturgeon Falls, where his parents own the local Canadian Tire store, Fred is no stranger to cars and automotive work. At Franco-Cité high school, he took computer science classes and decided he’d found his calling. “From the beginning, I really liked it and decided I would study computer science at university,” he recounts.
His mother Joanne notes that when the family first moved to Sturgeon Falls from Québec, her son knew very little English and living in Ontario allowed him to acquire the second language, which opened doors for him later on. His father Pierre adds that Fred has always been hard working and steadfast in pursuing any goal he sets, so it is no surprise he did exactly as he intended.
Frederic Marchand enjoyed time with his parents Joanne and Pierre along with a walk down memory lane at their local Canadian Tire store, while on a visit from his home in California where he is a Senior Firmware Engineer for Tesla.
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