"Bon jour, Ya’ll!" Ambassador David Wilkins visits LMC

David Wilkins, former United States Ambassador to Canada, delivered a wonderful speech at a Lexington Medical Center Foundation dinner held at the Embassy Suites hotel in Columbia on March 4th.

Explaining how he used boiled peanuts and the words “Bonjour, Ya’ll!” to enhance diplomacy and strengthen the world’s largest trade relationship, Wilkins spoke with humor and honesty about his work.

When President George Bush appointed Wilkins to serve as Canadian ambassador in 2005, the southern Republican from Greenville was tasked with restoring the relationship between the United States and Canada. The new job took Wilkins to each Canadian province and territory. Wilkins recounted many of his experiences along the way – from ice skating, petting polar bears and trouble learning French, to helping resolve high-profile trade disputes and visiting soldiers in Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, he toured Lexington Medical Center.

Wilkins is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and chairs the Public Policy and International Law practice group, which focuses primarily on representing businesses on both sides of the US-Canadian border and offers experience on a wide range of strategic bilateral issues. He served as United States Ambassador to Canada until 2009. He is also a former speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

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