Alain L. Thiry



Alain Thiry

Alain Thiry was born and raised in Liege, Belgium where he received a Baccalaureate in Business and Economics at the Athenee Royal de Seraing. He attended college in Brussels for one year and after receiving a scholarship at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, Thiry received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in Management and Marketing. He later received an Executive MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Art Institute of Colorado.


While finishing school and following graduation, Thiry began his business career in the field of management and organizational development, performance improvement and strategy. He joined the Sandy Corporation (consulting group) where he implemented and managed large global performance improvement initiatives for the automotive, technology and telecommunications industries across the Globe. 


Thiry was then recruited by Carlson Companies where he spent fifteen years in positions including Vice President, General Manager, Carlson Learning Company; Executive Vice President, Carlson Marketing Group; President of Europe business unit and Executive Vice President of Business Development. During his tenure with Carlson Companies, he held board positions in multiple professional and non-profit organizations. Thiry was involved with multiple acquisitions and integration of business units in Europe, the USA and Australia.


After leaving Carlson Companies, Thiry founded a consulting practice (EMSi, LLC) focusing on delivering global solutions to international clients in the areas of performance improvement, sales acceleration and mergers and acquisitions. He was also involved in two major acquisitions in Montreal on behalf of a Swedish client. Thiry also served as Chief Marketing Officer for a start-up in Silicon Valley (Cashclick). He also assisted a medium-sized company in the oil and gas industry with strategic positioning and a revenue acceleration strategy.


Thiry’s passion for cross-cultural education, international travel and the notion of “giving back” was reignited in 2008, when he was selected as President and CEO of Up with People—a non-profit organization with whom he first traveled as a foreign exchange student. He spent the next five years bringing the company back to financial health. He drove organizational growth and stability by rebuilding management teams in the USA, Asia, Mexico and Europe. Since that time, he has assisted a Swiss client with the acquisition of its first US-based company which now serves as the foundation for their growth within North America.


Thiry was later recruited by the board of two organizations to review the strategic mission and recommend a plan of action for saving the business. After six months of intense analysis and preparation he merged the two organizations and created a new brand, cut one million dollars in operating expenses and right-sized the business with new management. He served as President & CEO of the combined organization (Xperitas).


Thiry is often called a Citizen of the World having lived and worked around the globe. He is fluent in French and English and has conversational skills in Spanish, Dutch, Italian and German. His colleagues and friends often refer to him as a Visionary and Rainmaker.  He resides in Wayzata, Minnesota with his wife, Shawne and his two children.  He holds dual-citizenship (Belgium and USA) and enjoys travel, golf and worldly cuisine.