MARNIE DE VANSSAY, COUNTESS
After 25 years of working in Executive Search and Recruitment for two international consulting firms, a prestigious luxury goods multinational and a major Internet company, Marnie’s life in corporate Human Resource changed abruptly in 2002 when she and her husband took over his family property in the Loire Valley.
Marnie was born in America and moved to Florence, Italy, when she was aged 2 years old. Four years later, she moved to Switzerland, living first in Zürich then in Lausanne, where she graduated with the Swiss Maturité Fédérale (an A- level equivalent) in 1975. Marnie graduated with an MA in Psychology from the Catholic University of Paris and worked for a year as a clinical psychologist before she joined Heidrick & Struggles Executive Search in 1980.
After 3 years with Heidrick & Struggles in Paris, London and Düsseldorf, she moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where she joined Jefferson Europe, a subsidiary of GKR-Neumann. There, she worked with a wide variety of clients such as BMG Classics, GE Electric, United Brands Chiquita, Ares-Serono, Avon Cosmetics and STMicroelectronics.
During these years, she also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Anglia University in Great Britain, concentrating on Training and Development.
In 2000, after six months in HR at the headquarters of Louis Vuitton, Marnie entered the fast-paced Internet world as a Recruitment Manager for eBay. She spent the next six years hiring most of eBay’s Europe executives during a period of entrepreneurial growth and systematic structuring, including events like the purchase and integration of iBazaar in France, Spain and Italy and the acquisition of PayPal and, subsequently, Skype. In March 2002, her husband’s father, the Comte de Vanssay (Count of Vanssay), passed away. This left her and her husband Guy with the ancestral chateau and one big question – “What do you do when 600 years of history and tradition falls into your lap, requiring time, energy and funds to maintain and develop?” Guy left his job in the advertising industry, eBay agreed that Marnie would work partially from her “new” home in the Loire Valley, and the couple decided to renovate their family estate and open it up to welcome guests. Now visitors from around the world come to stay at Château de La Barre, experiencing the gracious hospitality of French aristocracy and the warm welcome of Guy and Marnie who enjoy sharing and perpetuating their value of “Noblesse Oblige”. To Guy and Marnie, owning a château is not about possession, but transmission, less about having than about being and giving.