Turning work towards others with Murielle Lagrange

Excelya>Turning work towards others with Murielle Lagrange

Our team members also act individually to contribute to sustainable development through our culture and our mindset. Murielle Lagrange from Excelya Bordeaux (ITEC) explains her contribution, going above and beyond Excelya to create a non-profit organization called “Drôle de Girafe”. Here we explore her project and her dreams for the future at Excelya.

Murielle, what’s your background?
I studied in Paris, in a business school, far away from the health field. After school, I started working at a CRO called FDM Pharma where I was more involved in organizing the clinical research business and project assistance. After six years, I felt like leaving Paris and I moved to Bordeaux, a bit by chance! I wanted to discover something different and even spent some time as a culinary demonstrator.

When did you join ITEC? Can you explain your job and tell us what you are most passionate about?
I joined ITEC in July 2007, at the same time as Nathalie Auzerie took over the company. Together, we set up the financial structure, management control, HR administration and so on. Today, I am the administrative and
financial manager and I manage various facets of support functions such as accounting, human resources, communications, facility management, sales administration, etc. I think I’ve proven I’m adaptable at this point!

What is your greatest pride in your position?
I am particularly proud to have contributed to laying a solid foundation at ITEC in terms of administration and structuring. I find my job very fulfilling and our desire to evolve as a company has allowed me to touch on everything. We build on the values of loyalty and trust. 

You created an association, «Drôle de girafe» (Funny Giraffe), can you tell us more about it?
For me, it is important to be of service to others. For the past 15 years, I have been very active as a volunteer in associations for people in difficulty, including sick children, parents of students and condominiums, among
others.

I created the association Drôle de Girafe three years ago to improve the quality of life of sick and/or handicapped children, support families, help hospitals and promote “living together”.

With the volunteers, we act in favor of sick and children with disabilities, but also for families in general, especially siblings. We give direct financial aid to families for the purchase of medical equipment (wheelchairs, bathing seats, hygiene or educational equipment, etc), financing recreational activities for families (meetings, horse therapy, etc), and liaising with hospital associations. We create various operations that allow us to finance our projects: Zumba parties, toy collections and zen days. We also fundraise direct financing from individuals, professionals, and institutions.

At Drôle de Girafe we believe that “being different is normal”, so we also promote living together by organizing meetings between ordinary and extraordinary children.

Why is it called «Drôle de girafe»?
Drôle (funny): in the southwest of France, the word means “child”. Girafe: the giraffe is the symbol of the future as its long neck allows it to see far. It is also a symbol of protection, as the mother stays a long time
with her calf.

Finally, our association has a big heart, like that of the giraffe, who has the biggest heart in the animal kingdom!

What is Terracycle? How did you integrate it in Bordeaux?
Terracycle is an international recycling association and an innovator in the treatment of hard-to-recycle waste. It offers several free collection programs, financed by environmentally conscious companies.

We have registered Drôle de Girafe as a collection point for several products. We send the collected empty packaging to Terracycle. Depending on the weight of the packages, we convert some waste into donations for our association.

I have tried to set up several collection points in my town hall, in neighboring towns, at companies and at Excelya Bordeaux. For example, I have set up bins of coffee capsules, apple sauce pouches, toothbrushes and plastic wrappers. This allows me to fundraise for Drôle de Girafe while being environmentally friendly. All in all, a free gesture of solidarity and ecology!

What initiatives would you like to implement within the Group?
First, I would like to be able to set up collection points in all Excelya offices and have a dedicated recycling room everywhere. I also think that it would be interesting to carry out occasional themed operations: collections of books, toys, DVDs, etc.
I am Miss Recycling, I’m convinced we can recycle anything! We can give a second life to objects while benefitting Nature and consumers. Second, I would like to set up in-house workshops, such as making
Christmas cards to send to handicapped or sick children.

Finally, I dream of setting up a corporate foundation within Excelya – through patronage actions and general interest works – which could be truly beneficial to those in need.

Do you have a personal philosophy, a leitmotiv that motivates you daily?
“If you want to know someone, do not listen to what he said but look at what he does.” Dalaï Lama
“But, said Alice, if the world has absolutely no sense, who’s stopping us from inventing one?” Lewis Carroll