2023 Trip to Le Havre


In October 2022, a significant event marked the strengthening of international ties between Tampa and its French sister city, Le Havre. A distinguished delegation from Le Havre, including legal professionals and the esteemed Mayor Édouard Phillipe, visited Tampa. Their visit culminated in the recommitment of a 30-year-old sister city agreement, symbolizing the enduring bond between our two cities.

Honoring the invitation extended by Le Havre, The city of Tampa, led by Mayor Jane Castor, The Hillsborough County Bar Association reciprocated with a delegation visit between September 29th and October 6th. The delegation included Hillsborough County Commissioner Harry Cohen, City Councilman Guido Maniscalco, members of the Hillsborough County Bar, Tampa Sister Cities leadership, and delegates from the University of South Florida and the Tampa Museum of Art. Some members of our Tampa delegation chose to extend their stay, further immersing themselves in the rich culture and hospitality of Le Havre and France.

This trip not only reinforced our shared values and mutual respect but also opened avenues for future collaborations and cultural exchanges. As we reflect on this visit, we are reminded of the importance of such international partnerships in fostering global understanding and cooperation.


Tampa Sister Cities Logo Black
Tampa Museum of Art
Tampa International Airport
USF World

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Beachside Picnic

Members of Le Havre Connections and representatives from the Le Havre legal field met with our delegation for a picnic on the beach. This was our first evening in Le Havre and served as a nice welcome to the community.


  • Entire Tampa Delegation
  • Le Havre Connections
  • Le Havre Bar Association

Monday, October 2, 2023

Economic Development

We met with representative of the Economic Development organization for Le Havre and learned about many fascinating programs involving the city and the port including investments into transportation and energy.


Meeting with MuMa Direction – Guillame Gaillard, Director of Heritage/Culture for Le Havre and MuMa staff. Received briefing on the museums activities and Michael Tomor of the Tampa Museum of Art initiated discussion on potential exchanged between MuMa and The Tampa Museum of Art.


  • Mayor Jane Castor, City of Tampa
  • Commissioner Harry Cohen, Hillsborough County, Tampa Museum of Art Board of Trustees
  • Councilman Guido Maniscalco, City of Tampa, Tampa Museum of Art Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Michael Tomor, PHD,  Tampa Museum of Art
  • Ana Cruz, Ballard Partners, Tampa Museum of Art Board of Trustees
  • Alfred Goldberg, Tampa Sister Cities


  • Art exchange
  • Artist exchange
  • Social media education
  • Virtual gallery tours

Ultra Skate Club

Vanessa Martinez, Peggy Labat, and I met with Simon Lebas at the indoor skate park and club Ultra Skate Club. Le Havre has long been a city friendly to skateboarding but the public skate park was suffering from age and the rainy weather in Le Havre made an indoor skate park an important need for the community. Simon Lebas founded Ultra Skate Club and convinced the city of Le Havre to let him use the basement of the old Soccer Stadium as an indoor skatepark. Simon and supporters quickly began to build the necessary elements of a skate park and gained sponsors such as DC footwear and Quicksilver. The skatepark offers memberships as well as skate lessons. The park also offers free skate lessons to at risk and underserved populations in Le Havre. Simon reached out to Tampa Sister Cities last year after beginning conversations with Skate Park of Tampa.

I was able to present some gifts from the Skate Park of Tampa and discuss the idea of facilitating the signing of sister skate parks.


  • Alfred Goldberg, President of Tampa Sister Cities
  • Vanessa Martinez, USF World
  • Peggy Labat, LH Connections
  • Simon Lebas, Founder of Ultra Skate Club


  • Sister Skate Parks
  • Shared memberships
  • Inter-city challenges via social media videos
  • Promoting each others activities
  • Potential skater exchange

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

HAC Soccer Academy

The HAC Soccer Academy is a premier institution dedicated to nurturing and developing young soccer talents. With a focus on holistic player development, the academy provides a comprehensive training program that emphasizes not only technical and tactical skills but also instills values of discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, experienced coaches, and a curriculum tailored to meet international standards, HAC Soccer Academy has established itself as a hub for budding soccer enthusiasts. Through its rigorous training sessions, competitive matches, and exposure to various tournaments, the academy aims to produce players who can represent the sport at the highest levels, both nationally and internationally. The academy is currently ranked number 2 in France for producing elite athletes on the national and international stage.

We received a tour and met with the technical director and head of the academy,  Michael Bunel. I presented Michael and Sophie Haussetete with Tampa Bay Rowdies scarfs. We discussed potential collaborations and Michael revealed he is often in Tampa Bay providing soccer camps. He introduced me to a Tampa based soccer coach who is from Le Havre. I am planning on recruiting this coach to our committee.


  • Alfred Goldberg, President of Tampa Sister Cities
  • Peggy Labat, LH Connections

Potential Collaborations/Exchanges

  • HAC Watch Parties
  • Exhibition Match (youth, USF/UT, Rowdies)
  • Coaching
  • Coach Workshops/Exchanges
  • League Agreements



Music Conservatory

The Conservatory A. Honegger is a distinguished institution dedicated to the arts and music education. Named after the renowned composer Arthur Honegger, the conservatory serves as a beacon of cultural enrichment and artistic excellence. Students from diverse backgrounds come to immerse themselves in a curriculum that spans classical, contemporary, and traditional music genres. With a faculty comprising accomplished musicians and educators, the Conservatory A. Honegger provides an environment where budding artists can hone their skills, explore their potential, and be inspired by the legacy of its namesake. The institution not only focuses on technical mastery but also emphasizes the importance of creativity, expression, and understanding the profound impact of music on society and the human soul.

We were greeted by Fabrice Poret the director of international relations at the conservatory (amongst other roles) and ushered into a small auditorium where we received a private concert of faculty members performing Jazz songs. We then received a comprehensive tour of the conservatory including observing student classes. We learned about the architecture of the conservatory and how their mission. We also learned that Fabrice is the President of the Le Havre - Magdeburg Sister Cities and discussed some ways the conservatory has collaborated with that city in the past.


  • Alfred Goldberg, President of Tampa Sister Cities
  • Peggy Labat, LH Connections
  • Jennifer Meksraitis, Attorney
  • Madeleine Cosson-Flanagan, VP of the American Association of Teachers of French-Florida


  • Music education exchange
  • Virtual Concerts
  • Composition Competitions
  • Performance Competitions
  • Cultural Exploration (Medieval instruments, music, etc)
  • Student exchanges
  • Faculty Collaboration

HAC Soccer Stadium Tour

Stade Oceane, located in Le Havre, France, is a modern architectural marvel and a significant sports venue in the region. Inaugurated in 2012, this ultramodern stadium boasts a seating capacity of over 25,000 spectators and is known for its distinctive blue exterior, which mirrors the hues of the nearby ocean. Serving as the home ground for Le Havre AC, a historic football club, Stade Oceane has witnessed numerous thrilling matches and has become a focal point for football enthusiasts in the area. Beyond football, the stadium is equipped to host a variety of events, from concerts to cultural gatherings. Its eco-friendly design, which emphasizes sustainability and minimal environmental impact, sets it apart as a forward-thinking venue in the world of sports infrastructure.


  • Alfred Goldberg, President of Tampa Sister Cities
  • Jean-Charles Faust, Co-Chair, Tampa-Le Havre Sister Cities Committee
  • Peggy Labat, LH Connections
  • Michael Kamprath, General Counsel Tampa International Airport
  • Sophie Haussetete

HAC Rugby Meeting

I met with HAC Rugby, a 151-year-old Rugby club (the first in France) created by men from Oxford and Cambridge. The club does not have the financial support that HAC Soccer enjoys yet continues to be a well respected institution and beloved in France. I got a tour and learned about some of their upcoming projects. I met with the youth team coach (and also player) Ezequiel. I presented gifts from Tampa Bay Krewe Rugby and expressed their interest in signing a sister club agreement.


  • Alfred Goldberg, President of Tampa Sister Cities
  • Peggy Labat, LH Connections
  • Michael Kamprath, General Counsel Tampa International Airport
  • Ezequiel Cortes, HAC Rugby


  • Sister Rugby Agreement
  • Exhibition Matches
  • Coaching Exchanges
  • Streamed matches

Le Havre Rotary Meeting

Jean-Charles Faust obtained an invitation from Rotary President Philippe Morel to a meeting of the Le Havre Rotary Club Doyen. The meeting was held at the residence of Francois and Frederique Guerin in Sainte Adresse, a very nice residential neighborhood. During the meeting, we met with over 30 community and business leaders and discussed Tampa Sister Cities. Many were familiar with Tampa as a stop between trips to Orlando or Miami but did not know we were sister cities. Jean-Charles secured many new relationships and will be discussing how Rotary can support and strengthen our sister cities relationship. Jean-Charles offered a Burgert Brothers book to the leader of Rotary and I offered a Tampa City lapel Pin and a small Tampa City Flag.


  • Alfred Goldberg, President of Tampa Sister Cities
  • Jean-Charles Faust, Co-Chair Tampa-Le Havre Sister Cities Committee


  • Rotary support of sister cities
  • Business/Trade contacts

Evening Reception at City Hall

A reception at City Hall in which our mayors spoke about the relationship between out cities.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Lycee Schuman Robert

Part of the delegation attended a gathering of English Language students at a local high school. The Mayor spoke to the students about Tampa and we then met with groups of students who interviewed us in English. After the student sessions ended, we met with a group of teachers and principals to discuss Tampa Sister Cities and how we can collaborate between our elementary and high schools.


  • Mayor Jane Castor - City of Tampa
  • Kiki Carulson - Vice President, USF World
  • Vanessa Martinez - International Community Relations, USF World
  • Alfred Goldberg - President of Tampa Sister Cities
  • Deborah Wilkinson - Trade and Protocol City of Tampa and Hillsborough County
  • Michael Meksraitis - Attorney
  • Madeleine Cosson-Flanagan - VP of the American Association of Teachers of French-Florida


  • Student Exchanges
  • Virtual educational exchanges
  • Inter School cultural contests
  • Cultural education

LH Connections Reception

Peggy Labat and LH Connections hosted us at Le Grande Ecole, an old school transformed into a hip bar/restaurant. During the event, Alfred Goldberg presented Peggy Labat with a city lapel pin and flag. He also announced that Peggy Labat will be the first recipient of the Tampa-Le Havre Sister Cities medallion for promoting cultural exchange between Tampa and Le Havre for so many years.


  • Alfred Goldberg, President of Tampa Sister Cities
  • Jean-Charles Faust, Co-Chair Tampa-Le Havre Sister Cities Committee
  • Peggy Labat, LH Connections

Thursday, October 5, 2023


We travelled to Trouville-sur-Mer where we were hosted by Mayor Sylvie de Gaetano. We were given a walking tour.

American Cemetery

We were greeted by guides and the U.S. Consul General to Western France. We participated in a wreath laying ceremony in honor of the troops buried in the cemetery with special recognition of the eight soldiers from Tampa, who's pictures were displayed.

Omaha Beach Golf Club

We visited the golf club for a quick bite and drinks with the Chief Judge for that part of Normandy.

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Alfred Goldberg