February 27, 2024

The Business of Meetings – Episode 207 – Resilience and Resolve: Patrick and Anne-Marie Demoucelle’s Journey with Parkinson’s and Entrepreneurship

We are thrilled to engage with Patrick and Anne-Marie Demoucelle today, the founders of Demoucelle Parkinson Charity. They are an extraordinary couple whose lives exemplify unwavering determination to overcome adversity.

Patrick and Anne-Marie were both successful in the business world until their lives took an unexpected turn when Patrick was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 40.

Their story is one of perseverance, courage, and unconditional love. Join us to hear about their remarkable journey.

Anne-Marie’s Story

Anne-Marie grew up in Belgium as a Flemish native. She learned French in college because she understood the value of knowing another language and connecting with different communities. She gained valuable experience in the corporate world working as a strategic consultant after spending five years studying commercial engineering. She later pursued an MBA and returned to strategic consulting before transitioning to the insurance sector, where she worked for 12 years.

Patrick’s Journey of Navigating Parkinson’s

Patrick’s life took an unexpected turn when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease on his 40th birthday. Since then, he has grappled with the gradual progression of the illness, understanding its cyclic nature and the relentless toll it takes on fundamental abilities over time. From his early days in engineering to his tenure at Bain and Company, Patrick achieved significantly in his career. However, Parkinson’s always loomed in the background, challenging him to reconcile his ambitions with the limitations of the illness.

Patrick and Anne-Marie’s Entrepreneurial Pursuits and Philanthropic Mission 

Anne-Marie and Patrick left their corporate jobs in 2011 to start their own business to help leaders and teams thrive and create a charitable foundation to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Collaborating with the Michael J. Fox Foundation

Anne-Marie and Patrick created a partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation as a strategic move to bolster their efforts in combatting Parkinson’s disease. By aligning their resources and objectives with those of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, they aimed to leverage synergies, pool their collective knowledge, and accelerate progress toward finding a cure. The partnership allows them to tap into a vast network of researchers, scientists, and advocates and also enables them to contribute meaningfully to ongoing research efforts and clinical trials.

Overcoming Challenges with Humor and Resilience

Patrick recounts how, during his first trip to New York, he became stuck in his seat due to a lack of dopamine, the medicine that aids his movement. Despite the ordeal, Patrick still reflects on the humorous side of the situation, highlighting the importance of resilience and humor in overcoming challenges.

Inspiring Resilience and Facing Challenges in Business

Patrick’s resilience in the face of adversity is a source of inspiration for others, particularly in the business world. Anne-Marie emphasizes the power of perspective, sharing Patrick’s experiences to help others reevaluate how they respond to challenging situations.

Finding Purpose in Adversity: Sharing Positivity and Inspiring Change

Patrick shares the transformative power of vulnerability and authenticity in connecting with audiences and fostering meaningful change. With their foundation and public speaking engagements, Anne-Marie and Patrick hope to inspire others to embrace adversity, find purpose, and make a difference in their communities.

Pushing Physical Limits and Overcoming Challenges 

Despite living with Parkinson’s, Patrick has shown remarkable determination and perseverance in pursuing his passions and pushing his physical limits. His resilience is a testament to how the human spirit can overcome obstacles and achieve results, even when facing adversity.

Empowering Others Through Shared Experiences

Anne-Marie and Patrick emphasize the importance of fundraising and community support for driving progress toward finding a cure for Parkinson’s and supporting research initiatives to accelerate the development of effective treatments. Through their foundation, they strive to empower individuals affected by Parkinson’s and inspire collective action toward improving lives and finding a cure.

Bio: Patrick Demoucelle

Patrick Demoucelle is a professional facilitator, motivational speaker, and executive coach. He has worked for 25 years in top management consulting. Patrick has been a partner and Vice-President of Bain & Company, a world leader in strategy consulting, for over 10 years. He has profound experience in the facilitation of leadership and management teams at the highest levels and is the personal coach of many CEOs and executives. Patrick is a Commercial Engineer from Solvay Business School (1st in Promotion), holds a Master in Econometrics from the University of Brussels, and an MBA from INSEAD.

Bio: Anne-Marie Roumieux 

Anne-Marie Roumieux is an advisor, trainer, and coach to executives and business teams, working on motivation and cohesiveness at the Executive Committee and Board levels. She combines top management consulting experience (with Mercer in Paris then with Arthur D. Little in Brussels) and corporate responsibilities with twelve years at Allianz Belgium in a wide range of staff and operational positions. She currently occupies various Board of Directors positions. Anne-Marie is a Commercial Engineer from Solvay Business School (Magna cum laude, 4th in Promotion) and MBA from INSEAD. Anne-Marie is actively engaged in various good causes.

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Demoucelle Parkinson Charity

About the author 

Eric Rozenberg

For two decades, Eric Rozenberg has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and produced conferences in more than 50 countries across diverse industries. His focus is creating meetings that are not only breathtakingly memorable but which bring corporate strategies to life and amplify team motivation/performance.

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