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Forbes MC Staff   Forbes Monaco

American Eagle

The CEO of Ryder Cup France 2018 U.S. Partners Club, Susan Feaster has done more than just revive golf in Monaco. The former D.C. lobbyist is an ace when it comes to connecting business leaders.

The CEO of Ryder Cup France 2018 U.S. Partners Club, Susan Feaster has done more than just revive golf in Monaco. The former D.C. lobbyist is an ace when it comes to connecting business leaders.

Once upon a time, the Monte-Carlo Open was a fixture on the European Tour, as much for the golf as for the splash of celebrity that Prince Rainier and Princess Grace brought to the event. Played from 1984 to 1992 at the hilly MonteCarlo Golf Club (which is in France near the Grimaldi family home of Mont Agel), fog and cloud posed a problem for televising a tournament at 900 meters above sea level.

Monaco resident Mike Powers tried to bring the sport back in September 1999 when he organized an amateur celebrity golf event with actor Kevin Costner but the tournament stopped after two years when 9/11 changed the world.

The country’s golf revival wouldn’t happen again until 2016, and it was courtesy of American Susan Feaster, who launched the Monaco U.S. Celebrity Golf Cup, pitting Team USA against Team Europe in Match Play.

Feaster, who chairs the Cup association, says, “The biannual charity event is a highly coveted invitation extended to celebrities and guests with single digit handicaps. It attracts the greatest gathering of pro athletes, chefs, actors and musicians who could have played pro golf.”

The 2018 Cup was an experience like no other. The weekend teed off with a friendly competition between Prince Albert (captain USA) and Pascal Grizot (captain Europe) for the Longest Drive off the deck of a Fraser 70-metre superyacht, and ended with a black tie gala at the Monaco Yacht Club hosted by Grammy Award winner Kenny G, who performed a rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

“For us amateurs who watch the Ryder Cup and dream about what it would be like to represent your country in an event like that, the Monaco U.S. Celebrity Golf Cup is the event that lets us experience this,” Kenny G tells Forbes Monaco. “And the atmosphere of camaraderie sets the stage for making invaluable relationships with our European counterparts in the entertainment, business and sports world. "

Feaster, who is known for her power wardrobe, expanded her brand by adding the St. Moritz U.S. Celebrity Golf Cup spinoff, which took place for the first time in July 2019 at the Engadine Golf Club in Switzerland. Monaco residents Alex Vik (see p. 60), Gustav Vik, Roberto Giorgi, Illia Melia and Bruno Andreis were part of Team Europe, who won with 22.5 points to 18.5 points for the Americans.

“As our third Monaco Cup had to be postponed until next June, our players have asked to play in both European locations in 2021, the best of golf in the French Riviera and the Swiss Alps. Recently invitations from Dubai and China have been extended for future competitions,” Feaster shares.

Feaster joined forces with Monaco Private Label’s Michel Bouquier in September to host the first Golf Day, which kicked off Prince Albert’s Planetary Health Week.

The tournament took place with 36 wealth management advisers, bankers, CEOs and entrepreneurs from Monaco playing at Terre Blanche Resort in Fayence, France. “Golfing creates perfect opportunities for exchanges and group stimulation,” Bouquier tells Forbes Monaco.

For Feaster, the green is a long way from her career roots. The Virginian began in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives before working at some of Washington’s premiere lobbying and public affairs firms. Her clients included Northrop, Harvard, GE Healthcare, Philip Morris USA and the Jamaican government. (She was recently nominated as Honorary Consul of Jamaica to Monaco.)

Widow of a former Naval Commander who retired as Inspector General of the Federal Communications Commission after 38 years of Federal service, Feaster ran her own consultancy company, Capitol Executive Partners, LLC for 25 years “cultivating relationships with public and private companies in Washington, DC and throughout the United States.”

It was this experience that piqued the interest of Pascal Grizot, Chairman of Ryder Cup France 2018. He recruited Feaster to promote and recruit U.S. partners for the Paris event, which in turn helped her to develop the Monaco U.S. Celebrity Golf Cup in partnership with the charitable arm of the Ryder Cup, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust (RCEDT). The Cup benefits the RCEDT and the Prince Albert II Foundation.

The mom of two first made news in the Principality in 2014 when she cofounded with Powers the Monaco U.S. Business Roundtable (she is still president), an entente cordiale between the two countries to build relations in education, government, business, culture and sport. In June of that year a U.S. delegation travelling to France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day met the Conseil National, Monaco’s parliament, and Senator Paul Trible Jr., president of Christopher Newport University, met with Jean-Philippe Muller, dean of the International University of Monaco, to discuss “his dream” of establishing an International Study Abroad Center.

In 2015, the Year Of Russia in Monaco, Feaster brought over a second delegation of American businessmen, which comprised three of Warren Buffet’s childhood friends—Mike Yanney, Gene Budig and the Honorable Ben Nelson, former Governor and U.S. Senator from Nebraska.

Does she miss Washington? “D.C. is driven by politics. In Monaco, people are not identified by their political parties: civility and respect for the government adds value to living and working here.”

On and off the green, Susan Feaster has a knack for developing networks between Monaco and the U.S. “Everyone wins with new friendships”.

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Forbes MC Staff   Forbes Monaco