Redouan El-Younsi ’90 of Tetouan, Morocco, has been elected a member of the industrial branch and president of the electoral body commission of the Chamber of Commerce of Tetouan. The 41 chamber members represent industry, commerce and services.
“The main role of the Chamber of Commerce is to promote, defend and represent the business community,” he says.
El-Younsi was elected secretary general by the members of the chamber for a six-year term. In this capacity, he conducts meetings with the staff and the board of the chamber for decision-making, and keeps the general elected members informed about the developments of the chamber.
As part of his role, El-Younsi met with the U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, focusing on the Free Trade Agreement both countries have signed.
“We discussed the excellent relations that exist between the two countries ever since the independence of the United States,” El-Younsi says. “Indeed, Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States, and we have the longest unbroken treaty with the United States.”
El-Younsi recently visited Washington, D.C. to promote small- and medium-sized businesses and business women associations as part of a delegation of the Association of the Mediterranean Chamber of Commerce. The group met with several American and world institutions, including the U.S. Congress, IMF, World Bank, Marshal Fund, U.S. State Department and Chamber of Commerce.
“The seminars were a success, and the Chamber of Commerce of Tetouan became a permanent partner in the project,” El-Younsi said.
In addition to his public service, El-Younsi also works for his family’s business, Haddou El-Younsi and Fils, which produces and exports natural essential oils. He is the production and quality manager and covers sales for English-speaking markets.
El-Younsi first learned about Ripon College through his friend, Oussama El Hillali ’89. He studied French, computer science and self-designed a major in international commerce and management.
“The language barrier was my major handicap,” he says. “My first class I took at college was statistics with Michele Wittler. She was conducting the class in normal English addressing American students. I could hardly understand a word from what she was saying due to the American accent and the idiomatic expressions. I felt depressed, scared and thought I was in the wrong place and that my education at Ripon was soon to become a disaster.
“At the end of the class, I decided to explain to her what my problem was and that my English was weak. She reassured me and sounded very interested in my problem, and offered me to come to her office with no appointment for help and gave me 30 minutes extra on test times.
“And this is how I understood what Ripon is all about: care and education come first. I will always be indebted to Ripon College for the excellent education I received and which made all of that possible.”
And Ripon’s influence may pay off into the next generation. El-Younsi’s son is looking to come to the College in a few years.
“My son, Mehdi, visited Ripon in 2006 when he was 8 years old. He loved the campus and decided to attend Ripon ever since,” El-Younsi says. “He is working hard on his English. In fact, he attends the American Language Centre of Tetouan and is doing well. I am recommending Ripon for him.”