The Franco-American of the Year award is given out each year to a person who has distinguished himself or herself by example and action as a leader in the Franco-American community.

The recipient is recognized based upon demonstrated successes including, but not limited to:

Contribution to French life in NH, through promotion of French language, culture and heritage
Contribution to the larger community, either local or regional, through civic involvement and engagement

The recipient embodies the celebrated values of Franco-American heritage:

Work Ethic
Community Spirit

The honor is usually awarded based upon the recipient’s contributions over a period of years. In certain situations, the award may be given based upon some exemplary accomplishment during a more limited period of time.


2023 Franco-American of the Year


The Franco-American Centre is proud to present the 2023 Franco-American of the Year award to Jesse Martineau for his outstanding work promoting and celebrating Franco-American Culture and Heritage in New England and beyond.  With co-founder Mike Campbell, Jesse launched the French Canadian Legacy Podcast which has crossed international borders to entertain and educate its listeners about who Franco-Americans are and to share our stories. 


Jesse Martineau in Quebec City

Jesse Martineau

Jesse Martineau is the host of the French-Canadian Legacy Podcast, a podcast that seeks to explore topics involving Franco-American cultural identity.  Additionally, he is one of the creators of the New England Franco Route GeoTour, which takes participants on a scavenger hunt to significant Franco-American sites in New England, and Heritage, Corp., a non-profit organization created to raise funds to send young adults to Quebec City to learn French. He is also a contributing author to the book French All Around Us (available to purchase here) which shares stories of French language and Franco-American culture in the US.

Jesse, like his parents, grew up in Manchester, NH.  Jesse’s parents attended L’École Saint-Georges which was a bilingual school with instruction received in both English and French.  Jesse has traced all branches of his family tree back to towns in Québec. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Franco-American Centre of Manchester.

Jesse is a product of Manchester’s Catholic school system, having attended St. Anthony Elementary School, St. Joseph Junior High School and Trinity High School.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the George Washington University in DC and a Juris Doctor Degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. At Temple, Jesse was a member of the Temple Law Review.

Jesse has served two terms as a State Representative in the New Hampshire General Court.  He currently works as a prosecutor in the Hillsborough (NH) County Attorney’s Office.

Congratulations to Jesse and thank you for your dedication and passion to the Franco-American heritage!

Lauréats Passés – Past recipients

2022 M. Timothy Beaulieu
2021 Mme Aurore Dionne Eaton
2020 (Pas de célébration)
2019 Mme Doris Irène Proulx
2018 Mme Josée Vachon
2017 M. Maurice Demers
2016 M. et Mme Raymond et Pauline Houle
2015 Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix
2014 Mme Marie Raiche
2013 M. et Mme Emile et Suzanne Tetu
2012 M. Robert Perreault
2011 Hon. Thomas De Blois
2010 M. Roger Lacerte
2009 Mme Angele L. Côté
2008 M. Walter J. Parenteau
2007 Hon. Arman Capistran
2006 Msgr. Charles Desruisseaux
2005 M. Robert E. Raiche Sr.
2004 M. Réal Gilbert
2003 M. Edmond Girard
2002 Mme Rolande Villemure
2002 M. Ovide M. Lamontagne
2001 Mme Gloria Pilotte
2000 M. Richard Boucher
1999 M. Andre Martel
1998 M. Roger W. Lawrence
1997 Mme Adele Boufford Baker
1996 M. Raymond Côté
1995 Dr. Sylvio Dupuis
1994 M. Richard Charpentier
1993 M. Maurice Pilotte
1992 Soeur Doris Bernier, P.M.
1991 Mme Simone T. Binette
1990 M. Robert Jobin
1989 M. et Mme Theodore et Marie Cusson
1988 Mlle Bernadette Benard
1987 M. Joseph Maltais
1986 M. Gérard Villemure
1985 (Pas de célébration)
1984 Dr. Robert Beaudoin
1983 Mme Georgette Jean