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With almost 1,400 German businesses operating in the Midwest, the region represents an attractive business location, particular for transatlantic trade.

For small and mid-sized enterprises there are several challenges that need to be navigated. Our conference will cover the following topics:

  • Manufacturing in the Midwest 
  • Successful Marketing/Branding Strategies
  • Working in a Multicultural Environment/HQ-Subsidiary Relationships
  • Corporate Governance/Compliance
  • Skilled Workforce

Want to learn more?

These topics and more will be covered at our content driven Midwest SME Forum on March 16 from 7:30AM - approx. 3:30PM.

The day will be filled with keynotes, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and plentiful networking opportunities. 

We encourage you to participate – attend, speak, sponsor!  Block your calendar to participate in  this special event.

Not a member yet? We have a special opportunity for you – join us as a new member prior to March 16, and we will waive the event registration fee.

Our Midwest SME Forum aims to provide a platform that connects business partners, provides insights on economic as well as industry trends, and enables further exchange of ideas and opinions between peers.

Keynote Speaker: 
William A. Strauss, CBE Senior Economist and Economic Advisor
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Click here to read his bio


7:30am – 8:30am:      Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:30am – 9:30am:      Opening & Welcome

9:30am – 10:45am:     Panel: Manufacturing in the Midwest

10:45am – 11:15am:   Networking Coffee Break

11:15am – 12:30pm:   Breakout Session (choose 1 of 2)

  1. Successful Marketing | Branding Strategies

  2. Corporate Governance | Compliance

  • Matthias Amberg - Partner | Rödl & Partner 
  • Alexandra Lopez-Casero - Partner | Nixon Peabody, LLP  
  • Tom Sprowl - Director of Custom Brokerage | Kuehne & Nagel

12:30pm – 1:45pm:     Luncheon 

1:45pm – 3pm:           Breakout Session (choose 1 of 2)

  1. Working in a Multicultural Environment | HQ - Subsidiary Relationships

  • Jan Pflugfelder - President & CEO | KOMET of America Holding
  • Andy Stecher - President & CEO | Plasmatreat USA
  • Heiko Fischer - President & CEO | Robert Bosch Tool Corporation
  • Brian Jaskolski - Vice President | Weil Engineering North America
  • Moderator: Virginia Rounds - Director, Consulting Services | GACC Midwest

  2. Skilled Workforce

  • Jim Nelson - Vice President of External Affairs | Illinois Manufacturers' Association
  • Richard Gilchrist - Chairman | Felsomat 
  • Mario Kratsch - Director, Skills Initiative | GACC Midwest
  • Moderator: Mark Tomkins - President & CEO | GACC Midwest 

3pm – 3:30pm:           Wrap up & Networking 

| More speakers to be announced soon |

This year's Midwest SME Forum will be held at:

Harper College

Wojcik Conference Center


1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL 60067

Please use the Roselle road entrance and park in lot 14. 

If Lot 14 is full, there is additional parking in Lot 10, 11, and 12. 



Free parking is available


Kirsten Schmandt
Events & Membership Coordinator
Tel.: +1 (312) 494-2176

Sponsorship Opportunities

Please take the time to review the various sponsorship levels and benefits and secure your place at the Midwest SME Forum 2016.