ChamberBrief 2015: January Edition

Dear Members and Friends,

While we are excited for the new year 2015, we are sad to say good-bye to our longstanding President & CEO, friend, and mentor Simone Pohl. Under her dynamic leadership in the past 9 years, the Chamber has grown significantly to be the vibrant network it is today. We wish her all the best in her endeavors as Chief Representative of the Delegation of German Industry & Commerce in Shanghai. Thank you everyone for making her farewell reception such an extraordinary evening. We were honored to have Dr. Martin Wansleben, CEO of DIHK, Herbert Quelle, Consul General in Chicago, Werner Ott, Director of the Goethe Institut and so many colleagues from the global AHK network with us in Chicago to witness Simone receiving the first "Niels Friedrichs Legacy Award" from our Chairman W. David Braun, Partner, Quarles & Brady, who generously sponsored the reception. See our photo gallery for more impressions of this memorable evening.

For a review of our and her last year, please take a look at our newly published GACC Midwest Report 2014 - The Age of Innovation, featuring innovative close-ups of many of our members.

The Annual Economic Forum is right around the corner and will feature high-ranking speakers and reveal significant insights about the economic year laying ahead of us.

We look forward to seeing you at our events and hope to engage with you soon,

Your GACC Midwest Team


Upcoming GACC Midwest Signature Event

We are excited to kick off a year full of interesting events and discussions with our Annual Economic Forum on January 29, 2015. Top executives will join and engage with top economists and speakers from both sides of the Atlantic. Current economic developments as well as their effect on German-American companies will be identified and discussed.

We are also proud that German Ambassador Dr. Peter Wittig will be the Keynote Speaker at the Economic Forum, his first introduction to the German-American business community in the Chicagoland area.

Our panel speakers further include:

  • Adolfo Laurenti, Chief International Economist, Mesirow Financial
  • Dr. Theo Freye, CEO, CLAAS (ret.)
  • Markus Glueck, Area Vice President, Rational North America
  • John Lample, President, Kalle USA
  • Caroll Neubauer, Chairman & CEO, B. Braun of America and B. Braun Medical Inc.
  • and moderator Michael Backfisch, Managing Director, Thueringer Allgemeine Newspaper

Make sure to join us for this special event and sign up now! We look forward to seeing you there.

Recent GACC Publications

In the fall of last year, we asked you to participate in our GACC Midwest Report 2015 - The Age of Innovation. Now, we would like to invite you to look at the complete publication.

Enjoy a review of our last year and read through innovative close-ups of many of our members. Thank you all for your contribution, we hope to feature you again by the end of this year!

GACC Midwest on the Road

NAIAS Detroit

Dieter Lehnert & Tom VanderLaan, VP of Drives Business Division at Brose

The 2015 North American International Auto Show begins with Industry Preview Week, where almost 2,000 companies and over 28,000 automotive decision makers come together to network and share industry insights. In addition to looking at over 500 vehicles on display, many companies host private events for invited guests to present their newest product offerings. This year Schaeffler Group, BASF, KSPG, and Hella were among German suppliers participating in these during Industry Preview Week. GACC Midwest was represented by the Michigan office. Networking opportunities included meetings with industry leaders Schaeffler Group, Bosch, FTE, Daimler, FEV, and Brose. Meetings with economic development organizations including the Detroit Regional Chamber, Ann Arbor Spark, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Macomb County Planning and Economic  Development were also had to discuss new investment and trade project opportunities.

The show opens to the public Saturday the 16th. Given record breaking sales of new vehicles in 2014 and forecasts showing even higher sales in 2015, this year’s show should exceed the 800,000 attendees at last years and the $365 million economic impact for the city.

We welcome our Michigan-based members to the 2nd Michigan HR-Executive Circle, focusing on ‘Strategies for Managing Worker’s Compensation in 2015’ with emphases on cost containment measures, accident prevention programs, return-to-work strategies and changes to OSHA reporting requirements. Our expert guest speaker is Lloyd Buckwell, Regional Practice Director Human Resources/Leadership & Organizational Development at Patina Solutions. 

Program One: Soil Health & Nutrient Management

The "Transatlantic Dialogue - Agricultural Perspectives" initiative starts with a roundtable series in the U.S. and a delegation trip to Germany on the theme of "Soil Health & Nutrient Management." The first U.S. roundtables will be hosted by the Illinois Farm Bureau in Bloomington, IL on February 17th and the Iowa Farm Bureau in West Des Moines, IA on February 18th. Additionally, both of these Farm Bureaus will be sending members of their organizations as representatives on the first delegation trip to Germany in August. Read more.

GACC Midwest Event Review

On December 8, 2014 Thomson Reuters opened the doors at their Times Square HQ in New York City to the members of the German American Chambers of Commerce, international guests, government officials and press for the German American Business Outlook 2015. "German Companies Grow with Rising Demand" in the US is the major finding, while more companies face issues identifying appropriately skilled workforce. Read more!

Staff & Services Spotlight

Sven Gabriel, Manager, Market Entry & Business Development Services

Sven has been with GACC Midwest since April 2013 and manages our market entry and business development services. As a member of the consulting department Sven represents the virtual office or Geschäftspräsenz service and is thereby helping German businesses taking their first step into the U.S. market. Together with his team, Sven ensures that German businesses can be represented on American soil, even if a company doesn’t have the resources to support a full-time presence in the US. Besides his involvement in virtual offices, his responsibilities also expand to market entry, market research and business partner search. Working in this position, it seems like Sven is always on the go, making sure that our clients are constantly represented at important events on a national level.

Sven earned his Bachelor's degree in Marketing & Sales at Nordakademie, University of Applied Sciences in Germany. During his studies he worked for a diversified technology company, which prepared him well to represent different industries in business development and networking nationwide. Before joining the Midwest team, Sven gained a year of consulting experience at GACC New York.

If you have any questions about our market entry and business development services including virtual offices, feel free to contact him anytime at

Sven Gabriel

GACC Midwest Service Portfolio

Save the Date

Meet Your New Clients

Review our new Media Kit and become a sponsor in 2015.

GACC Midwest is hiring! With skilled workforce being a top priority for transatlantic business, we are now accepting applications for two staff openings:

  • Coordinator, Skills Initiative
  • and Coordinator, Career Services.

For detailed position descriptions, please visit our website.

Congratulations to Nigeria Williams of MTU America, our Trainee of the Year 2014! Read more in the press release or in our GACC Midwest Report!

The GAT is a diverse Quarterly Magazine on all things German-American Business!
Check out Issue 1/2015 with a highlight on our Skilled Workforce Initiative!

Want to Be Featured in the GAT?

Contact us today to place your

  • cover story
  • company spotlight
  • executive profile


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