ChamberBrief 2015: June Edition

Dear Members and Friends,

What a month it has been, with the entire chamber staff traveling far beyond Chicago to visit numerous chapters and states in our region. Mark Tomkins traveled from Berlin, where he discussed economic trends at DIHK's "Kleine Weltkonferenz", to the "Regionalkonferenz" in Bogota, where our unique ICATT skills model drew quite a bit of attention and interest from our AHK colleagues. 

Now, we start packing again: Together with colleagues from GACCs, member companies, and board members, we are headed to Germany. The 2nd German American Business Forum, packed with info for market entry and investment in the US, will be held in Munich next week.

We are also very happy to announce more details on the GACC Awards! You are now able to submit your applications for our 2015 GACC Awards Gala. Scroll down for more info on the categories of the Awards that will be handed out at our Signature Event of the year.

The DIHK recently published its first AHK World Business Outlook, showcasing that the US market continues to be very attractive for German businesses, and around 60% of the companies planned to expand their business activities (more than in China). While the strong dollar represents the biggest challenge for AHK-members, the US still acts as a driving force for German economy. 

Lastly, we encourage you to participate in our summer raffle! Submit your feedback on our ChamberBrief and win one free entrance to our European Business Networking on the beautiful rooftop of the Ivy Boutique Hotel. Good luck!

Best wishes | Herzliche Grüße,

Your GACC Midwest Team


Signature Event: Apply for GACC Awards

Enter our GACC Midwest Raffle!


Chapter News

Our Members in the Press

GACC Midwest Delegation Programs

GACC Awards Gala & Smart Factory Industry Forum

Applications for GACC Awards now open!

The wait is over! We are now accepting award nominations for the following categories: 

Please submit your nomination by August 7. For more information on our Fall Event or the Awards application process please visit our website or contact us.

Smart Factory Industry Forum: our location is set!

We are pleased to have secured a very fitting location for our Smart Factory Industry Forum! The DMDII (Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute) will open up its grounds on Goose Island for our forum on October 9! Tours of this one-of-a-kind location will be available for conference attendees. Make sure to register for this unique event before it sells out, and join us for our GACC Awards Gala later in the night.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for both the Forum and our Gala as well. Make sure to review all the ways you can get involved in these exciting events.

GACC Midwest Summer Raffle

Tell us what you think and win a free entrance to our European Business Networking @ Ivy Boutique Hotel Sky Terrace!

Summer is finally here and we moved our European Business Networking Event to the luxurious Ivy Boutique Hotel Rooftop. Use your chance to win a free entrance and take advantage of networking with Chicago's unique European business community in a great location! All you have to do is tell us your opinion:

What would you like to see in our ChamberBrief? Which topics are of special interest to you? How could we improve?

Submit your feedback via email, the winner will be announced in our next ChamberBrief.


GACC Midwest organized a Transatlantic Water Tech Conference in Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN on May 19, 2015. The conference was attended by over 60 water professionals and featured local and international expert speakers and company representatives from the American and German water sectors, including GE Water & Power and 3M. Attendees learned about new wastewater management & water infrastructure solutions, heard about the latest developments and trends in the German and U.S. water markets, and discovered innovative products and technologies from Germany. Our MN Chapter also attended the event and informed the audience about their work. 

Health IT Delegation, Chicago

GACC Midwest’s first Health IT Business Delegation kicked off on Monday, June 15 with a series of meetings between our delegates and potential US business partners in Chicago. Tuesday’s Business Conference at the Willis Tower was highlighted by a keynote speech from Blain Newton, Chief Operating Officer at HIMSS Analytics. During a lively panel discussion focused on interoperability, attendees had the chance to hear from high-profile speakers of a variety of organizations that are pivotal in the development of Healthcare IT. A successful delegation trip to Chicago was rounded out with a visit to Rush University Medical Center, where delegates toured the state-of-the-art medical facility and learned about its IT infrastructure, followed by an introduction and Q&A session with the IT management team. We were happy to host them and are looking forward to our upcoming delegations!

Light-Weighting in the Automotive Industry Delegation, Michigan

This month, our Michigan Office hosted four German companies participating in a trade mission focused on light-weighting in the automotive industry. The trip featured an array of networking opportunities, individual meetings, and facility tours. The Detroit Regional Chamber welcomed the participants with a kick-off meeting and an evening reception in downtown Detroit. Especially well-received was an automotive supplier networking event hosted by Ford Motor Company, thanks to the excellent support of our Michigan Chapter Board member Birgit Behrendt, Vice President of Global Programs & Purchasing Operations of Ford Motor, who hosted several meetings. Delegates presented their company’s capabilities and met with a variety of Ford Motor product development, purchasing, and manufacturing experts. Delegation participants also received tours to both Detroit’s new LIFT (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow) facility and the Federal Mogul Plymouth Technology Center, and successful matchmaking efforts resulted in a number of individual meetings with local automotive suppliers.

Chapter News

MN: Gala 2015 | Winner Announcement "Der Stern des Nordens"

Our Minnesota Chapter celebrated its Annual Gala where they announced the winners of its 2015 Companies of the Year Award:  Allianz Life Insurance Company was selected as Service Company of the Year and Heraeus Medical Components won the award for Manufacturing Company of the Year. Allianz Life has a long history of community service and environmental stewardship in Minnesota. Heraeus also shares a strong record of community participation in White Bear Lake, and is a leader in energy efficiency and 'green building' technology. Heraeus Medical Components, headquartered in White Bear Lake, is part of the Heraeus Group, a 160-year old family-owned enterprise based in Germany. We congratulate them both on the awards!

Lübbert Kruizenga (President, GACC-MN), Don Keysser (Chair; Stern, Secretary), Kathryn Linafelter Johnson (Executive Director GACC-MN), Mark Kempf (President; Heraeus Medical)

Luis Wendling (Gala Chair), Walter White (Allianz) and Kathryn Linafelter Johnson (Executive Director GACC-MN) handing over the award for Manufacturing Company of the Year

CO: Skills Director Mario Kratsch visits Colorado Chapter

Mario Kratsch traveled to Colorado to meet with Joshua Seeberg, Executive Director of our CO-Chapter and discuss all things skills. They visited two manufacturers with apprenticeship programs, and a Denver Public School focused on apprenticeship opportunities for young people. Mario also attended a Business Luncheon at the facilities of one of Colorado's newest Corporate members, the Aviation & Aerospace Science department at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

WI: Ring in the Summer

Our Wisconsin Chapter gathered for its annual "Ring in the Summer" event on the shores of Lake Nagawicka. While rain and unseasonably cool temperatures put a damper on the full range of outdoor activities available in past years, the 30+ Chapter members, guests and their families still enjoyed good company, good refreshments, and bilingual networking. The GACC-WI Chapter board would like to give special thanks to NRW.INVEST LLC for their support of the event.

MI: June Networking Event

Our Michigan Chapter held its most recent Networking Event on June 9 with over 100 participants attending at beautiful Orchard Lake Country Club. Guest Speaker Jason H. Vines, former Vice President of Communications at DaimlerChrysler’s Group, was sharing insights in regards to the Automotive business community. Aside from the knowledge he shared specifically on the automotive industry, he also presented key facts on how to handle crisis situations in any business environment.

As we already mentioned in our last ChamberBrief, GACC Midwest welcomed a delegation of German journalists in late April to discuss matters of TTIP. After the meeting, the Südwest Presse now published an article on the topic, quoting Peter Riehle, President & CEO of our member company WITTENSTEIN. Our Chairman W. David Braun also found a voice in the Südwest Presse article, which you can find here. The Straubinger Tagblatt daily newspaper published an article as well, quoting Mark Tomkins, Peter Riehle, and Andy Stecher, President & CEO of our member company Plasmatreat, who was also part of the lively discussion on TTIP. 

GACC Midwest Delegation Programs

GACC Midwest invites you to take part in a German American Business Symposium on Smart Grid Trends and Technologies, hosted in Chicago, IL on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. This German American Smart Grid Symposium will bring together technology and policy  experts from the U.S. and Germany for know-how exchange and network building. Attendees will have the chance to learn about the latest developments, technologies, and trends at work in the German and U.S. smart grid markets. Attend the conference to gain unique insights into the present state of U.S. smart grid development, to explore partnership opportunities with German smart grid companies, and to see how your company can benefit from transatlantic knowledge exchange. To register to attend, and for more information, including the most up-to-date agenda with speaker information, click here.

To find more information on our other delegations, please click on the links below:

Download our new Sponsorship & Media Kit to explore valuable opportunities for your company! 

Mark your calendar for our upcoming events!


Visit our website for more information on our events.

GACC Midwest is hiring! We are now accepting applications for the following staff openings:

The GAT Quarterly is out! Find the online edition here. If you would like to see a profile on your company in the next GAT, contact us today!

Job Openings

We are also looking to fill the following positions:

  • Senior Accountant/Controller
  • General Manager (Industrial Components)
  • Accounting Assistant (Part-Time)
  • International Sales Manager (Americas)
  • Product Manager
  • Business Development Manager (Agricultural)

For more information on these openings, contact Justin Flaxbart.

GISC Says Thanks & Farewell to School Director

German International School Chicago would like to thank all those who have supported GISC during another fantastic school year, especially the retiring School Director, Frau Dr. Annegret Harnischfeger. 

Platinum Sponsors

Patron Sponsor

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