ChamberBrief 2015: September Edition

Dear Members and Friends,

Only a little less than two weeks left until our big events on October 9: the GACC Awards Gala & Smart Factory Industry Forum. We are excited to highlight our panel speakers! Make sure to be a part of this event and learn all about the latest trends in technology and how to maximize your company's productivity through Industrie 4.0. There's also only one week left to secure your ticket and/or sponsorship for our GACC Awards Gala! Celebrate leaders in service, innovation and investment, as well as the 25th Anniversary of German Reunification with us!

Not a month goes by without exciting news from our Skills Initiative, and this month, it is especially impressive: the IAAC was awarded $3.9 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to establish and grow the Illinois apprenticeship program over the next five years. Read the official press release here

Within our Chapter Network, we are pleased to announce that our Minnesota Chapter elected James Schollett as their new President. Congratulations!

We are also excited to have Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio & Wisconsin as the first States signed up for the US Investment Pavilion at Hannover Messe 2016. Get in touch with us today if you are interested in the many opportunities that Hannover Messe with Partner Country USA in 2016 has to offer.

Please also make sure to secure your spot in our upcoming signature publication - the GACC Midwest Report 2015. It will be published at an exciting time for German-American business and will be available at key events throughout next year, such as Hannover Messe and IMTS 2016. Sign up now for an article or an ad!

Last but not least we'd like to share the good news that Chicago is the leading U.S. city regarding foreign investment for the third time in a row!

Best wishes | Herzliche Grüße,

Your GACC Midwest Team


Smart Factory Industry Forum: Meet the speakers!

Midwest Report: Invest in the Future

Chapter News


Staff & Services Spotlight

GACC Midwest Delegation Programs


With an excellent lineup of speakers at our Smart Factory Industry Forum, do not miss this opportunity to discuss the future of manufacturing with industry leaders from both sides of the Atlantic. 

Our impressive Panel lineup includes:

  • Dr. Mohamed Abuali, Chief Executive Officer Americas, FORCAM
  • Dr. Lars Aldinger, Executive Vice President, WITTENSTEIN
  • Mark R. Beckmann, Senior Business Development Manager, Manufacturing, Microsoft
  • Matthew Jennings, Regional President, Bosch Software Innovations and 
  • Wolfgang Rubrecht, VP Factory Automation Business Unit, Siemens Digital Factory USA 

with more speakers to follow. They will share practical experience and their vision for the future of manufacturing.

Get ready to receive insights with our keynote speeches on:

  • Industrie 4.0 - Germany's "Internet of Things" - presented by Germany's leading expert, head of one of the world's pioneering research centers for smart factory technology 
  • Hannover Messe - where the world meets & where new technologies meet the world! The USA is Partner Country for Hannover Messe 2016
  • DMDII - the new high profile US public/private partnership encouraging factories across America to deploy digital manufacturing and design technologies

And learn how Industrie 4.0 affects the entire value chain - from customers to suppliers to manufacturers.  Use your growth prospects and recognize the opportunities and challenges that are connected to the manufacturing revolution, ranging from workforce all the way to data security. Take a look at our website for more information!

GACC Awards Gala

On the evening of October 9th, we will reveal the nationwide winners of the 2015 GACC Awards! Join us for a festive gala that not only celebrates excellence in German-American business, but also the 25th Anniversary of German Reunification. On this occasion, our special guest Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel (ret.) will share his personal account of the fall of the wall and the unification process. 

Save with a combo ticket for the Smart Factory Industry Forum & the GACC Awards Gala!

HANNOVER MESSE 2016, April 25-29

Congratulations to Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kentucky – the first states to officially join the US Investment Pavilion at Hannover Messe 2016! We’re particularly excited that the Midwest will be well represented. It’s important to get the contracts in soon: booth assignments will start in October and early registrants will get special consideration. The US Investment Pavilion is open to EDOs as well as other organizations involved in promoting and assisting FDI. More information on the opportunities with Partner Country USA and Hannover Messe is available online

Showcase how you Invest in the Future - GACC Midwest Report 2015

INVEST in the FUTURE is the big topic of our upcoming GACC Midwest Report

Showcase how your company prepares for the future and reach a vast audience of new clients, industry experts, businesses, and investors in the US and Germany! The report will be available in online & in print at all our events throughout 2016, including Hannover Messe and IMTS!

Key sections of our report will be dedicated to:

  • Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0
  • Skilled Workforce, Education and Training
  • Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainability
  • Innovative Products, Services and Business Models
  • New Investments in the Midwest

If you would like to learn more about our report and your opportunities for exposure, please review our media kit or contact Jasmin Welter.

Chapter News

MN Chapter: James Schollett elected as new President

Our Minnesota Chapter has a new President – James Schollett. He was officially elected to the GACC Midwest Board as Chapter President this week. James has over 30 years' experience in both global enterprises and small businesses. He joined Leaf Industries, Inc. in 1989 as its Director of Finance. He has served in his current role as Vice President of Finance and Administration at Leaf Industries, Inc. for over 18 years.  Leaf Industries is a contract manufacturer of precision sheet metal products serving a variety of industries. Mr. Schollett provides leadership for financial and accounting functions, risk management, enterprise systems management, project management, training and human resources. Mr. Schollett is a also member of the MN Society of CPAs, the Society for Human Resource Management. We are pleased to work with him and having him on board of our GACC Network. Learn more about our Minnesota Chapter on their website!


GACC Midwest @ IAA Frankfurt, Germany

Consulting Director Virginia Rounds met with Tommaso Buti, Head of International Business Development for ISOLITE GmbH at IAA Frankfurt.

Electric vehicles were everywhere as Virginia Rounds and Dieter Lehnert visited the trade days of the IAA in Frankfurt last week. In addition to automakers and leading tier 1 suppliers who exhibit during the entire show, a few halls set aside for suppliers were open only to media and trade visitors. Virginia and Dieter visited GACC members, including our vice chairman Dr. Walter Maisel at KOSTAL, clients such as ISOLITE and Wallstabe & Schneider, and automotive clusters from across Germany.

In recent years, the Chicago region has emerged as one of the epicenters of US smart grid investment. To capitalize on this interest, we hosted a Smart Grid Symposium on Tuesday, September 15 in downtown Chicago. The event was attended by over 60 smart grid professionals from the Chicagoland region. The presentations from US and German experts, as well as from our delegation of German smart grid firms visiting Chicago in the same week, are now online on our website. The symposium served as an excellent networking platform, allowing US professionals to make new and valuable connections with their German counterparts in the smart grid market place. Read more about our symposium at

On the occasion of WEFTEC taking place in Chicago, GACC Midwest will host the 2nd International Night Reception on Monday, September 28, 2015 to bring together industry professionals from the German, U.S., and global water sector. Register today!

Staff & Services Spotlight

Melissa Jones, Coordinator Skills Initiative

Melissa has been working with GACC Midwest since July 2015 as a Coordinator for our Skills Initiative. In her position as Coordinator she is responsible for the administrative support of all things Skills, especially GACC Midwest’s own apprenticeship program ICATT. She is very familiar with the German style dual vocational training as Melissa did an apprenticeship herself, holding an Office Manager Diploma from the Max-Hachenburg Schule Mannheim, Germany, where she enjoyed her education while working for IHK Rhein-Neckar. Her background provides her with a lot of knowledge about the IHK system, as she also worked as a Project Manager and Customer Service Clerk for an IHK in the past.

Companies or individuals that want to learn more about our Skills Initiative, are interested in an apprenticeship or have general questions about  ICATT are welcome to get in touch with her.


GACC Midwest Delegation Programs

The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs invites US decision-makers from healthcare centers, hospitals, associations, public administrations and private companies on a business trip to Germany. Experience the latest technological innovations that will drive new approaches and revolutionize tomorrow’s medical world firsthand! The delegation trip to Germany includes a two-day visit to the MEDICA trade show, the world forum for medicine in Düsseldorf including meetings with German exhibitors at the trade show. A visit to the Global IT Summit in Nuremberg as well as a visit to the Medical Valley, one of the most economically powerful and scientifically active medical engineering clusters in the world. Appointments with several enterprises and manufacturers in the healthcare IT field will also be part of the trip. Participants will explore German state-of-the art solutions for all fields of Health IT. For further information, a detailed agenda of the program and registration, please visit our website.

German American Cultural Corner

Are you a company decision-maker and know something about Hamburg, Germany? Hamburg Marketing GmbH invites you to participate in a telephone survey from 23 September to 23 October 2015 on the perception of Hamburg as a city and business location. This is your chance to tell us what you think about Hamburg! You can register to receive a quick & easy survey call here,

Are you an educator or an educational administrator and interested in sustainability? What does sustainability mean to you? How can you - or do you - connect your subject to sustainability and teach it in your classroom? Learn from experts and best practice examples about how you can integrate the topic of sustainability into your curriculum or your school. 
Speakers and experts from Germany and the USA will present the current state of research regarding Sustainability and Education for Sustainability (EfS). Learn more about the event here.

We encourage our Members to participate in the AHK World Business Survey and to share your valuable input until September 25, 2015.

Click here for the "AHK World Business Outlook". The survey will take no more than 3 minutes to complete and also works on mobile devices. You will be able to choose between a German and English version. 

Click here for the "Survey on Chinese competition" (for U.S. Subsidiaries of German Companies). The survey is available in English only. It will take no more than 5 minutes to complete and it also works on mobile devices.    

The survey results will be available in due course.

Mark your calendar for our upcoming events!

  • European Business Networking - 10/21/2015 - Chicago, IL
  • MI Chapter: HR Circle - 10/22/2015 - tbd, MI
  • CO Chapter: Membership Meeting - 10/23/2015 - tbd, CO
  • Christkindlmarket - 11/20 - 12/24/2015  - Chicago, IL
  • Christkindlmarket Oak Brook - 11/27 - 12/24/2015 - Oak Brook, IL
  • German American Business Outlook  [GABO] - 12/14/2015 - New York, NY

Visit our website for more information on our events.

Find the online edition here. If you would like to be on the cover of the next GAT, contact us today!

We're pleased to feature the first White Paper by our White Paper Library Sponsor Barnes & Thornburg on the topic United States Employment Laws.

Are you a thought leader in your industry and want to share your knowledge in our new white paper section? Contact Jasmin Welter to be part of our White Paper Library.

Job Openings

We are looking to fill the following positions:

  • Sales Manager (Industrial Components)
  • General Manager (Industrial Products)
  • Sales Manager (Architectural Products)

    For more information on these openings, contact Justin Flaxbart.

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