ChamberBrief 2015: Special GACC Awards Edition

1st Annual GACC Awards Gala - October 9, 2015

At a time of continually increasing trade and investment between Germany and the US, we proudly hosted our 1st Annual GACC Awards Gala. During a festive ceremony, we honored companies who have excelled in German-American business, for the first time nationwide.

Chairman W. David Braun and GACC Midwest's new President & CEO Mark Tomkins led through the evening's program. They were joined by a special guest to honor the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of German Reunification: Former US Ambassador in Berlin, J.D. Bindenagel shared an emotional eyewitness account of the happenings during the Fall of the Wall that truly captured the entire audience - which included many representatives from German Federal States for this special anniversary gala.

The Awards Gala, one of the highest accolades in German-American business, featured 5 winning companies in 3 categories - Outstanding Investment in Eastern Germany Award, Excellence in Services; and Excellence in Innovation. GACC Midwest also honored one of their longest-standing members with a special MERLIN Award for Outstanding Contribution to the German-American business community in the Midwest.

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to all our sponsors who supported us in making this event and the celebration of 25 Years of German Reunification such a great success! We would especially like to thank our Key Partner, Germany Trade and Invest for their support for the GACC Awards Gala. 

Please find the official press release as well as photos of the event on our website. Also stay tuned for a special mailing regarding our Smart Factory Industry Forum, that will be following shortly.

Best wishes | Herzliche Grüße,

Your GACC Midwest Team

J.D. Bindenagel on 25 Years of German Reunification

"It is no secret that Germans are happy to celebrate their freedom on Unity Day. Thucydides said the “secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage.”

The courage to fight for freedom is the story of the Peaceful Revolution that brought unification. Germans in the German Democratic Republic - GDR -courageously faced down a regime that had killed fellow citizens whose only crime was to seek freedom and escape the over the Berlin Wall.

On this special occasion of the 25th Anniversary German Unity, the German-American Chambers of Commerce – AHK (New York, Chicago and Atlanta), will present too few deserving awards to American companies for their contributions to deepening U.S.-German relations. Investments in Germany and in America drive innovation and economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic and prepare our countries for a successful future."

Congratulations to the 2015 GACC Award Winners!

GACC Award for Outstanding US Investment in Eastern Germany

The Dow Chemical Company

On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of German reunification, the German American Chambers of Commerce honored The Dow Chemical Company with the GACC Award for Outstanding US Investment in Eastern Germany. Dow recognized Eastern Germany’s strong industrial policy and the economic potential early on after the reunification. In 1995, they acquired former IG Farben facilities and started an impressive restructuring effort to turn them into state of the art chemical sites. Today, Dow directly employs approximately 5,000 people in Germany including 1,700 people in Central Germany. The company is one of the largest plastics producers in the new federal states and remains a key driver of the chemical industry in Germany: through their Industrial Value Park, their investment in dual vocational training programs, and their advocacy for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). With their ambitious sustainability goals and bold investments, Dow has contributed immensely to long-term economic growth in Eastern Germany. The versatile chemicals manufacturing corporation, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is one of the 12 largest US companies in Germany, and Germany is their second largest production base and market after the US. Dr. Benno Bunse, Chairman/CEO of Germany Trade and Invest, honored this special occasion by personally presenting the award to DOW.


Nicola Michels for Schmidt Technologies

Bosch Rexroth

GACC Award for Excellence in Innovation

GACC Midwest
Rittal, founded in 1961, has continuously evolved into the world's leading systems provider for enclosures, power distribution, climate control, IT infrastructure and software & services. Rittal won the Innovation Award (GACC Midwest) for their Blue e+ cooling unit series, which was introduced at Hannover Messe 2015 and opens a new era for industrial air conditioners. Their innovative approach that uses energy-efficient active components has lowered the total cost of ownership by up to 75% - a huge saving for both users and the environment. Being equipped with an advanced inverter technology, the units are suitable for global use.


GACC New York:
Schmidt Technology Corporation is an international leader in Assembly presses and systems for precision applications. Schmidt’s custom built innovative presses for client Airbus significantly reduced production time while increasing output and improving quality and traceability.


GACC South
As part of the Bosch group, Bosch Rexroth supports mechanical and plant engineering efforts around the world with its cutting-edge technology and unique industry knowledge  - and is the winner of the Innovation Award from GACC South. Bosch Rexroth’s Open Core Interface solution for 3D modeling optimizes design & modeling processes through more precise visualization and reusability. As a previous Hermes Award winner, Bosch Rexroth’s technological innovation clearly displays a powerful step toward the realization of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

GACC Award for Excellence in Services

The German-American business community could not work as smoothly and efficiently without the support of all our service providers.

With their uniquely transatlantic service concept, DACHSER Transport of America was honored with the 2015 GACC Award for Excellence in Services. DACHSER is one of Europe's leading logistics providers. DACHSER’s comprehensive full coverage service sets trends in the industry – worldwide. With their mix of reliable standardized processes and customized services, they find the ideal integrated supply chain solution for all customers, from start-up to multinational corporation. The “DACHSER corporate DNA” includes continuous optimization and the maturing of their network as a display of their commitment to their clients – which is clearly shown through their 13 locations and continuous growth in the US.


Jack S. Richter honored with MERLIN Award

MERLIN Award Winner Jack S. Richter together with GACC Midwest Chairman W. David Braun who presented the Award

Jack S. Richter was truly moved as he was called on stage to be awarded with the MERLIN Award for Outstanding Contribution to the German-American Business Community in the Midwest at the Gala. The MERLIN Awards, named after the founder of GACC Midwest Peter Merlin, have been an integral part of  GACC Midwest since 2000. To continue this Midwest tradition, this special award was awarded to Jack S. Richter, founder of J.S. Richter, Ltd. International Business Accounting Firm, at the first nationwide Awards Gala. The Award recognizes a special individual who has built a legacy of success in German-American businesses throughout their career. With his accounting firm, Mr. Richter has been a help to countless numbers of German clients here in the Midwest. He is also the longest serving board member of GACC Midwest and currently serves as Honorary Director. Congratulations again!

Save the Date - German American Business Outlook 2016


The results presentation and a panel discussion as well as the “Trainee of the Year” Award Ceremony will be held at Thomson Reuters on Times Square in New York City on Monday, December 14, 2015.

Please get in touch if you are a headquarter of a German subsidiary in the Midwest and did not receive our survey mailing.

    Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors 2015!