GACC Midwest ChamberBrief: January 2014 Issue

Dear Members and Friends,

Happy New Year! We hope that you enjoyed the holiday season with your family and friends and had a great start into 2014 despite the frosty temperatures.

After having embraced our 50th anniversary in 2013, we are already busy working to make the years to come even more successful and outstanding than the past ones.

Following our German American Business Outlook in New York, which revealed that confidence levels of German companies hit a 5-year high, learn more about how German-American business is doing at our Annual Economic Forum in Chicago on February 6. Join us for this trailblazing Signature Event with a high-ranking economist and business panel, discussing the U.S. and European outlook from a macro- as well as a micro-economic perspective. We are also still accepting sponsorship for this event.

We are excited to share the publication of our 50th Anniversary Book! For those of you who haven't had the chance to explore it online yet, make sure to get a hard-copy of our exciting signature publication - our 50th Anniversary Book! This commemorative piece of German-American business relations is also available online.

Again, we would like to thank you all for your support and interest in this unique anniversary project! We hope you enjoy browsing through the book and look forward to seeing you at the Economic Forum!

Best wishes | Herzliche Grüße,

Your GACC Midwest team


The GACC Midwest 50th Anniversary Book is now available as a hard copy and online. Explore our outstanding commemorative publication now!  

Here is an excerpt of the exciting articles you will find in our book:

  • GACC Midwest History
  • Our Global Network
  • GACC Midwest Growth
  • GACC Midwest Signature Events and Event Highlights 2013
  • Success Stories in German-American Business, told by our members
  • Christkindlmarket
  • Technology Corner
  • Outlook for 2014 and Beyond

Enjoy reading and learning more about GACC Midwest - our history as well as our network!

In case you missed the opportunity to participate in this publication, make sure to check out our upcoming marketing and sponsorship opportunities!

Upcoming GACC Midwest Events:

Our global economic outlook and luncheon top business event will provide exclusive first-hand insights from business leaders on the following issues:

  • Where is our economy heading - locally, nationally, and on a global scale?
  • What are the decisive business trends in 2014?
  • Which solutions are business leaders developing to respond to challenges in their industries?

Join GACC Midwest members, friends, and high-ranking experts from Mesirow Financial, Wittenstein, Inc, Ipsen Group, and RGIT on February 6 as we look forward to the U.S. and German/European Economy outlook for 2014. Find out more about confirmed speakers.

Save the Date! Annual MERLIN Awards Gala – May 2, 2014

Save the Date for our highlight of the year - the annual MERLIN Awards Gala! Join 300 top executives from the German-American business community of the Midwest and their guests at this prestigious event, which has become one of our greatest traditions.

Join us for a festive evening featuring: 

  • an entertaining cocktail reception
  • an exciting silent auction
  • an elegant dinner with special musical performances. Our 2014 high-class entertainment program will follow a Chicago-Hamburg Sister City theme as we welcome high-ranking guests from the Northern German city to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of this successful sister city partnership
  • the presentation of the renowned MERLIN Awards honoring companies for outstanding achievements in German-American business.

Have a look at last year’s gala and our winners.

German American Water Technology Roundtable

After a very successful 2013, the German American Water Technology Initiative will continue in 2014.

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest together with Barnes & Thornburg, Indy Chamber, Citizens Energy Group, United Water, and Purdue University will host a water expert roundtable about innovative German and American water technologies in Indianapolis, IN on March 11, 2014.

Join us for this roundtable:

  • connect with potential business partners from Germany,
  • learn about the latest developments in German and US water technologies,
  • discuss similarities and differences between the two markets, and
  • network with experts from both sides of the Atlantic. 

Don’t miss your chance to get featured in the next edition of the GAWT Magazine and make sure to download the 2013/2014 edition!

You haven’t heard of the GAWT Initiative?

Read about our 2013 expert roundtables series, check out the pictures, videos, and links of our expert delegation trip to Germany, and learn how we can take advantage of the synergies between the German and the US water sectors.

For more information contact Petra Stieninger at

Virginia Attaway Rounds will be presenting in Braunschweig, Germany on February 12, 2014 about the US automation industry and opportunities for German companies. The event is being organized by AmCham Niedersachsen along with the IHK Braunschweig and IHK Hannover. Companies interested in attending should register by February 7; please contact Virginia for more information.


For the fifth consecutive year, the German American Business Outlook (GABO) monitored the state of German-owned companies in the U.S. The nationwide survey by the German American Chambers of Commerce, the Representative of German Industry & Trade and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, shows that confidence levels of German subsidiaries have hit a five-year high!

Executive Summary highlights:


  • 98% of German subsidiaries expecting business growth in 2014
  • 75% of firms intend to increase their workforce, indicating a positive economic outlook.
  • A majority of firms expect to expand U.S. operations and/or increase hiring in the U.S. after a successful TTIP implementation.
  • Despite flat sales prices in 2013, 89% reported unchanged/upward trends in sales volumes.

The survey was presented on December 16, 2013 in a press conference and member reception attended by 250 guests on the Trading Floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Image gallery and more information.



For the second time, the German American Chambers of Commerce (GACCs) presented the GACC Award.

This year’s award honors the “Trainer of the Year” and goes to Mike Bryan of Bosch Rexroth in South Carolina. He has been a trainer with Bosch Rexroth for 36 years and has trained 769 trainees to date. His company is one of the leading specialists in drive and control technologies, employing 38,000 people worldwide. For over three decades, Mike Bryan has been giving guidance, sharing his knowledge and leading hundreds of young people on a pathway to success. More information.

Photo provided by Windau Photography

GACC Midwest attended the 25th anniversary edition of NAIAS.

Being at one of the largest automotive trade shows in the U.S. gave Virginia Rounds, Director of Consulting Services, and Dieter Lehnert, Project Manager at the GACC Midwest Michigan Office, a chance to meet with consulting clients and take the pulse of the industry, which is very optimistic.

On the occasion of NAIAS, Honorary German Consul Fred Hoffman hosted a business networking reception together with the Honorary Michigan French Consul and Clark Hill PLC.

Stop! You're setting a bad example for the children!

Pick your Level of Exposure and Drive Your 2014 Business!

Your Benefits:

  • Speaking and Hosting Opportunities
  • Online Visibility with banners and e-Logo recognition on website
  • Logo recognition in publications 
  • Premium Promo Table Space
  • Logo Signage at Events
  • Preferred Seating
  • Special Rates and Discounts
  • Visible Support of the German-American Business Community
  • And many other Exclusive Opportunities

Take a look at sample packages and request your customized proposal now!

Stay up-to-date on the latest transatlantic company news, learn about managing the cost of global risks and the German Skills Initiative’s work growing a 21st century manufacturing workforce, and much more – Download GAT today!

To our manufacturing companies: For 2014, our GAT magazine will once again include an “Anything but Dirty” section featuring members of our strong manufacturing base. To learn more about being featured in this national publication, contact Jasmin Welter today!

Receive all benefits of the highest membership levels of GACC Midwest, GACC New York, and GACC South through our National Partner Program!

Not a GACC Midwest member? Contact Sandy Abraham ((312) 665-0978) today to learn how membership will benefit you and your company!

Platinum Sponsors 2014

ChamberBrief Sponsors

Save the Date!

GACC Midwest Member Fall Event - September 2014

Brand new for our members: GACC Midwest invites you to an inspirational get-away in a lush green environment outside of Chicago in September. Get inspired, share your business visions, and mingle with existing and new contacts! Stay tuned for more information.

Knowledge Exchange - Become a Speaker and Share your Expertise

Featuring expert guest speakers from a variety of industries, this event series provides attendees the opportunity to expand their knowledge of topics impacting their day-to-day business, meet new business partners, and share their own ideas and experiences in an international business environment.

Apply now to speak at our next Knowledge Exchange! We encourage you to bring along friends or partners who are not yet GACC Midwest members to join us free of charge on their first visit.

  • Vice President Human Resources
  • Technical Sales Engineer (CNC Machining)
  • Production Manager
  • Sales/Business Development Manager- Automation
  • Office Manager/Sales Assistant
  • PLC Programmer
  • Laboratory Supervisor

Contact Justin Flaxbart, Manager, Career Services, or visit our website for more information and internships at GACC Midwest.

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