GACC Midwest ChamberBrief: July 2013 Issue

Dear Members and Friends,

Summer has certainly arrived in the Midwest, and GACC Midwest’s busy calendar continues into the new season. Whether meeting with members of the Chicago-area business community at our monthly International Business Networking event, speaking at conferences in the Midwest and Germany, or discussing the future of education with high-ranking officials from Midwestern states, the month of July has offered us numerous opportunities to engage with the transatlantic business community.

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!

Best wishes | Herzliche Grüße,

Your GACC Midwest team


Upcoming Events and Delegations:

© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, design architects of the project: Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill

From August 26-29, 2013, GACC Midwest is bringing a German business delegation of industry experts in the smart city field to Chicago. Eight German companies will present their products at our Smart City conference, including innovative technologies for smart buildings, smart metering, and smart parking; green corporate architecture, integrative energy concepts, and many more.

Seize this opportunity to hear about the latest developments and trends in the German and US energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure markets, explore synergies and partnership opportunities with our German expert delegation, and learn about innovative products made in Germany.

For more information, please contact Petra Stieninger, Senior Manager, Government Projects (312) 665-0977,

Wind Energy Business Delegation – November 4-8

Quellenangabe: © Patrizia Tilly/Fotolia

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! With a focus on component suppliers and O&M service companies in the wind industry, this program aims to facilitate business relationships between German wind energy companies and their US counterparts. As part of the program, GACC Midwest and GACC South will conduct a free of charge, individualized business partner search. Participating German companies will meet wind industry leaders and discuss current market developments with policy experts and other decision makers. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their products and services at the German American Wind Energy Business Conference on November 5, 2013, in Chicago.

For more information, please contact Corinna Jess, Manager, Clean Energy Projects: (312) 665-0976,

Executive Panel & Anniversary Wine Dinner – November 8

Finding the Right Blend: Growth Strategies for German Manufacturing & Production in the US

SAVE THE DATE for this Signature Event! In addition to a 50th Anniversary Edition of our member-favorite Wine Dinner, we will also hold an executive panel on the topic: Growth Strategies for German Manufacturing and Production in the US.

Contact Anna Cournoyer ( today to learn about sponsorship opportunities for this event. More information to come!

GACC Midwest is proud to announce the seventh Transatlantic Program - Young Technology Leaders delegation for U.S. students and young professionals with a focus on "Automotive R&D.” TAP-YTL will offer 12 select participants the chance to explore cutting-edge developments and innovations in automobile design and production during an intensive 8-day trip throughout Germany from November 10 - 18, 2013.

The German automotive industry is characterized by strong, high-value technologies and the skillful adaptation of cutting-edge technologies which have proved very successful in the global economy and made Germany a world leader in the automotive market. With their newly introduced “Lust auf Technik” (Passion for Technology) concept, Germany is fully committed to supporting innovation and research. Major OEMs and companies throughout the supply chain play a key role in maintaining Germany's leading position and stay at the forefront of R&D by working closely with research institutions and universities.

For more information, please visit our website or contact James Hollis | Manager, Delegations and Energy Projects |

Recent Events, Conferences, & Initiatives:

Common Economic Challenges Conference: Social Market Economy and The Euro

GACC Midwest President & CEO Simone Pohl held a presentation at the 3rd Common Economic Challenges Conference on July 17 at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago. Hosted by the Goethe-Institut and further transatlantic partners, Simone Pohl spoke about German company engagement in the US and opportunities in education and skilled workforce. Former Ambassador and current GACC Midwest Board Member JD Bindenagel was also part of the conference and gave a detailed account of the developments surrounding the current TTIP negotiations.

Skills Initiative: Indiana Roundtable

Ambassador Ammon, Governor Pence, and Mark Tomkins

GACC Midwest Vice President Mark Tomkins met with German Ambassador Peter Ammon, Senator and former US Ambassador to Germany Dan Coats, Consul General Dr. Christian Brecht, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, and Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder at a high-ranking discussion forum on the Skills Initiative in Indianapolis on July 8. The forum at Ivy Tech Community College brought together around 100 US and German business, policy, and education leaders in the area to address the “skills gap” that has hit Indiana in recent years.

Ambassador Ammon emphasized in his speech that investing in workers in the US would also offer huge returns for German businesses in the area. By being directly involved, German businesses can tailor curriculum and programs to their specific needs and attract employees that are likely to stay long-term. The community colleges, in turn, will increase enrollment and graduation rates dramatically. “In a number of US states already, local governments and community colleges have entered into a dialogue with German companies on which curricula suits the best needs of medium and hi-tech companies,” noted Ammon. “German investors are often particularly assured when they find training models which they already know from home.”

Hamburg's Senator of the Ministry of the Interior and Sports Visits Chicago

On July 1, GACC Midwest President & CEO, Simone Pohl met with a delegation from Hamburg including Michael Neumann, Senator of the Ministry of the Interior and Sports of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and the Deputy Chief of the Hamburg Police Department, Reinhard Fallack. Their discussions focused upon economics, sports, public safety, and potential exchanges between Hamburg and Chicago. The delegation met with the Chicago Sports Commission, Chicago Sister Cities International, the Chicago Police Department, and other local organizations. Meetings with the Goethe-Institut, the Chicago Marathon organizers, the Chicago Fire soccer team, and GACC Midwest Board Member Uwe Schoberth also took place.

After adding yet another partner in the Dutch American Chamber of Commerce, this month’s European networking event was our biggest to date!

A record number of over 135 attendees joined us at our popular International Business Networking on July 17 at our new summer location – Ivy Boutique Hotel's impressive Sky Terrace. GACC Midwest partners with the French American Chamber of Commerce (FACC), the British American Business Council (BABC), the Italian American Chamber of Commerce - Midwest (IACC), and the Dutch American Chamber of Commerce (DAC) to provide Chicago’s vibrant international business community this excellent networking opportunity.

Join us on August 14 for our next International Business Networking: Register today!

GACCs Collaborating to Support German Food Industry

Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection joined our consulting team and colleagues from the GACC offices throughout the country in Chicago from June 25-26. The meeting discussed future projects to support German food companies expanding to the US. In addition, German experts joined our teams to present on the German food industry from June 27-28.

GACC Midwest on the Road

The most recent meeting of our HR Executive Circle Members took place on July 18, as Hagen Koeckeritz and Meredith Lohbeck from Baker & McKenzie presented key legal, tax, and social security issues as well as best practices related to structuring employment and benefits for international assignees. Our presenters focused specifically on inbound and outbound assignments between Germany and the United States with a closer review of US inbound expatriate assignments.

To learn more about our HR-Circle events, visit our website or contact Justin Flaxbart (

Basics of Product Liability – Gera, Germany

On July 4, W. David Braun, GACC Midwest Chairman of the Board, and Virginia Attaway Rounds, Director, Consulting Services, joined an event focusing on liability issues for manufacturing companies of all types hosted by the IHK Ostthüringen zu Gera. W. David Braun, GACC Midwest Chairman of the Board of Directors and Partner at Quarles & Brady, spoke about specifics of product liability in the US. Virginia closed the day by speaking about practical aspects of market entry. Technology clusters & regionalism, trends in manufacturing, sales channels & strategies for working with sales partners. 

Joint meeting of the IHK Committees for Economics & Technology

On July 3, our Chairman W. David Braun spoke to the joint meeting of the IHK committees for Economics & Technology and Export. He presented on aspects of product liability in the US and manufacturers' responsibilities at every stage or level of the supply chain.

IHK “Day On Machinery in the US,” Stuttgart, Germany

On June 28, the IHK Stuttgart hosted their “Day On Machinery in the US,” which featured presentations about German exports to the US, investment strategies in the US, warning label requirements, certification, product liability, and visas for machine commissioning & installation. The event addressed more than 30 companies from the Stuttgart region with an interest in expanding or entering the US market. Director of Consulting Services Virginia Attaway Rounds presented at this informational event hosted by KOMET Group.

Virginia shared her expertise on sales channels & sales strategies for the US. Her presentation was based on a recent market study completed by the GACC Midwest, and included both market data and insight from expert interviews with industry leaders and GACC Midwest members. She also participated in a Q&A session with Matthias Heinz, CEO of Komet, Manfred Maier COO of the Heller Group, and Dr. Astrid Engels of VDMA Baden-Wuerttemberg. Some long-term members may remember Matthias Heinz from his time at Putzmeister, a GACC Midwest member in Sturtevant, WI.

Water Roundtable Michigan: Industrial Wastewater Treatment

As part of our German American Water Technology Initiative, GACC Midwest together with The Right Place, Grand Rapids Economic Development, hosted an expert roundtable about innovative water technologies in the food and beverage industries in Grand Rapids, MI, on June 27, 2013. Food processing and agribusiness are two of the most water-intensive and water-dependent industry sectors. They are also two of the fastest growing industries in West Michigan. Experts from Germany and the U.S., both world leaders in the advancement of water technologies, discussed advanced concepts for more efficient industrial water usage and wastewater treatment. Attendees had the chance to learn more about German water technologies, to explore synergies between Germany and the U.S., and to network with experts from both sides of the Atlantic during our expert roundtable. 

Our next major water event will be hosted during the WEFTEC show in Chicago on October 7.  More info coming soon!

Download the newly published July/August 2013 issue of German American Trade today! Featured content includes recaps of the German American Business Forum 2013 as well as this year’s MERLIN Awards Gala and Transatlantic Business Conference. Print copies of the magazine are also available to purchase in our webshop.

Looking for opportunities to boost your company’s presence in the German-American business community? Download our Media Kit or contact Jasmin Welter ( today to learn more about how you can partner with GACC Midwest to fit your business needs.



  • Applications Engineer
  • Executive Assistant
  • Human Resources
  • Associate
  • Project Manager
  • Sales Engineer (Machinery)
  • Service Engineer
  • VP Human Resources

If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact Justin Flaxbart, Manager, Career Services. For further vacancies and information on internships at GACC Midwest, please visit our Career Services website.

  • AGC Northshore
  • Art of Business Communications
  • Armstrong & Associates, Inc.
  • Atwell, LLC
  • Axalta Coating Systems dBa Dupont Performance Coatings
  • Bleistahl North America LP
  • Bowman and Brooke LLP
  • CH Powell Co.
  • City of Rochester Hills
  • D.A.S.Radler
  • Daimler Trucks North America - Detroit Diesel
  • DBV Solutions
  • Deufol North America
  • Ebert & Baumann Consulting Engineers, Inc.
  • Fletcher Jones Audi
  • Gerhard Designing and Manufacturing, Inc.
  • HUESKER Synthetic GmbH
  • ics for automotive USA Inc.
  • Keylingo Translations
  • KUKA Robotics Corporation
  • Leuze Electronic, Inc.
  • Mahoney, Silverman & Cross, LLC
  • MHA-Zentgraf L.P.
  • N2N, Inc.
  • ProActive Business Solutions
  • R2Tec Consult, LLC
  • Sandab Inc.
  • Secop Inc.
  • Sonnenalp Hotel
  • Steuben County Economic Development Corp.
  • West Central Ohio Development Coalition (WCODC)
  • Winergy Drive Systems Corporation
  • WMF Americas Group Inc.

To learn more about GACC Midwest membership and engagement opportunities for your company, contact Sandy Abraham ( today!

Thank you to our Sponsors!