GACC Midwest ChamberBrief: June 2014 Issue

Dear Members and Friends,

Every two years, representatives from our 126 offices in 86 countries come together at the AHK World Conference in Berlin (see image above). This year, Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, praised the successful work of the German Chambers Abroad for German foreign trade. He stated that especially smaller companies profit from the locally established contacts of the AHKs and receive first class consulting. The network of AHKs, of which we are part, has been helping German companies to establish a presence abroad for over 100 years.

Besides our anticipation for the ongoing Soccer World Cup - and especially the game of the U.S. versus “die Mannschaft” - we are excited that there is currently a lot of momentum for many of our core initiativesModern manufacturing is moving forward bold and strong. TTIP discussions are ongoing and our board member former Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel has been very active in promoting the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership recently. 

In Washington, German-American relations are in motion as well. On June 5th, our President & CEO, Simone Pohl, and three of our board members flew to D.C. to welcome the new German Ambassador Peter Wittig, who started his work at the Embassy on April 30, 2014. The Skills Initiative continues to be an important focus of our cooperation. Our VP Mark Tomkins and Board Member Walter Maisel will join a Skills Initiative Conference in Washington tomorrow.

Also recently our Bio Energy Business Delegation of eight German companies visited Wisconsin and California. A highlight was the Bio Energy Business Conference in Madison, with around 100 participants. At the same time, our Transatlantic Program – Young Technology Leaders headed to Germany to explore the aerospace industry.

And, as is true for all industries, innovation is key! (See a recent article on on this topic). We have dedicated our Inspiration for Innovation” Event on September 19 to the generation of growth & innovation and look forward to actively involving you all. As always we truly appreciate your engagement in this exciting new signature event!

Best wishes | Herzliche Grüße,

Your GACC Midwest team


Full Steam Ahead to Modern Manufacturing in the Midwest!

At our June CEO Roundtable Scott Miller, Interim Executive Director at Illinois Manufacturing Lab (IML – part of the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII)), gave a very interesting presentation on manufacturing initiatives to be undertaken by the lab; we look forward to continuing this productive dialogue with the DMDII and our German companies.

As part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Program (IMCP), the DOC designated 5 communities in our territory as Manufacturing Communities. GACC Midwest appreciates this as a clear sign for the traditional strength of and the promising future for the manufacturing sector in the American Heartland! Read more

Join us at the German Night Reception at this year's IMTS/IANA and meet industry leaders at one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world

Given the current public interest in this topic, The Wall Street Journal even dedicated a whole insert on Manufacturing! “Behind Germany's Success Story in Manufacturing” explores the role of the Fraunhofer Society in making Germany one of the leading exporters of high-tech manufactured goods. 

Our board member former Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel has been very active promoting TTIP recently - he spoke at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s event last week  on “The Fourth Installment of the Europe 2020 Series: Europe - Let's Call the Crisis Finally Over!” and also presented on “Getting Past ‘No’ on TTIP” at a partner luncheon in Indiana this week.

Upcoming GACC Midwest Events:

Where: Willis Tower (Graham Conference Center, Wacker Room, Suite 3333)
When: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Learn about cutting-edge technologies and sustainable solutions for the water sector and explore synergies and partnership opportunities with German companies! For more information, please visit our website

Join us next on June 18 at our POPULAR SUMMER LOCATION, the Ivy Sky Terrace.

Use this exclusive opportunity to network with an eclectic audience of American and European professionals from the Chicagoland business community! More information.

Franz Gruber, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of FORCAM presents on Industry 4.0: Achieving the Smart Factory.

Industry 4.0 is a European initiative led by the German government to computerize traditional industries with the goal of achieving the Smart Factory. This presentation will detail the elements of a Smart Factory and how advanced Shop Floor Management technology can be combined with Lean Manufacturing philosophy to pave the path for a Smart Factory.


We have created this event to present managers with an opportunity to inspire their teams and reward their employees by

  • hearing an expert speaker on innovation & growth
  • participating in our innovative breakout sessions 
  • networking at our Oktoberfest Dinner Party in the relaxed atmosphere of Bavarian “Gemütlichkeit”. 

This event is family friendly! Bring your family and profit from a reduced room rate at the luxurious Abbey Resort for an overnight stay in beautiful Lake Geneva! 

Take a look at the event’s website, the event flyersponsorship flyer!

Please share this event with any company that might be interested in engaging and rewarding their employees!

Join Our Interactive Management Training


The U.S. economy remains strong and continues to grow, making the U.S. an attractive option for German firms wishing to expand. To support these companies, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest and the Southern United States are teaming up with the IHKs of Düsseldorf and Nürnberg, to present interactive management training sessions to German firms later this month.  

The U.S. Automotive industry, a significant driver of the economy, will be the focus of these sessions benefiting German firm interested in expanding into this key market segment. Establishing a commercial and production presence will be key discussion topics. The itinerary includes an overview of current market conditions, and introducing key critical success factors to consider and be aware of for both functional areas. Differences between German business practices, cultural, and major cost drivers are presented throughout. Please contact Dieter Lehnert for more information.



Staff & Services Spotlight – Sandy Abraham

This month we would like to introduce you to the person who is entirely dedicated to supporting our members to make the most of their membership: Sandy Abraham, Manager, Membership Development & Engagement

Sandy joined us in March 2013, to fill a newly created position focusing on member satisfaction - someone who meets them in person in their offices, learns all about their business, finds out about the challenges they face and what we can do to best help and support them

Her knowledge and previous experience in international economic consulting and multichannel marketing enable her to strive in this hybrid function between consulting, marketing, and business development. She is the intermediary who puts our members in contact with each other and with external partners. Many of our members have thus profited from our unique network. From general inquiries to introductions – Sandy points out potential synergies arising from all of our resources to members, delegates, guests - and our staff - alike. As she likes to put it ”SAB macht mobil“! Get in touch with Sandy today to set up a meeting!

GACC Midwest Review:

Sustainable Cities Meeting at CMAP

The Deutsche Akademie für Städtebau und Landesplanung brought a delegation of 30 German planners, architects and experts from related fields to the U.S. The group toured from New York to Detroit to Chicago. During their last stop in Chicago this Monday, GACC Midwest organized an urban planning briefing for them at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. Top speakers from the Congress for the New Urbanism, the City of Chicago, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, American Planning Association, and Teska Associates introduced them to general urban planning practices in the U.S., current plans and developments in Chicago, and trends for the future.

Our Bio Energy Business Conference explored the utilization of organic waste streams from farms, food processing facilities, municipalities, and wastewater treatment plants, among others. American and German industry and policy experts gave presentations and answered questions from an active audience. Over 100 guests attended the conference, which was part of our Bio Energy Delegation visiting from Germany.

We were delighted to have our German delegates

  • Biogas Höre GmbH
  • BIOGASTIGER from Fickert & Winterling GmbH
  • BTS Biogas GmbH
  • EnviTec Biogas AG
  • Streisal GmbH
  • SUMA GmbH
  • WELTEC Biopower GmbH

as well as our experts from the following companies and organizations at the conference: 

  • American Biogas Council
  • City of Janesville, Wastewater Utility 
  • Global Infrastructure Asset Management LLC 
  • Heinrich Böll Foundation North America
  • International Biogas and Bioenergy Centre of Compentence (IBBK)  

 Their presentations are now available on our website.

On May 13, we hosted the Business Conference on Energy-Efficient Transportation Systems in Chicago as part of a week-long delegation trip.

When it comes to how Germans choose to travel, there are a lot of ways they’re similar to Americans. But unlike the U.S., German political leaders are showing a strong commitment to sustainability with plans to increase the number of electric cars from its current 12,156 to 1 million by 2020, and a commitment to get off all fossil fuels by 2050. So, when it comes to finding ways to green U.S. transit systems, the Germans are ready to answer the call to action. Click here to read the full review in masstransitmag.

Spazieren gehen



Tools for R&D, innovative production and process optimization

GACC Midwest is organizing a delegation, including a breakfast conference, to Michigan on November 10-12. German companies offering tools and services for the automotive industry are welcome to be part of the delegation! 

To join the delegation, learn more about the conference, set up a meeting with local companies or for more information, please contact Dieter Lehnert or click here.


The 2014/2015 Membership Directory of the German American Chambers of Commerce is about to be launched! The directory contains up-to-date contact information for our 2,500 member companies nationwide.

Our Membership Directory is one of the most well-known advertising channels of the German-American business community. The wide-spread circulation of the directory guarantees effective advertising and maximum exposure


Purchase 1/2 page ad + Premium Profile for our printed Membership Directory and receive a complimentary 3 months logo placement in our GACC Midwest's new online membership directory!

Not a member yet? Sign up today!

The annual Subsidiary Directory of German Firms in the U.S. is the ultimate resource for those looking to do business with or work for German-American companies.

The 2014/2015 edition contains contact information for 3,500 headquarters and branches throughout the U.S. their parent company in Germany; compiled by state and listed with easy-to-use product indices. Purchase now!

Be featured in this international publication with a readership of about 20,000 and an even higher online viewing rate! Contact Jasmin Welter for advertising opportunities.

Download GAT today!
Stay up-to-date on the latest transatlantic news, learn about how German companies are expanding their U.S. Business, welcome new executives to the C-Suite – and much more!



Anything but dirty!

To our manufacturing companies:

Showcase your high-tech facility in the “Anything but Dirty” feature of the German American Trade magazine (GAT). Flip through sample articles

The U.S. remains a strategic growth market for airberlin. The nonstop connection between Berlin and Chicago, operating since March 2013, has been increased to daily service last month. Click here for more infomation.

Platinum Sponsors 2014

ChamberBrief Sponsors

·      Open Positions:
- Sales Engineer
- PLC Programmer
- Accounting Associate

Open Positions at GACC Midwest:
- Consultant
- Director, Skills Initiative
- Manager, Site Selection and Consulting Services

For details, contact Justin Flaxbart, Manager, Career Services, or visit our website.

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