GACC Midwest ChamberBrief: November 2013 Issue

Dear Members and Friends,

November got off to a busy start for GACC Midwest as we hosted a series of events throughout the first full week of the month, beginning with the German American Wind Energy Business Conference and Transatlantic Dialogue on the Future of Cities on November 5, and ending with our Executive Panel on Growth Strategies for German Manufacturing and Production in the US & Anniversary Wine Dinner on November 8.

The remainder of the year promises to be just as eventful: In addition to our monthly International Business Networking and Knowledge Exchange, we will be hosting an RSNA Networking Reception and Machinery Delegation from Saxony in the coming month before heading to New York for the exclusive presentation of the results of this year’s German American Business Outlook study on December 16.

As we are looking forward to the grand finale of our 50th Anniversary Year, we invite you to our Jingle Mingle at the Christkindlmarket Chicago on December 18. Join us as we celebrate this anniversary with warm Gluehwein, a tasty seasonal dinner buffet, authentic Christmas treats, and a special raffle – all in the unique atmosphere of the famous Christkindlmarket Chicago!

Best wishes | Herzliche Grüße,

Your GACC Midwest team


Our inaugural Executive Panel on Growth Strategies for German Manufacturing and Production in the US – held prior to our annual Wine Dinner on the afternoon of November 8 in the impressive offices of Baker & McKenzie, LLP – was a resounding success! One hundred guests were in attendance as our dynamic Executive Panel discussed the challenges and benefits of manufacturing in the US. Following an introduction by GACC Midwest Board Vice Chairman Dieter Schmitz (Partner, Baker & McKenzie), Virginia Attaway Rounds (Director, Consulting Services) moderated an Executive Panel with  

Our executives shared exclusive insights from a variety of industries within the manufacturing sector and answered many questions from a very engaged audience. Topics ranged from site-selection and workforce to the roles of speed and innovation, sales channels, and future strategies. The panel provided a range of valuable insights and business guidelines reflecting the different challenges faced by leaders in the automation technology, laboratory-based horticulture, modular enclosure technology, and pharmaceutical industries, respectively.



(left to right) Mark Tomkins, David Gordon, Virginia Attaway Rounds, Dieter Schmitz, Claudia Roth (Ph.D.), Douglas Peterson, Jayne Riemer-Chishty, and Sven Doerge

Executives discussing one of the panel's many topics

Anniversary Members

Over 150 guests gathered at the Mid-America Club in downtown Chicago on November 8 for the 50th Anniversary edition of GACC Midwest’s highly anticipated Wine Dinner. Those in attendance enjoyed an evening of entertainment, a 7-course dinner paired with 7 delicious wines generously provided by Udo Heinz Consult, and the company of many leaders from throughout the German-American business community.

During our Wine Dinner, we had a special treat for our guests in addition to our delicious seven course dinner and our outstanding wines from Germany, Europe, and the US: Our first digital trivia, facilitated by our member company MTI. The game not only showcased an outstanding new technology feature to our guests, but also provided entertaining insight into our Chamber, our members, and the wonderful world of wine.  As another highlight of this unique evening, we were extremely happy to honor a record number of Anniversary Members. We are proud of the commitment our members show to the Chamber, and we look forward to strengthening our outstanding business community even further in the coming 50 years.

Pictures from the event are available to view on our website.

Symposium on Small Wind – October 29, Hamburg, Germany

On October 29, GACC Midwest’s Mark Tomkins visited Hamburg to speak at a Small Wind Symposium hosted by the German Energy Agency (dena). The event focused on market opportunities for German companies in the American small wind market. Small wind has been a growing market in the US, particularly for off-grid and municipal applications. For more information, please contact us.

GACC Midwest together with The Water Council hosted a water expert roundtable about innovative German and American water technologies in Milwaukee, WI on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. This roundtable brought together industry leaders from both sides of the Atlantic and offered an exclusive knowledge and technology exchange in a fruitful expert discussion.

As part of its Wind Delegation from Germany, GACC Midwest's Wind Energy Business Conference marked yet another successful collaboration in the transatlantic shift towards cleaner energy. Seven German wind companies presented their innovative product solutions for the wind energy industry and made important business connections with US potential partners in Chicago, IL and in Austin/Abilene, TX. Industry leaders such as Acciona, Nordex, Suzlon, and Winergy were also present at the conference to discuss current and future developments in the US and German wind markets. This event provided insight into real-world solutions for grid integration and introduced attendees to innovative technologies for installed and next-generation turbines.

Company and speaker presentations are now available on our website, along with pictures from the event.

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in cooperation with GACC Midwest hosted a Transatlantic Dialogue on the Future of Cities followed by a Dinner Reception. Many interesting topics including urban planning, future challenges and synergies between the two Sister Cities of Hamburg and Chicago were addressed during the panel discussion moderated by Marilee Utter (Executive Vice President, District Councils, Urban Land Institute). Attendees had the chance to learn about new challenges and successful solutions for future cities. Learn more on our website.

Dieter Lehnert (Project Manager, GACC Midwest Michigan Office) attended the grand opening of Freudenberg North America’s Regional Corporate Center in Plymouth, MI on October 22. Freudenberg has had its presence in the U.S. since the 1920s and manufacturing presence since the 1960s, recently choosing to take the next step in its commitment to the North American market by increasing its investment in Metro Detroit. 

Dieter Lehnert (Project Manager, GACC Midwest MI Office; far left) attended the event

Upcoming GACC Midwest Events:

The Christkindlmarket Chicago, organized by GACC Midwest subsidiary German American Services, Inc., is an annual outdoor holiday market featuring over 56 vendors from around the world displaying hand-crafted ornaments, toys, and unique holiday gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. The market, now in its 18th year, is rich in cultural tradition and includes special events, performances, and activities.

Experience a traditional German holiday market on Daley Plaza. Admission is FREE! Open daily from November 26 – December 24: Sun-Thurs 11am-8pm, Fri & Sat until 9pm. Visit for more information.

Machinery Delegation from Saxony – December 2-5, Chicago, IL

GACC Midwest together with Wirtschaftsförderung Sachsen welcomes a Machinery Delegation from Saxony this December. From December 2-5, 2013, four delegation companies specializing in advanced manufacturing and machinery will be in the Chicago area to explore partnership opportunities with US companies and to consider expanding their business activities in the Midwest.

Saxony is known as one of the hearts of mechanical engineering in Germany. To find out more about these companies and set up individual meetings, please visit our website.

Knowledge Exchange on the Essentials of Digital Marketing – December 12, Chicago, IL

GACC Midwest’s Knowledge Exchange provides our members and partners an excellent opportunity to expand their knowledge of topics impacting their day-to-day business, meet new business partners, and share their experiences in an international business environment.

Join us on December 12 as Kevin Masi (Cofounder and Principal) and Patrick Rooney (Strategic Partner, CEO of QUEsocial) from Torque Ltd. – a leading and innovative brand strategy and digital media agency – share their expertise with us! Our December topic (“How Digital, Mobile, and Social Media Marketing now Affect the Entire Organization”) will provide key insight into utilizing today’s technology to expand your business and brand recognition.

German-American business relations are stronger than ever with highly attractive investment conditions in the United States. Headlines celebrate German-American progress when it comes to skilled workforce initiatives, and negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are in full swing.

GABO measures the satisfaction of German companies with the US as an investment location and takes on a different topical angle each year. This year's results will be presented on December 16, at the New York Stock Exchange. The reception will include an industry panel featuring Flemming B. Bjoernslev (President & CEO, LANXESS Corp.), Carsten Meyer-Rackwitz (President, tesa North America), Ludwig Willisch (President & CEO, BMW of North America), and Roland Zitt (President, MAHLE Industries, Inc.).

Join us on December 18 for the grand finale of our 50 year anniversary celebration: A special Jingle Mingle celebration in the Festival Tent at the Christkindlmarket Chicago!

Make business connections for the new year and beyond while enjoying warm Gluehwein, a tasty seasonal dinner buffet, authentic Christmas treats, a special raffle featuring unique gifts, and a one-of-a-kind holiday atmosphere at the famous Christkindlmarket Chicago!

50th Anniversary Book

There is still time left to join a list of top companies in this signature publication! Share your story and make your success visible to the German-American business community and beyond.

Contact Jasmin Welter with questions.

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: Beginning in January 2014, GAT will include a new “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!

Membership Fees Are Due!

Have you paid your 2013 membership dues? If not or if you are not sure, please contact Anna Cournoyer.

ChamberBrief Sponsor 2013

Platinum Sponsors 2013

Opportunities for Students & Universities:

Innovation Seminars – October 28-31

Innovation Seminars on the water sector were held at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Purdue University – Calumet, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Madison. The series created great opportunities for students and professionals alike, connecting academia and business.

Interested in attending or hosting a future Innovation Seminar? Contact James Hollis.

The TAP-YTL team and the November 2013-delegates are currently in Germany to learn all about R&D in the Automotive industry! Stay tuned for more information in next month's ChamberBrief.

Interesting in participating in a future TAP-YTL degelation? Contact James Hollis today!

Save the Date!

  • Vice President Human Resources
  • Technical Sales Engineer (CNC Machining)
  • Technical Specialist- Laser Welding
  • Technical Specialist- ECM Applications
  • Production Manager
  • Sales/Business Development Manager- Automation
  • Sales/ Key Account Manager- Automotive


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

News on TTIP

TTIP - Benefits for US States:

  • EU and US concluded the 2nd round of TTIP negotiations
  • The Bertelsmann Foundation recently released a study on the results of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), revealing the benefits of this trade agreement for all 50 states.

Learn more about TTIP on our website!



Partner Events & News:

The German International School Chicago (GISC) held its 6th Annual Laternenfest & St. Martin's Parade on Sunday, November 10. Photos of the event are available on the GISC's website and Facebook page.

Learn more about the GISC at one of their upcoming open houses!

  • November 21
  • January 16
  • January 30
  • February 13
  • February 27

Stay in Touch!

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