Letter from the President
Here's wishing you a wonderfully Happy Holiday Season, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Atheistic or Agnostic Holiday, or for whatever else your belief system might focus on. It's a time to separate ourselves from the pedestrian troubles which pester us throughout each day, a time for logical thinking to support the glory we can find in the love of family and friends. Reality isn't always given the credit it deserves.
We had lots of reality on the 18th of November in Heidelberg. As announced in the last newsletter, the 18th was the date for the bi-annual meeting of the Executive Board of our association. Executive representatives or proxy from all the individual chapters were in attendance. Note for future planning: our next National Executive Board meeting shall be on 5 May 2018 in Kaiserslautern. We covered a number of topics, including confirmation of the extension of the patent and copyright for our Logo and title, for the United States, and of course, Germany. The website and its extension in current form were a topic as always. And various creative undertakings were discussed to better support individual chapters and the association as a whole. This particular topic will be re-visited at our next national meeting with a report due from our responsible committee.
The association holds elections every two years to determine the make-up of our Executive Board. There are currently three elected positions, and the election results were as follows:
Treasurer - Mr. Charles Keene; Executive Vice President - Mr. Thomas Leiser; and President - Barry Swanson.
Discussion was held to increase the size of the board to 5 members from the current 3. But as it is possible for the President to appoint a vice president to work with the group with specified responsibilities, we decided to leave the elected positions as they are and increase the board through appointment. In that manner, individuals with specialized capabilities could be appointed to assist with some of the special needs of the association. Every appointment would naturally be announced to the general membership. None of these positions on the National Board are rewarded with any compensation. Rather, all of us are voluntary, and we serve only in the hopes of receiving periodic praise.
I rather expect most every one of our chapters has events during this season. Call one of the board members of your local chapter to find out what's going on. It could be a banquet, a luncheon or even an ice skating party. You need to be a participant.
Here are some of the happenings from a few of our chapters:
Munich hit another home run on the 26th of September with its "AGBC Returns to Oktoberfest" get-together at the Festhalle Schottenhamel. They had 190 participants enjoying all the frivolity of Munich's famous Oktoberfest. They had 3 primary monthly meetings this Fall with discussions on the UN's World Food Programme: Innovation Accelerator on approach to Zero Hunger. Then came Challenges in Today's Transatlantic Business World, and finally Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Implications for Economic Inequality. Their annual Christmas Party will be held on 11 December 2017. The Munich AGBC Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 31 January.
The Frankfurt chapter has been evaluating its strategic focus and has plans to expand some of its programs to bring in a more diverse membership. They continue to have a great mixture of guest speakers, networking events, concerts and sporting events like golf and bowling. The biggest event is a continuation of the extraordinary Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow program with this year being the 10th anniversary of their business plan competition for high school students. This is a process which will be held over the course of the year in the wonderful new facility of the Frankfurt School of Management. The Dean came to speak to the students, and also the deputy mayor Markus Frank put in a guest appearance.
A highlight for December will be on this coming Monday, the 11th, and will feature a luncheon at the InterContinental Hotel to formally thank David Knower for his many years of contributions to our Frankfurt Chapter. This reception will be followed by a great Christmas Luncheon and a presentation by Mr. Woodward "Clark" Price, the U.S. Minister Counselor of Economic Affairs, entitled "The Future of US-European Relations."
Wiesbaden-Mainz had a meeting at the Wiesbaden Presse Club on the 14th of November with an important discussion group to discuss key issues of the first "300 days of US President Donald Trump in office." They will be joining with other groups for Christmas events in December. On the 18th of January, they will hold their annual general meeting. This meeting is restricted to members only; and there the chapter's 2018 activities will be discussed in greater detail.
Heidelberg Rhein-Neckar has had a number of political and economic meetings during the autumn months, but our year was capped with a wonderful Christmas Banquet held in the romantic, historic Hotel Ritter on December 2, 2017. This beautiful location is found right in the middle of Heidelberg's Christmas Market. This feast of roast goose provided an opportunity to enjoy the season's Glühwein as well as a variety of other wine. This was culminated with a song fest for everyone to enjoy Christmas carols together. The second week of January 2018, will provide a new year's networking Cocktail Party at the Hotel Marriott, which has always been a great success.
Reflecting on an earlier comment, this is a season of many varied, wonderful activities. Contact the executive officers from your own chapter for ideas to celebrate the holiday.
In closing, all of the officers of your Executive Board join me in wishing you a Merry Christmas and enjoying an extraordinarily Healthy, extremely Prosperous and very Happy New Year!
Barry E. Swanson