Letter from the President
History: Thomas Jefferson was in Germany, visiting our little village of Heidelberg, way back in 1788. Actually, he was visiting the small suberb of Dossenheim, a tiny hamlet a few kilometers north of town. He was looking at special goats to purchase for his estate at Monticello. As the French Army had totally destroyed Heidelberg and burned everything to the ground only 95 years earlier, in 1693, one can imagine the modesty of the area here to receive this great statesman.
That's the earliest example of American German business I can come up with on short notice. I have to give credit where it's due. That was shared with me by the June speaker at our local Heidelberg Rhein Neckar Chapter, Thomas Leibrecht, Managing Director of Heidelberg's Schiller International University.
But business is business. We are the Association of American German business Clubs, so let's get back to it. The Kaiserslautern Chapter just hosted a wonderful weekend for our National Executive Board, as well as for any members wishing to participate. We conduct these semi-annually to share ideas and conduct the business of the national organization. The meeting took place all day on June 9th, but was preceded by a wonderful Golf Tournament on June 8th, with 105 participants.
The proceeds from the golf tournament helped to finance their annual scholarship awards. American and German High school seniors, and early college students, studying business or business related courses, were invited to submit one page essays in English. They had to write about how they are going to use their studies to generate and enhance cross cultural development and business relations between Americans and Germans. This is now the 12th year for this wonderful program; and the golf tournament also provided the venue for awarding the prizes, with the top award of 1000 Euro and several others for 500 each. Congratulations to that team in Kaiserslautern which did so much to make this year's event another huge success.
Richard Hagl of the Munich AGBC, has been appointed to the National Board for the new position of Head of IT Development.
With all the consuming issues of Social Media and proper website development, Richard has accepted a very challenging position. We expect all chapters to work together with Richard and support his efforts to improve and enrich our communications environment.
In line with this, we've decided that the Association needs to get on with crafting a national Facebook presence to provide a good footprint for the AGBC across Germany. Chapters in Bonn and Kaiserslautern have already developed their own local Facebook pages, which they tell us have had good success. The completion of an overall national presence will make it beneficial for every chapter to enjoy linkage. Ultimately, the "cross pollination" between chapters will provide for speaker exchange, visitors at meetings and an excellent forum for us to share information.
One piece of information critical for all US citizens is the need to register for the elections coming up in November. The new law requires you to register again, regardless of whether you were registered before. There is always a time lag in receiving your ballot. So log on to www.fvap.gov and get on with it. Throughout Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, many are dying for the right to vote. You have that right. And I believe you are also responsible to use that right.
We're also excited about the re-generation of two of our chapters, Düsseldorf and Saxony. Each is now in the process of developing a board in order to start regular meetings. The points of contact are Eberhard von Pogrell in Saxony, at 0179-2939247 and Jeff Pollert in Düsseldorf, at email@example.com.
We're enjoying wonderful weather in Germany so far this summer. We don't have any forest fires, hurricanes, floods or other terrible things afflicting other parts of the planet. In fact, we have it pretty good. Lets get out and enjoy this beautiful summer
while we can. Enjoy your day.
Barry E. Swanson, CFP