Letter from the President
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGBC!
The year 2014 is a very special year in the history of the American German Business Club, as it marks our 50th anniversary. This is not only a commemorative year, but also a year of celebrations. Several of our chapters will be having major celebrations in the course of the year.
We lived in a very dynamic and dangerous world in 1964. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963; the first stirrings of a domino effect were beginning in SE Asia; and the Soviet Union was amassing an extraordinary number of combat divisions close to the border between East and West Germany.
Bonn was West Germany's legal "Seat of Government" at this time; it was home for embassies and a large number of corporations and institutions with vested interests in central Europe. The "American Embassy Club on the Rhine" was a maelstrom of diplomats, lobbyists, agents, expats and citizens from countries all over the world. It was also a beautiful place to congregate.
This became the luncheon location for a group of American defense industrialists who decided it was prudent to get together periodically to discuss the most important issues of the day. They became the American Businessmen's Club in 1964. This group was the genesis for the AGBC of today. Women, German citizens and other nationalities were soon welcomed. New chapters soon evolved in other German cities causing a name evolution to the Association of American German Business Clubs. And our national Headquarters located in Frankfurt am Main. (A more extensive history can be found here on our website).
It is fitting then that Frankfurt is hosting our first weekend of celebrations. On Thursday, 8 May, we will be hosting the new US Ambassador to Germany, the honorable John B. Emerson at Frankfurt's beautiful Römer to provide our first anniversary address. Also in attendance will be Frankfurt's Counsel General, Kevin C. Milas and the Oberbürgermeister of Frankfurt, Mr. Peter Feldmann. In addition to numerous other dignitaries, other AGBC members from throughout Germany are expected at this event.
This will be followed on Friday, 9 May, by a special Charity Golf Tournament at Rheinblick Golf Course in Wiesbaden, tee times starting at 09:00. This should be great fun. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. Then on Saturday, 10 May, we will have our semi-annual national membership meeting in Frankfurt to discuss the many national issues of the AGBC.
One example of our commitment to value is our effort to reach out to young people to help train them in the exciting process of starting a business. Becoming an entrepreneur is not easy, but we currently have active programs in both Kaiserslautern and Frankfurt to do this. The most successful students in these programs become contest winners and receive generous financial rewards (www.entrepreneurs-of-tomorrow.com).
The next major celebrations will be in Kaiserslautern on the 24th of May. Munich will have a number of events, and the last celebratory weekend of this anniversary year will be in Bonn in November. Please check with your local chapter to determine where and when to participate. Remember, membership in one chapter is membership in all. So your invitation is automatic to any of our events (just register first).
This enduring success of our AGBC is not simply predicated on business, but rather it is based on our common commitment to the integrity of continuing education, the sharing of ideas, the promotion of values, networking with each other and enjoying the process.
We look forward to working with you, doing whatever is necessary and good, to promote the continuing success of our AGBC in the decades to come.