Letter from the President
This is such a beautiful time of year, with longer days and much more sunshine, the onset of Spring.
And this year 2015 is definitely looking good for the future of the AGBC, which just celebrated its 50th Anniversary last year. This New Year is already marked as a year for change. Two new chapters are getting started while one small chapter (Karlsruhe) closes shop. The newest of the new is the AGBC Wiesbaden-Mainz. This area also provides a new location for the US Army Headquarters in Germany, after they relocated from Heidelberg. There is great potential for our new twin-city chapter, with many locals eager to join our internationally oriented group. The new President in Wiesbaden-Mainz is Dr. Ingeborg Cleve, with board assistance from Rob Doyle, Secretary, and Horatio von John, Treasurer.
We are happy to note that this newest chapter has taken off with a German business woman leading the way. She has a new group of people there, and like all chapters, they want to discuss business and social issues of interest to their community. They have already had two successful chapter meetings with more in the offing.
In addition to this brand new chapter, we are enthused about the revival of the AGBC Saxony in Leipzig, with Lutz Schumacher leading the way as Chapter President. He is ably assisted by Robert F. Gericke, VP Treasury, and Emmett McLoughlin, VP Membership. Yours truly was invited to be the Keynote Speaker at their March Revival meeting on the 18th of the month. Saxony also hopes to host a dinner meeting this May to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its chances of passage this year.
We continue to see signs that the AGBC makes a difference, as the Kaiserslautern Chapter readies its annual charity golf tournament, set for May 29th at Ramstein AFB. The proceeds from this annual gathering provide the financial support needed for the AGBC scholarships they award to local business students.
And the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (www.entrepreneurs-of-tomorrow.com) program in Frankfurt has again attracted almost 70 high school students to come up with their own business plans to potentially win one of the generous AGBC cash prizes.
As you know, we had a meeting of our National Board last November in Bonn, the birthplace of our AGBC. And with many VIPs, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary at the Deutsche Welle. That was a terrific weekend. And now, we’re preparing to have our first National Meeting of 2015 on the 13th of June in Heidelberg. In addition to our Board Meeting, there will be social and networking events to make that weekend worthwhile.
So lots of good things continue happening within the AGBC.
I encourage you to get more actively involved in your chapter, since like Real Life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Suggest a good speaker from one of your local companies and help your chapter attract even more members.
All of this is new and exciting stuff for a 50-year-old club, and a renewed sign of the usefulness of face-to-face networking -- different than getting lost in today's digital jungle. Granted most communication is via the internet these days, but that also means the chance to meet new people and hear different perspectives is of greater importance than ever.
We wish you a healthy and successful New Year in everything you do. I look forward to seeing you soon at an AGBC event!
Enjoy Every Day !
Barry Swanson, CFP
President, Association of AGBCs