AGBC

Association of American-German Business Clubs e.V


An all-volunteer organization, AGBC provides a forum for the discussion of national and international commercial relations and ideas. AGBC supports free trade, the sharing of ideas benefiting both countries, and personal interaction between business people within Germany. The AGBC is open to all nationalities who support its goals.

The American German Business Club (or AGBC e.V.) is a private, non-profit, international organization, presently consisting of ten AGBC Chapters: Bonn, FrankfurtHeidelberg, Kaiserslautern, MunichStuttgart and Wiesbaden - Mainz. Its activities are designed to strengthen the ties between representatives of American and German business through personal networking in an informal atmosphere.

Letter from the President

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I always have mixed emotions in writing a Newsletter in September. On the one hand, it's a little sad to have to envision the end of Summer, no longer so many weeks away.

On the other hand, the approaching Fall season can also be exciting. Everyone is finally getting back to work. And the work is interspersed with carnivals and Fests, originally designed to celebrate a great harvest season.

Now in modern times, very few of us are actually witness to the harvest season. But lots of us can enjoy the various seasonal Fests. AGBC Munich provided the biggest and best for our members collectively in that they reserved almost 200 places for us at the biggest fest in the world, the famous Munich Oktoberfest on 24 September. It is my understanding they had a rip-roaring time, with many from Frankfurt joining in.

Another minor Fest, with major work mixed in, is the semi-annual meeting of the AAGBC Executive Board in Heidelberg. This will take place on Saturday, 18 November, from 11:00 to approximately 16:30. We're meeting at the Leonardo Hotel, Heidelberg City Center, Bergheimer Strasse 63, telephone 06221-5080.

Any member from any chapter is welcome to attend one of our meetings. However, we require that you register first with our national office if you wish to attend. That can be done at: national@agbc.de. An Email confirmation from our National office will then be your ticket to join us. Conversely, you can contact your individual chapter President to join him/her in attendance.

I alluded to "minor fest" a few sentences ago. The reason for this is that on Friday evening, 17 November, at 1900, we'll be meeting at one of Heidelberg's many rustic restaurants for a festive dinner, PalmbrauGasse in the old town next to the Holy Ghost Church. They feature what might be described as the best beef filet in Heidelberg. Attendance for this requires you to register as well. It is a popular restaurant and we need to be able to secure enough reserved places.

Back to Munich: if you read this in time, the September meeting of AGBC will take place on 27 September at the Marriott Hotel, with a great presentation from the United Nations World Food Program, entitled Innovations for Zero Hunger.

The meeting on 25 October will feature a timely address on "Challenges in Today's Transatlantic Business World." And on 29 November, they will feature the AGBC Exchange II, with a dialogue on artificial intelligence and aspects devoted to economic inequality.

In Frankfurt, we have a changing of the guard. David Knower, who has been President of our Frankfurt chapter for the last 17 years, has decided to step down. As a colleague and friend for so many years, I speak for the entire AGBC when I thank David for his contributions throughout this time. Thankfully, he has assured us of his commitment to continue to support the AGBC and the Frankfurt Chapter in particular in the future.

Most importantly in early October, the Frankfurt Chapter kicks off their 10th anniversary year of their Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow program, a business plan competition for young people. The chapter has secured the support of local business leaders to function as mentors for this program, and the young people will meet once a month for guidance in crafting their individual plans. Final showdown will be late spring with the awarding of valuable scholarships to the winners.

But the Frankfurt Chapter has always had numerous activities for its members and friends, combining luncheons, evening presentations and networking nights, with music, in an attractive new location in Bad Homburg.

Although Munich and Frankfurt have been featured here, most of our many chapters will have exciting events scheduled over the coming months. You can always contact our national office for those "happening" events in your town. Or you can always contact our national office for a contact to the chapter nearest you.

Finally, thanks to a contribution from AGBC Munich, we have a "Federal Elections Summary," published by the German Foreign Ministry. The excitement of the recent campaign and the election itself is now history. But to better understand this process, I highly recommend reading the addendum which follows.

Federal Elections summary by Editor Nicole Glass: "Germans have taken to the polls to submit two decisive votes: one for a candidate in their district (direct mandate) and one for their political party of choice. These votes will decide how the 598 base seats in the Bundestag (parliament) will be divided among members of Germany's many political parties.

If the number of seats obtained through the second vote is higher than the number of direct mandates, the remaining seats are assigned to those candidates who have been ranked highest on their party's list. If the number of seats obtained by a party's direct candidate is higher than its share according to the second vote, so-called "overhang seats" are granted. After the 2013 election, for example, 33 overhang seats were granted, bringing the total number of seats in the parliament to 631.

The German electoral system differs immensely from the US system, and for those unfamiliar with it, it is not easy to understand. Germans do not directly elect their leader; instead, their votes influence the number of seats that a political party has in the Bundestag. The Federal Chancellor is elected by a relative majority of votes of Bundestag members, which means in practice that the party with the absolute majority determines who is elected head of government.

However, Germany has multiple political parties and a single party almost never receives an absolute majority. This is why two or sometimes three German political parties form a coalition to reach a majority. They negotiate a coalition agreement that defines their common political objectives. Finding this compromise can take several months.

In the 2013 federal election, for example, the CDU and its sister party, the CSU, received 41.5 percent of the votes. Their usual coalition partner - the FDP - received less than 5 percent of the vote, deeming it ineligible for seats in the Bundestag. The CDU / CSU therefore had to find another coalition partner. After long talks, the CDU / CSU formed a grand coalition with the SPD, even though they have some ideological differences. By forming coalitions, parties with different ideologies must learn to work together.”

Here's wishing you a Happy Herbst, with a bountiful harvest of your ambitions, great health and lots of fun through the coming weeks.

Barry E. Swanson, CFP
President

CHAPTERS

The American German Business Club (or AGBC e.V.) is a private, non-profit, international organization, presently consisting of seven AGBC Chapters: Bonn, FrankfurtHeidelberg, Kaiserslautern, Munich, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden - Mainz. Its activities are designed to strengthen the ties between representatives of American and German business through personal networking in an informal atmosphere.

An all-volunteer organization, AGBC provides a forum for the discussion of national and international commercial relations and ideas. AGBC supports free trade, the sharing of ideas benefiting both countries, and personal interaction between business people within Germany. The AGBC is open to all nationalities who support its goals.

Take a look at the chapters' events.

CHAPTER NEWS

 

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Executive Changes at AGBC Frankfurt

2 May 2017

  • American German Business Frankfurt announces Change at the Helm
  • AGBC’s longstanding President David Knower stepped down effective 1 May 2017
  • Vera Thiers appointed AGBC’s incoming President, effective 1 May 2017 

After a long and successful tenure at the helm of American-German Business Frankfurt, David Knower has stepped down as President. A member of the Club since 1997, Mr. Knower presided over AGBC Frankfurt from the year 2000, with a brief hiatus from 2004-2005.

In the 17 years of his duties as AGBC President, and as Partner and Head of Cerberus Deutschland Beteiligungsberatung GmbH since 2003, David Knower witnessed sweeping economic, political and cultural trends in the global hub of Frankfurt, in Germany, and in Europe. Amid all those changes, it was gratifying for Knower to play an integral role in AGBC Frankfurt as an organization marked by high-caliber membership and an inveterate interest in all matters concerning Frankfurt’s vast American-German community. Knower commented: “It was the AGBC’s members who made the difference all those years, by actively participating in events, demonstrating a genuine interest in current issues affecting all of us living and doing business here in Frankfurt, not to mention the generous and invaluable sponsorship of programs and events by our many corporate members.”

David Knower wishes the incoming President every success: “I am pleased to know that the AGBC’s leadership will be in the capable hands of Vera Thiers, and I wish her every success in her exciting and influential role as President of our Club.”
Vera Thiers remarked: “I wish to express my gratitude towards David for all his many years of dedicated service as President, and I look forward to his continued involvement as a member of the Club.” Vera Thiers seeks to expand upon the AGBC’s solid foundation of success, in addition to harnessing many ideas and strategies that have accompanied her professional ventures as an American businesswoman in Germany.

Throughout her career, Vera Thiers, originally from Canton, Ohio, and living in Germany since 1977, has been dedicated to bridging cultures and bringing people together to cultivate new ideas and find common ground. A member of the Club since 2007, she looks forward to her role as AGBC President: “I find it simply exciting to have the privilege to help shape the future of an organization like the AGBC. Thanks to its diversified range of programs, the Club has always demonstrated an ability to bring people together to share ideas. In the age of Social Media, I find that remarkable and more vital than ever.”

For more information about membership and upcoming AGBC Frankfurt events, please phone +49- 69-9735-8275 or send an e-mail to Frankfurt@agbc.de.

Press contact:
Frankfurt@agbc.de.
Tel: +49-69-9375-825 Fax: +49-69-9375-8199 

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KNOWLEDGE BASE

Expats face a couple of administrative challanges like how to pay taxes, how to get health insurance, how to vote from abroad plus the daily surprises of living in a foreign country in a different culture which eventually has every once in a while a different approach to implementing values like "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness" to daily activities like queuing or the use of knife and fork, let alone that you don't find your stuff on the shelves in the supermarket and that - after all that progress that has been made in the last 20 years - they still speak a foreign language …

Use our KNOWLEDGE BASE to find up-to-date information. If you have further questions - or tips you want to share - please feel free to contact us.

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Contact Information

  • Association of
  • American-German
  • Business Clubs e.V.
  • Mainzer Landstraße 176
  • 60327 Frankfurt
  •  
  • Administrative Office:
  • Am Beckmannplatz 4
  • 53340 Meckenheim
  • Phone: 02225 - 70 444 15
  • Fax:   02225 - 70 34 999
  • national@agbc.de
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