Letter from the President
just won a bet. Some of my colleagues were certain spring wouldn't come to Germany this year. But now that we're getting several days over 20'C, they've conceded that it has arrived. We're enjoying sitting under blue skies, having the obligatory cafe on the square and the opportunity to share ideas to improve the world. It appears to be getting better.
It wasn't long ago that all our western democracies were suffering under the worst recession since the great depression of the early '30s. Although competing economic philosophies have generated uneven rates of improvement, both our countries have been climbing out of that frightening downward slide.
There is probably greater stability in the Euro now than we've seen in quite some time, which is critical for a sustained recovery. It's important for me to resist getting into an extended economic discussion; that shouldn't be the substance of this letter. But there are so many ways to measure improvement; it should generate optimism on both sides of the Atlantic.
As you know, we have two national Executive Board meetings per year, whereby each chapter is represented to conduct the business of the association. When a chapter isn't represented in person, usually by the President and a VP, we secure the requisite proxy to represent them on any vote.
Our last National Board Meeting was held in Frankfurt on November 17, 2012. One of the items of this meeting was the biennial election of the National Board, which resulted in no change of elected officers. However, considerable other business was conducted as well, which can be reported by individual chapter Presidents. The FFM Executive Board arranged a terrific dinner for all attendees the evening before the meeting in one of Frankfurt's leading restaurants, the Goldmund im Literaturhaus.
The next meeting of the national Executive Board will be taking place during the day on Saturday, 29 June, at Heidelberg's beautiful Hotel Marriott. Any current (dues paying) member of the AGBC from any chapter is welcome to attend.
So now our chapter in Heidelberg is challenged with crafting an event of equal fun for the last weekend in June.
We're excited about the opportunity to host this event, because the Marriott has a wonderful terrace flush on the scenic Neckar River. After an upscale alcoholic reception on this beautiful terrace, a riverboat will be docking at the Marriott to pick us up. We have a 3-hour romantic evening cruise planned for you, with music, to ensure your trip to Heidelberg is one to remember. Reminder: this reception and riverboat cruise isn't only for board members. All members and friends of our AGBC are invited to join us this evening.
Other chapters are busy as well. In Munich, our AGBC is sponsoring an ambitious day of presentations focusing on the Entrepreneur, entitled the AGBC Exchange. This will be on Saturday, 22 June. For more information, please contact the Munich Chapter President, Mr. Larry Schultz, at 089-985984.
The Kaiserslautern Chapter will once again provide scholarships to the winners of an essay contest. They will be doing this in conjunction with a summer Golf Tournament, which provides earnings sufficient to fund these awards for a number of local students. These kinds of community effort truly promote good transatlantic appreciation and understanding.
AGBC Bonn is working with ARD TV to produce a 50th anniversary documentary of John F. Kennedy's visit to Bonn on June 24th, 1963. This was one day before JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in Berlin. Kennedy and Konrad Adenauer toasted one another to a renewed spirit of German-American relations at the former American Embassy Club in Bad Godesberg.
In Frankfurt, we have just completed this 5th season for the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Program, a wonderful scholarship opportunity for students from regional participating High Schools. The students must develop an idea for a business, work together with our mentors to make that concept real, craft a persuasive business plan and present it for consideration.
We've done this in partnership with the Goethe Business School; and great appreciation has to extend to Coca Cola and the Bagel Brothers for their enormous support and for continuing as sponsors. Our judges determine the five finalists, who met this past Saturday, 20 April, at the Goethe Business School. That was the competition for them to present their business plans and compete for the thousands of Euro scholarship money awarded. It was one great event. And we were honored for this event by Frankfurt's Consul General, Mr. Kevin C. Milas, joining us as keynote speaker and presenting the awards to the winners. More information is available at www.entrepreneurs-of-tomorrow.com.
We're assuredly repeating this event later in 2013.
Somehow or other, we've all survived another major US election. We have Congressional elections taking place in 2014; but the next Presidential election is still 3 1/2 years away. The attention now turns to Germany. The 18. Bundestag Election will be taking place on 22 September 2013. As a result, it is probable that no major economic or political changes will be taking place here for the next several months. When a nation's affairs are going reasonably well, its political leaders don't like to risk much change prior to an election. This stability in conjunction with an encouraging business climate, and good weather, should provide gusts of wind for all our sails, for months to come.
Thanks for your time and enjoy your day.
Barry E. Swanson, CFP