Letter from the President
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
EIN GLÜCKLICHES NEUES JAHR!
We have so much to celebrate and enjoy during 2014. Germany has a new government. Once again we have the proof of the integrity of a clean national democratic election, whereby a parliamentary transition takes place peacefully. We can be so very thankful for this continuity. The USA finally has a proper budget, which just might be a harbinger of good cooperation to come.
And our National AGBC celebrates its 50th Anniversary during 2014.
Although the capital for Germany has always been Berlin, in 1964 the Regierungssitz (seat of government) for West Germany was in Bonn. As such, it was the location of the Foreign and Defense Ministries, and of course, the US Embassy. So during June 1964, a group of US expat executives founded the AGBC. Since those early days, we have expanded to 10 chapters nationwide.
There will be a number of celebrations during 2014 to commemorate our founding. However, the two most important national events will be a banquet in Frankfurt during June, featuring a speech by the US Ambassador to Germany, the honorable John B. Emerson, and a final weekend of celebration in Bonn during November of 2014. As this is being written, several people are working to organize these two events. Please stay tuned to your local chapter and this site for more information as we get closer in time. Each of these two primary celebrations will be in conjunction with a semi annual National Executive Board Meeting.
Website: for some time now, we have been less than thrilled with the site as it is. As such, we have a team of excellent and capable individuals working to renovate and enhance the value it provides for our membership. I believe you'll be encouraged to witness an evolution in this site during the course of 2014. One of the primary early improvements will be the increase in the information it provides for forward planning.
We're excited about the assistance many of our chapters are giving to high school students. Several of our chapters have programs to enhance the understanding of the entrepreneurial experience, whether it be developing the architecture to start a successful new business or writing about the process to get a start. We find two excellent examples in Kaiserslautern and Frankfurt, both providing significant scholarship checks for the winners. Kaiserslautern has an essay writing contest, open to American and German high school students in their area of the Pfalz. Registrants submit their entries to the local executive board, and the winners are announced (and awarded) at a celebration dinner in Ramstein.
In Frankfurt, mentors assist students in developing their own business plans. They progress from concept to development, from financial to launch. Then in the spring, the top 6-8 groups with plans have the opportunity to present their proposals to a jury of AGBC Executives. The winners are presented checks and certificates from the US Consul General Frankfurt at a special awards ceremony.
There are many other events generating excitement as we enter into this calendar year. Just two examples: during April, Opel will host us for a tour of their manufacturing facilities in Ruesselsheim and a visit to their old timers museum. And on 30 January, a US Ambassador, the honorable Charles Ries, will be giving a dinner presentation "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" in Frankfurt. This event is sponsored by the AGBC Frankfurt and the US Consulate General Frankfurt. But all of our chapters have excellent programs scheduled.
If English is not your native tongue, membership and participation with our many AGBC activities is an excellent option. As English is the language of our association, you have the opportunity to practice and improve your comprehension of the language. There are terrific networking chances during every event, regardless of your discipline. And of great importance, we have a heck of a lot of fun as well.
Enjoy every day of this wonderful new year!