Arizona Happenings

CEBIT 2018 Roadshow Luncheon | October 23

The CEBIT 2018 Roadshow Luncheon took place on Monday, Oct. 23rd, from 11:00 am until 01:00 pm, at the offices of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council in downtown Phoenix.

We had approx. 30 attendees, amongst others

  • President & CEO at Arizona Tech Council
  • International Trade Specialist at U.S. Commercial Service
  • SVP Global Investment at Greater Phoenix Economic Council
  • Director of Trade and Investment at Greater Phoenix Economic Council
  • President at the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce

After half an hour of Networking, Gerhard Kratzer (former Director of the German American Chamber of Commerce – AZ Chapter) and Stephane Frijia (Vice President of International Business Development at Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Board Member at Metro Phoenix Export Alliance) welcomed the audience.

Afterwards, Reinhold Umminger (Key Account Manager at Deutsche Messe AG), presented the reinvented design of the 2018 CEBIT Tradeshow in Hannover, Germany. The presentation was very well received and since the audience was so interested and engaged, the presentation quickly turned into a lively discussion. Afterwards, lunch was served and several participants made use of the opportunity to have a 1-on-1 session with Reinhold and go into more detail about the CEBIT 2018.

Annual Aspargus Dinner

This year the GACC Chapter Arizona hosted the Annual Aspargus for the second time. Thanks to the support of the GACC-West organization and its sponsors Lufthansa and Emotrans the 75 guests could enjoy white asparagus directly delivered from Germany. The Monte Lucia Resort at Camelback Mountain had prepared their festive Castillo Lucina ballroom and after an outdoor reception guests from 9 countries enjoyed a unique evening program. Former GACC Co-Directors Gerhard Kratzer and Rudy Vetter welcomed the guests and gave insight into the cultural heritage of German white asparagus. GACC Arizona thanked its sponsors Compugroup Medical and BBVA for their generous support. The newly inducted German honorary Consul Wolf Kaufmann had the opportunity to address the German business community for the first time.

German American Business Outlook | March 30th

Members and friends of the Arizona Chamber filled the room at Polsinelli Law Firm to attend the presentation of the German American Business Outlook. Former chapter director Rudy Vetter not only presented the results of the survey but also stressed the importance of German business in the U.S. and Arizona. The following expert panel discussed the current state of German-American relationship after the elections and its impact on local businesses. GACC West | Arizona Chapter would like to thank our partner Polsinelli Law Firm and all panelists for supporting the event.

Farewell to Honorary Consul Dr. Helge Jordan
On March 24th, Dr. Helge Jordan, co-founder of the GACC West | Arizona Chapter, handed over the responsibility of Germany's Honorary Consul to Arizona into the hands of Mr. Wolf Kaufmann. A ceremony in attendance of German Consul General Neumann, the GACC recognized Dr. Jordan's achievements for the German American business community in Arizona. Helge Jordan will continue to support the GACC West | Arizona Chapter and together with new consul Wolf Kaufmann, the GACC will enjoy strong support to grow representation of German business in Arizona in the future.

Picture f.l.t.r.: Hans Jörg Neumann (Consul General, Los Angeles), Wolf Kaufmann (Honorary Consul, Arizona), Helge Jordan (Former Honorary Consul, Arizona)

Arizona Chapter Holiday Party

“A Merry German Christmas…”

On December 14th, Gluehwein and German Christstollen drew the members and friends of the GACC West | Arizona Chapter to gather around the fireplace to celebrate a very well attended year end gathering. A very special Arizona winter chill…

Former directors Gerhard Kratzer and Rudy Vetter reviewed the events of the start-up year. They shared positive developments with the group and concluded that starting the GACC West | Arizona Chapter has been very successful. Growing attendance and engagement proves that the initiative is well received by the community. The 2017 outlook includes a row of very exciting new events that will help to further establish GACC in the Arizona business community.

Corporate Tour with Team Exos

What does Germany’s 2014 Soccer World Cup win have to do with an innovative athletic performance company in Phoenix, Arizona?

Even local GACC West | Arizona chapter members couldn't answer this question while approaching “TEAM EXOS” for a corporate tour event on December 3rd. Unknown to most of the world (even Arizona), is the fact that “TEAM EXOS”  has worked with the German Soccer Association (DFB) for many years. Starting with the team in camp, following them game by game towards their final triumph in Rio, the EXOS Phoenix team was an integrated part of the German team. During the well attended tour, GACC members & friends learned about a highly innovative company that has also become a global leader in corporate health and wellness.

With their highly advanced Military program, EXOS takes great pride in training members of the military and helping prepare and preserve the military's most important asset—human capital. Eventually the progress and inventive speed of wearable technologies has pushed EXOS more and more towards the edge in becoming a technology firm. A fascinating story to see how technology is applied in corporate training programs or with world class athletes.    

March Roundtable

How to make your next international venture a success!

GACC West | Arizona Chapter visited Thunderbird School of Global Management on March 31st.
Thunderbird School, a global leader in international management education, provided an outstanding set-up for the March event of the GACC West | Arizona Chapter.
Friends and members of the chapter were invited to listen to some compelling research the school did on global business expansion. Professor Richard Ettenson delivered a lecture about findings on a global study which made him identify “The Tudes of International Expansion.”
The study and findings will be published in Harvard Business Review soon and the attendees had the chance for an exciting “sneak preview.”

October Roundtable

Coca-Cola Bottling Factory Tour

On October 29, the GACC West | Arizona Chapter organized a company tour of the Coca-Cola bottling factory in Tempe. Over 20 participants enjoyed the tour guided by Enrique Correa, the facility's Operational-Excellence-Manager. The factory ranks among the top 5 Coca-Cola factories of their 90 U.S. factories. After the company tour, the participants went out for a networking happy hour.

September Roundtable

Fender Company Tour

On Sep 24, Michael Spandau, SVP Global IT at Fender Musical Instruments hosted a group of 30 participants summoned by the GACC West | Arizona Chapter. The one hour tour was followed by a presentation about the American and German guitar market and a q&a session. After that around 20 of the 30 participants mingled at a happy hour.

Arizona – Germany Trade Ties

Celebrating 25 Years of German Reunification | September 28, 2015

Taking the moment to celebrate 25 years of German Reunification, the GACC West | Arizona Chapter partnered with the U.S. Commercial Service in Arizona to invite German-American businesses and economic development organizations. Arizona State University provided the location for the event "Arizona - Germany Trade Ties" - an opportunity for the attendees to become informed about Arizona's relations with the largest economy in Europe.
Germany represents the 5th largest global market and Arizona's 3rd largest investor. Guest speakers Klaus Brisch and Michael Falter explained legal aspects of doing business with Germany and investing in the country. Marco Siebert, Director International Relations at Deutsche Messe AG, presented the business potential of Hannover Messe 2016. Designated as the partner country for next year's Hannover Fair, the United States and its businesses are poised for a plethora of engagement possibilities. The U.S. Commercial Service in Arizona started the initiative to attract local businesses and economic developers to join an upcoming delegation in 2016.
GACC West | Arizona Chapter would like to thank Kristian Richardson, Director of U.S. Commercial Service in Arizona, for his cooperation in putting this event together. Event information.

July Jour Fixe

18 participants attended the 4th round table under the direction of Chapter Co-Director Rudy Vetter. First events are planned for Fall.

First Jour Fixe & Stammtisch

The Arizona Chapter of the GACC West is starting a new tradition: Leaders of the German-American business community in the Greater Phoenix Area will meet on the last Thursday of every month to develop ideas and action plans on how to grow the chapter, to plan events, and to attract new member companies. The next event is planned for May 28th - more than 15 participants have already declared their interest to participate.
The chapter is planning its first large panel discussion event for after the summer break (details to follow).

Arizona Chapter Opening

Chapter Opening - Helge Jordan (Co-Director), Rudy Vetter (Co-Director), Rene van den Hoevel (Managing Director GACC West), GPEC, Bernd Fischer (Consul General) f.l.t.r.

On February 20th, the GACC West celebrated the inauguration of its new chapter in Arizona. In the course of a breakfast briefing, the two Chapter Co-Directors, Helge Jordan and Rudy Vetter, introduced themselves and outlined the importance of fostering transatlantic business relations between Arizona and Germany. GACC West's Managing Director, Rene van den Hoevel, presented the results of the German American Business Outlook and the German Consul General in Los Angeles, Bernd Fischer, talked about the energy transition in Germany.
The German-American business community in Arizona welcomed the opening of the new GACC West chapter and perceived it as a great opportunity to connect and uncover untapped business potential. If you would like to connect to the German-American business community in Arizona, please visit

Arizona Contact

Dieter Bollmann
Executive Chapter Director