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Southeast’s Second Forum for German Small & Medium Sized Enterprises

Monday, April 7, 2014 | Hyatt Regency | Greenville, SC


Please note: Last Minute on-site registration is still possible.

Continuing last year’s success, we are happy to announce that our second “German Mittelstand - Southern SME Forum” will be held on April 7, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, SC. This business-specific event offers a platform to exchange ideas while building relationships with new business partners and offers the opportunity to gain insights on innovative business practices, in order to successfully strengthen your presence within the U.S. market.

The all-day business conference will feature engaging keynote speakers followed by informative workshops, panel discussions, and plentiful networking opportunities. Alongside the German Mittelstand - Southern SME Forum, the 2014 GACC South Board of Directors will be elected as part of our Annual General Meeting.


Download Agenda


7:00 am


7:30 am

Breakfast with Keynote
Craig Baartman, Sumter Plant Manager, Continental Tire the Americas, LLC & Member of the Board of Directors, GACC South

8:30 am  

Workshops to Successfully Strengthen your Presence within the U.S. Market 

Effective Marketing & PR Strategies
The media landscape, public relations and marketing tools are profoundly different in Germany and the U.S. Insight advice on how to capitalize on these differences is crucial to develop a marketing strategy to communicate, publicize and leverage your company's success within the U.S. market.

Moderator: Stefanie Jehlitschka, Vice President, GACC South

  • Kris Odwarka, Department Head, Regional Aftersales Manager, Southern Region, BMW of North America, LLC
  • Chanta Waller, Consultant, STOCKHEIM MEDIA USA Inc.

Human Resources & Recruitment
Talent is key; in Germany and the U.S. Yet hiring procedures and HR management are shaped by different industry standards and conventions. Valuable guidance on human resources, talent development and staff recruitment will help your company master all U.S. hiring processes and challenges.

Moderator: Nadine Schubert, Consultant Career Services, GACC South

  • Stephanie Hess, Director, Human Resources, Continental Tire the Americas, LLC
  • Sybil Hicks, Organizational Development & Training Manager, Dräxlmaier Automotive of America

Intercultural Competence
Best practices for effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts. Attendees will learn about cultural norms, values and business conventions within the German-American context.

  • Christian Höferle, Intercultural Business Consultant, Trainer & Coach, Höferle Consulting

Lobbying in Washington, D.C.
Even though day-to-day business in the nation's capital might seem abstract, the advantages of lobbying are an integral part of U.S. economic culture. Speakers will provide guidance on how to interact with policymakers to efficiently advocate for industry sectors and specific legislation.

9:45 am

Coffee Break (sponsored by GreerWalker)

10:30 am

Panel Discussion: Transatlantic Trade and Investment  Partnership (TTIP) (sponsored by Rödl & Partner)

Panelists from a broad range of industry backgrounds will discuss the advantages and opportunities of a comprehensive TTIP agreement. Emphasis during the session will be placed on: Why do we need TTIP? What does it mean for transatlantic businesses and how can it trigger growth? What regulations should be addressed and how can companies make their voice heard?

Moderator: Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President & CEO, AGCO Corporation & Chairman of the Board of Directors, GACC South

  • Lothar Burger, Managing Director U.S. Operations, groninger USA, LLC
  • Tonja Cochran, Vice President, Purchasing and Logistics, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
  • Christin Gleissner, Senior Manager, Import Compliance & Transportation, MTU America Inc.
  • Hiddo Houben, Head of Trade and Agriculture Section, Delegation of the European Union to the United States
  • Dr. Thomas Zielke, President & CEO, Representative of German Industry and Trade

12:00 pm            

Luncheon with Keynote
The Honorable Nikki R. Haley
, Governor of South Carolina

1:30 pm

Panel Discussion: Energy Mix of the Future
(sponsored by Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development)

The growing demand for energy is a crucial topic for both Germany and the U.S. However, different approaches and energy sources have constituted the complexity of the matter. The cross-industry panel will discuss varying opinions and perspectives on future energy supply, sustainability and energy efficiency. Speakers will evaluate the opportunities for companies to actively manage energy needs.

Moderator: Martina Stellmaszek, President & CEO, GACC South

  • Berend Bracht, President & CEO, Bosch Rexroth Americas
  • Rob Caldwell, Vice President, Renewable Generation Development, Duke Energy
  • Larry Frazier, Vice President of Sales, Dieffenbacher USA, Inc.
  • Andreas Pfleger, Head of Facility Management, Energy USA, Canada, BMW Group

3:00 pm

Coffe Break (sponsored by GreerWalker)

3:30 pm

Annual General Meeting (for Members in Good Standing only)

Election of the Board of Directors and State of the Chamber Report

5:00 pm


5:30 pm

Evening Reception at Genevieve's (sponsored by H&M Company)

Announcement of Board of Director's election results 









Hyatt Regency
220 N Main St
Greenville, SC 29601

For more information visit: www.greenville.hyatt.com

Single/Double Room: $159.00 + applicable taxes and fees
(Complimentary internet access in guest sleeping room, 1 access per room)

The cut-off date for the special rate was March 22, 2014. Room availability at special rate afterwards is not guaranteed.

Make a Reservation >>>


Listed below are companies that registered:

ADO Corporation
AFCO - Associated Fuel Pump Systems Corporation
AGCO Corporation
AlabamaGermany Partnership
Alan Gordon Immigration Law
All Metals Service & Warehousing
American Emo Trans
aQQolade, Inc.
Area Development Partnership
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
arvato Systems
Astrium North America, Inc.
Bank of America
Bank of America - Merrill Lynch
Barku Plastics LLC
Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, P.A.
BayernLB - New York Branch
Berrang Inc.
BigRep 3D Printers
BLG Logistics, Inc.
BMW Group
BMW of North America, LLC
Bob Leverone Photography
Bosch Rexroth Americas
Buehnen USA Inc.
Butler Snow LLP
Carolina Foothills Studio, LLC
Century 3, Inc.
ChristmannLegal Immigration Law
City of Greenville
Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce
CMA CGM (America) LLC
Codema Americas Inc.
Commerzbank AG
Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany
Context Design Group, PLLC
Continental Tire the Americas, LLC
CRO Management Consulting LLC
CSJ Schmitz-Justen & Company EASC
CV International
DB Schenker
DEKRA North America, Inc.
Delegation of the European Union to the United States
Deutsche Leasing International GmbH
Deutsche Leasing USA, Inc.
DEUTZ Corporation
Diamond Worldwide Relocation, Inc.
Dieffenbacher North America Inc.
Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP
Dräxlmaier Automotive of America
DSV Air & Sea Inc.
Duke Energy
Elliot Davis PLLC
Elon University
Epsten Group, Inc.
Ernst & Young
Evans General Contractors
Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm
gatc LP
Georgia Department of Economic Development
GreerWalker LLP
groninger USA LLC
Guse Consulting GmbH
H&M Company, Inc.
Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP
Hall Booth Smith, P.C.
Halo Food Connect, LLC
HAWE North America
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.
Heiche US Surface Technology
Heidelberg USA, Inc.

Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development
Hettich America L.P.
Höferle Consulting
Hoffmann Group - Tool Crib
I.K. Hofmann USA, Inc
IFA Rotorion North America, LLC
IFF Inc.
Indulor America, LP
INP North America, Inc.
INTERGLOBE Cross-Cultural Business Services, Inc.
InterKon Associates LLC
JDC Group
JKJ & H International
Johnson, Kendall, & Johnson, Inc.
JPMorgan Chase
JW Marketing Consulting, LLC
Kern Americas Corp.
Korn Ferry International
Kuehne + Nagel, Inc.
Kurz Transfer Products, LP
Lindoerfer & Steiner Corporation
M/H/R Services LLC
McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
Miller & Martin PLLC
Mostly Chocolate.com
MTU America Inc.
Mugele of America, Inc.  
O'Neal, Inc.
P3 North America
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Pendleton Group
Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
Porsche Consulting, Inc.
Prettl Electric Corporation
Punker LLC
Reckersdrees, LLC
redi-Group LLC
Representative of German Industry and Trade
Rödl Langford de Kock LLP
Schuh Complexity Management, Inc.
Senator International
South Carolina Department of Commerce
South Carolina Plastics
South Carolina Technical College System
Sovereign-Advisory Group LLC
Steag Energy Services LLC
Stockheim Media USA Inc.
SunTrust Bank
Synesis International, Inc.
TD Bank
Tennessee Valley Authority
The McCart Group an EPIC company
The Wesley Company
Tula International
United Soft Plastics, Inc.
Upstate SC Alliance
USC Upstate
Uster Technologies, Inc.
Vorstellung, Inc.
Wacker Polysilicon North America
Walden Security
Wells Fargo Bank 
Western Union Business Solutions
Whitmer & Worrall, LLC
Woelco Labeling Solutions, Inc.
Wunderbar Translations LLC


The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is again part of the German Mittelstand - Southern SME Forum. During the AGM, members in good standing will receive the State of the Chamber report and will be able to elect the 2014 GACC South Board of Directors.

The Annual General Meeting is for members in good standing only!


Nico Rudolph
Senior Coordinator - Conferences & Delegations
(404) 586-6838
(404) 586-6820