GA Trade Nov-Dec interactive - page 15

I
t is not every day that a Chamber
of Commerce ages a decade. The
GACCWest duly celebrated its
decennial on October 21st in San
Francisco by gathering the board
members of the GermanAmerican
Chamber of Commerce NewYork and
other top ranking representatives of
the BayArea business community to
celebrate, network and expand
horizons. Participants were thor-
oughly entertained by an exciting
full-day program, featuring a
symposium and concluded by an
exclusive anniversary dinner, which
the Chamber put together in honor of
the occasion.
The celebrationwas set off by the
half-dayGerman Innovation Sympo-
siumwhich took place at Bechtel
Conference Center in San Francisco
– an event kindly supported by the
“KonradAdenauer Stiftung.” The
conference showcased the innovation
power of German companies such as
BMW, Carl Zeiss, Smaato andRobert
Bosch throughout different high-tech
industry sectors in the SiliconValley
andGermany.Withwords of warm
welcome, Dr. SabineHepperle of the
German FederalMinistry for Econom-
icAffairs & Energy opened the
symposium. Among the renowned
speakerswere Dr. Burton Lee (Stan-
ford School of Engineering), Ludwig
Willisch (BMW) andRalf Kuschnereit
(Carl Zeiss). In two panel discussions,
the innovation experts discussed how
theGerman “Mittelstand” has been
reinventing itself over decades and
howGerman e-mobility trends drive
innovationworldwide.
Following a successful symposium,
OneMarket Restaurant in San
Francisco opened its doors to herald
themost festive part of the day: The
GACCWest AnniversaryDinner. Felix
Neugart of theAssociation of German
Chambers of Industrywelcomed
around 65 prominent guests of the
German-American business commu-
nitywho enjoyed an exquisite
anniversarymenu, while learning
curious facts about German entrepre-
neurship in the BayArea from the
GoldRush until today. In a time-lapse
presentation, GACCWestManaging
Director Rene van denHoevel took
his audience on an interactive journey
featuring long-establishedBayArea
companies like Levi’s andBayer
HealthCare, aswell as young startups
likeMINE Inc. – all of them united in
one room and sharing two common-
alities: their German origin and a
venturing spirit. An evening full of
stories about early and lateGerman
pioneers in the BayArea demonstrat-
ed the sometimes impalpable but
deeply-rooted impact Germans had
and still have onCalifornian economy
and culture. Vivid images and present
guests illustrated how famous
Germans likeAdolph Sutro, Levi
Strauss, Hartmut Esslinger (Frog
Design) andRolf Herken (MINE Inc.)
S P O T L I G H T S
GACCWest 10thAnniversary
ADecade of Transatlantic Trade and Relations
For its 10-year anniversary, theGACCWest traveled through time and
revisited over 150 years of German entrepreneurship in the Bay Area.
RenevandenHoevel (ManagingDirector -GACCWest) presenting thehistoryof
Germanentrepreneurship
GermanAmerican TradeNov/Dec 2014
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