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Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 9
Volume 9
November 2015

FACC season has gotten off to a fast start with introduction of new board members and an active event calendar.

In October FACC held a tax planning seminar to assist with year ending tax strategies. After all, it's not what you make, but what you keep that counts.

Season's activities continued with a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sibelius. Renowned performers, Petteri Iivonen in violin and Marja Kaisla in piano, performed music of Sibelius at The Lake Worth Playhouse to a large, enthusiastic and appreciative crowd.

Next we focus our attention to the FACC Christmas party on Thursday December 10 at 6:00 pm. The party takes place at Benvenuto Restaurant and Banquet Facility in Boynton Beach. This is an excellent opportunity to reward your staff for a year of hard word by including them in the celebration. There will be entertainment by Raimo Sirkiä and Cynthia Makris. You simply book the tickets and we'll take care of the rest. Your company Christmas party planning just got a lot easier.

We look forward to an active holiday season and productive new year with many outstanding events planned.

Yours in service,

Esa Jokela


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HappyOrNot CEO Heikki Väänänen - Young Entrepreneur of the year!

We are proud to inform you that our member HappyOrNot's CEO and Co-Founder Heikki Väänänen has won the Young Entrepreneurs 2015 competition! The competition was organized by Ernst & Young. 

The jury's decision for awarding Heikki Väänänen as winner of this category for Finland was stated as follows: "Heikki Väänänen has found an ingenious simple business idea. Specializing in measuring customer satisfaction, the company's "Smiley Terminals" are found in hundreds of clinics, pharmacies, and grocery stores. The company's product and services are very versatile, and the company has its roots in the wonderful future of the international market. In three years, the company has increased its net sales by 1,280% and at the same time making a good profit."

Congratulations Heikki!

Upcoming events

December 10t h : Christmas party!
Place:  Benvenuto
1730 North Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Time: Thursday 10th of Dec, 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Members $65, non-members $75. Your ticket will include a welcome drink, 3-course dinner and a glass of wine. Entertainment by Raimo Sirkiä and Cynthia Makris. Cash bar available for further purchases. Limited spaces available!  Register here or send an email to   

January 20th: State of the market / Chamber Seminar
The exact time and location TBA.

February 11th: Immigration Presentation
The exact time and location TBA.

Follow updates on the events at FACC website.  

News from Florida

US employers added 271,000 jobs in October
US employers added a robust 271,000 jobs in October, the most since December. The unemployment ratio dipped to a fresh seven-year low of 5%. Read more from Tampa Bay Times.

Florida has third most M&A activity
The Sunshine State ranked third for merger & acquisition activity in the first three quarters of 2015 among the Southern states. Approximately $46.1 bilion in M&A activity occured in Florida in the first three quarters, up 69.4% from last year. Read more here.

Interval Leisure Group to buy Starwood's $1.5 billion timeshare business
South Miami based Interval Leisure Group has signed an agreement to acquire Vistana Signature Experiences, a Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide vacation ownership business valued $1.5 billion. The company will remain headquartered in Orlando.  Read more here.

Zimmer Biomet Expansion in Palm Beach Gardens
Medical Device manufacturers Zimmer and Biomet is expanding in Palm Beach Gardens by creating 178 jobs in addition to retaining 473 positions. They recently completed combining their two brands into one company. Zimmer Biomet collaborates with healthcare professionals around the globe to design, manufacture and market orthopedic reconstructive, dental and surgical products. Read more here

10 fastest growing companies in Tampa
Tampa is booming with small business spirit. The city of Tampa is fast-becoming a startup hub, with its relative affordability and vibrant tech sector. Companies who have started in Tampa include WuFoo and EventJoy. The 10 fastest-growing companies based in Tampa on the Inc. 500 ranked in a collective $91.2 million in revenue. Read more to get to know the fastest-growing companies.

Travel startup ideas take flight in Orlando
A new generation of entrepreneurs in Orlando is trying to capitalize on the obvious economic strength of the region, travel and tourism. Recent startup companies such as Trveler and Flight Fishing are drilling down into airline ticketing and hotel inventory data to find good deals. More at Orlando Sentinel.

Plum Creek merger with Weyerhaeuser
Plum Creek merger with Weyerhaeuser ti creati nation's largest timber company. Weyerhaeuser Co will purchase Plum Creek Timber Company, Florida's largest private landowner, in a deal announced on Sunday that the two companies said would create a $23 billion timber, land and forest products company, the largest in the United States. Read the full story here.

News from Finland
Metsä Board, Finnish supplier of paperboard, has been recognised as one of the world leaders for corporate action on water security. In 2013, the company launched a development project to improve water usage and material efficiency by reducing water intake and fibre loss. Read more here.

An international project coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland supports future missions to Mars. The UNISONO project has developed a communication solution that allows an orbiting space station to maintain uninterrupted contact with robots on the surface of a planet. Read more here.
According to a new survey from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the reading literacy, maths and science skills of 15-year-old Finns are among the highest of industrialised countries. Read more here.
Finnish company Ductor has made a discovery which could see a positive impact on biotech industry. Ductor has developed a unique fermentation system that removes more than 60% of nitrogen from organic waste before biogas fermentation. "With this technology, we are now solving the biggest problem for the biogas economy: high opex coming from expensive feedstock and the disposal cost of digest", CEO Ari Ketola explains. Read more here .

Helsinki's mobile internet speed, size of potential mobile-based market, access to accelerators and availability of early-stage assistance are best in Europe. Produced as part of the European Digital Forum, the European Digital City Index 2015 ranked Helsinki 4th out of 35 cities. More than 250 startups in Helsinki have raised around 540.8 million euros in funding over the past decade. Strong state support from Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation is seen integral to Helsinki's startup success.  Read more here

Amazon to invest in Finland
Online retailer Amazon's cloud computing services unit Amazon Web Services will open an office in Espoo, Finland. The Finnish office will support companies of all sizes, ranging from startups to major corporations in matters related to the cloud computing environment. Read more here.

Helsinki Airport voted one of world's best
The Guide to Sleeping in Airports took 7th position on a global scale, and second best in Europe. Helsinki Airport was applauded for being innovative and transit-friendly. Read more hereFinnair opened a direct winter service flight from Helsinki to Miami, expanding to three weekly flights. Read more from Finnair's webpage.
Upcoming partner events 

 Finlandia Foundation Charity Gala
November 21, 2015
Atlantis Country Club, 190 Atlantis Blv.

You are cordially invited to the Charity Gala Thousand and One Nights on Saturday 21st of November, 2015, 6PM.
Tickets $65 per person include: 
Champagne and hors d'ouvre
Gourmet dinner with table wine
Good entertainment by Sara Pajunen, FFN violinist 
Ankita, oriental artistic dancer
Dance music: the driftwoods
Good raffle prices, also a magical carpet

Tickets available at the Consulate of Finland, 523 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, tel. 561-582-2335.

International Trade Conference
December 2-4
Hyatt Regency, Jacksonville Riverfront

"Transatlantic Trade: Maximizing Regional Benefit" will focus on how companies in the Southeast can benefit from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) that is currently being negotiated. The conference will be Dec. 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. The keynote speaker will be Mike Ducker, CEO of FedEx Freight and chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. More information.

2016 International Days
February 23-24
Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center
Address: 555 W. Pensacola Street Tallahassee, FL 32301

Join the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida's international business community to hear from top international trade experts and promote the significant role international business has in Florida's economy and in your business.


We hope you find this newsletter useful and we love to get feedback and suggestions how we can make it better. We also have many volunteer opportunities within the chamber so let us know how you want to be involved.




Esa Jokela

Finnish American Chamber of Commerce