ChamberBrief   -   GACCoM's monthly e-Newsletter
German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. (GACCoM)
September 2011 Issue 
In This Issue
GACCoM's Greetings
Events In September
Save The Date
eMobility Update
GACCoM's Territory: State By State
GACCoM Member Profile
GACCoM On The Road
GACCoM Members in the News
Last But Not Least...

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September is Full of Opportunity at GACCoM 
Saying Goodbye to summer in Chicago is tough  - but we promise to make it a little easier for you with a fall season filled with exciting events and opportunities. In September, of course,  the spotlight is on opening day for Germany's Best & Oktoberfest.

The two-and-a-half week celebration is just around the corner, with just 21 days remaining. From September 23 - October 10, Chicago's Navy Pier will premier Germany's traditional Oktoberfest, while providing the opportunity to experience insightful exhibits and programs portraying modern Germany in the areas of business, culture, travel, and the arts. The program brochure for the event is now available for download.



The next highlight is our 2nd Annual German American eMobility Forum on September 27, in Southfield, MI, which will once again feature top-notch speakers from major industry players on both sides of the Atlantic. Find the latest update on speakers and industry developments below and register today!

While enjoying the last days of summer, keep an eye out for more information on a fall favorite, our Annual Executive Wine Dinner on November 4. There is exciting news - Wine Dinner goes European - and the winner of this year's raffle will have yet another highlight to add to their fall schedule...

For more networking opportunities and events, check our calendar below!

We hope to see you often during this exciting season! 

- Your GACCoM-Team
Events In September   
Save The Date  
eMob eMobility Update: Germany's gearing up for electric vehicles! 

Two interesting pieces of news came across our desks this week, related to electric vehicles in Germany. First, Ernst & Young released a study in which European auto executives rated Germany as the country with the best chances for electric vehicles. They expect that by 2018, e-vehicles will no longer be considered a niche product, but a true alternative to traditional vehicles. Another very interesting result is that Germany was rated third most attractive for production costs...behind China and India. In addition, Siemens announced this week that it will team up with Volvo to develop electrical drive technology and other systems for Volvo's e-vehicles.  This is just another example of the leadership shown by German suppliers. The articles can be found in the FAZ (in German) and Environmental Leader, respectively. 


These announcements are a timely reminder to join us at our upcoming eMobility Forum, which will take a closer look at issues and technologies for eMobility in the US and Germany, and discuss international opportunities in this field.


German American eMobility Forum

September 27, 2011, 8:30am - 4:30pm

Westin Southfield Detroit, MI




Part of the GACC eMobility Series. The next event in the series will be in Atlanta on September 29.

GACCoM's Territory: State By State - Indiana 
IndianaGermans have made an impact across the Midwest since the mid-1800s, and make up the most reported ancestry in the region as well. This month we take a look at German business and heritage in the state of Indiana.


German heritage is present in 22.6% of the Indiana population, with Jackson, IN listed as the fifth-highest U.S. community with German ancestry. Despite most German Americans assimilating to the point that they have a decreasing number of identifiable ethnic communities, Indianapolis is still one of the main metropolitan areas where German is the most reported ethnicity.


According to the RGIT Business Matters, approximately 60 German companies have operations in Indiana. The relationship between Germany and Indiana stretches further than just business ties. German owned firms currently provide more than 15,000 jobs for Indiana's economy, and with a total of approximately 142,000 jobs within foreign-owned affiliates in Indiana, German companies thus comprise over 10%.


Germany and Indiana's relationship is a bilateral one, as the Hoosier state contributes to the relationship by exporting over $1.8 billion worth of goods to Germany on an annual basis, accounting for 6% of Indiana's total exports. The two largest industries that Indiana exports to Germany are Chemicals ($960 million) and Computer and Electronic Products ($238 million).


Continue to our GACCoM Member Profile below to read the success story of Zentis GmbH & Co. KG, a German company that established its U.S. headquarters in Indiana in 2007.

GACCoM Member Profile: Zentis Food Solutions North America, LLC
An Indiana Success Story 


Zentis GmbH & Co. KG began operations more than 100 years ago in 1893 when it opened a grocery store in Adalbertsteinweg, Aachen, Germany.  Today Zentis has evolved into a successful global cooperation which is widely recognized as one of Europe's largest industrial fruit processors.  Likewise Zentis is well known among consumers as a major producer of premium jams, gourmet nut spreads and fine confectioneries. 


After establishing subsidiaries throughout Europe, including manufacturing plants in Hungary and Poland, and sales offices in Russia, Zentis next expanded into the North American market with the 2007 opening of its first U.S. manufacturing plant located in northern Indiana. 


The U.S. subsidiary, Zentis Food Solutions North America, LLC, has enjoyed rapid growth   

Zentis aerial
Aerial view of Zentis' facility
in Plymouth, IN
under the leadership and direction of Norbert Weichele, CEO.  Weichele joined Zentis with prior experience as a strategic & finance consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Drawing upon this acumen he has guided the U.S. operation into position as a key supplier of fruit preparations for industrial customers in the dairy, bakery, ice cream and beverage industries.     


Zentis attributes this North American success of integrating with top U.S. food manufacturers to the long-standing  Zentis tradition of providing innovative production technologies ... adhering to the highest quality standards ... and  leading the market with cutting-edge research and development.


Please visit the website for more information. 


Our network - and how it benefits you

One of the most important partners of the German American Chambers of Commerce is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany, Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).  


Headquartered in Berlin, GTAI promotes Germany as a business and technology location and supports companies based in Germany with global market information. This information is delivered by a team of industry analysts spread across the globe - including the United States - where GTAI's analysts share offices with the GACCs in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

The benefits for you: 

The Chambers and GTAI cooperate on a multitude of events and initiatives to bring you even better industry resources, networking opportunities, and timelier information. 


Here are some of the most recent examples: 

The joint news portal of the GACCs and GTAI,, informs companies on a daily basis about the most important economic news and data published the Chambers, GTAI, and also includes contributions from numerous other German institutions in the US.

The next joint industry event by GACCoM and GTAI is the 2nd Annual German American eMobility Forum coming up on September 27 in Southfield, MI. 


Contact the GTAI staff in Chicago: Ken Bremer, Director, and  Emilio Brahmst, Senior Manager

GACCoM Member Benefit: Share your news with us...

...get exposure in the German-American business community 

In the month of August, GACCoM members were consistently being mentioned in the media. One of the many benefits of being a member includes media distribution and coverage on our part.

Have an event coming up? A new product is about to be released? Made a new investment? Entered into a new market? About to commemorate a company milestone?

We are happy to publish appropriate news items on our website (approx. 8,500 visitors a month), and to include new German investments
in our subsidiary database,, listing over 3,500 operations of German firms in the United States.

We invite you to send relevant press releases to Examples of member news during the month of August can be found in our GACCoM Member News section.

Last But Not Least...
If you have comments or suggestions, please contact our Director, Membership and Chamber Development, Jayne Riemer-Chishty, at or call 312-494-2169. We value your opinion!

Please visit our website for more information and pictures from recent GACCoM events.

Best regards,
Your GACCoM Team

German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. - GACCoM

321 North Clark Street, Suite 1425 | Chicago, Illinois 60654-4714
Tel.: (312) 644 2662 | Fax : (312) 644-0738 


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