January 2021 updates from SACC Texas
Chairman of the Board, Henrik Johansson on what will take place in Austin 2021
Hi Henrik, what do you have going on in SACC Austin 2021?
We're shaking things up in Austin in 2021. I am taking a step back to make room for some new talent on the board and Mollie Silverhjelm and Joel Galmor will step up and take MY place. I will still be on the board and remain an active member. 

Thank you for your work as a Chairman for the Austin Board, Henrik! What is happening on the event side?
On the event side, due to Covid we had to cancel our traditional midwinter cocktail and Semla party at The Driskill which made us sad, but slightly less fat. March is usually a big deal in Austin with SXSW bringing in tens of thousands of visitors and usually hundreds of Swedes and Swedish companies. Unfortunately that will not happen this year either. 

Patrik Melander, Chairman of the Board in Dallas, tells us about 2021
What kind of upcoming events would you like to highlight in DFW during 2021?
You can expect at least two events per month. We will continue the CEO spotlights with many interesting and intriguing speakers - Nobel Price, Startup World Cup. Another exciting initiative is the young chamber focus and you will see that gaining traction throughout the year. Our Social events will remain online until the pandemic gets more under control and we can move events outside - but as you saw from the success with the Lobster feast and Christmas dinner it is really possible to have fun together - remotely… From late Q2 we hope to be able to mix in hybrid events - with both in-person and online events.

You seem to have a lot going on. Anything else?
Yes! We will also build on the business survey that we started here in Dallas, and this time had success nationally which will be used to put the spotlight on DFW and how Swedish business punch well over its weight in contribution to the USA.

Jonas Dahlström is Chairman of the Board in Houston and tells us about the upcoming 2021
What can we expect from Houston in the nearest future?
We hope that the society will open up again and we can start to plan for real live meetings. In the meantime we will continue with the digital Houston LIVE on a bi weekly basis. Coming up already this Wednesday is the premier of Houston Live 2021 where you can listen to Cecilia lif, Trade Counselor at the Embassy of Sweden in DC. Then we will continue with digital events throughout February, the 10th and the 24th. Save the dates! I can guarantee that there will be exiting speakers.

How would you like to summarize the pandemic year 2020 for SACC in Houston?
It has of course been an extraordinary, strange year. Like most people we were taken by surprise and just cancelled all events and tried to hibernate. But when we realized that this pandemic was here to stay, we kicked of “Houston Live” a bi-weekly update on Covid-19 and implications. This program has become SACC Houston’s strategy to try to bring value to our members in a very unique time and environment. And by the response we get it seems to work very well.

Brittany Young from the DFW Board explains the purpose of SACC Texas Young Professionals
For who have you created Young Professionals?
Young Professionals is for anyone looking to connect with others within the first ten years of their careers or upper education journeys. 

Why should I join Young Professionals?
Young Professionals is a great way to expand your professional network, to meet new friends who share your international mindset, and to learn from the more seasoned members within SACC’s network who are an available resource for Young Professionals.

Swedish led Gembah in Austin sees exponential growth
Austin-based product design and development company, Gembah, with Swedish co-founder and CEO, Henrik Johansson, is reporting to have exponential growth year-over-year as eCommerce Industry thrives.

Gembah's revenue increased 512% year-over-year as the company has experienced a three-fold growth in total customers and more than quadrupled its number of SKUs under management in 2020.

"eCommerce sellers, small-to-midsize businesses, and entrepreneurs recognize that the key to building and sustaining a valuable business is to find or build products that people actually want," says Henrik Johansson, co-founder and CEO at Gembah. 

Gembah's platform and network of experts, empower customers to develop and get new products into the hands of consumers faster.

Swedish entrepreneur Goran Haag Appointed to the Executive Committee for NEMRA Manufacturers Group (NMG)
Champion Fiberglass Swedish President, Goran Haag has joined the NEMRA Manufacturers Group as an Executive Committee Member. The National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA) recently announced new appointments for the coming year.

“I am pleased to be named to the NEMRA Manufacturers Group executive committee. I look forward to working with my colleagues to move the industry forward in 2021,” says Haag.

Headquartered in Spring, Texas, Champion Fiberglass is the leading supplier of fiberglass conduit and strut to the industrial, electrical and mechanical markets. 

Biden's new climate plan a big opportunity for Swedish export companies, says seven out of ten members of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce
[Washington D.C., USA, January 25, 2021] The new US President Joe Biden has presented an ambitious climate plan that can benefit Swedish companies and strengthen the US economy as a whole according to a survey conducted by the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in mid-January.

The US economy will have a green injection in 2021. That is the opinion of the members of
the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC USA) who participated in the SACC USA Business Survey in mid-January, right before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. As many as six out of ten respondents (62.8%) believe that Joe Biden's new climate plan will have a positive impact on the US economy, and a majority (53.8%) believe that the economy will have fully recovered (in level with January 2020) during 2022.

August Strindberg at the Alley Theatre in Houston
The Alley Theatre has pivoted to doing filmed projects online. The new digital 2020-21 season will be available for free to all who register for tickets at alleytheatre.org. Three of the short plays are by August Strindberg, translated and Directed by Rob Melrose.

  • The Stronger – Jan 15th to Feb 7th, 2021
  • A Half Sheet of Paper – Jan 22nd to Feb 14th, 2021
  • Pariah – June 4th to July 4th, 2021

Recruit new members to SACC Texas and get a refund on your membership fee
We are seeking new members to the SACC Texas Chambers! Help us grow stronger and get a refund. Recruit one new member and get half of your membership fee back. Recruit three new members and have your full membership refunded. Just tell the new member to to write the name of the recruiting member within brackets after their own name in the application.

Meet Göran Haag, CEO and Founder of Champion Fiberglass
A Legendary Member and the Founder of SACC Texas
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your career path?
I am born in Stockholm, Sweden. After graduating chemical engineering from RIT (or as we say in Swedish, civilingenjör i kemi från KTH), I started my career at Kema Nord in Sundsvall in the manufacturing of PVC resin. From there on, I worked for EKA Kemi in Bohus, where I established a chemical factory in Maastricht, the Netherlands, making organic chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry. I ended up living in Maastricht for two years. Then I was recruited by Swedish Match to work for them in the South East Asian region as regional and business development manager, stationed in Manila, Philippines. It was a very “interesting” time as I arrived shortly after senator Aquino had been assassinated by president Marcos with all the turmoil that followed, culminating with the ouster of the Marcos family in February 1986. 

And how did you end up in Texas?
My wife and I, Orpha, who I met at Swedish Match in the Philippines, left the Philippines the month before Marcos ouster and we arrived in Houston, TX in January 1986. I took up a position as president of a subsidiary to a Swedish company that by some strange reason had established themselves in Houston, TX, which I am very grateful for today as my wife and I love Houston and Texas.  

Monday Feb 1, 2021, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CST
SACC Arizona: The Value of Engagement, Matt Lehrman
We at SACC Texas welcome you to this interesting SACC Arizona Speaker virtual event that will give you new contacts and insights.

Saturday Feb 6, 2021, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM CST
SACC TX-Young Professionals: Swedish Chef Live Baking Tutorial
Do you wonder if you have what it takes to make a kanelbullar, semla, princess tårta or Swedish meatballs? Join this exclusive event where you'll be able to follow along and cook/bake with a Swedish chef from your own home!

Wednesday Feb 10, 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST
SACC TX: Houston Live feat. Bjorn Paulsson, PhD
Join SACC Texas for a special oil & gas edition of Houston Live with Dr. Bjorn Paulsson, an expert in borehole seismology and CEO of Paulsson, Inc.

Thursday Feb 11, 2021, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM CST
SACC Georgia: Joint SACC Virtual Trivia Night
The event is hosted by SACC-Carolinas, Chicago, Texas, and Georgia. Trivia Mafia will host our trivia session and provide us with a fresh batch of enjoyably challenging questions about all kinds of topics, from patents to TV parents, lemmings to Lemonade! 

Thursday Feb 18, 2021, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST
SACC TX-Dallas: Quarantini After Work
Please join us for our digital Quarantini on February 18th between 6pm and 7pm.

Saturday Feb 20, 2021, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM CST
SACC TX-Young Professionals: Networking Event
Join in on an opportunity to connect with the other Young Professionals and learn more about who's who in our group.

Wednesday Feb 24, 2021, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST
SACC TX: Houston Live
Join us for another installment of Houston Live, a biweekly web series airing every other Wednesday at 11 am CST.