September /2018
  AlabamaGermany Partnership   
1900 International Park Drive, Suite 105     Birmingham   AL 35243

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In This Issue
AGP & JASA Cultural Awareness Training
AGP German Unity Day in Mobile
New German Ambassador and New Consul General
AGP Study Trip Summery
UA Conference
The Transatlantic Divide in Language Learning
Medical Properties Trust Completes Joint Venture of 71 German Hospitals
Wunderbar Together
Tuscaloosa Sister Cities

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:



What to do in Alabama

September 14-16

September 15

September 15

September 28-30

September 28-29

September 29-30

September 29

Look out for our separate e-mail going out with all the 
Oktoberfest's in Alabama! 

Please note that the dates are shared to the best of our knowledge. If you plan to attend any of the events - please make sure to check information directly with the host of the event. Thank you! 

Save the Dates
AGP's New Members

Dankeschön to our SUSTAINING Members:




Events & Seminars Offered by AGP Members
Executive Committee
AGP Resources
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AGP & JASA Cultural Awareness Training

Did you know that up to 70% of international ventures fail due to cultural differences? 

Join us in our workshop and learn more about the cultural values and practices across the USA, Germany and Japan:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This workshop is hosted by AGP and JASA. We will explore common pitfalls, typical mistakes and unintended side-steps easily made by anyone working across cultures. Our discussions will provide you an insight into our similarities and differences and give you the strategies and tools to navigate through them. A fun and interactive experience with concrete solutions. Lunch is included. 

Please note there will be limited seats for this event. 

Training is provided by  MIND YOUR CULTURE, LLC, a cross-cultural business solutions and leadership development firm. They specialize in increasing cultural competence and guiding people through the complexities of cultural differences in the global business world.

Thank you to our sponsor:

AGP German Unity Day in Mobile 

On October 3rd, the Germans will be celebrating Unity Day that commemorates the German reunification in 1990 of East and West Germany. It is celebrated with a festival around Brandenburg Gate. Join us as we start the celebration:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet new connections and old friends while enjoying German specialities like brats, potato salad, pretzels, and plum cake. We will serve wine, beer, soft drinks and water. Register TODAY! 

If you lived in either East or West Germany and would like to share your experience before and after the fall of the wall at the event - please e-mail:

This event is supported by the Year of German-American Friendship/Deutschlandjahr. The Year of German-American Friendship is a collaborative initiative funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut, and supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI). 

Thank you to our generous sponsors: 


New German Ambassador to the United States & New Consul General of Germany in Atlanta
By Michael Johnson, German Honorary Consul to Alabama

Ms. Emily Haber, Ambassador
Dr. Heike Fuller, Consul General

Ambassador Haber
Ambassador Emily Haber was appointed Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States in June 2018. She is a career foreign service officer in the German Foreign Ministry, having served in numerous important roles prior to her appointment as Ambassador. In addition to being the first woman appointed as Ambassador to the U.S., she was also the first woman to hold the posts of Political Director and State Secretary at the German Foreign Office. As State Secretary, she oversaw security and migration at the height of the recent refugee crisis in Europe.

Consul General Dr. Fuller
We extend a warm welcome to Dr. Heike Fuller, the newly arrived Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany for our southeastern region, based at the Consulate in Atlanta. Dr. Fuller arrives after a four-posting at the German Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal, as Deputy Head of Mission. Following law studies, she joined the Foreign Ministry in 1991 and has served as a diplomat in Europe, Asia, Africa and previously at the German Embassy in Washington during the 1990s. Dr. Fuller is the first female to be appointed Consul General in Atlanta.

We look forward to Dr. Fuller's visit to Alabama and continuing the strong relationship between the AGP and the Consul General, as we wish her well in this important role.

AGP Study Trip Summery
By Dr. Anna Gramberg, AGP Chair 

A long time plan on our wish list of new programs to initiate, we finally had our take off in the summer of 2018. From June 17-22, we explored engineering student exchange programs between Germany and Alabama, were introduced to the German apprenticeship system, took two plant tours, networked for business development opportunities, and explored German history and culture.

The trip was sold out with twenty participants, reflecting the diversity of AGP's functions - representatives from Business, Economic and Industrial Development, Workforce Development, the Community College system and Alabama Universities.

Our program started in Wuerzburg, where we met Dr. Robert Grebner, President of the University of Applied Sciences Wuerzburg-Schweinfurt, and several colleagues involved with the engineering exchange between FHWS and Auburn University. We toured the three campuses, various labs, and learned, among other things, about the many international exchange programs, with a special focus on business and engineering. We took a tour of the city, experienced the Southern German hospitality and cuisine, and went to a beer tasting at one of the oldest German breweries.

UA Conference: 'Elites' in European Culture 

The University of Alabama (UA) and the University of Dresden will be hosting a large conference on  Oct 17-20  at the UA campus on the theme of "elites" in European culture, focused on medieval religion. Dr. James D. Mixson, Associate Professor, Department of History at University of Alabama, is hosting the conference jointly with his senior colleague from the University of Dresden, and a little more than half of the panelists are from Europe, mostly from Germany. The plenary address will take place on Thursday, October 18. 

For final program and more information contact Dr. James D. Mixson at UA.

The Transatlantic Divide In Language Learning 

Forbes reports that 82 percent of German students are learning a foreign language at school. Only 20 percent of students in the U.S. is learning a foreign language. 
In 2016, it was reported that only 36 percent of Americans believe knowing a foreign language is extremely or very important for workers to be successful in today's economy.

Medical Properties Trust Completes Joint Venture of 71 German Hospitals

Earlier this month Birmingham based, Medical Properties Trust, Inc.   announced that it has completed the joint venture with the  Primonial Group to own 71 German post-acute hospitals valued at  €1.635 Billion.

Click here for Medical Properties Trust's full press release. 

Wunderbar Together 
Article Subheadin
The Year of German-American Friendship ("Deutschlandjahr USA") is a comprehensive and collaborative initiative funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut, and with support from the Federation of German Industries (BDI). It will kick-off on October 3, 2018 and run to the end of 2019. 

In cooperation with over 200 partners, they will showcase how closely our countries are linked through deep historical ties, shared values, and bold visions for the future. They will explore our partnerships in all areas of society - ranging from business and industry to politics, education, culture, science, civil society, and sports and lifestyle.

Click here for more information on this initiative. 

AGP is proud to take part of Deutschlandjahr USA with AGP German Unity Day in Mobile on October 3rd. 

International Youth Sports Festival in 
Schorndorf, Germany
Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International

What an amazing experience it was for seven Tuscaloosa City Schools student athletes who took part in the May 31-June 2, 2018 International Youth Sports Festival in Schorndorf, Germany!

The athletes, Eliza Anderson (tennis), Elijah Brant (soccer) Walker Ferry (swimming), Andrew Richardson (soccer), Allison Stegall (tennis),  Anna Grace Vardaman (tennis), and Gus Wheddle (soccer),
joined more than 300 other young athletes from around the world for the Sports Festival, hosted by Tuscaloosa's German Sister City, Schorndorf. 

Athletes competed in a variety of individual and team events during the festival, highlighted by fun activities and strong global relationships. 

Tuscaloosa City Schools chaperones Sonia Drake and Ryan Rust, as well as TSCI board member Greg Madrid, led the delegation, and enjoyed their days in Schorndorf, as well as group excursions to Heidelberg, Munich, and Strasbourg, France. Many thanks all who support Sports Diplomacy that inspires and changes lives!