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

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In This Issue
AGP New Board
Eissmann Completes Expansion Project
abatUS and Adah International Unite
10 Years Anniversary for First Pres Deutsch
Two Steps Ahead
The Friends of Frankweiler Club
50 German Films for Free

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:



What to do in Alabama

December 3, 10 & 17

December 3 - 15

December 6-22

December 7-9

December 8
Gulf Shores

Dec. 31

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
Contact Us
Join Our List
AGP Welcomes New Directors and Executive Committee

At the AlabamaGermany Partnership board meeting on November 8, in Birmingham, the board approved five nominations to the Executive Committee and the addition of 10 new board members.

The following new officers will serve on AGP's Executive Committee: 

Bobby Ingram
JamisonMoneyFarme r
VP Communication
Michael Brooks
Alabama International
Trade Center

VP Education
Jeff Lynn
Alabama Community College System
Alan Wood better

Alan Wood
S.S. Nesbitt & Co.
Eric Elkins
Rödl & Partner

AGP welcomes ten new members to the Board of Directors: 

From the left: 
Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian, UA Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies
Michael Heuer, Diehl Aerospace Inc. 
Dr. Traci O'Brien, Auburn University
David Wanhatalo, Burr & Forman
Knut Johannssen, MBUSI
Barbie Peek, Port of Huntsville
Eric Elkins, Rödl & Partner

Not in picture:
Dr. Wolfgang Kneer, SWJ-Breilmann
Dr. Eric Mackey, Alabama State Department of Education
David Rodgers, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

Eissmann's completion of a $14.5 million expansion project 

In October, Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield joined St. Clair County and Pell City officials to help  Eissmann Group Automotive LLC celebrate the completion of a $14.5 million expansion project at the auto supplier's Pell City campus.

Eissmann announced plans in June 2016 to expand its Pell City facility with a new 130,000-square-foot building featuring advanced manufacturing equipment for a new production line. The project is adding 200 workers to the company's St. Clair County workforce.

abatUS and Adah International Unite 

abatUS, LLC a German-owned consulting and development provider of SAP technologies recently announced they are merging with Adah International, Inc. a US company providing industrial engineering, project management and training.

abatUS began operations in Atlanta in 2006 as a wholly owned subsidiary of abat AG in Bremen, Germany. abatUS moved their headquarters to Birmingham just last year with 15 employees. They now have approximately 35 developers and consultants, offering SAP services to most manufacturing and logistics industries.

Initially starting in Birmingham, Adah International fully incorporated in 2015 and now has 11 employees. Adah offers the highest-level contractor and consulting services to its customers, including construction management, logistics and manufacturing planning, quality management as well as mechatronics and automation maintenance.
A third ownership entity called abatAdah Group, Inc., will be created through the merger, with abat AG as the majority owner and Kirk Atkinson, of Adah International as the exclusive minority shareholder. Atkinson will also be named President & CEO of the new entity.

10 Years "First Pres Deutsch" 
By Rev. Dr. Thomas Herwig, Parrish Associate at First Presbyterian Church Tuscaloosa  

10 Years "First Pres Deutsch" 
at First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa
"Herzlichen Dank!" (translated: "Thank you very much!")... ... for ten years of faithful hospitality to First Pres Deutsch! Ten years ago, First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa opened the doors for a new German-speaking ministry, which in between has touched hundreds of lives. Responding to expressed need in the community, former pastor Charlie Durham shared the idea with me to start this program not long after Lou Ann began serving this church as Associate Pastor. I immediately said, "yes." The first "Christvesper" (Christmas Eve service) - held on Christmas Eve 2008 in the Westervelt-Warner Chapel - was packed. "Fröhliche Weihnachten!" (Merry Christmas!), the Tuscaloosa News titled the article about the new church project. And since then the German program rolled. I am very glad that our new head pastor, Michael Bailey, embraced this work from his first days with us.

 Of course, German ex-pats, working for Mercedes or supplier companies, belong to our primary target group, as well as, Germans serving our university and the schools in T'town. But there have also been Americans and other people who spent time in Germany, Austria or Switzerland or studied German in school or at the university, who have come to refresh their language or to simply enjoy German language, traditions, and hymns. The German worship service held every first Sunday in the month gives our ministry its rhythm. 

Two Steps Ahead (and rubbing shoulders with the best) 

The former Vice President Group Research and Advance Development at Daimler, Prof. Bharat Balasubramanian, Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technology at the University of Alabama, is the current director of the "Two Steps Ahead" program.  This program was developed in order to further strengthen the connections between education and industry by means of university courses. 

Ten students from the University of Alabama completed some parts of their engineering studies in Germany as part of the "Two Steps Ahead" program - including internships at Daimler's Sindelfingen plant. Please enjoy the following blog the students wrote about their experience: 

We are ten students at the University of Alabama who rose to the challenge of completing part of our studies abroad while also working there. Our year abroad in Germany under the auspices of the "Two Steps Ahead" program of the University of Alabama (UA) was the highlight of our studies for an engineering degree.

We had previously studied German for two years - and during our studies at the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences and our internships at the Daimler plant in Sindelfingen we were able to show how much German we still remembered from the course. It was a great start for our careers in the auto industry!

We registered for the "Two Steps Ahead" program even before we had attended our first official courses at the University of Alabama, and even before we had left the comfort of our parents' homes. Even at first glance, this was a daring step. It meant we would gain a very good grasp of German in only two years, then attend courses taught in German and do an internship at Daimler AG, one of the world's biggest automakers.

On top of that, we would be the first participants of this program. There were no predecessors to show us how to successfully implement this plan. But we didn't let that discourage us. The University of Alabama selected a handful of talented American students who wanted to take up this challenge - and we were in that group. All of us had different backgrounds and were majoring in different fields.

The Friends of Frankweiler Club in Cullman

By Drew Green, Secretary 
The Friends of Frankweiler Club was started in 1987 when former Cullman Mayor Jack Sides traveled to Frankweiler, Germany (Jack's son Steve Sides, is currently the club's president). He and then Frankweiler Burgermeister Gunter Steiss decided that the two cities should become connected and share our cultures. Since 1987 we have taken turns visiting each other. More recently each club has sponsored high school students to visit each town. The Friends of Frankweiler Club also tries to preserve and promote Cullman's German heritage. Our founder John Cullman( a native of Frankweiler) was determined to found a German Colony in North Alabama .... he was successful and today Cullman is proud of our German heritage and the accomplishments we have made since those early days. The German company REHAU has location in Cullman today.
By Robert Tidwell
Past President & Charter Member of The Friends of Frankweiler Club

In 1987 our Mayor Jack Sides and his wife Ruth, my wife Rudene and I, a city councilman at the time, traveled to Frankweiler in Germany to "twin" Cullman and Frankweiler as sister cities.  There was also a group of about 20 people from Cullman traveling around and sightseeing. They came to Frankweiler on the day of the twinning ceremony.  We met many people and we are friends with all that we met. 

Rudene and I were hosted by a very nice young couple, Assistant Burgermeister Richard Nerding and his wife Hannalore.  They had a son, about 10 years old. This couple has hosted us on every Sister City trip that we have made to Frankweiler. 

We met Basil and Ingrid Holmes. Basil was a retired Major from the British army and  his wife Ingrid was a German lady. They are very dear friends and we have been in every country west of the Iron Curtain except Norway and Sweden with them. They have taught customs and activities of people in the different countries.  We were with them in Berlin when the wall was torn down. We were able to drive into East Berlin and visit Ingrid's cousin and her family that had been behind the wall since it was built. 

Click here to read Mr. Tidwell's full story

For more information about The Friends of Frankweiler Club, please contact Drew Green.          
50 German Films for Free


The Goethe-Institut in partnership with Kanopy and Wunderbar Together provides 50 German movies for you and your friends. Just follow these simple steps:
  • Go to
  • Click "Stream now on Kanopy"
  • Sign up
  • Verify your Email
  • Type "Goethe Institut" 
And you are ready for a relaxing evening with German movies and popcorn?