December | 2020
AGP Conversation with Innovation Depot in Birmingham
Join us for a conversation with Drew Honeycutt, CEO, Innovation Depot in Birmingham:

Thursday, December 3, 2020
5:00 pm to 5:45 pm CST
via ZOOM Webinar

Hosted by AGP Young Professionals

Innovation Depot is the epicenter for technology, startups, and entrepreneurs in the Birmingham area. The Depot has 140,000 square feet of amazing office, lab, and co-working space. The startups have access to mentors and resources at the Innovation Depot. 

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:
AGP Celebrating Beethoven's 250 Year Birthday
This month marks the 250 year Anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven's birth.

Join us for a talk about Beethoven and his importance as a German composer and pianist whose music ranks amongst the most performed of the classical music repertoire:

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST
Zoom Webinar

We will be joined by Dr. Craig E. Bertolet, Professor of English at Auburn University and co-president of the Auburn Chamber Music Society to discuss and explore Beethoven's career and his importance as the first successful self-employed composer, and how he influences the way music was composed and listened to, and much more.

NAITA Trade Talks
If you are not a NAITA member, enter the discount code "Tax" to register at no charge.

CE Mark for Exports to Europe
Date: 12/10/20
Time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM (CST)
Fee: No Fee

  • Export Alabama Alliance /AITC Introduction
  • BSI Group
  • What is the CE Mark and how do companies get CE Mark approval
  • Which countries/industries require the CE Mark
  • With more focus on biotech/life science/medical device industries
  • Brief update on UK Brexit and if that affects CE Mark process for sales to the UK
  • US Foreign Commercial Service Resources for the CE Mark approval process
  • Alabama STEP Grant program for the CE Mark

Cullman's Weihnachtspyramide
The German Christmas pyramid has been reassembled on the Cullman County Museum property. The Weihnachtspyramide is a traditional German Christmas season decoration known in English as a “Christmas pyramid.” The pyramid was lit for the first time this season the day after Thanksgiving.

The Weihnachtspyramide is the tallest in the country. It was made by the German company
Erzgebirgiisehe Holzkunst Gahlenz in the German village of Gahlenz.

Three men from the company, traveled to Cullman last year to install the intricately-crafted 30-foot-fall symbol of Cullman's German heritage for the first time.

Christmas pyramids were originally hung from the ceiling of German families' houses. The custom was brought to America by German immigrants in the 1700s. Today you can find them in many sizes for your home.

If you plan to visit the Weihnachtpyramide in Cullman, make sure to also swing by the store "A Touch of German" where you can find German goodies and a wall full of cuckoo clocks.

“Buffalo Hunting in Alabama” by Don Erwin
Book Review by Arndt Siepmann
Book Review by Arndt Siepmann, Deputy Director Economic Development, City of Auburn & serving on the AlabamaGermany Partnership (AGP) Board of Directors and past AGP Chair.
I just finished the novel “Buffalo Hunting in Alabama”, written by Don Erwin, and can suggest it for your Christmas book list. Don is a long term friend and supporter of the AGP. When I came to Alabama in 1996, Don was on the Board of Directors of the German American Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta trying to connect German companies with the economic development interests of Alabama. This is an easy-to-read 312 page novel, Don’s first self-published book, and his unique attempt to provide insights of “hunting buffalos, the practice to attract large firms….” in Alabama to a wider audience.
AGP supporters might find the story of Alabama native Ezra Drake quite compelling.  Drake, who because of his German language skills and intercultural competencies, has an edge over .other professionals working in the international context of economic development. And is delivering this message of the recognized value of perfecting a foreign language in the form of an Alabama – Germany intertwined novel not an excellent way to communicate that?
Economic Development professionals in Alabama and others might recognize some of the Alabama references in the book, a fun exercise for the interested reader. A masterful strategy combining secretive data mining on businesses and relationship targeting of key individuals is the secret sauce of the Atmani Foundation which recruits Ezra to find a new challenge in his life and a meaningful profession to support the state we all call home. For others the story of the man moving from Wall Street back to Birmingham is about newly found passion, an Alabama love story, 
Does Alabama successfully hunt another German buffalo in this novel or do politics, intrigues, and some of Alabama’s obvious limitations swing the project to another state? The book is available on for you to find the answer to that question.  ---- Arndt Siepmann.

About the book
“How far will states and communities go to attract mega-projects that offer thousands of good jobs and tens of millions in tax revenue? Ezra Drake finds out when he’s recruited to help Alabama lure a giant pharmaceutical plant. Years ago, Ezra left Alabama for the Ivy League and a job in Germany. He’s now a fast-riser on Wall Street. A turn of events puts him back in Alabama as part of an elite team that lures mega-projects to energize the economy. Mercedes-Benz, Airbus, and other mega-projects had transformed the state. Alabama wants more. Call it buffalo-hunting or smokestack-chasing, Ezra’s team understands it’s all about recruiting talent and companies to successfully compete in the modern economy. Instead of firearms, Ezra’s team hunts with Big Data and persuasion. Competing against other cities and states is tough, but Ezra finds it even tougher battling forces who want to keep Alabama as it is and was, and not what it might become. Will Ezra and Alabama succeed in winning the pharma mega-project? Will Ezra find success and happiness in Alabama?”
About the Author
Don Erwin was born in Alabama and lived in Germany as a kid. When Don's father retired from the U.S. Army they moved to Enterprise, a small town in South Alabama. He graduated with an economics major, an English minor, and a concentration in German language. Don then went on to have a life long career in Economic Development working for Alabama Power, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), and Barber Companies. Don retired from Barber Companies the summer of 2020. Read Don Erwin's full bio here.
Join us for a conversation with the author, Don Erwin, and learn about his journey in Economic Development in Alabama and his first novel "Buffalo Hunting in Alabama":

Thursday, January 7, 2021
12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Zoom Webinar

Dankeschön to our SUSTAINING Members:
Advent Calendar
What did you find behind the first door of your Advent Calendar?

The Advent Calendar was first used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th centuries to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Since the date of the First Sunday of Advent varies, most Advent Calendars begin on December 1.

Many Advent calendars take the form of a large rectangular card with "windows", one for each day of December leading up to and including Christmas Eve (December 24) or Christmas Day (December 25). Consecutive doors are opened every day leading up to Christmas, beginning on December 1. Often the doors are distributed across the calendar in no particular order. The Advent Calendar features one window for each day that is opened to reveal an image, a portion of a story (such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus), a small toy or a piece of chocolate/candy.

Today Advent calendars come in a multitude of forms, from a simple paper calendar with flaps covering each of the days, to fabric pockets on a background scene, to painted wooden boxes with cubby holes for small items.

Christvesper an Heiligabend

Christvesper am Heiligabend:

Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2020, 15:00 Uhr
im Rosengarten vor dem Haupteingang von
First Presbyterian Church
900 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa

New AGP Members

Please help us welcome our new members:


August Stowers
Auburn University

Let's welcome you as a new member - Join AGP TODAY!

Germany is to set up medical storage units, hoping to stave off some of the shortages experienced at the onset of the pandemic. Meanwhile, German medics are alarmed at the current rise in ICU occupancy rates. Read's story.

Researchers at German universities have identified immature blood cells that could signal coagulation complications in patients with COVID-19. Potential severe cases could now be detected at an earlier stage. Read's story.

Key Information for Travelers to Germany from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit CDC Website.


We have collected a list of resources that can provide information and assistance during these challenging times. You can find them on our website under Helpful Resources.

AlabamaGermany Partnership:

You can continue to reach us by phone: (205) 341-7880 or email:

Stay Connected