Volume II | February 2024

Words from the Executive Director | Highlights from the Annual Meeting 2024 | Interview with Dorothy Hildebrandt | SAAB's perspective on Swedens' NATO journey | Upcoming events | News

Since 1989 SACC-DC has offered a platform for developing U.S. – Swedish lucrative commercial ventures and professional opportunities through our network, business and social events. The SACC-DC Newsletter will help you stay on top of what’s happening in the Swedish-American business community and find the perfect opportunity to create new business connections in the greater Washington D.C. area and Mid-Atlantic region.


Dear SACC DC Members,

With Winter still holding DC in a relatively firm grip, we are focusing on warmer temperatures and are planning full-speed for this year’s events. Being back to near-normal, pre-COVID times, we are envisaging more in-person programming, lunch-and-learns, breakfast meetings, seminars, and informal speaker’s events alongside our larger flagship events. We are introducing bi-weekly After-Hours networking opportunities with different topics. The first one is Robert Thomas, who will lead a discussion about building a sustainable Government Relations office in DC and why Political Action Committees (PACs) matter.

2024 is a big election year, both here in the US and in Europe, with elections to the European Parliament in June. There is much to learn about how this may affect Swedish-American business relations. What different scenarios can we expect? What type of legislation or changes do experts and thought leaders anticipate in this regard?

The current security situation and the role of NATO, its enlargement, Finland joining, and Sweden hopefully soon following suit, constitutes not only a new direction for the alliance but also brings new business opportunities. This topic will be exploited further throughout the year, but SAAB already provides an insightful perspective in this newsletter.

This new year not only brought about a brand-new SACC DC office team. A new Board of Directors was elected at our Annual Meeting held in January, now competently chaired by our former SACC-DC President Jesica Lindgren, as Nancy Fischer resigned from that position after eight years of service.

We are looking forward to a year filled with new opportunities and fruitful collaborations for us and our members. Please reach out to us directly with thoughts or ideas on how we can assist, topics that would be of interest, or if you would like to host an event or a company visit.

Anna Wramner

Executive Director


We are excited to share some highlights from our annual meeting held on January 25 at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C. The evening started with a mingling session, bringing together members of the board, SACC-DC, and Young Professionals members.

One highlight of the evening was the presence of the Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, H.E. Urban Ahlin, who shared valuable insights on Sweden's potential NATO membership, electrification, strengths in sustainability, and the telecom industry.

We extend our sincere thanks to Ambassador Ahlin for attending.

This evening, changes were agreed upon by the Board of Directors. We are excited to announce Jesica Lindgren as the new SACC-DC Chair following her service as President.

We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Nancy Fischer for her outstanding service as the Chair of SACC-DC and President of SACC-DC for eight years.

Furthermore, we warmly welcome Dorothy Hildebrandt, who will be stepping into the role of Chair of the Program Committee. At the same time, we thank Jared Carlson and Peter Grafström, who are leaving the Board of Directors, for their unwavering dedication and service. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the annual meeting. Exciting times lie ahead under our new leadership.

Take a moment to get to know SACC-DC's new Board of Directors.

Board of directors

The participants got to enjoy "kanelbullar".


Dorothy Hildebrandt is the global Senior Director of Corporate Procurement at Hilton. She has a career spanning management consulting and legal and business transformation within procurement and supply chain. Dorothy has been an individual member of SACC-DC for over 11 years, is currently a Member of the Board, and is now also stepping into the role of Chair of the Program Committee. She is looking forward to the opportunity to provide more broad support through this role.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your position at Hilton.


I grew up on Long Island, NY, moved to Washington D.C. for university, and have been based there since. I aspired to become a lawyer originally. I became a paralegal and learned that I enjoy business and contract negotiation. That led to a career in technology management consulting, specializing in procurement and supply chain. I worked at TechCaliber Consulting and Accenture before I was fortunate to land at Hilton Corporate in 2019. 


At Hilton, I have the honor of leading the teams that support Hilton centralized business functions in their purchasing and supplier contracting, supplier payments, and sourcing execution. We collectively help to connect over 7,200 Hilton properties in 123+ countries with the systems and services that drive their operations, solve challenges, and create efficiencies to achieve our mutual goals around sustainability and responsible sourcing. 


I also work on initiatives that seek to expand Hilton Supply Management’s reach and scope within our global group purchasing organization. For those not familiar with Hilton Supply Management (HSM), HSM is the world’s leading hospitality procurement, logistics, and end-to-end supply chain provider, servicing Hilton’s properties globally plus thousands of global independently-managed hospitality properties and businesses that translate into better deals for us and our suppliers. We have a strong scale that continues to grow our negotiating power.  


With less business, as well as leisure travel, how does your industry, and Hilton, adapt to future challenges?  

By contrast, we’ve seen travel and development pick up considerably in 2023. I would say in general Hilton has incredible teams who monitor the hospitality market closely to adapt to future changes. We have a lot of exciting things coming up in 2024 after launching two new brands in 2023, so I encourage you to watch this space.   


Could you share a specific challenge you encountered in your role, and what were the key lessons you learned from overcoming it?  

I would say that our team’s primary challenge in any season, however, is keeping pace with the rapid speed of business while always operating with integrity and offering our stakeholders a personalized touch. Hospitality and procurement are both incredibly complex, fast-moving industries, and our team has a sizable remit and responsibility, managing over $1B in corporate spending and increasing. In an effort to keep Hilton competitive while scaling responsibly, we focus on seeking the greatest areas of opportunity to support our strategic initiatives while continuing to safeguard our partnering properties and the Hilton enterprise in every contracting process.  


I understand you have connections to Sweden. Could you tell us about your experiences or relationships with Sweden?  

Yes, my grandparents came over from Sweden on my father’s side, while my mother’s side of the family is Italian. They came to the United States from Örebro and brought with them many books, – some dating back to the 1700s – photographs, and letters that we’ve kept and that my children now love to look at. I speak some Swedish and took 2 years of Swedish classes, yet I am still shy to practice. SACC-DC encourages me to keep it up! A proud connection back to Sweden is that my grandfather’s cousin, Philip, started Nederman AB, which is my maiden name and now part of my middle name. My aunt has a few mementos from when it started.  


We met Kevin Boland, Director of Corporate Affairs at SAAB Inc, a Swedish-owned company with a unique presence in the U.S., to discuss their perspective on Sweden getting closer to potential NATO membership. From emphasizing collaborative strengths to discussing their diverse contributions in the defense sector, SAAB shares its role and aspirations. The interview delves into shared values, ongoing expansion, and the company's appeal for exploring opportunities, providing insight into SAAB's presence in the landscape of global defense. 

Sweden is one step closer to getting their NATO membership. How does a potential membership affect you as a Swedish company in the defense industry? 

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this with you. SAAB is a unique company in the U.S. as it is Swedish-owned but also fully American. SAAB Inc., which operates under a special security agreement, is a separate entity. It has American personnel working on defense products tailored to U.S. needs, and Sweden's recent NATO membership enhances U.S. security. Sweden has many capabilities that contribute positively to the alliance, which aligns with SAAB Inc.'s growing business in the States. For instance, SAAB radars made in Gothenburg are similar to those produced in Syracuse for the U.S. Navy, including the USS Eisenhower carrier's new radar. The collaboration between our countries showcases the strong ties between our nations. Our shared values such as individual freedom, democracy, and a commitment to genuine defense make working with Sweden seamless. The natural and longstanding friendship is evident in the collaboration between Swedish and American engineers creating high-quality equipment for deployment globally. The strong connection between our nations provides a solid basis for Sweden's NATO membership, reinforcing our bilateral relationship. This step is expected to enhance the defense industry in both countries, building upon recent positive advancements like defense security agreements and high-level visits. 

What are SAAB's strengths in the defense sector? 

Working at SAAB is an exciting experience as we are involved in multiple aspects of the defense sector. For example, we specialize in the production of submarines designed for the Swedish Navy, which are ideally suited for operations in the Baltic region, providing a significant asset to the NATO alliance. Our Gripen fighters train together with allies such as F16 and Typhoons, demonstrating our collaborative efforts in defense. SAAB-made products have demonstrated their reliability and effectiveness in various global defense scenarios, highlighting their contribution to international security. The strong demand for various ammunition types from the U.S. positions us to contribute, benefiting both American workers and Swedish companies while enhancing overall security. This collaboration illustrates the mutually beneficial nature of our relationship. 

How does the U.S. view Sweden's progress toward NATO membership and its impact on perceptions of Sweden's defense capabilities? 

From a U.S. perspective, the prolonged process of Sweden nearing NATO membership has provided ample opportunities to deeply explore the country's capabilities and strengths. Sweden's progress has allowed frequent analysis by news outlets, drawing attention to the nation's strengths and potential as a great partner. Such constant attention highlights Sweden as an excellent and evolving partner, showcasing its capabilities and potential contributions. The label "made in Sweden" carries a reputation for quality and robust engineering, which is a valuable asset. 

Are there lesser-known aspects of SAAB's growth strategy or unique product qualities that you'd like to highlight in discussions about the company's expansion in the U.S. defense industry? 

We have set our sights on becoming a significant player in the U.S. defense industry, despite not being on par with the top U.S. primes at present. Our objective is to be as vital as any other company in the country, contributing fully to the industrial defense base. Although our exceptional products may not be widely known, they are highly valued by our customers. We are actively hiring and expanding across our nine U.S. locations to meet growing demands. I would like to invite you to explore opportunities with us and be a part of our exciting journey. 


Get ready for a year full of enriching events and exciting gatherings! In addition to our flagship events, we have planned a series of special events to help you build personal connections, learn new things, and network with like-minded individuals. To kick off this exciting year, you're invited to join us for our After-Hours networking event series premiere, where we will feature a diverse range of topics and esteemed guests. The first event will take place on February 22.

Follow us on our social media channels for more details about our upcoming events.

Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn



Join us on February 22 for an inspiring After Work event, featuring an insightful talk by the experienced Robert Thomas on sustainable Government Relations in D.C. and why Political Action Committees (PACs) matter. Robert has a proven track record in building government relations and affairs capacity, and most recently served as the Head of Government Affairs at Elekta.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn, network, and engage in interesting discussions.

Register here



Join us on March 7th for an after-work event as we shine a spotlight on International Women's Day. We are delighted to have Dorothy Hildebrandt, a prominent figure in Corporate Procurement, lead a discussion on the impact of women in today's professional landscape and the pursuit of a harmonious work-life balance.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to connect, learn, and celebrate International Women's Day with us!

Stay tuned for more details. Follow us on social media to stay updated on the latest information.


The nominations for the SACC-USA Business Award are now open to Swedish businesses in the U.S. The winning company will have the exclusive opportunity to become the main sponsor/keynote speaker at our flagship event, the Executive Forum, with an estimated value of up to $20,000. The recipient will also gain extensive publicity through SACC-USA's channels and receive a one-year membership in the umbrella organization. 

To be considered for the SACC-USA Business Award, a company must have demonstrated a significant impact on business, investment, and job creation in the United States. Detailed requirements can be found here

The winner will be announced at the 2024 Executive Forum on May 30 in Washington D.C. Take the opportunity to nominate both SACC members and non-member companies by April 8. 

Nominate here


Sweden's Work Happiness Secret: Fika

In Sweden, the cultural tradition of 'fika' has long been a part of work life. It is believed to help improve productivity and well-being among employees. Explore the transformative power of collective coffee breaks in the workplace.

Read the article

How close is Sweden to joining NATO?

Sweden submitted their request 615 days ago. They are getting closer to being part of the Alliance, but are not yet a member. Read the insights of the expert.

Read the article

News From SACC-USA And The Embassy

We want to encourage you to stay updated by reading the newsletters from SACC-USA and the news from the Swedish Embassy!

We highly recommend taking the time to read this news regularly to stay informed and connected with the Swedish-American community. As always, SACC-DC remains committed to providing our members with the resources and information they need to succeed.

News from the Swedish embassy
SACC-USA newsletter


SACC-DC holds a unique position to provide members valuable connections with other member companies or small businesses, potentially resulting in new collaborations, clients, and partnerships. Read more about our B2B Matchmaking service and how to make a request here. Your company has the opportunity to be assisted by a Business Associate or a trainee with short-term projects aiming to increase your knowledge about specific markets. Read more about our Trade Services and how to make a request here.


Visit our membership page to join as a new member, or renew your membership through the membership portal. SACC DC organizes many events throughout the year to give our members access to professional networking. We also tailor trade missions for Swedish companies interested in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. Whether an individual with a keen interest in or connection with Sweden living in D.C. or a company looking to establish new relationships, we can help you reach your next goal!

Contact us!


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