Volume IV | May 21 2021
Since 1989 SACC-DC has offered a platform for developing U.S. – Swedish lucrative commercial ventures and professional opportunities through our network and 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.
From the Executive Director
Dear Friends,

Greetings from Washington D.C. where the U.S. administration is hoping to pass the hotly debated American Jobs Plan by September; the American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race, we read on the White House homepage.
GOP lawmakers are however largely opposed to Biden's plan, mainly because it calls for raising the corporate tax rate to pay for the infrastructure spending in the plan. Democrats could decide to move forward without Republicans through a process known as budget reconciliation if they have all 50 Democrats in the Senate and almost every Democrat in the House on board.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that she was confident that “the investments and tax proposals in the Jobs Plan, taken as a package, will enhance the net profitability of our corporations and improve their global competitiveness” and that the proposed tax hikes would simply "return the corporate tax rate toward historical norms.”

Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg toured the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge project which replaces the 70-year-old bridge spanning the Washington, D.C. Anacostia River to highlight the need for more government investment in roads and bridges.

White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy also pitched in saying that the envisaged infrastructure collaboration with the private sector would be too popular an investment trend for a future administration to roll back, as would the undergirding energy and environment policies.

Finally, as temperatures continue to warm up, DMV residents can expect to see a "cicada tsunami" as soon as this weekend according to CBS News. As the cicada mate and die in the span of approximately four weeks, roads and pathways should clear right in time for our June 25, 9 am plogging event at Hanes Point to pick up trash along our Swedish American business community-run; show your stripes and sign-up here.

Best wishes,

Membership Spotlight: Petri Tirri from Eurenco Bofors
To start with, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career path?
I have been working for Eurenco for 23 years. I started in 1998 as a purchasing manager at the Eurenco site in Finland. Shortly after I got raw material purchasing responsibilities for both sites in Finland and Sweden. Few years after I became the commercial director for Eurenco Vihtavuori (Finland). 2006 I was offered a Regional Director position at our sales office in North America (Eurenco Bofors Inc). After long discussions at home, we decided with my wife that we’ll accept a three-year contract. We (especially my wife) were convinced that we’ll return to Europe after 3 years. Our three years have changed already to 14 and we don’t have any plans on moving back. We have two kids and both of them are born here in the US.

What is your current role at Eurenco Bofors and what is your connection to SACC-DC?
My current role at Eurenco Bofors is to overlook and promote all Eurenco Energetics activities in the US. Officially the local company is still under Eurenco Bofors AB and the majority of the revenue comes from products manufactured in Sweden. We have had this office in Northern Virginia already for 25 years and we’ve always been a member of SACC-DC. SACC-DC gives us an excellent platform to communicate and network with other companies and people with roots or other connections to Sweden. Personally, I’ve been working such a long time with Swedish people that I don’t mind who wins the Ice Hockey World Championship as long as it is either Finland or Sweden.

Eurenco is a pioneer and global leader within the defense and aerospace industry, but can you tell us what Eurenco Bofors does in more detail? Our mission is to design, produce and monitor, throughout their life cycle, high performance and safety products and solutions in the field of energetic materials for defense and their derivatives for civilian applications.

Our main focus in Europe is military explosives, propellants, and fuels, where we are industry leaders. Here in the United States, we focus more on supplying explosives for the civil sector (oil and gas drilling, mining) and have the world’s largest production capacity for fuel additives.

Since we have a sustainability focus in this month’s newsletter, what is Eurenco Bofors' sustainability strategy? We have a focus on sustainability and we try to incorporate United Nation's sustainable development goals as much as possible in our operations. For example, we recently launched a project to set up facilities to treat soil impregnated with pyrotechnic products in France and United States. The initiative has enabled the restoration of the 200 hectares of the former powder factory that was in operation for nearly 200 years. Now that the site has been completely treated and with the experience gained over the last few years, the EURENCO Group intends to continue this activity of treating historical pollution. This installation should create about ten direct jobs and as many indirect ones after its commissioning in 2023.

Researched & Written by Rasmus Jonsson, Business Associate

Member Testimonial: Swedish Match & Haypp
Jim Solyst, Swedish Match North America

I started working for Swedish Match in 2012. As Vice President for Federal Regulatory Affairs my job is to guide the Company through the US regulatory process, specifically to oversee preparation of applications and comments submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

My many years of regulatory science experience in Washington enabled me to provide immediate and hopefully useful contributions to the Company. But what I lacked was a solid understanding of Sweden, particularly a sense of Swedish government and the commercial scene. This liability was quickly overcome by joining SACC DC and benefitting greatly from the range of events and opportunities presented.

By engaging in the opportunities presented by SACC DC, as well as SACC USA, I was able to greatly increase my knowledge and understanding of Sweden, have access to elected officials and key staff, and to have great fun while doing so. SACC DC is my “home base”: I serve on the Board and Swedish Match is a corporate member. But the Company has also benefitted from interacting with other regional SACCs and participating in the Executive Summit and other SACC USA events.”
Peter Grafström, Director US, Haypp Group

Haypp Group is a Swedish e-commerce group, spearheading the global transformation from smoking to healthier product alternatives. Being the world’s largest e-tailer of snus and nicotine pouches, we now take our vision to a global scale.

SACC-DC has played a pivotal role in achieving this, by preparing the ground and giving Haypp Group opportunities to connect with stakeholders and institutions influencing key public policy matters.

We are grateful and would like to thank SACC-DC for the opportunity of acting as a sponsor for the 2021 Swedish Embassy Open Golf Tournament.
SAFT Batteries:
For the last episode of SACC-DC’s spring sustainability series, we will feature SAFT Batteries, and mainly their Swedish side located in Oskarshamn on the east coast of Sweden. SAFT is involved in the design, development, and manufacturing of batteries based on various technology cells used in energy storage, transport, industry, and defense. Headquartered in France, SAFT has an international presence in nearly 30 countries including Sweden and United States. The global organization consists of nearly 4000 people and has a turnover of around 700 million Euros. The company was established in 1918 and it became a subsidiary of the oil company Total in 2016. Since then, Total has changed to become TotalEnergies with a greater focus on renewables.

Saft sees itself as a high technology nice company that serves a huge range of market sectors, from aerospace, aviation, marine, and rail to telecoms, health, and energy, offering battery solutions for many different types of applications. Saft is also a major supplier in the motorsport world, mainly focusing on formula one. Respect for the environment and focus on sustainability are also huge priorities for SAFT. The company’s batteries are emissions-free and the company is constantly working to reduce its environmental footprint. 

Efficient use of resources and reducing their impact on the environment is at the heart of everything SAFT does. The company is committed to high standards of environmental stewardship and to developing sustainably responsible products. From eco-design, life-cycle assessments, recycling raw materials, and reducing their own emissions to ensuring that SAFT’s customers can recycle spent batteries.

Sustainability is in fact always an important consideration at the end of a battery’s life. Saft established a global network of bring-back points for spent nickel batteries nearly 20 years ago. SAFT then ships the end-of-life nickel batteries to their facility in Sweden or to other fully certified recycling centers for efficient recycling. The next step will be to replicate that approach for Li-ion batteries as they mature.

Another revolutionary sustainability initiative is Saft's lithium-ion rechargeable technology. Not only does it offer improved performance, extending the lifetime of industrial batteries, but it significantly cuts their environmental impact.

"The digital technology age means a massive boom in devices and increasing energy demand, but it doesn’t have to come at the cost of the environment". Patrick de Metz: Environmental and Governmental Affairs Director at Saft.

Researched & Written by Rasmus Jonsson, Business Associate
Success Story: Former Trainee Zerina Kurlancheek
To start off, how did you end up with the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Washington D.C? And when were you here? I was at SACC-DC during the fall and winter of 2014-2015 and ended up at the DC chapter by coincidence. When I graduated with my master's in Economics from Linkoping University, I wanted to do something more before doing the traditional thing, moving to Stockholm and staying there. I had studied in Hong Kong two years prior and was excited to get some experience from the United States too - I applied to several different positions within the organization and DC ended up working out in the best way possible!

How was your experience and what did you value the most?
I had the best experience from SACC - I learned a ton, was in a whole new networking environment, and got to work firsthand with all aspects of a business. Coming out of a business management program was the perfect hands-on experience. I valued the people I worked with and got to learn from the most!

What qualities did you find most beneficial, and what skills did you develop during the
time with the chamber?
I learned a lot about how to actually manage accounting at the chamber, it was the perfect organization to learn the ins and outs from in my opinion because it allows you to see the big picture and how all parts fit together - from income, expenses, net profit to equity.

Did you experience any cultural differences during your time here?
The biggest cultural difference was probably when I walked to the office on a very snowy day for half an hour. Very happy to have made it I entered the building which was empty - “it is a snow day, it’s closed” someone said. It took me a long day to understand that snow day meant you did not go to work :)

What recommendations would you give future trainees?
My first piece of advice is, take the opportunity! It is an amazing experience and once you are in it just try to learn as much as you can from people around you, no one in the US thinks it is odd if you reach out and ask for a coffee so take advantage of the open culture and the talent around you! Also, have fun and be social. One of my bridesmaids was a person I met in DC during my internship and I’m so grateful for that friendship alone!

Researched & Written by Rasmus Jonsson, Business Associate
Meet the team: Rasmus Jonsson, Business Associate

How did you end up as a SACC-DC trainee?
Since I am pursuing a master’s degree in sustainability management here in D.C, I stumbled over a webinar organized by SACC-DC about sustainable packaging last fall. I was searching for an internship for this spring and contacted Karin Hammar, the Executive Director. She told me that a position was open for applicants. As I already lived in D.C. this was a perfect fit for me to grow in my professional career, so I applied for it and got the position.

Tell me about your first couple of months with the chamber?
It has been great! I have learned a lot and the environment within the SACC organization is very inspiring. I have worked with a variety of tasks which has been fun and as we have members in various industries no task is the same. I have also gotten to connect with a lot more people in the area. Washington D.C. is a city where a lot of things happen so I am looking forward to when we can start having our in-person events.

You told me that you were studying sustainability. Could you tell me more about your educational background?
I came to the U.S. five years ago on a soccer scholarship. I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Monterey Bay and I recently finished my master’s degree in Sustainability Management from American University, Kogod School of Business. My master's is quite unique since it is one of the very few sustainability programs that is offered by a business school. The program is very similar to a regular MBA but has a bigger emphasis on sustainability. A great program that I believe will be useful in the future as many companies are focusing more on its sustainable outreach.

What do you want to work with in the future?
As I am holding a degree in Sustainability Management, I am picturing myself with everything from, sustainability reporting, waste management to disclosure and communication of environmental, social, and governance goals and energy usage. But I am always willing to try new things so depending on the opportunities that are given to me I could see myself in a broad range of positions and workplaces.

Final question, top three things to do in Washington D.C.?
In third place, I would say is sightseeing of all the monuments and national malls. This is a must if you are here as a tourist. The second place is a bit of a hidden gem, it is the area of Old Town Alexandria. It is a very nice place to walk around in. And lastly, first place is all the sports that exist in D.C. As I am kind of a sportsman I like to go and watch baseball, soccer, and hockey games live whenever they occur.

Researched & Written by David Gronqvist, Business Associate
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Open Position:

The Swedish School (Svenska Skolan) is looking to hire teachers for the upcoming fall semester.

Read more here about this rewarding opportunity.

Please contact Principle Jenny Pugh for more information.
Upcoming Events and Webinars
Establish your virtual networking skills & make valuable connections within the SACC network! Join us on May 26th for the opportunity to gain new contacts all over the U.S.

In this virtual climate, we really miss the great networking opportunities we have in person.
Therefore, we are nine regional chapters of The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce co-hosting this virtual networking event!
This way, we open up the opportunity to network over the regional borders of our organization.
We admit it’s not completely the same to network virtually as in a face-to-face setting. Therefore we have invited networking expert Stephanie Michelle who will give us valuable tips on how to network online – before practicing ourselves.
The event will last for 90 minutes, with the first half coaching by Stephanie Michelle, followed by the second half’s networking. We will use zoom breakout rooms, where participants will be shuffled into groups of 4, 8 minutes apart, which means every person will gain 15 new connections!
Stephanie Michelle is a Forbes-featured leadership & life coach, certified hypnotherapist, and best-selling author of the transformational networking book, Confident Introvert. She has facilitated over 1,000 events and established a fulfilling career helping people generate meaningful connections with themselves and others that catapult them forward in their career and life. To date, Stephanie has helped thousands of people celebrate their strengths, step into their authentic confidence, and make meaningful connections through speaking at places like Harvard University and 1:1 coaching.
Participating chapters:
SACC Arizona
SACC Chicago
SACC Detroit
SACC Florida
SACC Minnesota
SACC New England
SACC Texas
SACC San Francisco & Silicon Valley

You are most welcome to join us – we’re excited to e-meet you!

Not a member yet? Become a member of one of the regional chapters above or join the event as a potential member for $10.
Read more about Stephanie in her channels:
Plogging June 25th
Join SACC-DC for a plogging midsummer event. An event where we as a chamber can contribute to making the streets of D.C. cleaner. Plogging is a portmanteau of the Swedish words "plocka upp" meaning "to pick up" and English jogging. RSVP to trainee David Grönqvist.

Location: Haines Point
SACC-USA 2021 Executive Forum:

N.B. New Date: September 30th
The Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce of the United States of America (SACC-USA) cordially invites you to our flagship event, the Executive Forum, on September 30, 2021, in Washington D.C. The event is held in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in House of Sweden. This year’s theme – Business and Trade Opportunities under the Biden Administration – will give the latest insights in business and politics.
Septemeber 9th for our annual crayfish event.

Sponsored by Volvo Group.

More info soon.
The 33rd Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Open
Play with a purpose. Take the opportunity to support our Chamber and contribute to a great cause, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, while enjoying Westfields’ wonderful golf course.
Please review the sponsorship options by clicking the picture below.
Webinar Opportunities: Sustainability Series 2021
Renewable energy, green financing, bio-based materials, circular economy, sustainable logistics etc. - sustainability is a highly popular topic!

We are currently looking for sponsors and hosts to our Sustainability Webinar Series. There is a great interest in sustainability in our Swedish-American network. Are you and/or your organization a sustainability-enthusiast and wants to update us about the latest innovations within this field? Do not hesitate to host, sponsor and/or participate in a webinar, discussing your topics with other experts and business leaders!

Please contact Business Associate Thea Nguyen at Thea.nguyen@sacc-dc.org for further information!
Secure your membership today!

SACC DC organizes many events throughout the year to give our members access to professional networking. Our annual flagship business events include SACC Summit, the Young Professionals program, and other corporate events, seminars, and workshops. 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.
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