Volume IIII | April 2022
Interview with Board member Wesley Martin from Walgreens Boot Alliance, DC Scholarship opportunity, Cancer treatment collaboration, Scandinavian Innovation Forum coverage, upcoming events.
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,

If you are interested in networking with other SACC DC members, looking for ways to be matched with potential clients, advisors or collaborators, or need a spot resource to conduct a study on the Swedish or U.S. markets? Then you don't want to miss our Business Services Networking event on May 17th between 4-6 pm. Please scroll down to learn more about this and other events of interest (there are lots of them happening in May and June for the Swedish-American community!)

We had a busy and fun week here at SACC DC. The inaugural Scandinavian Innovation Forum was a big success, so much that we plan to do this again next year. And we were blessed with a beautiful day at Sequoia's terrace for our Happy Hour! Great to see both familiar and new faces and we are grateful for every opportunity to interact in person.

As always, if you have any feedback or suggestions on how we can create better value for your membership, we would love to hear from you!

Happy reading!
Interview with Wesley Martin, Senior Manager, U.S. Public Policy at Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.
Please provide an overview of your personal and professional background and how you ended up in DC!
I grew up in the southern state of Louisiana, where I attended university and studied business and history. During this time I worked as a barista and developed a love for coffee culture that would later blend well with my love of Swedish cafe culture. As a young man, I moved to South Carolina where I met my (now) husband who, after initially departing Sweden to study abroad for one year, landed in a professor role at the University of South Carolina quite a few years later. At his urging, I pursued my graduate studies by channeling my dual interests in business and history into a combined law degree and international MBA. These degree programs provided me with opportunities to study in England and Germany and to work in Belgium -- formative experiences that honed my interests in international affairs and government relations. While in Brussels, I served at the U.S. Mission to the European Union, working to interpret where EU laws created business opportunities for American companies seeking to enter the European marketplace.

Upon returning to the United States and completing my academic programs, I stepped into a traditional legal role and worked as a Staff Attorney at the Supreme Court of South Carolina. In that role, I gained significant firsthand experience in the legal field; however, after living in a "seat of government" city like Brussels, I knew that D.C. was where I wanted to be. I began looking for opportunities in D.C., and accepted a role at the Congressional Research Service, where I worked on legislation and policy in the fields of foreign affairs, commerce, trade, and telecommunications. Eventually, I sought to expand my career and find a role where I could truly blend my law and business backgrounds, which led me to my current role with Walgreens Boots Alliance. At WBA, I am the policy lead for "front-of-pharmacy" issues such as data privacy, trade, and labor & employment matters. I feel very fortunate to have been guided through my education and career by solid mentors who led me into the right roles and experiences and that allowed me to merge my dual interests in a field where I can engage with some of the brightest, most interesting, and most influential individuals in our country.

With your background in Brussels, what are the major differences working in Brussels on behalf of the U.S. as compared to working with State and Federal policy issues in the U.S.?
Working at the U.S. Mission to the EU was a truly unique experience. There is a level of gravitas and respect that inheres to being a representative of the United States when you're abroad that lends significant credibility and influence to the work you're doing. Working with state and federal policy issues in the U.S. has both similarities and differences; however, my perspective has changed with my shift from public to private sector. I would say that the largest difference lies in who you are responsible to. Working for USEU, I experienced a strong sense of responsibility as I represented my country and my fellow citizens on Europe's largest political stage. Representing Walgreens Boots Alliance, I have a similarly strong sense of responsibility, but it is one that I owe to our customers and one that I seek to carry out by promoting legislative priorities that will ensure they have access to high-quality care, enabling them to live happily and healthily.

What is your connection to Sweden, and your role in the SACC-DC Board?
My husband is Swedish and grew up in Vaxholm. His family still lives in the Stockholm archipelago, and we visit several times a year. Shortly before the pandemic, I began studying Swedish in order to more comfortably and respectfully communicate with my newly extended family (and so that my husband and I could have a "hemligt språk" when we aren't in Sweden). Over our years together, I have developed a love and respect for Swedish history, culture, language, and people, and I initially got involved with SACC-DC as an individual seeking networking opportunities and a way to become more involved with the local Swedish community. Following several introductory conversations with board members and others, I was encouraged to take a more active role and join the Membership Committee. Over time, this involvement translated into a more active role and an invitation to take over as Chair of the Committee and join the Board as the former committee chair stepped into her new role as President. I welcomed the opportunity (and the attendant challenges), and I am very excited to work together with the other committees, the Board, and our incredible membership to refine our value proposition, develop new membership incentives, and grow our ranks.

Tell us about Walgreens Boots Alliance!
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) is headquartered in Chicago and, although it is an American company, the original founder was in fact of Swedish heritage. Charles Walgreen, the company's founder, was the son of Swedish immigrants whose surname was changed from Wahlgren to Walgreen when they came to America. Walgreens is now the second-largest pharmacy chain in the United States and, in 2014, it merged with Switzerland-based Alliance Boots. In addition to Walgreens stores in the United States, WBA operates Boots stores in the UK, Mexico, Chile, Ireland, and Thailand, as well as the pharmacies Benavides in Mexico and Farmacias Ahumada (FASA) in Chile. I serve in a public policy role within our government relations team, which is based here in D.C. As such, I support our federal and state/local GR teams with subject matter expertise and legislative advocacy on topics such as data privacy, organized retail crime, trade, and even tobacco and alcohol.

SWEA Washington DC Scholarship
Swedish Women's Educational Association Washington DC (SWEA DC) is provide to grant $15,000 to individuals in the DMV area supporting projects that promote Swedish culture. Application deadline is June 30, 2022.

Read more about the scholarship and the specific application requirements by clicking here.

Elekta and GE Healthcare partnering up to boost treatment for cancer patients
SACC-DC Corporate member Elekta is set to partner up with General Electric Healthcare to make treatment to cancer patients more broadly available.

The collaboration will revolve around expanding the companies' offering with regards to making precission radio therapy more readily accessible to developing countries. The joint portfolios of Elekta and GE Healthcare have the potential to create the synergies needed to enhance the availability of comprehensive healthcare solutions, while still maintaining the standard operations of each respective party.

Read more about this exciting collaboration here.
The inaugural Scandinavian Innovation Forum - a success!

The inaugural Scandinavian Innovation Forum took place on April 26 at the beautiful Atlantic Ocean Hall at the Royal Embassy of Norway. Around 90 guests from finance, government, technology, think tanks and consulting attended the event, all appreciative of the excellent and knowledgeable speakers and the opportunity to network in person. The SACC-DC team would like to send its warmest thanks to the sponsors of this event - Volvo Group, SSAB, Norsk Hydro, FREYR Battery, Hitachi Energy, Volvo Cars, and Skultuna that provided the speaker gifts. We would also like to thank the Norwegian and Swedish Embassies as well as our collaborators at the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce Mid-Atlantic Chapter.

We hope to see you see you at the next year's Scandinavian Innovation Forum!
Happy Hour at Sequoia
On April 28, SACC-DC hosted a Happy Hour event at Sequoia in Georgetown just next to the Potomac river. In the nice company of great people, and with fantastic weather, it was a highly enjoyable afternoon - added to which the mingling was interspersed with an occasional tune on the harmonica from one of the guests!
Upcoming events
SACC-DC is expanding its offering to member companies by introducing two different Business Services: Trade Services and B2B Matchmaking. The Trade Services focus on market research and collecting statistics to provide a report aiding the client to navigate a certain market, while the B2B Matchmaking revolves around using SACC-DC’s network position to help companies establish meaningful business connections in the DC area.

To learn more about the Business Services and enjoy a late afternoon of networking, please join us for the Business Services Launch Event on May 17 at Axis Communications, 1001 19th St N #1400, Arlington, VA. The event will run from 4pm to 6pm, starting off with mingle and presentations from SACC-DC and Axis Communications, as well as a testimonial from Blue Star Strategies that piloted the Business Services. The presentations are followed by an interactive networking session at Axis’ innovative office space!

Please reply to this email if you're interested in attending!
Events at the Embassy of Sweden in May
American & Nordic Business Perspectives on the U.S.- EU Trade and Technology Council
Online or in-person
Wednesday, May 4, 8:30- 11:15 AM (ET)

Ahead of the forthcoming May 15-16 ministerial meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC), the U.S. Chamber and the Embassies of Denmark, Finland, and Sweden are hosting an event to demonstrate the importance of transatlantic cooperation and resilience, particularly considering current geopolitical and economic challenges. Join us for a timely discussion focused on supply chain security, digital connectivity and emerging technologies, and promoting energy diversification and sustainability solutions to drive the transatlantic economy forward.

Featured speakers include executives from leading transatlantic companies including: IBM, AstraZeneca, Nokia, Ericsson, and more. We will also be joined by the Ambassadors of Sweden and Denmark and the Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of Finland.

Sign up here.
Washington Post Live - World Stage: Ukraine with Karin Olofsdotter 
Thursday, May 5, 11:00am (ET)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to sharp geopolitical shifts and growing security fears across Europe. Join Washington Post Live for a conversation with Swedish Ambassador to the United States Karin Olofsdotter about the growing public support in her country to join NATO and rising tensions between Sweden and Russia.

Sign up here.

ABBA The Movie Fan Event

In Theaters across the US & Canada
May 12 & 14

Have the time of your life when ABBA: The Movie dances back into movie theaters for a special two-day fan event celebrating 45 years since the film’s original release!
Captured by director Lasse Hallström during their mega-successful tour of Australia, the newly remastered film will take you on a flashback journey to the 1970s when disco reigned supreme and ABBA were royalty. Including backstage footage as well as full-length performances of some of ABBA's greatest hits including "Dancing Queen," "Tiger," "Name Of The Game" and "Eagle,” the film provides a rare look at the hugely successful band during the height of their popularity.
Tickets and more information here.

EU Open House

House of Sweden, Washington DC
Saturday, May 14, 10:00am - 4:00pm (ET)

EU Open House is back! On Saturday, May 14, the Embassies of the European Union countries and the EU Delegation will open their doors to the public. We are pleased to share that Sweden will once again be part of this much-loved spring event, as we will open House of Sweden to the DC area for a day of culture, food, music, and more. The best part? There are no RSVPs or fees required.

At House of Sweden, you will have the opportunity to learn about both Sweden and Estonia, try Swedish FIKA, visit the rooftop, save your memories from the day in the photobooth, walk through the current exhibitions on display, as well as send a postcard to a loved one, take a quiz about women's rights or simply just enjoy a coffee overlooking the Potomac river.

Mark May 14 in your calendars and keep an eye on euopenhouse.org for more details! #EUOpenHouse - we look forward to seeing you here!

More information here.
June 2, 2022
SACC-USA Executive Forum
House of Sweden, Washington D.C.
The theme of this year, Navigating Turbulent Waters, will take stock of new market solutions, groundbreaking technologies, and strategies to tackle challenges such as climate change, and much more.The executive forum is a full day, in person event and will feature several highly regarded speakers.

Tickets are offered to a highly reduced price for SACC members. Sounds interesting? Make sure to save your seat at Executive Forum, seeing as the event has sold out six years in a row.
Save the date: Crayfish Celebration
The annual SACC-DC Crayfish Celebration at House of Sweden is set for September 13, so make sure to clear your schedules in advance!
Remember to renew your membership for 2022
Visit membership portal to renew or our membership page to join.

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.
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