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Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 23
Volume 7
February 2015


it is hard to believe that it is already almost 6 years when FACC, Florida was founded. I had recently moved to Florida and was looking for ways to connect with the business community. While having a conversation with Peter Makila, our Honorary Consul he challenged me by saying, why don't you start a chamber and I took it seriously. We recruited two other local leaders, Jarmo Seppala from STX and Ari Winter from Kone, and this is how FACC, Florida was started. 

Now both mine and our VP, Peter Makila's term are coming to end this summer and would love to see the leadership of FACC in good hands for years to come. We are looking for a leader who is passionate about creating value to members and also networking with local and international business community. Please contact me or Peter directly for more details at We hope that the good work will continue and that FACC can continue creating value to its members.


At your service,


Lena Hartikainen

FACC-FL President


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Welcome New Member

Makinen builds new and refurbishes existing cruise ship cabins and public spaces all over the world, with custom made interior modules, and furnishings. Makinen was established in 1992, and has completed over 500 cruise ship projects and has refurbished over 20,000 cabins during the past 15 years.  Operating on both new building, and refurbishing areas enables the company to provide the best lifetime solutions for customers that include the world's biggest cruise lines and shipyards.  The company is also a global leader in the LEAN mode of operation, and was the first in the world to implement this method for marine refurbishment with the help of Porsche Consulting.  

Makinen has two locations; Makinen, Inc. in Pompano Beach, FL USA and I.S. Mäkinen Oy in Finland.


More company information can be found at 


News from Florida


Ferry service between Florida and Cuba might be launched this year

Travel to Cuba from the United States may soon expand to sea ferry, if several Florida companies get their way. At least half a dozen Florida companies are seriously considering ferry ventures, with plans to seek licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department. More from Reuters. 


Silver Airways Names Sami Teittinen as CEO
Silver Airways' Board of Directors today announced that Sami T. Teittinen has been appointed the airline's new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and will join its Board, effective September 5, 2014.  Teittinen currently serves as Silver Airways' chief financial officer.  Teittinen holds both a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Business Administration from University of Central Florida, and is a graduate of Finish Defense Forces, Reconnaissance School and Finnish Business College in Helsinki, Finland. Congrats to Mr Teittinen from FACC team! 


 Trade, exports help power Florida economy

Florida is known for many things: sun, sand, golf courses ... and exports. In fact, in 2013, Florida businesses exported more than $96 billion in goods and services, supporting more than 2.4 million jobs including the more than 2,500 employees who work for Honeywell across the state. What's more, of the more than 61,000 businesses in Florida that export, 95 percent are small and medium-sized businesses like H. & S. Swansons' Tool Co. in Pinellas Park. Read more about Florida export here.


Floridians have confidence in the economy

The state's consumer confidence grew from January to February, a sign that Floridians believe the economy is doing well, according to a University of Florida report released Friday.

On a scale of 2 to 150, confidence among Floridians is now at 94.7, the highest mark since June 2006, when the state's housing market was at its pre-recession peak, according to a release from UF's Survey Research Center in the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Full source here. 

Read more here:

News from Finland


Frequent visits to sauna may reduce cardiac mortality

According to a Finnish medical study, frequent sauna use has positive impacts on cardiac health. The risk of sudden cardiac death is up to 60 per cent lower for those who engage in frequent sauna use than for less-active sauna bathers. Full study here. 


Finnish health bracelet may revolutionize hospital patient care 

Finnish biomedical startup Medieta has an ambitious goal: to reduce healthcare costs while optimising patient care and increasing efficiency. The key to this is the company's unique medical health measurement bracelet 'ErrS'. Read more here. 


Forget coconut water, birch sap is here!

Last year British media predicted birch sap, or birch water, to be the coconut water of 2015: a worldwide drinking trend. Finnish company Nordic Koivu was onto it before others; they've been exporting birch sap for over a decade. Read more about the sap here. 


Finnish researchers develop new solutions for storing electric energy 

The scarce and expensive platinum has traditionally been used as the electrocatalyst in electrolysers that store electric energy in the form of a chemical compound. Now researchers at Aalto University have succeeded in creating a cost-effective and efficient substitute for it. Full story here.

Upcoming events 


World LEADERS Conference 

March 4-5, 2015

West Palm Beach , Florida


Designed to provide participants with a uniquely personal experience in an intimate setting, the World LEADERS Conference brings together top executives in business and ministry with prominent leadership experts from around the world. The two-day conference provides opportunities for interacting and networking with other business and church leaders, and focuses on the critical issues and trends that are shaping business and the church today.


 The Conference will feature noted speakers Ben Carson, Drew Brees, Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels, Suzy Welch, Henry Cloud, Erwin McManus, Nido Qubein, Jon Gordon, Bonnie St. John, James Blanchard, H. Wayne Huizenga Jr., Matthew Kelly, Mark A. Floyd, Jim Loehr, Mark Sanborn, Claire Shipman, and Paul Leone. More here.



Select USA Investment Summit 

March 23 - 24, 2015

Washington D.C.


The Summit is an unparalleled opportunity to meet the economic development organizations from every corner of the United States, high-level government officials, and others working to facilitate investment in the United States.

The goal of the Summit is to enable companies to find locations to initiate or expand operations, and to enable states,regions, and cities to attract those companies.

Please note that this year there is Select USA Academy available 22nd March.

Academy is useful for first time investors and SME's.


Please find the agenda for Select USA Summit at here. 

More information can be found



2015 International Days

April 7, 2015

Tallahassee, Florida

Join the Florida Chamber and Florida's international business community for a two-day event to hear from the top international trade and industry experts on how we can work together to implement recommendations found in the Florida Chamber Foundation's Trade & Logistics Study 2.0. Together we can help Florida become the number one hub for global trade. CLICK HERE for additional information. 


World Strategic Forum  
April 13-14 , 2015
              Biltmore Hotel, Miami                 
The World Strategic Forum is presented by the International Economic Forum of the Americas to address the major governance challenges of the new world economic order, focusing on the central role of the Americas in the global economy. 
Phenomenal world class speakers and global leaders gather at these events to discuss the future.  

Read more on the event website or on the FACC blog about the previous event from April 2014.



We hope you find this newsletter useful and we love to get feedback and suggestions how we can make it better. We also have many volunteer opportunities within the chamber so let us know how you want to be involved.




Lena Hartikainen
Finnish American Chamber of Commerce