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Newsletter
Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Florida
Issue 9
Volume 8
October 2015
 

Greetings,

In life nothing is as constant as change. Some change you hardly notice and other times it can totally consume you. Here at FACC we have had a change in our organization with the election of new board of directors and officers. Meanwhile, Europe, Finland included, is trying to come to terms with a refugee crisis of historic proportions. The United States is at the same time preparing for an election year that may not look like anything we've seen in the past.

At FACC, Lena Hartikainen, one of the founding members along with Peter Makila and the first president of the organization, has moved to back to Finland to blaze new trails and pursue new opportunities. I want to personally express my sincere thank you to Lena for the opportunity to serve on the board under her leadership and for the friendship that will continue regardless of the distance. The FACC is very grateful for the outstanding job Lena has done over the past years and look forward to finding new ways to work with her in the role of our ambassador in Finland. The new FACC board will have Esa Jokela as president, Peter Makila as vice-president, Cynthia Fletcher as treasurer, Serge Boheme, Tom Kuutti and Betty Resch will serve as directors.

We have a busy year of activities planned. This season will kick off with a Florida International Trade & Cultural Expo in Broward County on October 13th. This is followed by a networking event in cooperation with the Lantana Chamber on October 15th. A Tax planning Seminar will take place on 29th of October. We will then celebrate the 150th birthday of Sibelius with a concert in Lake Worth Playhouse on November 7th. And last but not least, our Christmas party is on 10th of December at Benvenuto's! Your participation is invited at each of these events and tickets are available by contacting the FACC in Lake Worth.

Meanwhile, Finland is trying to find ways to deal with an unprecedented wave of refugees who have been displaced as a result of the turmoil in the Middle East. This presents economic, as well as social challenges to a country that is in the middle of a serious economic recessions. Many in Finland find the influx of refugees who look different, speak a different language, have different customs and worship differently a very uncomfortable and threatening spectacle. However, those of us who have experienced different cultures through our own immigration to unfamiliar places, can also see the opportunities, possibilities for growth and understand the riches of diversity. I think we can be in a unique role to provide a positive and optimistic voice to the discussion.

In United States the election cycle is getting in high gear. The emerging picture indicates total displeasure with the establishment. A dark horse presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is giving the front runner Hillary Clinton all she can handle on the Democratic side. The Republican Party meanwhile has three total outsiders in Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson in strong position to contest for the nomination. We at FACC see this as an opportunity to make our voices heard by arranging candidate forums and by inviting those vying for various political offices to come and speak to us and hear our concerns. Let's all remember that if we don't participate and vote, we shouldn't complain about the results either.

I look forward to serving as the president of the FACC and will rely heavily on active board and member participation to make this a great year.

As Thoreau wrote; Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined!

Yours in service,

Esa Jokela
President

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Member news

M-trading's got new owners! 
Our member M-Trading got new owners, as Harri & Irene Volanen bought all the shares of the company. The couple has 30 years experience in running a business from Finland, and they have been spending their winters in Florida already for many years. M-Trading will continue to deliver all of their services including car and motorcycle rental, motorcycle tours and house watching services and others as well. In addition M-Trading will start to offer so called handy man services, Bed&Breakfast accommodation and catering services. Read their whole press release (in Finnish)

Wyncode's Pitch Day VII Nov 19th
Wyncode's seventh pitching day will be arranged in Miami's 7th Cohort! Can you learn to code and build your own web application? Even better, can you land a job as a developer? Yes! Go see for yourself on Thursday, November 19th from 6-9PM at the LAB Miami. Check out Wynode's events here.

HappyOrNot @ NASA Kennedy Space Center
Our member Happy or Not is deployed in the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The Visitor Complex wants to lift not only shuttles but user experience as well. KSC welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world and wants to make a memorable experience for all of its customers. The company deployed HappyOrNot Smileys to get feedback on customer experience and learn whether visitors feel elevated from each visit. Read more.

What is coming up?


Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County and all of South Florida will welcome international cities to recognize this region as one of the top business opportunity destinations in the world. The goal of FITCE is to expand Broward County as the premier importing and exporting trading capital, while helping to establish new businesses and nurture existing ones to continue growing. Meet one-on-one with international delegates, former presidents, government leaders, entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce leaders, business alliances and councils, seasoned importers/exporters, and representatives from Broward Country's three leading public economic engines: Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as Broward County's Cultural Division, Enterprise Florida, and The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. 

The event is followed by a Bi-National Chambers' Cocktail Reception, where the Honorary Consul of Finland, Mr. Peter Makila, will make a speech. Come meet us! 

October 15: Networking Event 
Organized together with the Lantana Chamber of Commerce. 
Place: Manalapan Pizza / Basile Grill & Bar
Plaza Del Mar, 244 E Ocean Ave, Lantana, FL 33462
Time: Thursday 15th of Oct, 5:30 PM - 7.00PM

October 29th: Year End Tax Planning Seminar
Organized together with the Lantana Chamber of Commerce.
Place and time: TBA

November 7th: Sibelius 150 Jubilee concert
Place: Lake Worth Playhouse
713 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, FL 33460
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Tickets $20 / $30
For tickets, contact us via email faccflorida@gmail.com or phone (561) 582-2335.

December 10th: Christmas party!
Place: Benvenuto
1730 North Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Time: Thursday 10th of Dec, 6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Members $65, non-members $75. Your ticket will include a welcome drink, 3-course dinner and a glass of wine. Cash bar available for further purchases. Limited spaces available! Register now

Follow updates on the events at FACC website.
 
 
Introducing our new intern


We would like to take the opportunity to introduce our new intern, Benita Reinikka. Benita will be staying with us at the FACC and the Honorary Consulate of Finland until mid-March. She is pursuing her Master's Degree in International Business and Intercultural Management in Germany, where she will be returning after the internship. We are glad to have Benita on board - welcome!
Read Benita's blog post here to get to know her.

News from Florida


South Florida's economy beats the U.S. average
For the third year in a row, South Florida's economy outpaced the U.S. average for metropolitan areas/
The South Florida economy grew from $283 billion (2013) to $299 billion last year, compared
with a 2.3% average increase in 381 U.S. metro areas, the U.S. Read more here

Florida the choice of entrepreneurs
There's a good reason why more companies choose Florida for relocation and expansion. Few states can match Florida's competitive assets: the luring business climate which encourages innovation and success, unequaled market opportunity, highly skilled and diverse workforce and a top-ranked infrastructure. Read more from Florida Trend's Business Florida report if you are thinking of the Sunshine State as the next place for the investment. The report is also worth reading for those companies who are already present in Florida but seek to expand or move within the state. Business Florida report.

Florida ranks among top States for doing business
Florida ranks the fifth on Area Development's survey of top states for doing business. Florida's extensive multimodal transportation system that includes international airports, deepwater shipping ports, and extensive highway and rail networks enables robust economic activity. Merchandise trade valued at $153.2 billion flowed through Florida's airports and seaports in 2014, making the state one of the world's leaders in international trade. As a result, many distribution/logistics firms operate in Florida to take advantage of the easy access to global markets. Read more here.

Modeling and simulation big in Central Florida
Florida is home to perhaps the world's largest modeling, simulation and training (MST) clusters, with over 300 companies and 22,500 professionals. Florida companies are building simulation and training systems for the defense, medical, entertainment, education and other sectors. 

Florida real estate rebound strongest in nation
Freddie Mac's latest Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) finds that the Florida real estate market's rebound leads the nation. In a city-by-city comparison, Orlando leads the nation in both a month-to-month and year-to-year comparison, and only one non-Florida city makes the top five list for either timeframe. Read more about the real estate news here.

Expedia plans Central Florida development
One of the world's biggest online travel booking sites is planning expansion in Central Florida. Under Expedia's development plan, six new Expedia CruiseShipCenters will open in Kissimmee and Orlando in the next three years. The development is a part of Expedia's plan to find franchise partners around the US. Read more here.

FSU ranked Nation's 2 on most efficient high-quality university
U.S. News & World Report ranks Florida State University the No. 2 most efficient high-quality university in the country for 2015. The university was named the nation's most efficient in 2013 and 2014. Florida State also ranks 43rd among all public national universities in the U.S. News & World Report 2016 edition of "America's Best Colleges" - evidence that Florida State combines an outstanding education with economic value. Check out further FSU rankings here here.
   

 
News from Finland
 

The Finnish Venture Capital Association published statistics on private equity investors in January-June. A total of 636 million euros was invested in Finnish companies through 157 different transactions. The investment amount is significantly larger, compared to 2014 when only 270 million euros was invested to Finnish companies. Read more here.


Finland the next Silicon Valley?
A report by Aalto University, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy estimates that Industrial Internet related business activities could bring 2 billion euros in investments and 48,000 jobs to Finland by 2023. Read more here.

Nokia teams up with Ericsson to commercialize the IoT
Nokia will be working closely with Ericsson and Intel to develop and bring to market a range of products pertaining to Narrow-Band Long-Term Evolution (NB-LTE). NB-LTE is an optimised variant of 4G LTE technology. It was some advantages over others such as low implementation cost, ease of use and power efficiency. These advantages are favorable as a wireless connectivity solution for the Internet of Things (IoT) market segment. Read more.

Finnish game industry growing rapidly 
The gaming industry has continued its rapid expansion. Last year, the turnover of the gaming industry surged by nearly 400 million euros year-on-year, driving the growth of the IT and communications sector as a whole. The growth recorded in the service sector is also largely due to the high performance of the gaming industry. More on Helsinki Times.

Upcoming partner events 

International Trade Master Series
September 16 - October 14, 2015
Tampa, Florida 
Take an in-depth look at the principal areas of international trade with Tampa Bay's leading global experts. Information covered will help you strengthen your international business and become more competitive abroad. The master series will focus on the following components of international trade:
 
International Marketing - Wednesday, September 16
Supply Chain Management - Wednesday, September 23
Global Business Management - Wednesday, September 30
Tax, Legal and Regulatory Compliance - Wednesday, October 7Export Finance, Partners & Free-Trade Zones - Wednesday, October 14
Find out more here.

Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo (FITCE): Doing Business with the World
October 13, 2015
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County and all of South Florida will welcome international cities to recognize this region as one of the top business opportunity destinations in the world. The goal of FITCE is to expand Broward County as the premier importing and exporting trading capital, while helping to establish new businesses and nurture existing ones to continue growing. Meet one-on-one with international delegates, former presidents, government leaders, entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce leaders, business alliances and councils, seasoned importers/exporters, and representatives from Broward Country's three leading public economic engines: Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as Broward County's Cultural Division, Enterprise Florida, and The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. The event is followed by a Bi-National Chambers' Cocktail Reception. Find out more here.

Supply Chain & Logistics Summit
October 27-29, 2015
Miami, Florida
The Supply Chain & Logistics Summit tackles current trends and issues relevant to the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Latin America. The Summit brings together more than 200 decision makers, 40 commercial partners and 35 speakers. Featuring six streams, the event is spread over two days, incorporates two networking evenings, more than 40 sessions, breakfast briefings, lunches, social and digital hub, product showcase and more. The summit aims at identifying the keys for supply chains to survive in a competitive world. Find out more here.

 MAF 12th Annual Manufacturers Summit & Marketplace
November 4-5, 2015
West Palm Beach, Florida

The Manufacturers Association of Florida is pleased to present the 12th Annual Summit and Marketplace in West Palm Beach. This event brings manufacturers, economic developers, educators, professional service providers and more across the state together to learn, share and network to improve the business climate for Florida manufacturers.

The event includes:
Manufacturing Showcase/Exhibit Hall
Manufacturing Best Practices
Discussions on manufacturing community partnerships, global business, and talent development
Florida business climate update
Advocacy agenda
Tour of Lockheed Martin
Awards for Manufacturers and Distributor of the Year


 

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Esa Jokela

President
Finnish American Chamber of Commerce