AlabamaGermany Partnership   
1900 International Park Drive, Suite 105     Birmingham   AL 35243

                   205-943-4772         www.AlabamaGermany.org           E-mail                           

 Like us on Facebook   View our profile on LinkedIn   Follow us on Twitter

In This Issue
Save the Date
Young Professionals - Brews & Networking
Higher Education Meets Manufacturing
AGP Business Seminar
MBUSI's Production Turns 20
GACC South New President & CEO
500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Germany
AGP Membership
Dankesch�n to our PATRON Members:



What to do in Alabama
 Feb. 1-12

Feb. 1-27

Feb. 3-5

Feb. 3- March 12

Feb. 4-5

Feb. 10-12
Orange Beach

Feb. 18

Feb. 20

Feb. 25

Feb. 27

March 2- Oct. 26

Please note that the dates are shared to the best of our knowledge. If you plan to attend any of the events - please make sure to check information directly with the host of the event. Thank you! 

Save the Dates
AGP's New Members
Dankesch�n to our SUSTAINING Members:





German Word 
of the Month
German Idioms
Events & Seminars Offered by AGP Members
Executive Committee
AGP Affiliates
Contact Us
Join Our List
Save the Date and Fasten Your Seatbelt! 

Please Save the Date for AlabamaGermany Partnership's 19th Annual Celebration Dinner: 

April 6, 2017 
5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
International Motorsports Hall of Fame
Talladega Superspeedway 

Program starts at 5:30 pm with Reception, Networking and Silent Auction, followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.

Dinner program will include Rainer Bauer Award Presentation, New & Expanding German Companies Awards, and Special Recognitions. 

Click Here for Sponsorship Opportunities. Registration will open soon. 

Young Professionals - Brews and Networking

Please join AGP's Young Professionals (age 21 to 39 ONLY) for their first event of the year: 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Join us for brews and networking at Birmingham's TrimTab Brewing Co and meet CEO and Founder Harris Stewart. He will talk about the brewery and its mission to connect with the community. 
Please note you have to be pre-registered for this event. First round of beer have generously been sponsored by: 

Higher Education Meets Manufacturing 
By Charlie Ingram, Southern Automotive Alliance

From Bharat Balasubramanian's perspective, the Southeast must be more than a place for efficient, low-cost manufacturers of high-quality vehicles. To ensure long-term success, the region needs world-class engineers doing research and development work at the plant level.

Developing such engineers is a major goal for Balasubramanian, an engineering professor at the University of Alabama and executive director of UA's Center for Advanced Vehicle Technology.  And, for him, it starts with stronger university-industry ties.

AGP Business Seminar in Auburn
Learn about the state of healthcare in Alabama from our broad lineup of experienced speakers and panelists. They will cover what impact our healthcare system have on healthcare providers and other institutions; and what the corporate perspective and solutions are. Join us: 
Friday, March 3, 2017
8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
VCOM, Auburn 

Refreshments and lunch will be included. There will be an opportunity to tour VCOM (Via College of Osteopathic Medicine)

Generously sponsored by:


MBUSI, Great Granddaddy of State's Auto Industry, Turns 20
By Dave Helms, Business Alabama

Twenty years ago this month the very first gleaming M-Class Mercedes-Benz sports utility vehicle drove off the assembly line in Tuscaloosa County. The year was 1997. "Titanic" was sailing across the big screen, the Fed's prime rate was an unthinkable 5.5 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 7,000 for the first time.

Fast forward to modern times, and much has blossomed from that first bud. Alabama OEMs Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz combined to produce at least 1,048,597 vehicles in 2016, according to figures released by the Alabama Department of Commerce. Not only are the OEMs constantly adding jobs and facilities, but they're continuing to attract auto suppliers who represent billions more in investment. Auto suppliers in 2016 announced new facilities and expansions worth at least $924 million and more than 2,500 new jobs, according to Department of Commerce.

GACC South Announces New President & CEO

By Martin Richenhagen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, GACC South


             Martina Stellmaszek        Stefanie Jehlitschka

After more than 12 years with the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc., Martina Stellmaszek decided to step down from her current role as President & CEO at the end of February 2017.
We cannot thank Martina enough for the dedication, passion, enthusiasm and motivation she has given the GACC South over the past 12 years. She has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization. Under her leadership, the GACC South strengthened its footprint across the entire Southern region, launched new and innovative event concepts and increased its cooperation with other GACC offices in the US. 
Needless to say, she will be greatly missed by the staff, Board, members and partners alike. We wish her the best of luck in her new endeavors. 

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce our new President & CEO, Mrs. Stefanie Jehlitschka, effective March 1, 2017. Stefanie has been with the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., (GACC South) for nearly 11 years, and has served as Vice President since 2011. 

As the new President & CEO, Stefanie will provide strategic vision and leadership for the organization to further promote bilateral trade, economic growth and job creation in both countries. She will oversee the organization's 3 offices in 11 states, 3 U.S. territories as well as 700 member companies throughout the Southern region. Similarly she will continue to closely work with our sister chambers in the U.S., the representative office in D.C., as well as national and international partners on both sides of the Atlantic.

Since joining the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc. (GACC South) in 2006, Stefanie has held various roles. Among her many accomplishments during this time, she initiated a joint national brand and heads the current workforce initiatives for the German Dual Vocational Training System in the Southern United States. She was also awarded the Governors International Award for Women in International Business in October 2016. 

Stefanie Jehlitschka is originally from Braunschweig, Germany. She has a Law Degree from the University of Tubingen and studied in Gottingen, Tubingen and Thessaloniki, Greece. 

Please join me in welcoming a familiar face in her new role to the GACC South.

Martin Richenhagen
Chairman of the Board of Directors, GACC South
Chairman, President & CEO, AGCO Corp.

500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Germany- A Belief in Dialouge
By Helen Sibum  

The first surprise that greeted Yury Bachyshcha when he visited Germany was the realization that the State was involved in the celebrations to mark "500 years of the Reformation". Bachyshcha is Professor of Belarusian History and Religion at the Europe Humanities University in Vilnius. In his homeland of Belarus, Bachyshcha sits on the committee that is also preparing for this important anniversary in 2017 - particularly since it coincides with the first translation of the Bible into Belarusian, also 500 years ago. In his country it was the Church alone that was responsible for convening the committee. And although only two percent of the population in Belarus are Protestants they are, as Bachyshcha puts it, "very committed".

Somebody else who is very committed is Margot K��mann, ambassador of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) for the Reformation anniversary in 2017. This afternoon she is engaged in discussions with Bachyshcha and other international guests who have come to Berlin as part of the Federal Republic of Germany's visitor programme. Over the coming days they will be travelling to important stopping-off points in Luther's life - and thus to places of vital importance to the Reformation - going not only to the Wartburg but also to Erfurt and Wittenberg. Over the course of the trip, Bachyshcha is hoping for ideas about how to celebrate this anniversary of the Reformation. To begin with, he finds out from K��mann that the German Bundestag decided back in 2011 that this anniversary was not only a Church matter. "It is part of German culture, which is why Church and State are collaborating."
2017 AGP Membership 

To all our 2016 members and supporters - THANK YOU! 

The support and sponsorships from you have enabled us to continue to grow the organization and its programming this past year.
2016 was the start of AGP's Young Professional group. Its members are interns, co-op or employees of either an Alabama-Germany company or institution. The age requirement is 21 to 39. This also includes college students, grad students studying German language, international business, science and engineering. The group met five times in 2016 and has grown steadily to 80+ members.
AGP's German Business Committee, which consists of leaders from the German companies in Alabama, decided to increase their meetings from quarterly to every other month. Secretary of Commerce, Greg Canfield, joined them for their last meeting this past year. The meeting was in connection with Alabama Manufacturing Day and Mr. Canfield updated the group on the efforts offered by the state to support existing manufacturers in Alabama, in particular in regards to workforce development.
In March we celebrated our 18th Annual dinner at the Regions Field in Birmingham with record attendance followed by next day business seminar "Innovation Getting Ahead in the Global, Knowledge-Based Economy". We have also hosted: German Dinners, our first German cooking class, new member reception, and many networking events including "Fall of the Wall" - the 27th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. We offered "AGP Cultural 101 for American & German Business Executives" workshop. AGP have supported and sponsored several educational and cultural programs like the Goethe Institute's "Career Day" and "Cultural Workshop" at high schools and universities in Alabama, the Lantern Festival at Tuscaloosa Academy, German entertainment for Birmingham's International Street Fair and the W.I.L.D (Weekend Immersion in Language Development) program for German high school students. AGP sponsored the Bill Taylor Scholarship Award for CARCAM student Parker D. Smith.
In order to continue our work we hope you will renew your membership for 2017. Your support will help us keep providing new programming and our ability to connect businesses, organizations, governments, and individuals.

On behalf of AGP's Board of Directors, I would like to thank you in advance for your continued support of the AlabamaGermany Partnership.

AlabamaGermany Partnership | 1900 International Park Drive, Suite 105 | Birmingham | AL | 35243