Letter from the President
For this season of fun and festivities, we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a wonderful New Year of Good Health, Prosperity and Happiness.
We are particularly appreciative of the organization and support of the Wiesbaden/Mainz Chapter for our last big national membership meeting on 5 November. Chapter President Dr. Ingeborg Cleve and her team did a terrific job of providing the requisite hospitality and event management to make it successful. We hold such meetings twice a year to give the officers and representatives from each chapter an opportunity to come together and discuss such items as needed for the association as a whole. Although these are formal, voting meetings, any and all members of AGBC are invited to join.
And for forward planning purposes, please note that our next national membership meeting will be sponsored by our Frankfurt Chapter and held in FFM on 13 May 2017. This will give you another opportunity to share ideas you consider important. If you are not able to join us in person, simply write to the National Board with your idea(s).
The Frankfurt Chapter has been busy this season with several excellent events, such as an after dinner speech containing an intelligent prognostication of economic developments to come, a Christmas Party and the beginning phases of their wonderful Entrepreneur of Tomorrow (EOT) program. This is the ninth year in succession that they've sponsored this great program, offering scholarships to local students who develop viable business plans. These students are mentored in this process by knowledgeable members of the chapter. And they already have 130 students signed up to participate this year.
At the Heidelberg Chapter we recently had a fascinating analysis of the recent election provided by the University of Heidelberg Center for American Studies. The professors involved even analyzed various sectors of the electorate to determine how the final vote evolved. The Chapter had a wonderful Christmas Banquet at the historic Hotel Ritter located in the Christmas market section of the old town, and following dinner our local Santa (ex-music teacher from Brooklyn) led everyone in the singing of Christmas Carols.
For anyone in the Heidelberg area there will also be a New Year’s reception in the Marriott Hotel, at 1900 hours on the 12th of January.
Our chapter in Munich is always active and although they're now enjoying the Christmas season, they had a second annual Munich exchange on 30 November which turned out to be a great success. There were 75 attendees and informative panels discussing freelancing, the sharing economy and advances in innovation. There was great office participation and a number of helpful ideas exchanged concerning potential risk and reward.
Their Christmas party was on Monday 12 December and it was well attended with musical presentations from the group Heart to Heart. Elections in Munich will be at their annual general meeting on 18 January to select AGBC Munich board officers. The chapter will commence their normal monthly meeting during February 2017, to be announced by newsletter.
The Bonn chapter has elected a new executive board represented at our national meeting on 30 November and they have already commenced developing a wonderful series of membership meetings for the 2017 calendar year. Many of our other ten chapters have inspiring Christmas programs as well, and in our next newsletter we shall be featuring developments in Kaiserslautern and Bonn as the new year develops.
Please note that in this winter season the many refugees in Germany are in urgent need of winter clothing, shoes and other items such as hygiene products and luggage. Every city, town and village in Germany has collection points, whereby you can help as well. And the greatest need is for clothing for young slender boys and men (EU sizes Youths 164-176, men’s Small). In the past over 90% of the clothing donations have been for women, but 70% of the refugees are young men. A wide variety of articles for babies and newborns are also urgently needed, from clothing to bottles and baby carriages. Many of these people have arrived here with just the shirts on their backs, so your support will be greatly appreciated. It is in the spirit of this holiday season to check your closets, drawers and storage areas for articles you could donate.
In closing, your national board once again wants to wish you the happiest possible holidays and a healthy, prosperous new year.
Barry E. Swanson, CFP