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 Date, Venue & Program 


June 8, 2022 | Bielefeld


Stadthalle Bielefeld

Willy-Brandt-Platz 1

33602 Bielefeld

An overview of nearby hotels can be found here.


The detailed program and information on the individual speakers, workshops and events can be found here.

8:30 am - Registration & breakfast


9:30 am - Welcome & Introduction

  • Wolf D. Meier-Scheuven, Managing Partner of BOGE KOMPRESSOREN, Bielefeld and President, Chamber of Industry and Commerce Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld

  • Jan Heck, Chairman AHK USA-New York and President & CEO, Miele Inc., New Jersey USA

  • Matthias Amberg, Chairman AHK USA-Chicago and Partner, Rödl Langford de Kock LLP, Chicago USA

Event Moderator ​: Harald Grefe, Vice President, Chamber of Industry and Commerce Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld

9:40 am - Welcome Remarks

  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

09:45 am - Opening panel “Transatlantic relations from the perspective of economic policy”

Moderation: Thomas Jahn, New York Correspondent, Handelsblatt Düsseldorf

  • Dr. Volker Treier, Head of Foreign Trade and Member of the Executive Board, DIHK, Berlin

  • Pauline Kao, General Consul, US-Generalkonsulat, Düsseldorf

  • Felix Neugart, CEO, NRW.Global Business GmbH, Düsseldorf

10:45 am - US State Pitches - Part 1

Moderation: Matthias Hoffmann, President & CEO, GACC Atlanta

  • Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi und Nebraska


11:15 am - Coffee break & networking


11:45 pm - Business panel “German companies in the U.S. - Best Practice”

Moderation:​ Harald Grefe, Vice President, Chamber of Industry and Commerce Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld

  • Jan Heck, President & CEO, Miele Inc., New Jersey USA

  • Hans Beckhoff, Managing Partner, Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG, Verl

  • Michael W. Böllhof, Managing Partner, Böllhoff Gruppe, Bielefeld

  • Diane Temme Stinton, Chairwomen & CEO, TMCO Inc., Nebraska USA

12:45 am - US State Pitches - Part 2

Moderation: Matthias Hoffmann, President & CEO, GACC Atlanta

  • New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania und Wisconsin

​01:00 pm - Keynote: Formation of trade blocs in a global world - consequences for the German economy

  • Sigmar Gabriel, Former German Foreign Minister, Chairman of Atlantik-Brücke 


​01:30 pm - Lunch break & networking

02:30 pm - Workshops/panels, session 1 (2 workshops in parallel)

I Marketing and Sales in the US - Changed market conditions and digitization of channels

Moderation: Mark Tomkins, President & CEO, GACC Chicago

  • Nur Hayat Nezir, Managing Director, ABRAMS Industrie Germany GmbH & Co. KG, Osnabrück

  • Franz-Josef Schürmann, Chairman, Itemis AG, Lünen

  • Matthias Köhler, Founder & CEO, KOEHLER Transatlantic GmbH, Memmingen

  • Thorsten Finke, CEO, IDENTYTEC GmbH & Co. KG, Hildesheim

Workshop I will look at how German companies should position themselves for success in marketing and sales in the US, and how they should do so digitally. Following the question "How does marketing work in the US?," promising forms of distribution in the digital age as well as the use of social media (especially LinkedIn) will be discussed in particular. Other issues include: "Did the COVID-19 pandemic impact marketing and sales?" and "How do I position my brand in a market where my company is relatively unknown?” The workshop also addresses differences between building/recruiting a Sales & Marketing team in the US compared to Germany.

II Biden’s trillions - Opportunities for German companies

Moderation: Dr. Christoph Schemionek, President & CEO, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Washington, DC, LLC

•    Christin Mechler, Investment Specialist Select USA, US-Botschaft, Berlin
•    Dr. Theo Freye, Former Spokesman of the Management Board CLAAS KGaA/ Board of Directors Valmont, Omaha USA
•    Tilman Mieseler, CEO, V-LINE EUROPE GmbH, Sehnde

•    Henk-Jan Van Ettekoven, President of Huber Technology

Workshop II will highlight opportunities for German companies under the Biden Administration, particularly with regard to the US infrastructure package, and what to look out for in Buy American and Buy America. The workshop places the package in the context of current US economic and trade policy, and thus also outlines other transatlantic issues that set the framework requirements for success in US business (e.g., Trade and Technology Council (TTC), US-China relationship, punitive tariffs, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).


03:30 pm - Workshops/panels, session 2 (2 workshops in parallel,)

III Market entry/expansion as well as legal framework requirements

Moderation: Susanne Gellert, Vice President, GACC New York & Michaela Schobert, Director, Consulting Services, GACC Atlanta

•    Gerhard F. Schneiders, Senior Principal, Rödl Langford de Kock LLP Atlanta, GA, USA
•    Christian Buske, CEO & Founder, Plasmatreat GmbH, Steinhagen
•    Ralph-Peter Müller, CEO, CFturbo GmbH, Dresden
•    Udo Jankowski, Director, mind venture AG, Wiesbaden

Workshop III will shed light on important issues with regard to the involvement of German companies in the US. Special focus is on possible market entry barriers but also opportunities and strategies for a successful US business. Furthermore, legal challenges and topics such as US company formation, product liability law, employee posting, entry requirements and compliance with special import regulations (e.g., FDA) will be addressed.

IV Innovation location USA & opportunities for German companies

Moderation: Sven Thorsten Potthoff, CEO, Representative of German Business for the Western United States

•    Ralf Westhoff, CEO, Arvato Systems GmbH, Gütersloh
•    Marco Kollmeier, CEO, BENTELER EV Systems GmbH, Paderborn
•    Richard B. Christiansen, Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend, LLP - San Diego, CA, USA
•    Dr. Niklas Hunsdiek, Senior Innovation Manager, Startup Partnerships, E.ON Group Innovation, Essen 
•    Andrea Diewald, Innovation, Investor & Startup Relations, AHK USA-New York

Workshop IV will highlight the research and innovation landscape in the US, startup hubs as innovation locations, collaboration with startups, introduction of the STEP program, the shaping of digital transformation and customer-centric innovation for businesses, intrapreneurship, the exchange of tried-and-tested innovation methods and best practices.

04:30 pm - Final networking

05:00 pm - End of event

05:00 pm - STEP USA Alumni Party at Founders Foundation

Additional speakers will be announced. Agenda subject to change.

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