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We would like to thank all our speakers for their support during the German-American Business Day 2019.

Mr. Ahlers is in charge of market entry and business development services in the consulting department. Here he works together with his team on topics such as market entry strategies, business development, business representative offices, market research, searches for sales partners, site selection, mergers and acquisitions as well as cultural differences.

Before joining AHK USA-Chicago, Mr. Ahlers held a leading role in a medium-sized management consultancy. In his previous positions, Mr. Ahlers was already active in Europe, Australia and North America. Mr. Ahlers has an MBA degree with a focus on brand management, sustainable and strategic management from the University of Bremen.

Gerrit Ahlers
Director, Consulting & Corporate Development Services, GACC Midwest




After completing his engineering studies, Achim Brommer first worked in sales and later as head of product management in the mechanical engineering industry. When SHW Storage & Handling Solutions GmbH, the former process engineering division of Schwäbische Hüttenwerke founded in 1365, was put up for sale in 2006, Achim Brommer took over the company. Since then he has worked there as a managing partner.

 In 2016, SHW-SHS GmbH founded an American subsidiary in Atlanta, SHW Storage & Handling Solutions Inc., after SHW SHS GmbH had been very successfully supplying the American market from Germany since the 1990s and was able to install over 100 reference systems there during this time .

Achim Brommer

Management / Sales, SHW Storage & Handling Solutions GmbH

Daniel Andrich has been the delegate of German industry in Washington since July 1, 2016 (President and CEO of Representative of German Industry and Trade - RGIT). Daniel Andrich previously worked for the Federation of German Industries (BDI) from 2008 to 2016 as Senior Policy Advisor for Global Governance and Trade Promotion and most recently as personal advisor to BDI President Ulrich Grillo. In 2012 Daniel Andrich was a Senior Policy Advisor Visiting Fellow at RGIT. He studied politics, social sciences and modern and recent history at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. RGIT is the liaison office of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) in Washington, DC.

Daniel Andrich

President and Managing Director, Delegate of German Business


dr Stephan Beyer is the CEO of BigRep GmbH. He is one of the founders and a driving force in terms of strategic company orientation and global expansion.

dr Beyer previously held senior positions in venture capital firms and start-up finance companies. He is an engineer by training, but received a doctorate in finance from the Technical University of Berlin.

BigRep develops the world's largest 3D printers in series production. The award-winning printers have set new standards in the areas of speed, reliability and efficiency. BigRep is headquartered in Berlin and has offices in New York, Boston and Singapore.

dr Stephen Beyer

CEO, BigRep GmbH

Anthony Brosnan has served as Vice Consul at the US State Department for 5 years. His last post was in Guangzhou, China. Before joining the State Department, he worked as a bread baker at a community bakery and before that at a hedge fund. Anthony Brosnan is from Houston, Texas, is happily married and has two children.

Anthony Brosnon

Vice Consul, US Embassy Berlin

Before he joined the Brandi law firm in 2004, he gained journalistic experience at the Berlin pages of the FAZ and at Spiegel Verlag. Since 2005 he has been a founding partner of the law firm Conrad & Najberg, which advises start-ups and medium-sized companies on copyright issues. In 2007 and 2008 he accompanied the expansion of and the founding of Statista.

Maximilian Conrad

CLO, Statista GmbH

dr Melinda Crane is Chief Political Correspondent on Deutsche Welle TV's English program. She also comments on US politics for the news channel n-tv and received the Steuben-Schurz Media Prize in 2014 for her contribution to transatlantic understanding. Melinda Crane studied contemporary history at Brown University and law at Harvard Law School, and received her PhD in political economy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. As an international consultant for the program "Sabine Christiansen", Dr. Crane Interviews with Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and George Bush, among others. She was editor-in-chief of the Christiansen program “Global Players” for the business channel CNBC.

dr Melinda Crane

Journalist, moderator, chief political correspondent at Deutsche Welle TV

Claus Cremers earned a degree in business administration with a focus on innovation management after studying at the University of Paderborn and the Technical University of Berlin. After completing his studies, he first started as an account manager for IT outsourcing at Siemens and IT Solutions and later at Atos, Europe's leading provider for cloud computing, cyber security and high-performance computing.
Claus returned to Siemens and worked in business development with a focus on digitization and start-ups. 
In 2017 he took over his current position in Business Development and Future Maker for MindSphere - the cloud-based and open IIoT operating system from Siemens.
Claus has 2 children and lives with his family in Berlin

Claus Cremers

Sales Representative and Business Development, MindSphere Future Maker, Siemens AG – MindSphere

dr Thomas Dalstein has been CEO and President of BEUMER Corporation in Somerset, NJ, USA since February 2011. The BEUMER Group produces and installs intralogistics systems for conveying and loading, palletizing and packaging as well as sorting and distribution including baggage handling machines for airports. dr Dalstein and his team in North America have profitably increased the business volume from around US$ 30 million to over US$ 350 million in eight years.   Before joining BEUMER Corporation, Dr. Thomas Dalstein worked for Siemens AG for almost 20 years, most recently as CEO of a global business unit and as project director.

dr Thomas Dalstein

President & CEO, Beumer Corporation

Dr.-Ing. Arne Dethlefs is CEO of Garz & Fricke Inc. based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and production manager at Garz & Fricke GmbH in Hamburg. In his function as production manager, he is responsible for the company's own electronics production, device assembly for human-machine interfaces and components for vending machines, and industrial engineering. Before that, he worked as a senior engineer at the Institute for Machine Tools and Factory Management at the TU Berlin and as a project manager at the Fraunhofer IPK. He studied mechanical engineering at the TU Hamburg and received his doctorate in 2015 with a thesis on the basics of vibratory finishing at the TU Berlin.

dr -Ing. Arne Dethlefs 

CEO, Garz & Fricke Inc.

Claus Dörner, originally from Trochtelfingen, completed vocational training as a freight forwarder. He worked in this business area for five years and gained valuable experience in the field of import-export trade. The international work environment has greatly expanded his knowledge in the field and his career. Since January 1997 he has worked in sales at ALB-GOLD Pasta GmbH. After only three years he took over the sales management for national and international transactions.

Claus Dorner

Head of Sales, ALB GOLD Pasta GmbH

dr Jana Dorband is responsible for foreign direct investment (FDI) at the trade department of the US Embassy Berlin. In this role, she coordinates the US government's investment promotion program (SelectUSA) in Central and Eastern Europe. She holds a PhD from the Chair of Economic Geography at Heidelberg University and an MA in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC

dr Jana Dorband

Regional Senior Investment Specialist, US Embassy Berlin/Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration, Select USA

Andreas Essendorfer was born in 1972 in the Bavarian Oberland as the son of local farmers. He grew up there very down to earth and is familiar with traditional values. On his many trips around the world, Andreas Essendorfer has not only climbed every mountain and sailed every ship, but also looked into every cooking pot. In doing so, he discovered above all the art of preserving the valuable things in life. Andreas  combined this old knowledge with the best ingredients from fresh and regional primary products, craftsmanship and a quantity of culinary coolness. In doing so, he creates flavors with a story that will bring a smile to your face in glasses.

Andreas Essendorfer

Owner and managing director, Essendorfer Genussschmelzerei GmbH


Mr. Friedel studied economics in Fulda and Berlin. He has known the development of Berlin Heart since the start-up phase. Initially, Mr. Friedel was responsible for various international VC financings as head of finance and also accompanied the sale of Berlin Heart in 2006
the current shareholder. After setting up the subsidiary Berlin Heart Inc. in the USA, he took over the management of ECP Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH in 2008 in addition to the commercial management at Berlin Heart. ECP pursued the development of a highly innovative
percutaneous assist system for applications in cardiology. In 2014, Mr. Friedelderen realized a successful sale together with an extensive IP portfolio to Abiomed Inc. Since October 2014, he and Dr. Ares K. Menon the business of Berlin Heart.

Sven René Friedel

Managing Director, Berlin Heart GmbH

Susanne Gellert, LL.M. arbeitet seit über zehn Jahren für die AHK USA-New York und leitet dort die Abteilungen Recht und Business Development Consulting. Seit Januar 2018 hat sie die Funktion als stellvertretende Geschäftsführerin übernommen. Die Rechtsabteilung der AHK USA-New York bietet Unterstützung bei der Klärung von Rechtsthemen, welche die Abwicklung von Geschäften zwischen Deutschland und den USA betreffen. Die Abteilung Business Development Consulting unterstützt und berät deutsche Unternehmen bei ihrem US-Markteintritt und der Anbahnung von Geschäftsbeziehungen. Frau Gellert studierte Rechtswissenschaften an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München, an der Universidad de Sevilla (Spanien) und der Fordham Law School (New York).

Susanne Gellert, LL.M.

Deputy General Manager and Head of Legal & Business Development Consulting Departments, AHK USA-New York

When she joined Gerresheimer Medical Systems Regensburg in April 2018, Nadine Hellmig took over the management of international human resources. Nadine Hellmig works with the international human resources partner of the global Gerresheimer locations. Your main task is the implementation of corporate structures and processes. She also works on global projects, such as the implementation of the training programs in the USA in cooperation with the local human resources manager. Other tasks include the management of international assignments at Gerresheimer and expatriate management.

Nadine Hellmig

Head of HR International, Gerresheimer Regensburg GmbH


dr Imberg is admitted as an Attorney at Law in the USA (California) and as a lawyer in Germany. As a native German, he has been practicing in the USA since 1996. He previously worked in Germany, where he represented clients in civil and commercial disputes. dr Imberg's US and international mandates focus on the automotive, technology and energy industries. In his court work, he focuses on complex legal disputes in the areas of commercial and corporate law, product liability law and intellectual property, with a focus on defending German and other European manufacturers before US courts.  Out of court advises Dr. Imberg mandates in risk management.

dr Alexander Imberg 

Partner, Squire Patton Boggs LLP

Peter Heydenbluth learned the trade of electrician and completed an apprenticeship as a master electrician/industrial foreman. After positions as site manager in a concrete ceiling plant in Gelsenkirchen and as operations manager in the Ex-Pipe Service in Birkenwerder, he founded ERV Entsorgung-Recycling-Verwertung GmbH in 1994 and is still its managing director today.

Heydenbluth has been a member of the General Assembly of the IHK Potsdam since 2007, a member of the IHK Environment and Energy Committee, a member of the IHK Executive Committee since 2012 and President of the IHK Potsdam since September 2017. Heydenbluth is personally committed to young people in regional sports, as well as in local politics and with the Rotarians.

Peter Heydenbluth

President, Potsdam Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Marco Kalms has over 25 years of experience in various management positions in the
healthcare industry. As a long-standing Sales Manager, Country Manager Germany and Managing Director Europe, he made a significant contribution to the growth of American Medical System, Inc., a US medical device manufacturer that now belongs to Boston Scientific. In 2012 he founded the company Kalms Consulting GmbH, which supports start-ups and established companies in medical technology, diagnostics, health IT and life sciences in all phases of market access in Germany and international markets. The KalmsConsulting team consists of senior consultants with many years of practical experience in the industry.

Marco Kalms

Founder & CEO, Kalms Consulting GmbH

Hilde Holland ist eine renommierte Anwältin auf dem Gebiet des Einwanderungs- und Einbürgerungsrechts der USA. Seit mehr als 25 Jahren vertritt sie ausländische und US-Unternehmen jeglicher Branchen sowie Einzelpersonen im Zusammenhang mit US-Arbeitsvisa und Arbeitserlaubnissen, dauerhaften Aufenthaltserlaubnissen, familienbezogener Einwanderung und Angelegenheiten der Staatsangehörigkeit. Im Rahmen ihrer anwaltlichen Tätigkeit berät Frau Holland ihre Mandanten zu strategischen Fragen des US-Visa- und Einwanderungsrechts und der Compliance. Frau Holland schloss ihr Studium der Rechtswissenschaften an der Universität zu Köln ab und ist Mitglied der Anwaltskammer von New York. Darüber hinaus ist sie im Vorstand der AHK New York.

Hilde Holland

Attorney at Law Partners, Wuersch & Gering LLP



Philipp-Michael Kusche accompanies and supports the planning and implementation of Körber Logistics' strategic initiatives and works in the areas of business development and M&A. Since 2019 he has been part of the Systems business unit, the leading provider of fully integrated applications for the optimization of complex internal and external logistics processes, based in Bad Nauheim, Germany. Mr. Kusche started his career at an international strategy consultancy in Frankfurt and has held leading positions in various young Swiss companies in the financial and medical technology sectors. Mr. Kusche obtained his diploma in economic physics at the University of Ulm.

Philipp Michael Kusche

Manager Strategic Marketing and Sales Körber Logistics


Manuel Merkt began his professional career with a 3.5-year dual apprenticeship at Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG. He then obtained his Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Konstanz and a Bachelor of European Engineering Studies from Coventry University in Great Britain.

At the end of 2010, Manuel assumed the role of executive assistant at Hermle's North American headquarters. In 2014, Manuel was promoted to Operations Manager and in 2016 he assumed the position of Executive VP Operations at Hermle USA. Just two years later, Manuel was promoted to President & COO and now leads the Executive Management Team

Manuel Merkt

President & COO, Hermle USA Inc.


Mr. Mikros completed his studies in business administration at the Nuremberg University of Applied Sciences with a degree in business administration.
Before joining Würth, he worked for several years in supply chain management at INA Schaeffler KG in Herzogenaurach.
In 2007, he switched to sales and started working in key account management at Würth Industrie Service.
In 2013 he took over the management of the newly founded construction machinery division and was appointed a member of the management board.
Since 2015, Mr. Mikros has had overall responsibility for Key Account Management Customer Industries, which includes the customer segments Construction Machinery, Agriculture Equipment, Transportation, Rail and Maritime.

Alexandros Mics

Head of Key Account Management and member of the Executive Board, Würth Industrie Service

dr Harald Mollberg has been the commercial director of the companies “Institute of Kasseler Stuttering Therapy”, Parlo GmbH, Digithep GmbH, and Speechagain Inc. since 2012.

He received his doctorate in business administration, specializing in marketing. He then worked as a controller in the commercial management department of a large German manufacturer of medical technology. Since 1984 he has been an independent business consultant in Kassel, specializing in financial planning and financing, particularly in the area of planning and financing for residential projects.
In addition to his work, Mr. Mollberg can look back on a large number of publications, teaching assignments and lectures.

dr Harold Mollberg

Commercial manager, Kassel stuttering therapy

Ralf Moosmann began his technical career in 2005 with an apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician at Chiron-Werke and then worked there as a fitter and commissioning engineer for 5-axis milling machines. In 2011, he successfully completed the state-certified technician for automation technology/mechatronics while working. He then worked as a trainer and equipment designer at Andreas Hettich GmbH. At the end of 2015, the opportunity arose to set up a training program based on the German model as a pilot project for all foreign locations for IMS Gear. Since 2019 he has been working at IMS Gear in Germany, where he is responsible for the training topics of the Americas locations.

Ralf Moosmann 

Training Coordinator Americas, IMS Gear SE & Co. KGaA

Susanne Rehse has been with the AHK USA-New York since February 2011. On January 1, 2019, she took over as Executive Director of the Philadelphia office. Previously, Ms. Rehse worked as a senior manager in business development consulting at the AHK USA-New York and was responsible for market entry consulting in the north-east of the USA. Here she successfully supported various German SMEs in entering the US market, carried out a large number of business travel programs, delegation trips, projects and events and wrote countless market analyses. Ms. Rehse studied economics at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

Susan Rehse

Executive Director, German American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Philadelphia 


Daniel Schultze started in 2007 as Sales Director at Tresky GmbH. In this position Daniel was responsible for the growth of his worldwide distribution network. In 2011 Daniel became a member of the management board, where he worked for three years. Daniel has been General Manager of Tresky GmbH since 2014. Prior to Tresky, Daniel was Sales Director at Finetech, a provider of pick and place, assembly and rework equipment to microelectronics customers. Daniel has an academic background in engineering and business.

Daniel Schulze

Managing Director, Tresky Automation GmbH

Filipp Pachomov is 46 years old and has been Head of Sales and Marketing for the “BIAX – Tools for industrial metalworking” business unit for more than five years. Previously, Mr. Pachomov held various positions in sales and business development at the companies FESTOOL GROUP (power tools), Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG (petrol engine devices) and Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG (cleaning machines). Mr. Pachomov is a graduate economist and studied at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn.

Filipp Pakhomov

Head of Sales, Schmid & Wezel GmbH


Peter Riehle was appointed President and CEO of WITTENSTEIN Holding, Corp. in May 2013.

appointed. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TRUMPF Inc.

in Farmington, CT, CEO at DMG America (DMG/Mori) in Chicago, IL and Director Industrial Sales at Schaeffler Group in Fort Mill, SC. His career includes many management positions with responsibility for sales and marketing, research and development, software engineering, procurement and logistics, acquisitions and business intelligence. Mr. Riehle is an international business executive with extensive knowledge of sales and distribution of advanced machine tool technology. He is also the chairman of all AHKs in the USA and the GACC Midwest in Chicago.

Peter Riehle

President & CEO, WITTENSTEIN holding, Corp. and Chariman Board of Directors, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc.


dr Mathias Schulze Steinen advises companies, private equity funds and family companies in various industrial sectors. He is known for his pragmatic and solution-oriented approach, including in the areas of M&A and restructuring.

He is said to have great negotiating skills. This enables him to bring even difficult negotiation situations to a successful conclusion. In complex transactions, he effectively manages larger teams in close cooperation with the client. He enjoys working on international mandates, particularly those related to North America. Another focus for him is Scandinavia, where he has developed an understanding of the different markets over time.

dr Mathias Schulze Steinen 

Partners, DLA Piper LLP


Mark Tomkins has been working for the AHK USA-Chicago since 2006 and has already supported a large number of German companies from different industries with their market entry in the USA with his team. He has been the managing director of the AHK since May 2015 and a member of the board since 2009. At the AHK, he was in charge of developing the Skills Initiative, which supports companies and public institutions in introducing German dual training structures. Before joining AHK, Mr. Tomkins was active in business development consulting for more than ten years and advised international companies on the establishment of strategic alliances and long-term cooperation.

Mark Tomkins
President & CEO, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. 

dr Martin Wansleben, General Manager of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce

 dr Martin Wansleben was born on August 9, 1958 in Cologne. He is married and has three sons. After schooling in Cologne, he studied economics at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne from 1977 to 1982, graduating with a degree in economics. In 1986 he received his doctorate (Dr. re. pol. at the University of Tübingen. From 1982 to October 2001, Dr. Wansleben in various positions at the Association of German Machine and Plant Construction e. V. (VDMA) in Frankfurt am Main, most recently as General Manager. Since November 2001 he has been General Manager of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce. V. (DIHK) in Berlin.

dr Martin Wansleben

General Manager, Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commercee. V. (DIHK)

David Petrikat joined relayr in August 2017 as Global Director of Marketing. He has been part of the relayr management team since January 2018. In his position, David is responsible for the relayr brand, expanding the thought leader position and creating awareness and demand in the target markets. David's entire career to date has been in tech-focused B2B companies. He worked for numerous verticals in sectors such as eProcurement, IT and ITC system integration or the FinTech sector. In the IIoT industry, the technical side fascinates him just as much as the mixture of insurance and financing in an existing market.

David Petrikat

Global Director of Marketing, relayr Inc.


Michaela Schobert has headed the consulting department at the AHK USA-Atlanta since July 2014. She is responsible for supervising market development and business development projects. Michaela completed her studies at the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences with a degree in business administration, specializing in international business administration and corporate development. After her studies she was responsible for the Wertheim area at Norma Lebensmittelfilialbetrieb in Fürth from 2007 to 2008. From 2008 to 2014 Michaela managed the export for Maintal Konfitüren GmbH in Haßfurt.

Michael Schobert

Director, Consulting Services, GACC South



After studying mechanical engineering at the TU Braunschweig, I started my career in 1999 in the automotive industry.

With three years of experience in method planning and forming simulation for body parts, I switched to the perforated sheet metal manufacturer Graepel. In the first six years in the Graepel Group, I worked as a project manager for the agricultural machinery industry and, in this function, regularly visited customers in the Midwest of the USA. From 2008 to 2013, as Head of Design and Project Management, I was intensively involved in the development and expansion of Graepel North America from the Lower Saxony location. At the beginning of 2014 I took over the management of the largest location of the Graepel Group in Löningen.

Klaus Schute 

General Manager, Graepel Löningen GmbH & Co. KG


Thomas Weber has been working in medical technology for over 15 years and has been responsible for regulatory activities for the implementation of the company's internationalization strategies within the Löwenstein Group since 2012 as CQO, Head of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Löwenstein Medical Technology (formerly Weinmann Geräte für Medizin). . With his team, he processes medical device approvals in over 40 countries, including particularly challenging markets such as China, Japan and the USA. He has also been CEO of the US subsidiary since 2018, where he drives the Löwenstein Group's expansion into the North and South American markets.

Thomas Weber 

CQO, Head of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Löwenstein Medical Technology

CEO, Lowenstein Medical Americas

Kristian Wolf has been working in the AHK organization since 2001 and has headed the German Business Delegate Office for the Western USA since April 2018. He studied international business administration in the USA and began his career at an international financial services company. This was followed by several positions in the AHK network, until he became Managing Director of the Chamber of Commerce Abroad in Atlanta, USA in 2006. In 2011 he moved to AHK Australia and managed the business there until March 2018. He volunteers on the board of several organizations.

Christian Wolf

CEO, Representative of German Business for the Western US 


Since joining the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc. (GACC South) in 2006, Stefanie Ziska has held various roles. In 2008 she became Marketing Director and in 2011 Vice President. She has been Managing Director since March 1, 2017.

Stefanie initiated the community brand "AHK USA" and started the current nationwide personnel initiative for the German dual vocational training system in the USA. In 2016, Stefanie received the Governor's Award of GA in the category "International Business Woman of the Year" and has also been a member of the US Committee of the German Chancellor Fellowship, which is awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, since 2017.

Stefanie Ziska 
President & CEO German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc.

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