Introduction of Speakers
Lucia Puttrich »
Hessian Minister for Federal & European Affairs
Lucia Puttrich is the Hessian Minister for Federal and European Affairs, the representative of the State of Hessen to the federal government, and a member of the Bundesrat (Committee on the Affairs of the European Union).
Minister Puttrich was born on April 11, 1961 in Giessen. From 1980 to 1982 she studied law at the Julius-Maximilians University in Würzburg. After studying business administration at the University of Applied Sciences in Giessen (1986), she took over a managerial position at a craft business. From 1985 to 1995, Ms. Puttrich was a member of the town council in Nidda. During much of this time (1988-1995), Ms. Puttrich was also part of the management team of a medium-sized paper processing business. She was elected as the Mayoress of the town Nidda in 1995 and held this office until her election to the German Bundestag in 2009, of which she was a member until 2010. Minister Puttrich has been a member of the Executive Committee of the CDU in Hessen since 2002, and has served as the Deputy State Chairwoman since 2010. Lucia Puttrich began her work as the Hessian Minister for the Environment, Energy, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in August of 2010. In January 2014, Minister Puttrich became the Hessian Minister for Federal and European Affairs, the representative of the State of Hessen to the federal government, and a member of the Hessian State Parliament. In 2014, she was also elected to the Executive Committee of the European People's Party. Minister Puttrich is married, and the mother of two children.
The Minister represents the interests of the State of Hessen at the federal level and in the European Union. The Minister's most important tasks are to safeguard the interests of the state of Hessen in the German federal system and to act as an "Ambassador" on behalf of Hessen. As the representative of the State of Hessen, Minister Puttrich is also the leader of the state's faction in the Bundesrat. As the European Minister, she is committed to representing the interests of the state of Hessen in Brussels and among international partners.
Dr. Lutz Raettig »
Frankfurt City Council Member & Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Morgan Stanley AG
Dr. Lutz Raettig
Dr. Lutz R. Raettig joined Morgan Stanley as Managing Director and Chairman of the Lutz Management Board of Morgan Stanley Bank AG, Frankfurt, in 1995. He also occupied the position of Country-Head for Germany and Austria and since 2002 Vice Chairman Morgan Stanley Europe. He resigned as Chairman of the Management Board and Country Head effective January 1, 2005 and transitioned from the Management Board to the Supervisory Board of MSBAG in February 2005. He assumed the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He also is a Director of Morgan Stanley International Bank, London. Before joining Morgan Stanley, Lutz Raettig worked for Commerzbank AG for eight years. During this time he was Head of Investment Banking, Head of Global Corporate Banking - both in Frankfurt - and Co-Head North America in New York. Prior to this, he was with Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB) for 18 years. He was mostly active in the areas of Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Corporate Banking and was located in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London (Orion Banking Group) and New York.
Lutz Raettig was and is extensively involved in a large number of projects and transactions involving governments, industrial companies as well as the financial services industry.
He serves in various functions on Boards, among them Chairman of the Stock Exchange Council of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Association of German Banks, Advisory Board of Clearstream International, American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, German American Chamber of Commerce New York, Supervisory Board Messe Frankfurt, Chairman Advisory Board Fraport AG, Advisory Board Coface Germany, Member of City Council City of Frankfurt, Vice Chairman Chamber of Commerce Frankfurt.
Dr. Lutz R. Raettig studied business administration in Hamburg and finished with a PhD in 1969. He is married to Katherine Fürstenberg- Raettig and has one son.
Dr. Thomas Becker »
VP of Governmental Affairs at the BMW Group
Dr. Thomas Becker
Dr. Thomas Becker has been the Vice President Governmental Affairs at the BMW Group in Munich since 2007. In this position, he supervises the worldwide representation of the BMW Group's political interests, oversees the company's approach to integrate political topics into the product and business communication of the BMW Group, and steers the sustainability communication of the company.
Dr. Becker started his career as a consultant in the department of environmental policy at the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in Berlin. He later held several leadership positions at the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in Frankfurt. Before his current role at the BMW Group, he held the position of the Deputy Managing Director of the VDA with responsibility for the co-management of the association. Dr. Becker also served as a reserve officer with the rank of Captain from 1988 until 2003 for the German military.
Thomas Becker received his Ph.D. degree (Dr. rer. pol.) with Professor Dr. Ekkehard Kappler at the Reinhard-Mohn foundation chair for management, economics, and social evolution at the University of Witten / Herdecke with magna cum laude. Dr. Becker also holds a diploma in economics from the University of Cologne.
Dr.-Ing. Thomas Becks »
Head of Technology & Innovation at the VDE (Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies)
Dr.-Ing. Thomas Becks
Dr. Thomas Becks is the head of the Technology and Innovation department at the VDE (the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies), a position which he has held since 2009. Prior to this position, Dr. Becks was the head of the "EMC Electromagnetic compatibility and environmental aspects" department at IMST GmbH in Kamp-Lintfort until 1997. Dr. Becks was the managing director of the DVMT umbrella organization for medical technology, science, and computer science from 1997-2001, a consortium of nine national associations in the healthcare industry. From 2001-2009, Dr. Becks worked as the managing director of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering at the VDE. Dr. Becks has served as the President of the communications center at KKC since 2010, and has been a member of the presidium there since 2005.
Dr. Becks was born on June 23, 1962 and went on to study electrical engineering and telecommunications at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He earned the degree "Diplom-Ingenieur Communications" before moving on to earn his Dr.-Ing. in 1993.
Elena Bryan »
Senior Trade Representative at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to the EU
Ms. Bryan arrived at the United States Mission to the European Union in February 2011 as the representative of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to the European Union in Brussels. USTR is leading negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) for the U.S. Government. Ms. Bryan is USTR's on-the-ground interlocutor with the EU institutions and wider Brussels community, both on T-TIP and trade broadly. She is a well-known speaker on T-TIP in Brussels and across EU Member States.
Ms. Bryan was previously the Deputy Assistant USTR for Trade and Development, where her responsibilities included preference programs, Aid for Trade and development aspects of free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
Earlier she was Deputy Assistant USTR for Southeast Asia. In this position, among other things, she negotiated the market access and rules of origin chapters of several U.S. FTAs in the region, including Singapore and Australia. She was also responsible for trade relations with countries in the ASEAN region and India, including the normalization of economic relations with Vietnam and implementation of its trade agreements with the U.S. and the negotiation of its accession to the World Trade Organization.
Ms. Bryan worked on GATT and WTO issues for several years, including as part of the USTR team at the U.S. Mission to the WTO in Geneva. In Washington, she was responsible for market access, developing country and WTO institutional issues, including implementation of the WTO agreement. She was the key member of the policy team that helped India end its extensive system of import licensing. Her first assignment at USTR was on steel trade policy issues.
Jason P. Cooper »
Partner & Co-Coordinator of the IP Practice at Alston & Bird LLP
Jason P. Cooper
Jason Cooper is a co-coordinator of the firm's Intellectual Property Practice Area, with emphasis in mechanical, manufacturing and medical device technologies. Mr. Cooper manages patent portfolios of various domestic and international clients and helps monetize those portfolios. He counsels clients in avoiding the infringement of patents of others and opines with regard to infringement and/or validity of individual patents, or advises on strategy for avoiding the patent portfolios of others.
Mr. Cooper regularly prepares and prosecutes patent applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is experienced in all aspects of ex parte and inter partes patent practice including examiner interviews, third party submissions, appeals, interferences, reexaminations and reissues, inter partes reviews (IPR), covered business method reviews (CBM), and instructing foreign patent attorneys in opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office. Mr. Cooper's expertise is recognized in Intellectual Asset Management's IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners as "outstanding in every respect – proficiency, knowledge and client communications" and "a real go-to guy."
Mr. Cooper has completed the Harvard Law School Executive Education Program, Leadership in Law Firms, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Intellectual Property Research at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
Charles Eloshway »
Senior Patent Counsel at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
Charles R. Eloshway is Senior Patent Counsel in the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Among his many duties, Mr. Eloshway represents the United States in multilateral and bilateral negotiations on matters concerning patent law and practice.
Mr. Eloshway joined the USPTO in 1992, serving as a Patent Examiner for over ten years, followed by assignments to the USPTO Solicitor's Office and the Office of Patent Quality Review. From 2008-2010, Mr. Eloshway was Deputy Director for Intellectual Property Policy and Enforcement, where he managed a staff of approximately 60 attorneys and other professionals and was responsible for formulating and executing Administration policies in all fields of intellectual property. During his career at the USPTO, Mr. Eloshway has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals for distinguished service.
Mr. Eloshway is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, and the George Washington University, with a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Mr. Eloshway received his law degree cum laude from the George Washington University Law School.
Edward Fantasia »
SelectUSA Representative - Investment Services
Ed Fantasia earned his B.A. degree from the State University of New York and a Master of Science from Syracuse University, N.Y in 1981. He continued his studies at Syracuse University, obtaining his law degree in 1984, with a concentration on international business law. He was a staff editor of the Syracuse University Journal of International Law and Commerce.
Mr. Fantasia practiced international business and finance law with the firm Haynes and Boone in Dallas, Texas from 1984 to 1990. In 1990, he was appointed by the Governor of Texas to establish that state's European Trade and Investment Office, based in Frankfurt, Germany. He served with three Texas governors in that function, promoting investments into Texas and exports from that state. Prior to this, Fantasia managed a family business and taught foreign language in the state of New York.
In 1997, Mr. Fantasia joined the U.S. Department of Commerce's Foreign Service as head of its U.S. Commercial Service operations in Düsseldorf until 2009 and then in Munich, Germany from 2009 to 2011. He also served as the European Coordinator for the U.S. healthcare technologies sector from 1998 until 2009. The Invest in America initiative was launched during his tenure with the U.S. Commercial Service, and Fantasia initiated the first promotional events under the initiative by organizing major conferences on investing in the U.S. medical technology market at the MEDICA trade fair.
Mr. Fantasia now serves as representative in Germany of the SelectUSA program, the successor to the Invest in America initiative. In this capacity, Fantasia launched SelectUSA's annual, high profile USA Investment Center at the Hannover Industry Messe in 2010 and recruited the German delegations to the SelectUSA Investment Summits in 2013 and 2015. His responsibilities also include assistance to U.S. companies establishing operations in Germany.
Mr. Fantasia has resided in Germany since 1990, is married, and has two daughters. His hobbies include traveling, swimming, and art. In addition to his native English, he speaks German and Italian.
Andreas Fobbe »
Export Sales Manager North & South America at ifm electronic GmbH
Dipl. – Ing. Andreas Fobbe (50), has been working for ifm electronic GmbH since April of 1998. During his first 10 years with the company, Mr. Fobbe worked in the international automotive team and was responsible for the FORD group. He then worked as an Export Manager for the regions of North- and South America. In December 2014, Mr. Fobbe became the managing director of the new Chilean ifm subsidiary. In this capacity, he is responsible for new markets, market strategies, and IT sales.
Narbeli Galindo »
International Business Development Coordinator at EDC Kansas City
Narbeli is an accomplished international marketing and finance professional with over 25 years of international business experience. She has developed and implemented successful international and domestic marketing strategies, and has led all facets of the marketing plan execution process. Her expertise includes strategic market analysis, forecasting, planning and building brand awareness.
As of January 1, 2015, she became the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) International Business Development Initiatives Coordinator responsible for all global aspects of the Kansas City, Missouri development under Mayor Sly James. Previously she was the Managing Director of her own importing business, Narbeli's Imports LLC founded in 2003. Additionally, she is an UMKC International Business and Finance professor teaching undergraduates and graduates on international Management, Marketing and Finance, directing study abroad programs to Spain, and training corporations on how to successfully expand their companies' product and services globally. Narbeli also serves as the 2014 Past President of The International Trade Council of KC.
Narbeli's business career has been driven by her creative, results-oriented ability to work with people in several industries and from around the world. She has a record of bringing positive changes to the marketplace, which resulted in profits and economic growth for the communities in which she worked.
Narbeli is multilingual and has great appreciation for the global marketplace. She has an outstanding cross cultural background, strong leadership and management skills.
Prior to Narbeli's Imports LLC, Narbeli held various leader positions with Cerner Corporation, Sprint, AT&T and Warner Lambert Co. as Senior Marketing Strategist, Global Marketing Manager and Global Product Manager, and Financial Analyst, respectively.
Narbeli's personal mission is to unite the business world by contributing to business and individual achievement, and to increase corporate profit growth while respecting clients' individual needs.
Narbeli has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Finance from Abilene Christian University, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Marketing and Management from THUNDERBIRD, School of Global Management. She was recognized for Entrepreneurial Achievement for successfully completing the Fast Trac New Ventures Program at Kauffman Foundation in KC, KS and obtained a Certificate in Business Professional Executive Training, from Executive Hecht and Associates. She is currently obtaining a Certification in Biotechnology from the Johnson County Community College (2014) and getting NASBITE certified.
Prof. E. h. Dr.-Ing. Johann Grabenweger »
CSO of Sales & Service at KHS GmbH
Prof. E. h. Dr.-Ing. Johann Grabenweger
Prof. E. h. Dr.-Ing. Johann Grabenweger, born in 1963, grew up in Brazil. He holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and an MBA degree in finance and marketing (UK and US). In 2010 he was awarded an honorary professor's degree from the Far-Eastern National Technical University (FENTU), Russia.
In January 2006, Prof. Dr. Grabenweger became a board member at KHS GmbH (formerly KHS AG). He has held the position of the Chief Sales Officer in KHS GmbH since September 2011.
Early on in his professional life, Prof. Dr. Grabenweger held top positions in the fields of Production, R&D, Technology, and Finance and Sales, in the automotive industry and its subcontractors, the glass industry, plant engineering, and construction; in Voith AG, Skoda Auto in Czechoslovakia and as a member of the board at the Saint-Gobain Group.
Prof. Dr. Grabenweger is characterized by his cosmopolitan, multicultural life. He speaks German, Portuguese, English, French, Italian, and Spanish and understands the Czech language. He has lived in Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and the USA.
Dr. Joachim Hasenmaier »
Member of the Board of Managing Directors at Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH
Dr. Joachim Hasenmaier
Dr. Joachim Hasenmaier was born in 1960 in Vaihingen/Enz, Germany, and has been a Member of the Board of Managing Directors at C.H. Boehringer Sohn AG & Co. KG since October of 2012. In this role, he is responsible for the corporate board division Consumer Health Care and Animal Health.
Dr. Hasenmaier received his veterinary medicine degree (DVM) in 1986 from Ludwig-Maximillians-University in Munich, and subsequently entered into a microbiological research program that lasted until 1989. Upon completion of the program, Dr. Hasenmaier received his doctorate (Ph.D.) in veterinary medicine. He then wrapped up his studies with a Master's in Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (Chicago, U.S.) in 1991. Prior to joining BI, Dr. Hasenmaier worked in various positions for international companies in Germany, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil.
In 2002, Dr. Hasenmaier joined Boehringer Ingelheim as the Corporate Vice President for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. In 2011, he took over the regional responsibility for prescription medicine in NECAR (UK/Ireland, the Nordic states, the Benelux region, Australia/New Zealand). Dr. Hasenmaier held this position until he took on his current position as a Member of the Board of Managing Directors at C.H. Boehringer Sohn AG & Co. KG in 2012.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Heuken »
VP Corporate Research & Development at Aixtron SE
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Heuken
Prof. Dr. Michael Heuken was born in Oberhausen, Germany on November 17, 1961. He received his Diplom-Ingenieur degree and his Dr.-Ing. degree in Electrical Engineering from Duisburg University, Germany, in 1985 and 1989, respectively. He joined the Institut für Halbleitertechnik at RWTH Aachen as senior engineer and has been working in the field of metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy for electronic and optoelectronic devices. In 1994 he finished his Habilitation in semiconductor technology and devices with a thesis on MOCVD technology for optoelectronic devices. Since 1994 he has been a lecturer for semiconductor technology and devices as well as circuits for communication systems at RWTH. In 1997 he joined AIXTRON in Aachen-Germany where he is now the Vice President of Corporate Research & Development.
Prof. Dr. Heuken was honored with a professorship at RWTH Aachen in 1999. His main research interests are in the fields of Semiconductor growth by MOVPE, materials characterization, device technology, electronic and optoelectronic devices, and circuits.
Prof. Dr. Heuken is the author and co-author of more than 590 publications in international journals and several invited papers at international conferences. He was the President of the DGKK (German Crystal Growth Association) from 2002 to 2005, board member of EPIC (European Photonics Industry Consortium) from 2007 to 2013, is currently a board member at OptechNet e.V., and a member of VDE/ITG. He acts as referee for international journals. He has been granted several patents in the field of CVD technology.
Dr. Stefan Horstmann »
Vice President Chemicals Patents & Scientific Services at Merck KGaA
Dr. Stefan Horstmann
Dr. Stefan Horstmann has been the Head of the Patent Chemistry Department of Merck KGaA since 2006. In this capacity, he is in charge of supporting the business-to-business activities of the Merck Group. Furthermore, he represents Merck on matters of intellectual property law at the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI).
Dr. Horstmann holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and is qualified as both a European and a German Patent Attorney. He is a member of the European Patent Institute (EPI) and the Association of Intellectual Property Experts (VPP).
Johannes Kirsch »
Senior Director of International Affairs at the ZVEI (Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association)
lic.rer.pol. Johannes Kirsch is the Senior Director of International Affairs in the department "International Trade & Future Markets" at the ZVEI (the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association). He holds degrees in political science and in international economic relations.
Within the ZVEI, he is in charge of questions involving foreign trade and support for exporting member companies, especially in cooperation with the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and other supporting organizations, such as Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).
Johannes Kirsch has been with the ZVEI since 2001. From 1986 until 2001, he worked for Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) the Swiss-Swedish manufacturer of heavy electrical machinery.
Dr. Martin Koers »
Head of Department Economic & Climate Protection Policy at the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry)
Dr. Martin Koers
Dr. Martin Koers studied Economics and Business Administration in Germany and in the UK (Edinburgh). After working in the Department of Marketing at Muenster University (Germany), he taught as a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois (USA) before moving on to the Ford Motor Company in Europe. At Ford he held different management positions before beginning his career at the German Association of the Automotive Industry (Verband der Automobilindustrie - VDA) in Frankfurt and later in Berlin as the Head of Economic Policy and Climate Protection. At the same time, he holds a teaching position at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
Dr. Roland Lentz »
Innovation and Environment Division Manager at the Darmstadt Chamber of Industry and Commerce
Dr. Roland Lentz
Dr. Lentz has been the director of the department of Innovation and Environment at the Darmstadt Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCI) Rhein Main Neckar since 2000. Along with the department staff, he is responsible for counseling the 70,000 member companies of the CCI in new technologies, patents, environmental, and energy matters. He is also responsible for devoloping cooperations and technology transfer between academia and companies organizing the regional innovation networks IT-For-Work.de and Automatisierungsregion.de
Dr. Lentz is a speaker for the Consortium of the ten Hessian Chambers of Industry and Commerce (Arbeitsgemeinschaft hessischer Industrie- und Handelskammern, ARGE CCIs) on matters of school and university education. The CCIs are managing numerous projects for internships, the technical orientation of children, dual career studies, and the improvement of career orientation in schools.
Dr. Lentz completed his Ph.D. in ecotoxicology and biology at the University of Mainz in 1988. He then joined Procter & Gamble as the head professional responsible for paper products in Europe and giving advice on environmental matters. Dr. Lentz has worked on various projects as an environmental counselor and project manager in international cooperation projects in South America. He held a professorship in environmental management at the University of Applied Sciences, Wedel from 1994-1998.
Dr. Stormy-Annika Mildner »
Head of External Economic Policy at the BDI
Dr. Stormy-Annika Mildner
Dr. Stormy-Annika Mildner (M.Sc.) is Head of the Department External Economic Policy of the Federation of German Industries. At BDI she is responsible for the topics foreign trade, investment protection, export promotion, and North America.
Before joining BDI in January 2014, Mrs. Mildner was a member of the Executive Board of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), a policy-oriented think-tank based in Berlin. At SWP she headed several projects including Transatlantic Risk Governance, the GIBSA Quadrilogue, Resource Politics of the G20 Countries, and Competition for Scarce Resources.
Before joining SWP, she worked for the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), where she headed the program Globalization and the World Economy (2000-2002). From 2005 to 2006 Mrs. Mildner was a lecturer at the John F.-Kennedy Institute of the Free Univer- sity Berlin. In spring 2010, she was a visiting fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, where she is still a non-resident Senior Fellow. In fall 2011 she was a visiting fellow at the German Marshall Fund's Transatlantic Academy in Washington. She regularly teaches classes on International Economics and Trade at the Hertie School of Governance.
Mrs. Mildner conducted her Bachelor studies in economics and North American studies at the Free University of Berlin and earned a Master of Science in international political economy from the London School of Economics. She wrote her Ph.D. thesis at the Free University of Berlin; during her Ph.D. studies, she temporarily attended the Yale Center for International and Area Studies (YCIAS) of Yale University.
Rolf Najork »
COO & Executive Board Member at Heraeus Holding GmbH
Dr. Michael Pcolinski »
Vice President of Advanced Materials & Systems Research at BASF
Dr. Michael Pcolinski
Dr. Michael Pcolinski is Vice President of Advanced Materials & Systems Research at BASF in North America. His responsibilities include leading multiple research groups in polymer & materials science, modelling & formulation and analytical chemistry as well as supporting BASF through expanding innovation capabilities & innovation management. He also serves as a primary liaison with universities, government laboratories and other external partners at all levels.
Dr. Pcolinski joined BASF in 1992 and has served the company in a variety of capacities and disciplines including research, strategic planning, sales & business management. Most recently, he led the Office of Innovation & Technology for BASF NA focusing on assisting business units in further developing and leveraging their innovation capabilities for growth. He is an executive sponsor for BASF's Journey to Innovation Excellence and serves on the NA Research Executive Team.
Dr. Pcolinski is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer on the topics of innovation capability, leveraging innovation for business growth and leading teams for creative achievement.
Dr. Pcolinski holds a Bachelor's degree from Purdue University (1986) and a doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacognosy from The Ohio State University (1992).
Kevin O'Brien »
Editor in Chief of Handelsblatt Global Edition
Kevin O'Brien is the Editor in Chief of Handelsblatt Global Edition. Mr. O'Brien, a native New Yorker, has more than 30 years of experience at newspapers, agencies and magazines in Germany, the United States, and Austria. He covered technology for The New York Times and International Herald Tribune from Berlin and was the Frankfurt and Vienna bureau chief at Bloomberg. Mr. O'Brien has been working from Europe for the last 20 years.
Dr. Reinhard Quick »
Director of the Liason Office Brussels at the VCI (German Chemical Industry Association)
Dr. Reinhard Quick
Dr. Reinhard Quick received his legal education in Germany (Dr. iur.) and a Master of Law (LL.M.) from the University of Michigan. During this period he was a stagiaire with the EC Commission in Brussels and the GATT Secretariat in Geneva.
In 1984 he became a Trade Policy Advisor for the German Chemical Industries Association (VCI) in Frankfurt. In 1987 he was appointed Head of the Legal Service of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) based in Brussels. Dr. Quick has been the director of the VCI Brussels Office since October of 1993.
Dr. Quick was the chairman of the BUSINESSEUROPE FTA and WTO Working Groups from 2008 until the end 2014.
He has been a member of the European Commission's TTIP Advisory Group since 2012.
In 2006, Dr. Quick was appointed as an honorary professor for international economic law at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken where he teaches a course on trade and the environment. He has published several articles on trade policy and European Community affairs.
Annegret Reinhardt-Lehmann »
Managing Director of Wirtschaftsinitiative FrankfurtRheinMain e.V.
Annegret Reinhardt-Lehmann is the Managing Director of the Wirtschaftsinitiative FrankfurtRheinMain e.V., a post which she has held since 2007.
For most of her career, Mrs. Reinhardt-Lehmann worked for Fraport AG, where she held various management positions in the fields of communication and marketing, as well as in international projects. Mrs. Reinhardt-Lehmann led the marketing team at Fraport AG for many years (1997-2005), before expanding her reach to marketing and sales support (2005-2009), and eventually customer management (2010-2013).
Mrs. Reinhardt-Lehmann has a Bachelor's and Master's in American studies and romance studies. She studied at universities in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), Jamestown, ND (USA), and Salamanca (Spain).
Siegfried Schabel »
CEO of MEC Holding GmbH
Siegfried Schabel is the CEO of the MEC Group. Mr. Schabel was born in 1968 in Salzburg, Austria. After completing his Magister (Master's) in business at the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, he moved to London in 1994 where he worked for Tenneco Europe, which was then a Fortune 30 company. Mr. Schabel's first position at the company was in internal auditing, and exposed him to the many divisions of Tenneco Inc. He then moved to Tenneco Automotive where, in 1998, he became the Regional Financial Controller for Germany covering the Original Equipment and Aftermarket Segments.
In 2002, Mr. Schabel became the CFO for the MEC Group. He remained in this position until 2012, when he became the CEO of the company. MEC is a global company that operates three divisions: Castolin Eutectic, Messer Cutting Systems, and the BIT Group.
Mr. Schabel is married and has two children.
Gretchen Tietje »
Deputy Political & Economic Section Chief at the General Consulate of the U.S. - Frankfurt
Gretchen Tietje is the Deputy Political and Economic Section Chief at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany. She is a career Foreign Service Officer and previously served in Mexico, Canada, and Washington, DC. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Tietje worked for NASA's Johnson Space Center and for the American Cancer Society.
Ms. Tietje earned a B.A. in Government and BSc. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and studied at the Australian National University. She also holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Charles Vaillant »
Vice President of Innovation & Corporate Strategy at MANN+HUMMEL
Charles Vaillant is currently Vice President of Innovation and Corporate Strategy for the MANN+HUMMEL Group. In this role he is responsible for innovation, new technology research and corporate strategy. Recently he created an Innovation Center on the campus of North Carolina State University, has been involved in several M&A projects with a strong focus on post-merger integration, and has been instrumental in developing MANN+HUMMEL's 2018 & 2022 Corporate Strategy. In 2015, Charles established i2m a new startup company to accelerate commercialization of new technologies in the fields of clean air, clean water, energy and life science.
Charles joined MANN+HUMMEL in 1997 and has held a variety of positions in the areas of program management, design & development, product engineering and corporate development. Prior to his current responsibilities, Charles was Director of Engineering for MANN+HUMMEL USA in Portage, Michigan where his focus was on the automotive original equipment and aftermarket business.
Charles earned an Automotive engineering degree from LTR Eiffel (France), a Masters in Industrial Marketing from ESIDEC (France) and an M.B.A from the University of Michigan Ross Business School (USA). He lives with his wife and two children in Raleigh, NC USA.
Dr. Heike Wenzel »
President & CEO of the WENZEL Group
Dr. Heike Wenzel
Dr. Heike Wenzel studied business management with a focus on computer science. In 1999 she joined the WENZEL Group as the leader of Logistics and Controlling before taking on the position as a managing partner in 2003.
The WENZEL Group is one of the leading manufacturers of metrology solutions in the fields of coordinate measuring machines, gear metrology, computed tomography, and optical high speed scanning. Subsidiaries and sales & service partners worldwide represent the company in more than 50 countries. The WENZEL Group employs more than 650 people.
Dr. Robert G. Wilhelm »
Executive Director of the Charlotte Research Institute
Dr. Robert G. Wilhelm
Robert G. Wilhelm, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte), has served in executive roles since 2005 and as a faculty member since 1993.
Wilhelm has been instrumental in advancing the quality, diversity, and growth of research at UNC Charlotte by engaging regional and national partners. This advancement includes six National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers, and three focus areas for large-scale research and academic programs in Data Science/Business Analytics, Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing, as well as biomedical and bioinformatics programs. Recent initiatives support Social Sciences, Digital Humanities, and the broader research culture.
Wilhelm leads economic development efforts to start up, grow, and recruit companies for business growth. On campus, his organization supports 23 startup companies, 13 established companies with R&D presence, and numerous partnerships with companies like SAS and Siemens. These efforts help attract the most talented faculty, support long-term impact on the economic region, and contribute to distinctive academic programs for students.
Wilhelm joined the UNC Charlotte faculty in 1993 to work on the creation of Ph.D. programs and contributed to the formation of programs in biotechnology, information technology, mechanical engineering, nanoscale science, and physics and optical science. Since 2005, he has served as the Executive Director of the Charlotte Research Institute, UNC Charlotte's portal for business-university partnerships. Wilhelm is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science, having lectured and worked in 38 states and over 18 countries.
Wilhelm worked at the Palo Alto Laboratory of Rockwell Science Center and Cincinnati Milacron, as well as co-founding a high-technology company, OpSource. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Wichita State University, a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a Rotary Foundation Fellow, he studied the history of science and technology at the University of Leicester, Great Britain and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.
Dr. Wilhelm serves on many regional, national, and international advisory boards. He leads the reorganization of the University Research Park as chair of the University City Business Development District, is collaborating to define a state-wide agenda for research and innovation while serving on the NC Board of Science, Technology, and Innovation, and supported commissioning of 10 new works as board member for the nationally prominent Mint Museum of Craft and Design.
Prof. Dr. Yvonne Ziegler »
Professor of Aviation Management at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr. Yvonne Ziegler