business seminar on immigration | 5/17/2017


The Belgian American Chamber of the South, in partnership with the German American Chamber of Commerce, the British American Business Council and the Netherlands American Chamber of Commerce – Southeastern US is pleased to invite you to a business seminar on Immigration on Wednesday, May 17 with AGG.

With a new American administration, the rules and guidelines for visas are changing. For businesses in the US that rely on their foreign employees, it is important to keep up to date with these changes and to predict their impact. The seminar will discuss hot topics in immigration under president Trump’s administration including the following:

  • Compliance – New Form I-9 Requirements / Trump Administration Enforcement Actions
  • Admissibility under ESTA and B-1 status/ CBP update
  • E, L and H visa status Processing
  • Surprise H & L Site Audits /  the new USCIS Directive
  • Best Practices for Global Mobility Managers
  • Dual Citizenship for German nationals

And the guest speakers are:

  • Teri A. Simmons
  • Montserrat C. Miller
  • Wilhelm J. Ziegler
  • Matt Ohm
  • George E. Lee

Logistics

  • When: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 from 4 to 6 pm
  • Where: Arnall Golden Gregory |  171 17th Street NW, Suite 2100, Atlanta, GA 30363
  • Event fee: Members BACoS, GACC, BABC, NACCSE : free, but registration is required! | Non members: $35
  • ​Registration: online

Springboard to Europe | 6/1/2017


On June 1st, a complimentary seminar regarding doing business in Europe will be organized by Frazier & Deeter and Arnall Golden Gregory.  What are some of the key business considerations to understand before taking the leap across the pond?  This panel of experts will accelerate your learning curve.

The event starts at 8 am with Mike Whitacre, Frazier & Deeter and Tycho Stahl, Arnall Golden Gregory as moderators.

The program is as follow:

  • 8:00 – 8:05 Welcome and introduction – Mike Whitacre, Frazier & Deeter and Tycho Stahl, Arnall Golden Gregory
  • 8:05 – 8:10 Belgian Consul General Comments – William De Baets, Consulate General of Belgium
  • 8:10 – 8:15 UK Consul General Comments – Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, British Consulate-General
  • 8:15 – 8:45 UK Discussion – Dom Fiore, PKF London
  • 8:45 – 9:15 Belgium Discussion – Kurt DeHaen, PKF Belgium
  • 9:15 – 9:45 German Discussion – Wolfgang Van Kerkom, PKF Germany
  • 9:45 – 10:15 Break and networking
  • 10:15 – 10:45 Ireland Discussion – Patt Flynn, Flynn O’Driscoll and Micheal Smith, IDA Ireland
  • 10:45 – 11:30 European Legal Discussion – Kai Westerwelle, Taylor Wessing
  • 11:30 – 1:00 Lunch and networking – Ania Lackey, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
  • 1:00 – 1:30 Eastern Europe Discussion – Dieter Natlacen, Taylor Wessing
  • 1:30 – 2:00 VAT Overview – Wouter Brackx, PKF Belgium

Logistics

  • When – Thursday, June 1st from 8 am – 2 pm
  • Where – Frazier & Deeter, LLC | 1230 Peachtree Street, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30309
  • Registration – Space is limited!  Register by Thursday, May 25th, 2017.
    Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be provided.

 

you said French? | 5/27/2017


On Saturday May 27th, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is performing an all-French program at the Atlanta Symphony Hall. The concert will feature pieces by Debussy, Jolivet and Fauré with Christina Smith performing Jolivet’s Flute Concerto and will be followed by a post-concert reception with the artists.

The event is sponsored by Francophonie Atlanta, so in order to get the best price, please enter the promo code “FRANCO” when booking tickets.

Logistics

  • When: Saturday May 27th, 2017 @ 8 pm
  • Where: Atlanta Symphony Hall @ The Woodruff Arts Center | 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
  • Parking & Directions
  • More info and tickets

Kortrijk delegation to Greenville, SC | 5/9-13/2017


Fancy a trip to Greenville, SC?  Why not tackle along the Kortrijk Sister City Delegation in Greenville, SC from May 9th – 13th?

The main purpose of the ‘K2G’ delegation visit is for both cities to learn more about -and be inspired by- each other’s people, ambitions, approach and accomplishments. In addition, it’s all about:

  • exploring shared interests and mutual opportunities related to government, urban development, education, arts, and business.
  • establishing many new and valuable relationships between community, educational, and business leaders in Kortrijk/West Flanders and Greenville/The Upstate, that are excited about helping to maintain and develop this sister city relationship, while providing new opportunities for them-selves and the organizations or companies they represent.
  • developing the Kortrijk-Greenville bridge as a unique gateway between our both countries.

Here is the detailed agenda.

For the epicureans, enjoy a “Belgian Beer Dinner” on Wednesday May 10th at 7 pm at The Trappe Door, downtown Greenville.  This “fusion” menu is a mix of Belgian with Southern specialities.  The cost per person is $70 all-in (without alcohol: $50 per head), including meeting those Belgian Delegation participants:

  • Mr. Vincent Van Quickenborne, Kortrijk Mayor and Member of the Belgian House of Representatives
  • Ms. Kelly Detavernier, Kortrijk City Council Member
  • Ms. Dominique Viaene, Sister Cities Coordinator for Kortrijk
  • Mr. Stijn Debaillie, Coordinator at DesignRegio Kortrijk
  • Mr. Matthieu Marisse, Regional Director for VOKA South-West Flanders
  • Mr. Piet Grymonprez, Co-Founder & Managing Director of MyMachine Global Foundation
  • Ms. Isabelle Pertry, Head of the Internationalization Department at Howest
  • Mr. Roel Vandommele, Director of Education at Howest
  • Ms. Isabel Vanslembrouck, Director of Research and Development at VIVES
  • Ms. Patricia Waerniers, Director of Education at VIVES
  • Dr. Petra Huyst, Staff Member Research at KULAK
  • Prof. Dr. Ir. Wim Thielemans, Provincial Chair of Advanced Materials at the Renewable Materials and Nanotechnology Research Group at KULAK
  • Mr. William de Baets, Consul General for Belgium in Atlanta
  • Mr. Wim Van Cauteren, Trade Commissioner at Flanders Investment & Trade
  • Mr. Anton Mertens, President of the Belgian American Chamber of the South
  • Mr. Jean-Louis Vanderstraeten, President of the French American Chamber of Commerce of the Carolinas (and a Belgian!)

Of course, a number of “Greenville VIPs” will also be in attendance, and it will be a very relaxed and enjoyable event; no formalities or black tie…. Only 32 spots remaining for the dinner, out of a total of 80 – First come – first served [invitation has not yet been extended to the general public].

For more information about the visit or email Stijn.

lecture by Kurt Guldentops | 5/3/2017


The Consulate General of Belgium and the Belgian American Chamber of the South are pleased to invite to a lecture: “Belgium and the United States in an increasingly competitive world: turning points in economic history since 1945” by Kurt Guldentops.

Kurt Guldentops – originally from Antwerp (Belgium) – Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of California – Los Angeles, will enlighten you about how Belgium and the US have fared over the last 70 years in a world economy characterized by the entry of a series of new (or renewed) centers of production.  What was the response of established producers to catch-up competitors?  Taking a long term view, you will see that catch-up is not only important to the great post war boom, but that the competition between established and emerging producers is crucial as well to understand the shape of the more turbulent decades since the 1970s.

Logistics

  • When – Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 6 to 8 pm –  This lecture will be followed by a reception.
  • Where – Belgian Residence
  • RSVP – This event is FREE, but registration is required. Click HERE to register
    Please RSVP no later than Monday, May 1.​

news from your consulate general


Le Consulat Général à Atlanta offrira un nouveau système de prise de rendez-vous en ligne à partir du 1er mai.  Tous les rendez-vous, que ce soit pour un renouvellement de passeports, pour pré-enregistrer des données biométriques ou pour l’obtention d’un visa de tourisme pour les non ressortissants belges (si requis, en fonction de la nationalité), devront désormais être pris via le système en ligne.

Le lien vers le nouveau système de prise de rendez-vous se trouve sur les pages concernant les passeports et les visas de notre site internet ou en suivant ce lien.  N’oubliez pas de consulter le site internet afin de vérifier que vous disposez de tous les documents nécessaires avant de prendre un rendez-vous.


Het Consulaat Generaal te Atlanta neemt, vanaf 1 mei 2017, een nieuw online afsprakensysteem in gebruik.  Alle afspraken voor aanvraag of vernieuwing van uw paspoort, om uw biometrische gegevens te pre-registreren of om een toeristenvisum aan te vragen voor niet-Belgen (indien vereist – afhankelijk van nationaliteit) dienen gemaakt te worden via het online systeem.

De link naar het afsprakensysteem kan u terugvinden op de desbetreffende pagina aangaande paspoorten en visa van onze website of door hier te klikken.  Gelieve nog steeds de website te consulteren om zeker te zijn dat u beschikt over de benodigde documenten voor uw aanvraag vooraleer een afspraak te maken.


The Consulate General at Atlanta adopts an new online appointment system starting May 1st 2017.  All appointments for passport requests and renewals, to preregister your biometric data or to request a tourist visa for non-Belgians (if required – depending on nationality) will need to be made with the online system.

The link to the appointment system can be found on the related page on the topic of passports and visas of our website or by clicking here.  Please consult the website to make sure you have the required documents for your application prior to making an appointment.

belgian THIRSTday | 5/4/2017


You beATL Queen might be on another ‘planet’ but life goes on as well as beATL’s life … The May gathering will take place from 7 pm at The Pub Perimeter.   Last we were there was in January 2015 so it’s time to give it another … shot. They have a good selection of beers including the minimum beATL requirement of 8 Belgian ones.  And tease your palate with some brilliant food … Well it’s not Belgian….  Please take the time to RSVP …

The Pub is a small chain based in Cincinnati (this is their twelfth store, and first Georgia location) that has the design of a traditional English pub, with appropriate posters and prints on the walls to give you the full British immersion experience. Henry VIII and the London Underground, The Beatles, The Who, Muse, Radiohead…  And the servers are in kilts (with underwear).   While there, have a quick peak in the upstairs lounge to check on their famous Pour Your Own Beer Wall!

Logistics

  • When: Thursday May 4th, 2017 from 7 pm.
  • Where: The Pub Perimeter | 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 30346.  Directions.  Enter the Perimeter Mall via its main entrance on Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE (almost opposite the corner of Exxon Gas Station and Perimeter Center East).  The Pub is squeezed between the Mall entrance and Goldfish.
  • Parking: ample free parking or valet at $5 + tip
  • RSVP

 

a good read about dutch and belgian wines


Many of you have met Cathy Huyghe, wife of our beATLe Chris, during our blind wine tasting or, more recently, the Belgian waffles tasting … Cathy is a dynamic media professional with a special interest in wine and the spirit of hospitality.   She is the author of the award wining book Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass and currently writes for Forbes.com.

And here is what this posting is all about!  Cathy, deeply interested in the evolution of wine from the Low Countries of Belgium and the Netherlands, recently wrote an article – on Forbes – exploring Discover Dutch Wine: Interviews, Wines, Vineyards, Restaurants, a book by Mariëlla Beukers and Irene de Vette, now translated in English.  Okay, The Netherlands is not Belgium … but close enough.  And since her article clearly spells out ‘Oud-Heverlee‘ – which is undoubtedly in Belgium –  it’s a good read!

 

 

BACoS – Women’s Series | 5/1/2017


The Women’s Series are joint events of the Belgian, French, Netherlands, Finnish and German American Chambers of Commerce as well as the British American Business Council.

Started in January 2014, the Women’s Series holds quarterly business events for professional women of the Atlanta international community.  The goal of the Women’s Series is to bring educational and stimulating content to our attendees, while also facilitating professional opportunities and networking among peers.  The topics offered aim to connect and develop the women of our communities.

Good mentoring depends on having a collaborative, reciprocal learning relationship with your mentor. Whether you are just starting your career, seeking personal or professional development, or transitioning to new responsibilities, it is important to understand what it takes to be an effective mentoring partner and how to successfully engage in the relationship.

Join the Chambers & Council on Monday, May 1st and meet their guest speaker, Maria Gallahue-Worl, Sr VP & Head of Sulfone Polymers at Solvay Specialty Polymers.  Maria will share her experience as both a mentee and a mentor, and through her personal journey, how a successful mentoring can influence our life as a whole.

Logistics

  • When – Monday, May 1st, 2017 at 6 pm
  • Where – Burr & Forman |  171 17th Street NW, Suite 1100, Atlanta, GA 30363
  • Parking – Parking will be validated
  • Event fee:
    • Members BACoS, NACCSE, FACC, FACCSE, GACC South & BABCS : $20
    • Non members: $35
  • Register online

F6


Flight DL 80 left gate F6, on Saturday 3/25 at 6.06 pm as scheduled. Loaded with 218 passengers and a crew of 12, the 767-400 aircraft was ready for its 4,912 nautical miles towards Brussels. Surprisingly only a handful of its occupants was aware that this was the first flight resuming the non-stop service between Atlanta and Brussels! Following the horrors of the awful attacks on Zaventem Airport and the Maelbeek metro station on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Delta Airlines had decided to shutter its direct flights between the cities.

Was it the real reason? Probably not … Passengers had already noticed a decrease in the flight schedules and their Atlanta destined planes filled with overbooked JFK-bound travelers. Obviously the decision to terminate this service was not well received, not only by the big companies but also by our local community.  Many stories abound of people missing their connection to Brussels in New York due to the short lay-over. Not to mention that traveling back with chocolate-loaded luggage and exhausted kids through immigration at JFK was not something anybody would relish.

So Saturday was a huge thing.  Gate F6 was heavily decorated with Belgian flags and the passengers were greeted by Papa Smurf [Grand Schtroumpf] and Hefty Smurf [Schtroumpf Costaud], dancing on the rhythm of the saxophone tunes played by Vinnie dressed in Belgian colors. A few short but convivial speeches crowned the event: Consul General Mr. William De Baets welcomed the crowd with his good sense of humor, introducing Larin Hector, General Manager Atlanta Worldport from Delta.  The mic was then handled to Mr. Pieter De Crem, Belgian Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Former Minister of Defence. They all made sure that everyone understood that the Smurfs, Adolph Sax and the distributed chocolate were Belgian made.
Mr. De Crem was the first on board followed by enthusiastic travelers who each received a goodie bag with a box of Neuhaus Classics and a miniature Smurf.

Delta flight schedules are updated every 3 months, based on many factors like projected bookings and types of available aircrafts. The daily non stop flight ATL-BRU takes off at 6.06 pm to reach Zaventem at 8.45 am … until further notice since Delta News indicates “the renewed Atlanta service will operate year-round with a daily service over the summer season.

And a finale note: the movie “Smurfs, The Lost Village” is now in the theaters!