Belgian American Chamber of the South

Women’s Series | 12/07/2017


Laleh Sharifi, Partner and Business Immigration Practice Group Leader of Smith Gambrell & Russell, will tell you how U.S. immigration policies impact you, your business and family. It is not simply a hot political issue to debate.

From compliance issues, internship and work visas to green cards and dual-citizenship, she will cover the current topics that affect our personal and business lives, and discuss the future of U.S. immigration.   Laleh Sharifi, will also be available to answer your questions.

The Women’s Series is a collaborative initiative of the French, Netherlands, German and Belgian 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 facilitating professional opportunities and networking among peers.

LOGISTICS

  • When: Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 6 – 8 pm
  • Where: Promenade II, 1230 Peachtree St NE, Suite 3100, Atlanta, GA 30309
  • Parking: parking lot at location – Parking will be validated.
  • Event fees:
    • Members BACoS, NACCSE, FACC, GACC & BABC : $20
    • Students (bring your Student ID): $20
    • Non members: $35
  • Registration is a must

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Young Professionals networking drinks | 10/24/2017


Mix and mingle with Young Professionals peers of the German, Belgian, British, Swedish, Finnish and Dutch business community for this first joint networking drinks, organized by our local chambers of commerce – including our own.  This is a great opportunity to expand your network… that is if you are under 40 years old!  You will also get a guided tour of Orpheus Brewery’s 16,000 square foot facility!  Don’t forget to register!

LOGISTICS

  • When: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 rom 6 – 8 pm
  • Where: Orpheus Brewery | 440 Dutch Valley Pl NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
  • Event Fee: $10 (one beer & guided tour included)
  • Hosts: The Netherlands, German, Finnish, Swedish and Belgian  American Chambers of Commerce & the British American Business Council
  • Registration is a must.

Farewell Wim | 9/5/2017


Wim Van Cauteren and his lovely wife Luciana have been beATLe fans as soon as beATL started its journey in June 2014.  For sure we will miss seeing them around!

Wim has been appointed as Trade Commissioner for Flanders & Brussels in Mexico-City where he will work at the Belgian Embassy.  There are a lot of economic links between the US and Mexico which has adopted a lot of American business practices while keeping its Latin flavor.   Also Mexico has, apart from Brazil, the largest economy in Latin-America offering many unexplored opportunities that Wim is excited about.

Luciana and Wim are fluent in Spanish, making the move to such a beautiful country even more attractive; they are both really looking forward to live there.

Wim started working for Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) in June 1998.   His first posting was Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; that was followed by a 7-year stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  After Argentina, he went back to Brussels for 2 1/2 years – at FIT’s headquarters, and since 2012, Atlanta became their new home.

His main activities is to give support to Flemish & Brussels export companies, that want to expand into the (Southern) USA.  On the other hand, he also detects US companies that want to cross the Atlantic and invest in Europe which explains why you could see him at numerous conferences, events and exhibitions.

He was also the co-organizer of three large trade missions in his jurisdiction: two Flemish-Dutch trade missions (one to Houston, TX and one to Atlanta, GA) and one Belgian Economic Mission to Texas.

What he loves about his job is getting positive feedback from Belgian and local companies, industry associations and government representatives but the icing on the cake is when a company secures a contract thanks to his introduction!

Wim will never forget the day and night of January 28 in 2014 when a snow and ice storm hit Atlanta!  Here is his story: ‘that night we were organizing a reception for Belgian businessmen that participated at the International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta, so we could not leave the office early.  We left the office at 11 PM thinking that by that time the highways would be clear. Wrong ! I-75 north was still clogged with cars and there was a complete stand still. We got off the freeway, but we got lost somewhere in midtown and we feared we would have to overnight in our car with freezing temperatures outside. Luckily a Good Samaritan found us and was so nice to give us a ride back to my office in downtown Atlanta. At the office, we had to make a makeshift bed, made of tapestries and old carpets, but we were so happy that we didn’t have to sleep in the car.’

He will always enjoy and feel proud with the headline on the VRT (Flemish Public Television) news that stated that the first joint Flemish-Dutch economic mission in Houston, TX was a success. After several months of preparation, it was very rewarding.

If you ask Wim about his personal best moments in Atlanta, he will tell you about the Sun Dial restaurant in the Westin-hotel downtown where he had a birthday dinner with Luciana … but what made it very special is that on that rainy day, the view was nonexistent giving them the impression of having dinner in the clouds.   And the Belgian beers at the Brick Store Pub will remain a very good souvenir.

His last day in Atlanta is on September 15 … and no, the name of his successor is not known yet.   Check the blog again soon.

Join Flanders Investment & Trade and the Belgian American Chamber of the South on Tuesday, September 5th, so you too can thank Wim for all the great work he has done in the Southeast, wish him all the best on his new mission in Mexico and say goodbye to this super nice couple.

Logistics

  • When: Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 from 6.30 – 8.30 pm
  • Where: Burr & Forman LLP171 17th Street Northwest – 11th floor, Atlanta, GA 30363
  • RSVP by Sept 1st, 2017

Emotional Self Defense | 8/29/2017


Join the Women’s Series ‘Emotional Self Defense’ with Jennifer Riis-Poulson who will educate and empower you through her innovative self defense program.

Women’s Series are joint events of the BelgianFrenchNetherlandsFinnish and German American Chambers of Commerce as well as the British American Business Council

Logistics

  • When: Tuesday, August 29 from 6 – 8 pm
  • Where: BDO Atlanta, 1100 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 700, Atlanta, GA  30309-4516
  • Costs:
    • Members BACoS, NACCSE, FACC, FACCSE, GACC South & BABCS : $20
    • Non members: $35
  • Registration

After Work Summer Networking Drink | 8/10/2017


Mix and mingle with members of the Belgian, British, Swedish and Dutch business communities at their joint Chamber of Commerce After Work Summer Networking Drink.  Take the opportunity to expand your network and enjoy an evening of friendly exchange over drinks and some complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

Logistics

  • When: Thursday August 10th 2017 from 6-8 pm
  • Where: Gordon Biersch Buckhead | 3242 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305
  • Parking: free
  • Registration: please RSVP

 

Luncheon “Belgium – EU – U.S.: Business & Politics” | 06/14/2017


As the political and economic environment in Europe shifts post-Brexit, and in light of major elections that are taking place, Belgium is seizing the moment to gain additional regional influence. Brussels houses most of the EU institutions and, despite of its size, the nation is considered an important global trader.  Join the World Affairs Council of Atlanta as it hosts the Belgian Ambassador to the U.S., Dirk Wouters, for a conversation about where Belgium stands as the European Union goes through reorganization, and what it means for U.S. businesses with presence in this country. On May 25, President Trump attended a summit of NATO nations, and Ambassador Wouters will comment on the outcome of this official meeting.

The luncheon is supported by the Consulate General of Belgium in Atlanta, The Belgian American Chamber of the South, and the Atlanta Council on International Relations.

Logistics

  • When: Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm
  • Where: Commerce Club | 191 Peachtree St NE – 49th floor, Atlanta, GA 30303
  • Parking
  • Cost: BACoS and WACATL Members: $35 – Email Julie for your discount. | Non members: $50.00
  • Registration: click here.

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

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.​

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

Nation Builders Global Leadership Program | 2/16/2017


The Belgian American Chamber of the South is pleased to invite you to The Nation Builders Global Leadership Program Benefit and Reception on Thursday, February 16, 2017 starting at 6 pm.

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Logistics

  • When: Thursday, February 16, 2017 starting at 6 pm
  • Where: Wells Fargo Building | 10th Floor, 171 17th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30363
  • Free admission but RSVP is required