USA and GAGP in Hannover

1. Mai 2016

A very interesting week with some important contacts with American business men and women now is history. But let me start from the beginning. Last sunday President Barack Obama came to my fathers hometown of Hannover (where I was born by the way also). Along with chancellor Angela Merkel he opened the Hannover Messe Industry on sunday evening. The next day he visited U.S. firms at the fair (and in the afternoon he also took part at a G5 summit in Hannover-Herrenhausen). Of course I would have liked to see the president in person ant not only his helicopters but I did not have the time to wait somewhere for hours. President Obama has come to Hannover Messe to represent the U.S. as partner country 2016 and to support more than 400 business exhibitors at the American Pavillion.

To make a long story short: I did not meet the president, but a former president: Lübbert Kruizenga as president of the German-American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) in Minnesota. We met in Hall 3 only a few minutes after President Obama had left the fair ground and I just can say thank you to Lübbert Kruizenga and his wife Herta who came to meet me in Hannover. It was a pleasure to meet you both – thank you for the great conversation (in Plattdeutsch also) and your wonderful humour.

Lübbert Kruizenga and Dirk Weissleder

I first met Lübbert along with Lin Stone, chairman of the Ostfriesen Genealogical Society of America (OGSA) on January 21, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota at the German-American Institute (GAI). At the American Pavillion I wanted to get in contact with representatives of the German-American Chamber of Commerce Midwest (GACC) in Chicago and different business institutions. Lübbert was very helpful in doing that and I thank him very much for supporting me and also GAGP. Of course it was a little bit „different“ for business`ears to hear about genealogy, GAGP and the big conference planned in July 2017 in Minneapolis. Yes, I know that we are not doing a milion-dollar-business and yes, in comparision to other institutions or big firms we are small – but I do not surrender or take down. Quite the contrary. I have been on the fair ground twice and besides business of course I could often talk about genealogy, also to some people with German ancestry. At the end I made many valuable contacts and we all will see if I/we can be successful in finding sponsoring or other supportive partners etc. Keep your fingers crossed!

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