Dear SACC –Dallas and Texas friends,
When I look back on what we have accomplished during the first half of 2015, I can’t help but recognize the great response to our activities and wonderful support from you, our community, towards SACC. There has been a significant rise across the different membership types and a substantial increase in the number of people attending our events. Being a non-profit organization, we are truly dependent on your support. So I’d like to take this opportunity to say, “Thank you”!
While working to build and support our Swedish business community here, we also focus on connecting with organizations in Sweden. Growing this community drives our vision of putting Texas and, specifically, Dallas on the map as a strong and viable option for growing businesses overseas. The business climate in Dallas and Texas, in general, continues to be very positive. We want new companies to see the potential and understand what this region offers so that we are able to increase the number of Swedish companies seeking to establish business here.
Our Dallas-based activities got off to a great start in 2015 with Ambassador Bjorn Lyrwall visiting in January. The day of his visit had us meeting with several companies, large and small, and finished off with a fantastic dinner at the Swedish consulate. Thank you to our sponsors Tina and Goran Klintmalm, SACC, SWEA and Fifth and Third Bank. And, a special thanks for Tina and Goran for hosting all of us. It was a wonderful evening. The ambassador’s visit allowed us to bring many companies together to truly begin building a Swedish business community in the DFW area. Since this event, we have seen rapid growth in the number of Swedish companies joining SACC. Some organic communication between the companies outside of SACC events has also begun and those connections are what really want to accomplish.
Together with our partner, SWEA, our event with the Dallas Stars hockey team was a big success. Following the game, we even had the opportunity to meet the Swedish players. Even though the weather kept some from attending, those who made it to the game enjoyed themselves and the opportunity to meet the players from “back home”. We hope to repeat the event later this year.
2015 has also seen the launch of the Speaker Series to which we have received a very positive response. Great speakers have joined us on a variety of topics:
• Dean Lindsay, author and motivational speaker, talked about the skills and power of networking,
• Pia Orrenius visited from the Federal Reserve Bank to discuss the state of the Texas economy, and
• Christer Fugelsang, the only Swedish astronaut to have ever been in space, gave an engaging talk of his experience and journey as he explored the frontiers beyond earth.
A big thanks from SACC to all of those presenters and the great insights and inspiration they shared.
As we continue to move forward, our overall goals and focus remain the same:
• Support Swedish business that establish themselves in the DFW area,
• Create a professional organization that drives events and activities which support networking and learning opportunities for individuals and business here,
• Continue to attract younger members via our Young Professional group and our Mentorship Program, and
• Support internship opportunities from Sweden through our Trainee Program
Many members and people within our community are traveling to Sweden over the summer, so we will not organize an event in July. However, we are now beginning to solidify our program and activities for the rest of the year and will start of with our fall event series in August. As far as our fall schedule concerns we are pleased with what we have planned so far. But, your input is important to us so if you have ideas, thoughts on things you would like to see us doing, or things that we could do differently, don’t hesitate to share with us. This is one of the only ways we can get better and serve you as members of this community.
To summarize, it has been a busy, very good, and interesting first half of the year. We look forward to building upon this as we move into the second half. On behalf of the SACC Dallas board, thank you for your ongoing support of the Swedish American Chambers of Commerce.
We look forward to see as many of you as possible at our event in August and wish you all a great summer!
Mats Wiberg, Vice President SACC-Dallas