Wolfram Doelker Co-founder of GABA’s Southern California Chapter. Served as Treasurer until 2012, Chairman since 2013. With 25 years experience in taking businesses global, his consulting and project management practice focuses on globalization and market entry in the US and Europe. Services include business presence, market entry, start-up and project management, as well as temporary CEO, COO, CFO and business services. Prior to founding WDE in 1998, he managed the successful globalization of a European based company from an $80 Mio business in 4 countries to a $400 Mio business in 19 countries. For 8 years based out of Europe and 7 years out of the US, he negotiated and successfully integrated over 20 acquisitions, started businesses from scratch, negotiated joint ventures, developed licensing and franchise programs and managed business units in Europe, Asia and North America. As a certified banker, he started his career in banking and finance in Stuttgart, Germany and Chicago, IL. A graduate in Business Economics of the University of Saarbruecken, Germany, he earned his MBA from Union Graduate College in Schenectady, New York. He served and serves on a number of corporate boards of US subsidiaries, as Chairman of an Industry Association of Plastic Manufacturers in Germany, the Board of German American Schools, the International Advisory Council of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and the German American Business Association of Southern California.
Dr. Bernd Fischer holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from Heidelberg University and most recently served as German Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia and has been head of the German Consulate General in Los Angeles since July 10, 2012. He served in the military (1969-1971), was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Arizona (1973-1974) and served in the German Embassy in Tokyo from 1980 to 1983. Dr. Fischer served as a permanent mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York, disarmament and international security (1985-1988) and participated in the Vienna Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe 1988-89. Among his many positions, Dr. Fischer was the head of the economic department, German Embassy in Washington D.C.(2001-2005), Deputy Ambassador, German Embassy in Tokyo in 2005-2008. Born 1950 in Kaiserslautern, Dr. Fischer is married to Jutta Fischer and has two grown children.
Petra Korn is an attorney admitted to practice both in Germany and in California. Petra has gained experience in media and entertainment law and transactions in Cologne and Berlin, Germany, and also in domestic and international corporate law and litigation through working for a prestigious law firm in Los Angeles. Petra has enjoyed having her own practice since November 2009 (www.germanamericanlawyer.com). Petra advises domestic and international clients on transactional matters mainly in the fields of International Law, German Law, Corporate and Business Law, and Intellectual Property Law. Petra also assists her clients in obtaining dual citizenship or re-gaining (German) citizenship. Petra has the unique ability to advise clients on German and California law. Being able to explain the legal procedures either under German law or California law to the client in the native language is a big comforting factor to many of Petra's clients. Petra's background and education has focused on Media Law, International Business Cartels, Unfair Competition, and Copyright Law. Petra furthered her studies in Media and European Law at the Administrative College in Speyer.
Christopher Rhoades currently holds the position as Chief Designer and Senior Design Manager in the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad, California. He is a graduate of the University of Washington, Seattle, where he earned a BFA, Industrial Design. Upon graduation, he continued his studies by attending Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. After a brief internship with GM Design, Warren, Michigan, Chris graduated with honors earning a BS Transportation Design degree in 1987. That same year, Mr. Rhoades accepted a position to be one of the two founding Automotive Designers in the newly formed Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio, Germany. He worked for 11 years in Germany on various show car and production vehicle programs. In 1998, Christopher Rhoades accepted an offer to transfer to Daimler Trucks of North America to work as Senior Designer and Project Manager in the Freightliner commercial truck division located in Portland, Oregon. In these 6 years at Daimler Trucks, he was successful at contributing to both the exterior, as well as, the interior design for a number of production commercial vehicles. Most notably is the current Cascadia truck family where he was responsible for both the exterior and interior dashboard. In 2004, Chris was appointed to Chief Designer and Assistant Manager in the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America studio located first in Irvine California, then relocated to Carlsbad in 2008. He has led teams of designers and clay modelers on various concept cars, as well as production vehicles. His current responsibilities include; Design, Project and Personnel Management, as well as, General Studio Operations. Apart from his extensive 27 years working as an Automotive Designer with Mercedes- Benz, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Angelika and two daughters. He holds a private pilot’s license and is fluent in German.
Daniela Treptow is the International/Market Communications Analyst at Euro VAT Refund, Inc., a leading U.S. financial services firm, specializing in assisting North American companies with Value Added Tax (VAT) refund collection, VAT registration and management when conducting business in the European Union. Her responsibilities include marketing, communication with European embassies, consulates, trade and investment agencies, as well as U.S. companies who are involved in trade with the European Union. She is on the board of the German American Business Association (GABA) of Southern California, and it’s Director of Seminars and Stammtisch. Daniela is also an active member of various other international organizations and associations, including the British American Business Council (BABC), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA), and the Valley International Trade Association (VITA). Daniela earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Communications from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. She previously worked for Lufthansa and Thai Airways and holds an Airline Travel Certificate. Born and raised in Sweden by German parents, she is fluent in Swedish and German.
Philipp Walter is a Senior Vice President at Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances in Irvine. Mr. Walter has been responsible for product development, manufacturing and marketing of dishwashers in North America since 2010. The products are sold under brands like Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau. From 1994-2000 Mr. Walter worked as a product manager at Rowenta Werke with several stays in Boston USA, Warzawa, Poland and Offenbach, Germany. After joining BSH in 2000 he worked in various sales and marketing positions. He started as a national account sales manager for the Siemens brand and was promoted to the head of the international marketing team for vacuum cleaners and irons after 3 years. In this time he developed more than 20 new products. Several products have received design awards and were recognized globally by the consumer test institute for outstanding performance. In his role he worked closely with all European countries, as well as with factory sites in Germany, Spain and China. Mr. Walter earned his degree in International Marketing from the University (Berufsakademie) Mannheim.