Steffen Bartschat

Steffen Bartschat

Innovation Industry Group
Chair 

CEO and Founder of Hill88

steffen@hill88.com
www.linkedin.com/in/bartschat

Steffen Bartschat is CEO/Founder of Hill88. At Hill88, Steffen helps corporates plug into the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem and helps startups scale to sustainability. His primary focus are consumer-targeted products spanning industries that include automotive, education, software, electronics and wearables. Steffen holds BS & MS degrees from Carnegie Mellon, and an MS in Business Management from Stanford Business School.

Stefanie Bastian

StefanieBastian100x100

GABA  Director
Women in Business Interest Group
Co-Chair

www.linkedin.com/in/stefaniebastian/

Before being appointed to the GABA board of directors, Stefanie served GABA for four and a half years. First as event manager, then as program and marketing director, she helped shape the face of GABA to becoming the successful and welcoming networking platform it is today. Stefanie holds a master’s degree in communications from the Berlin University of the Arts, that she has applied to many different fields of work – from film license acquisition in Mexico City, to script consulting and planning of film pitches and workshops for different start-ups in Berlin. She was also part of the founding team of the new Youth section for the Berlin Film Festival. Stefanie has since ventured out into the world of mobile publishing and is in charge of the German edition of the News and Magazine App Flipboard and is still following her passion for film as a board member of the Berlin and Beyond Film Festival in San Francisco.

Angelika Blendstrup, Ph.D.

Angelika Blendstrup

International Industry Group
Chair

Principal & Founder of Angelika Blendstrup & Associates
angelika.blendstrup@gmail.com

Angelika Blendstrup, Ph.D. is the founder and principal of Angelika Blendstrup & Associates, www.professional-business-communications.com.
As of January 2014, she is also Founding Partner & Chief Entrepreneur Evangelist of SV LATAM Fund located in Silicon Valley, investing in Latin American startups; Founding Partner & Chief Entrepreneur Evangelist, ZFunction University, Latin America’s Tech Entrepreneurship Program in SV.

She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a Master’s from UC Berkeley. In addition to English, Angelika speaks and teaches in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German. Angelika coaches international executives and entrepreneurs on US business communications in Silicon Valley and delivers classes at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies, Haas Business School and UCLA Anderson School of Management on US business communications, personal branding and US business presentations.

Angelika is the author of They Made It! – featuring interviews with major foreign-born leaders of Silicon Valley, and co-author of Communicating the American Way.

She mentors @ 500 Startups, Up West labs [Israeli accelerator] and is mentor and advisor at Brazil Innovators, Endeavor, SiliconHouse and Startup Embassy.

www.facebook.com/AngelikaBlendstrupAssociates
www.linkedin.com/in/angelikablendstrup
www.youtube.com/angelikablendstrup

Florian Brody

Media & Entertainment Industry Group
Co-Chair

Principal, The Halo Agency

brody”at”brody.org
www.brody.org

Florian Brody is an international marketing executive and digital media specialist with over 25 years experience. He is a principal at The Halo Agency and leads the Innovationagency Network in the US. Brody serves as advisor and head of marketing at early-stage companies in a wide range of domains, including mobile payment, e-learning and vision technology.. He co-founded several start-ups and raised significant amounts of venture funding. Brody offers personal growth support life and management coach in the start-up and the not-for-profit space.

Brody co-invented the first electronic books and created multiple groundbreaking digital publishing solutions in Europe and the US. Earlier he built the multi-media market for Apple Austria and developed digital media catalogs at the Austrian National Library in Vienna.

Brody teaches eBusiness strategies at the Universities in Linz, Austria and Magdeburg, Germany. He was a member of the graduate faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and was professor for multimedia at the University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg. He actively promotes to collaboration between European countries and the Silicon Valley and has initiated an incubator for Austrian start-ups.

He is co-chair for the media and entertainment chapter at GABA, the German American Business Association, advisor to AICSV, the Austrian Innovation Center in the Silicon Valley and was founding president at ASCINA.

Brody grew up in Vienna where he studied computer linguistics, worked at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris and as fashion photographer in Vienna. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker, presented at multiple TEDx conferences and has been published in multiple languages.

Tim Bussiek, Ph.D.

Software Industry Group
Co-Chair

bussiek@gmail.com

An economist turned marketeer, Dr. Tim Bussiek has over 20 years experience in enterprise software, holding executive positions as CMO, CTO and VP Products at a number of startups, as well as serving 12 years in leading roles within SAP’s Product Marketing and Business Development, covering applications such as Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence, Employee Self-Services, composite applications (xApps) and SAP HANA. As such, Tim has been a key driver and visionary in Silicon Valley’s evolution of e-commerce, service-oriented architecture (SOA), cloud management, data and analytics and user experience technologies and their adoption in advanced enterprise settings.

E.J. Dieterle

E.J. Dieterle

Human Resources Industry Group
Co-Chair

President & CEO, YES Partners

ejdieterle@yespartners.com

E.J. is the President & CEO of YES Partners, a global Executive Search Firm. He helps building and growing companies in Europe, Asia and North America by helping companies to find their Management Teams. He held positions as SVP for the US-Northeast-Region and MD(ManagingDirector) Japan, MD South Korea and MD UK. He has been responsible for operations of 270 staff. EJ managed the operation of projects for Hewlett-Packard, lectured at the ‘Japan Market-Entry Competition’ in Tokyo (Chambers-of-Commerce from Europe, USA and Canada), and presents in Europe and Asia about “Market-Entry USA” strategies.

His native language is German, but he also speaks English, Spanish, French and can communicate in Japanese. EJ has a MBA and is an Alumni with IMD (Lausanne/Switzerland) and the New York World Trade Center on International Trade, and has a degree from the German Chamber of Commerce.

EJ is a member with NACD (National Association of Corporate Directors), SVASE, a Chair for HR (Human Resources) with GABA, Churchill Club, IBDN, World Affairs Council, KASE & KIN (Korea IT Network), Japan Society, JCCNC (Japanese Chamber of Commerce), and serves as a Director for World Service with Rotary International. He is also a Board-director of WCL.

Olaf Groth

Olaf Groth

Clean Technology Industry Group
Co-Chair

CEO, Emergent Frontiers Group LLC

groth@emergent-frontiers.com

Olaf is Managing Director of Emergent Frontiers Group LLC, which counsels senior corporate executives, private equity investors and government officials on global innovation trends, strategy, ecosystems and transactions. As such, he has a particular focus on convergence spaces in which infocomms and big data intersect with energy, environment, transportation and infrastructure domains.

Olaf is also Global Professor of Strategy, Innovation, Management & Economics at HULT International Business School, where he teaches across a global network of campuses, including San Francisco, New York, London, Dubai and Shanghai. Employing interactive executive-style techniques that address real-world challenges in the classroom, he recently earned the distinction of Professor-of-the-Year in San Francisco and Top-5 Professor globally.

Olaf has 20 years of experience in full-time, interim executive and advisory roles for corporate, business, market, operations and venture development, as well as government relations. He has helped qualify, negotiate and stand up new initiatives and programs in 30+ countries with opportunity between $100M to $2billion. Employers and clients have included AirTouch, Bechtel, Boeing, Qualcomm, Q.Cells, Siemens, Vodafone, Volkswagen, a global oil and gas corporation, transportation technology and crowdcasting startups, and a Silicon Valley VC firm.

Olaf has been a judge for the GE ecomagination challenge, a contributor to the World Economic Forum Project on Europe’s Innovation-Driven Competitiveness 2.0, a Senior Fellow for innovation at Tufts University’s Institute for Business in Global Context, and a Fellow for competitiveness at Grenoble Ecole de Management. He is a Co-Chair for innovation ecosystems at the Corporate Innovators Huddle and for the Energy & Environment Committee at the Pacific Council on International Policy, an Advisory Board member of the Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative, as well as a member of the Research Council of the Bay Area Economics Institute.

Olaf holds PhD, MALD, MAIPS and BA degrees in international business & economic relations and technology policy & management from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the Monterey Institute of International Studies of Middlebury College. He also studied negotiation at Harvard, trade economics at Georgetown, finance at UC Berkeley and strategic leadership at the Center for Creative Leadership.

Oliver Hanisch

Oliver Hanisch

Entrepreneurs & Venture Capital Industry Group
Co-Chair

ohanisch at gmail dot com

Oliver is an entrepreneurial minded marketing and business development professional with extensive experience in international and intercultural environments. Oliver was born and raised in Germany, and lived and worked in Sweden, Bangkok, and Silicon Valley. He founded his first company at the age of twenty, and worked with global companies, such as Siemens and Merck. Oliver has spent more than 2 years with Red Herring and advises numerous international startups. He graduated from Pforzheim University of Applied Science in Germany, and received his Master’s Degree with Distinction from CTF Research Center at Karlstad Universitet in Sweden.

Achim Hoelzle

Achim Hoelzle

Media & Entertainment Industry Group
Co-Chair

Attorney-at-Law at FeldbergPacific Law Group

ahoelzle@feldbergpacific.com

Mr. Hoelzle is the founding partner of Feldberg Pacific Law Group, a boutique law firm in San Francisco, CA. His firm specializes in representing German and U.S. clients in Start-up Company, VC, cross-border M&A, and licensing matters. His clients benefit greatly from his vast network of contacts in the technology, media, solar and venture capital industries in Europe and the U.S. Mr. Hoelzle is admitted to practice law in California and Germany and has over 14 years of experience in advising clients in corporate and technology transactions in Germany and the U.S. Prior to founding Feldberg Pacific Law Group he was a senior attorney with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison in Palo Alto, CA.

Gunther Hofmann

Gunther Hofmann

Financial Committee Chair
Entrepreneurs & VC IG Co-Chair

Director at Armanino LLP

gunther.hofmann@armaninollp.com

Gunther Hofmann (CFA, CVA, CEPA) is a Director at Armanino LLP, the largest independent California based CPA/Consulting firm. He leads the corporate finance activities of the firm, providing sell-side as well as buy-side M&A representation as well as valuation services. He has previously worked in software strategy consulting, a semiconductor start-up, and an automotive venture capital fund.

Mandy Herrmann

Mandy Herrmann

Young Professionals Interest Group
Co-Chair
Women in Business Interest Group
Co-Chair

Sr. Performance Marketing Manager at Balsam Brands

mherrmann@gaba-network.org

Mandy is currently an Online Marketing Strategist at Balsam Brands, an innovative ecommerce retailer of holiday and home décor products based in Silicon Valley. She started her career in traditional marketing and PR working for the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACCoM) in Chicago. After moving to the Bay Area, Mandy joined the start-up Become, Inc. and switched to the world of Online Marketing becoming an expert in Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing.

Mandy was born and raised in Germany and studied both there and the United States. She holds a Master’s Degree in German Literature, History and Communications. After relocating to California she joined GABA and made important business contacts who helped build her career and professional network. She wants to help other young professionals starting their professional careers in the Bay Area.

Katrin Jakob, Ph.D.

KatrinJakob_100x100

Life Sciences / Healthcare Interest Group
Co-Chair

Founder & CEO of California Business Associates LLC

Katrin Jakob, PhD, is an entrepreneur, scientific and business advisor, and Founder & CEO of California Business Associates LLC, an innovative business accelerator for startup companies in Biotechnology. She has over 20 years experience in plant and microbial biotechnology and R&D project management. She received a Master’s degree in Agriculture from the Humboldt University in Berlin, and a Ph.D. in Crop Science from the University of Giessen, Germany, and performed her postdoctoral research in plant molecular biology & genetics at the University of Chicago. Katrin started her career at the Institute of Crop Science at the Federal Agriculture Research Center in Braunschweig, Germany, and worked at Mendel Biotechnology in California, where she was leading research in plant pathology, molecular breeding, biofuels, plant transformation and microbial technologies to enhance crop productivity and stability.

Jan Jettel

 empty_100x100

Young Professionals Interest Group
Co-Chair

Vice President, National Accounts, and Managing Director of the San Francisco office of Speakeasy

jjettel@gaba-network.org

Jan is currently Vice President, National Accounts, and managing director of the San Francisco office of Speakeasy, an international communication training and development company. He started his professional career at KPMG’s Strategy Group in Germany where he worked on some of the largest M&A deals in Europe and supported corporate and private equity clients on numerous strategy engagements. In a previous role, Jan worked as a business journalist at The Korea Times in Seoul, South Korea.

Jan holds a BA and MBA from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Linda K. Cleary

GABA Director
Women in Business Interest Group
Co-Chair

Email: lindakcleary at gmail dot com

Linda Kotzot Cleary is Chair of the GABA Women in Business (WIB) Group, and a senior lead generation marketing manager, with 15 years’ experience leading successful multi-channel marketing programs for high-tech companies and international business organizations.

Previously, she’s led online prospect acquisition programs for Dell, developed top revenue-producing programs for email automation company Lyris, and managed global communication campaigns for innovation-mapping software company Mindjet.

Linda is German-born and a long-time California resident, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing from Santa Clara University. For details visit: linkedin.com/in/lindakcleary

Thilo Koslowski

Thilo Koslowski

GABA Director
Automotive Industry Group
Chair

Vice President & Automotive Practice Leader at Gartner, Inc.

thilo.koslowski@gartner.com

Thilo Koslowski is Vice President and Lead Automotive Analyst at Gartner Inc., the largest technology advisory company in the world. Mr. Koslowski assists business and IT leaders in the automotive industry to unlock the potential of technology to drive growth and manage technology’s impact on business models and processes. His analysis centers around critical topics related to the automotive demand & supply chains, in-vehicle information & communication applications and IT trends.Before joining Gartner, Mr. Koslowski was a Lead Consultant in GartnerConsulting’s Executive Market Analysis Program, where he managed global consulting assignments for vendors in the e-business and emerging technologies markets. Prior to that, he worked in various marketing positions for a premium, European automaker. Mr. Koslowski graduated with honors from the Technical University (RWTH) Aachen in Germany and holds a master’s degree in Business Studies with majors in Marketing, European Economy and Production Engineering.As Gartner’s lead analyst for the automotive industry, Mr. Koslowski is regularly quoted in global publications, TV and radio broadcasts including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, BBC, Automotive News, ABC News and others.

Pamela Lenz Sommer

Pamela Sommer

Media & Entertainment Industry Group
Co-Chair

psommer@gaba-network.org
www.linkedin.com/in/pamelasommer

Pamela is a New Media professional, focusing on new media advertising and promotion campaigns. She most recently worked for Lieberman Productions (Guthy-Renker) in San Francisco, and was responsible for the international marketing of Sheer Cover and Youthful Essence product lines to the German marketplace.

In addition to her analytical skills, Pamela is fluent in German and English, has worked as an actress, producer, public speaker, and moderator of political debates, and as Executive Producer, brought a student film to the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. In addition, Pamela has appeared on German TV, and has produced and hosted her own TV show aired to the greater Los Angeles area.

Pamela recently earned a BA in Mass Communication at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a graduate of the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Los Angeles. Pamela was born in Hamburg, and currently resides with her husband in Palo Alto, CA.

Edda Mihaescu, Ph.D., P.E.

Edda Mihaescu

Life Sciences / Healthcare Interest Group
Co-Chair

Principal Engineer, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals LLC

edda.mihaescu.b@bayer.com

Dr. Edda Mihaescu is Project Portfolio Manager at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals LLC, where she has been employed since 1994. Before joining Bayer, Dr. Mihaescu worked as a Cleanroom Specialist and Mechanical Engineer on projects for other Biopharmaceutical Companies, as well as on Medical Facility, and Nuclear Engineering projects.

Dr. Mihaescu is certified as a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California and she also obtained an Engineering Management Certificate from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA.

Ulrike Ruppelt

Ulrike Ruppelt

Life Sciences / Healthcare Interest Group
Co-Chair

Principal of Ticular
Director of the ISPE Membership Committee
US Correspondent of pharmind

Ulrike Ruppelt is the founding member and chairwoman of the Interest Group Life Sciences / Healthcare at the German American Business Association GABA. Her expertise is in international Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations with a solid background in Science and Technology.

Ruppelt founded the consultancy Ticular Strategies for Success and was Director of International Synergy and Marketing at M+W Zander, a global architectural, engineering, construction and facility management firm. Before that she was the delegate of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft to the European Commission in Brussels, and Public Relations Officer at Fraunhofer Gesellschaft’s headquarters in Munich, Germany. Ruppelt earned her masters in communication and media consulting and her bachelor in chemistry from Technical University, Berlin, Germany. She is a member of GABA, BayBio, ISPE, CoreNet and SMPS.

Regine Staufenberg

Regine Staufenberg

Women in Business Interest Group
Co-Chair

Regine Staufenberg, a native German, was GABA’s Business Development Manager from 2010 until 2016, focusing on expanding opportunities for companies and organizations seeking visibility in the Bay area German-American business community.She currently works on the fundraising team of a local non-profit, seeking to support live-long learning and joyful discovery in the community setting of the San Mateo Library. It didn’t take long for Regine to miss GABA’s people and programs. Together with her co-chairs for Women in Business, she plans to explore topics of professional and personal interest for Bay area professional women.

Eric Trabold

EricTrabbold_100x100

Cyber Security Industry Group Co-Chair

Vice President of Sales & Business Development at Avegant

eric.trabold@gmail.com

Eric Trabold is currently Vice President of Business Development for Avegant, a leader in retinal imaging technology for 2D, 3D, VR & AR displays where he is building the companies eCommerce and Retail business.

He formerly lead Sales & Business Development for Avira, a German-headquartered Security Software Company with over 100 million users, as well as for Nero, the worldwide leader in CD/DVD Burning and Multimedia Software.

Eric has a track record of helping European companies to understand, enter and win the North American Consumer Hardware and Software market in B2C and B2B. Leveraging his knowledge in technology & business, his strong industry network and passion for business growth he mentors several emerging companies to achieve market success.

Jennifer Vessels

JenniferVessel_100x100

Human Resources Industry Group
Co-Chair

CEO, Next Step

jvessels@nextstepgrowth.com

Jennifer Vessels, CEO of Next Step, leads a team of seasoned consultants who maximize clients’ revenues and profits through proven sales, marketing and management techniques. Her practical approaches have le to success for companies ranging from Cisco Systems to Palm and many SMB oorganizations in all indusries. Prior to founding Next Step in 1998, Jennifer was European Marketing Director for Ungermann-Bass, the built the European operation for Promptus Inc. and expanded Tandberg Telecom’s international presence including launch into the US.

Jennifer holds an MBA from San Jose State and a Masters of Occupational Psychology from the University of London, as well as being a Certified Management Consultant (CMC). Today, Jennifer is an active member of the Silicon Valley community. She is a Vistage certified speaker, and Board Vice President for Achievekids, as well as a member of NAWBO, WIC, IMC and numerous other community organizations. She is a frequently requested speaker by Silicon Valley Bank; Gartner Group: Rotary; Vistage; National Association Business Women Owners; Institute of Management Consultants; Public Relations Society of America and other industry groups.

Petra Vorsteher

Petra Vorsteher

Wireless / Mobile Industry Group
Co-Chair

Co-Founder & Executive Vice President Strategic Alliances
Smaato Inc.

petra@smaato.com

Petra has over 18 years of business development experience in the US and Europe. She was VP of Business Development and Strategic Alliances at Intershop Communications, Inc. with responsibility for all strategic, business and technical partnerships globally.

As founding member of Intershop, Petra was instrumental in growing the company from a start-up to a publicly listed company with a market cap of $12B and worldwide offices in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

She was largely responsible for Intershop’s $25M licensing deal with Deutsche Telekom and their subsequent investment in the company. Petra has formed partnerships with IBM, HP, Apple, Intel, SAP, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, eBay, Visa, FedEx, UPS and major telecommunication companies including AT & T, Sprint, Telstra, Hong Kong Telecom, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. Prior to Intershop she did market entry strategies for companies wanting to establish a presence in the US or Europe. She is a board member of Hamburg@work responsible for International alliances.

Petra was named Mobile Women to Watch 2010 by Mobile Marketer and Top Female Executive 2010 by Mobile Entertainment.

Uwe Wagner

UweWagner_100x100

GABA Director
Advisory Council Chair
Cyber Security Industry Group
Chair

Principal & Founder Tiburon Consulting LLC

uwe.wagner@sbcglobal.net

Uwe Wagner is the Principal and Founder at Tiburon Consulting LLC, a San Francisco Bay Area boutique consulting firm, dedicated to coaching the growth and success of European high-tech entrepreneurial ventures and university spin-off’s by connecting ideas, technology and people. I work with a network of industry experts, venture capitalists, private investors and technologists to provide insights about how to effectively grow high-tech ventures amidst dynamic market risks and challenges. Through my partner ecosystem I offer an excellent opportunity for my clients to network and learn about pivotal business issues, emerging industries and the latest technologies.