Top Image

GABA Southern California – Board of Directors

Wolfram Doelker


Michael Metzger


Christoph Kirchner


Members at Large
Michael Boehm
Sven Hackmann
Dan Hoover
Bernd Steinebrunner
Daniela Treptow


Co-Chairs Clean-Tech and Sustainability
Michael Boehm
Lex Anselm


Co-Chairs Media & Entertainment
Petra Korn
Bernd Stephan


Event Manager
Kathrin Turner

Mailing Address:
1048 Irvine Avenue, # 418
Newport Beach, CA 92660Email:
Tel: (949) 266-5829
Fax: (949) 266-5829


Join the GABA Southern California mailing list for event invitations and update:


Board of Directors – GABA Southern California Chapter

Wolfram Doelker, Chairman
President and CEO of WDE International Inc, Los Angeles

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 practice focuses on market entry into 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 privatlely held entity from $80 Mio in 4 countries to a $400 Mio in 19 countries. During his tenure based out of Europe and 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. He started his career as certified banker in the financial industry 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.



Michael Metzger, Vice-Chair
Principal at Covert & Co.

Covert & Co. ( is a premium specialty investment bank providing M&A and financing services to Internet, media and technology companies. Michael has over 15 years of investment banking and operating experience in the digital media, Internet, mobile and technology sectors. Previously, Michael was a Vice President at New Century Capital Partners and advised Yahoo’s Mobile Marketing and Advertising group. Michael has also held senior management and engineering positions at AT&T, IBM and Mindspeed.

He holds 5 patents in the field of Communications, and he also serves as a Board Director of the German American Business Association (GABA) and as a Vice-Chair of the Southern California Chapter.

Michael was raised in Stuttgart, Germany and received an MSEE from University of Ulm, Germany and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Anderson School of Management.



Dr. Christoph Kirchner, Treasurer
Chief Financial Officer of BI Nutraceuticals, Inc.

BI Nutraceuticals, Inc. in Long Beach, California, a subsidiary of the Zuellig Group, headquartered in Hong Kong. BI Nutraceuticals, Inc. is a manufacturer of botanical powders and extracts for dietary supplements and nutritional ingredients. Christoph manages the financial and administrative functions across locations in North America and China and serves as a Director and Officer of BI Nutraceuticals, Inc. and several affiliated companies.

Previously, Christoph was involved in developing the cosmetics business for the Henkel Group, a Fortune 500 company based in Duesseldorf, Germany. As the Controller of Hans Schwarzkopf GmbH, he participated in the company’s sale and integration into Henkel KGaA, he managed mergers and acquisitions of cosmetic businesses in Russia, Latin America, Greece and the United States, he developed joint ventures and export businesses in Eastern Europe, and he managed the portfolio of affiliated companies. Additionally, he served as a Financial Executive of companies in Germany, France, Greece and in the United States.

Christoph holds a Ph.D. and an MBA from University of Hamburg, Germany. As Assistant Professor of Business, he taught Accounting and Finance at the University of Southern Indiana. He is fluent in German, English and French.



Members at Large

MichaelBoehm_70x90Michael Boehm
Founder, Advanced Sustainability Institute

Founder of the Advanced Sustainability Institute, dedicated to though leadership, demonstration, and entrepreneurship in new energy and cleantech, Mr. Boehm is an entrepreneur, consultant and educator in the sustainability space.

He serves as Industry Liaison for UCLA’s Smartgrid Energy Research Center and has assisted AeroVironment, Trexa, LADWP, GenOn, LAANE, SaveMe, Sempra and Toyota in their new energy and Electric Vehicle endeavors.

He also served as CEO of Solar Energy Development International – an early developer of solar concentrator technology.

Educated at Northwestern University and Stanford Graduate School of Business, Michael has taught sustainability in programs at Darden School of Business, UCLA, and the University of Santa Clara. Mr. Boehm serves as board member and chairman of the German American Business Association, Southern California, CleanTech and Sustainability Industry Group, co-chair of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation E-Mobility Task Force, and is an advisor to LA’s Clean Tech incubator.



Sven Hackmann is Vice President, US Cities Initiative at Siemens One, a Division of Siemens Corporation. Sven is currently responsible for the roll out and ongoing success of the Siemens Cities Initiative for the United States.

Siemens Corporation has 405,000 employees at 1,640 locations around the globe, including 176 R&D facilities. By leveraging the breadth of Siemens portfolio of innovations and technologies, the Siemens One team provides customers in the private and public sector with tailored solutions that improve their performance and bolster their competitive position in the marketplace.

Since joining Siemens in 2001, and Sven has served as Regional Vice President for Southern California and Nevada in the Healthcare Sector, and previously as Business Development Manager for Siemens Business Solutions focused on development of long-term strategic partnerships with medical organizations.

He is a board member of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and he serves on the Board of Adviser at the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy, Center for Sustainable Cities.  Sven is an alumni of the University of California, Los Angles (UCLA).




Dan Hoover is Founder and President of Estey-Hoover Inc., an Advertising and PR Agency that provides domestic and international strategic planning, media buying, creative ads, brochures, web design, email campaigns and other marketing services targeted at consumer and business to business customers in a wide variety of industries. Estey-Hoover is a longtime member of the prestigious American Association of Advertising Agency (AAAA). Prior to founding Estey-Hoover in 1975, Mr. Hoover was the Executive Vice President of Hoover Communications Group and President of Innovative Medical Marketing Systems.

Dan Hoover has received hundreds of creative and marketing awards over his long career. He has served on a number of corporate and non-profit Boards and been a marketing communications volunteer for numerous organizations, including the Partnership For A Drug Free America, Office of Protocol (Economic Development Council), Governmental Affairs Forum (Executive Council of Orange County), Association for Corporate Growth, United Way, Red Cross, American Cancer Society & others. He has received honored recognitions from the Governor of California, and is listed in Who’s Who in California, the West and in Advertising.

Dan Hoover is a native of California, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California State University Northridge, is married (nearly 40 years) to his wife, Joan, and has one son, Tim.

Estey-Hoover Advertising & PR can be visited at 


back to top


Bernd Steinebrunner
Financial Planner
Financial Services Representative
Investment Advisor Representative
CA Insurance License: 0F17938

Bernd inspires his clients to move from uncertainty to peace of mind by consolidating, coordinating, and simplifying their financial affairs.  His clients achieve balance in their lives as they define and prioritize their financial goals.

Bernd’s team takes an individual and comprehensive look at your current financial situation, and then implements a proactive approach to secure your future financial goals. He aims to help you build financial freedom. The process begins with recognizing that he is here to help you attain your goals and dreams and guide you through life’s uncertainties. He delivers his service with careful preparation and chooses the best portfolio of financial tools to help you along the way.

Bernd is a member of King of Glory Lutheran Church and chairs the church’s Endowment Committee, is member of the Board of Trustees at Family Promise Orange County, and is active in the UCLA Anderson Alumni Association, Orange County.  After spending 18 years in the corporate world of the technology industry, Bernd chose to change his career and began his financial planning practice in 2006 and achieved his Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation in 2010. A graduate of the Fachhochschule Ulm in Germany and an Executive Management Certificate holder from UCLA Anderson, he is also a member of prestigious organizations such as the Financial Planning Association.

Bernd grew up in Germany, has been married since 1992 and has 3 children.  He enjoys spending time with his family, going skiing, jogging, biking, traveling, and photography.


5 Park Plaza – Suite 1800, Irvine, CA 92614
Tel: 949.471.5827 | Fax: 949.851.6323

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), 1095 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10036.Securities and Investment Advisory Services are offered by MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI), a broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and a Registered Investment Adviser.  MLIC and MSI are MetLife, Inc. companies. L0114357301[exp0116][CA]

back to top

Daniela Treptow, Director of Seminars and Stammtisch

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 also an active member of various other international organizations and associations, including the British American Business Council (BABC), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA).

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.



Industry Group Chairs – GABA Southern California Chapter

Clean-Tech and Sustainability

Michael Boehm, Chair
COO at Haig Barrett, a management consulting firm, and Partner in HB/Sustain, Haig Barrett’s sustainability practice.

With over two decades of international business experience as a technology entrepreneur, Michael understands the real pressures organizations and their decision makers face on a daily basis. He has co-designed the Haig Barrett Sustainovation sustainability strategic framework to create growth opportunities, build business, and find new streams of profitability.

Educated at Northwestern and Stanford Graduate School of Business, Michael combines an understanding of the behavior of organizations and the individuals who make them up and the technical systems they use to deliver service and value.

Michael is LEED AP and also certified in The Natural Step. Previous work experience included CEO of Solar start up SEDI, CTO of, and work on Sempra’s smart grid while VP at Proximetry.

Michael teaches classes in the Global Sustainability Certificate programs at the University of California (UCLA) and is a Co-Founder of the Advanced Sustainability Institute in Santa Monica. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and is both a student and lecturer on Taoist philosophy. He serves as the Clean Tech Chair for the German American Business Association in Southern California.


back to top

Lex Anselm, Co-Chair
Entrepreneur and Real Estate Consultant at the Beverly Hills branch of Rodeo Realty.

As certified negotiator successfully manages client projects in international business, residential, commercial and luxury real estate transactions with a passion for sustainable energy and “green” buildings.

As CSO of Playfone, a global multimedia content provider, he established and managed new markets in the US, Canada, Germany, UK, Sweden and the Baltic countries. As Founder and Director of successfully established a social networking platform.

In his earlier career as a professional athlete, he won the German Championships as a break dancer, the 2000 MTV talent awards out of 3000 competitors, 5th place in the 1996 World Championships in BMX freestyle and holds a Karate brown belt.

He studied business, commercial and real estate law in L.A., engineering in Karlsruhe, and holds a B.A. in International Business Administration of the European University in Hamburg, Germany.

Fluent in English, German and Russian and with a working knowledge in Italian and Dutch, he has lived in six countries, and worked and travelled in over 35 countries.


back to top


Media & Entertainment

Petra Korn, Co-Chair Media and Entertainment

Petra Korn is an attorney admitted to practice both in Germany and in California. In the past ten years 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 enjoys having her own practice since November 2009 (

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 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.

To best serve the needs of her clients, Petra maintains close relationships with, and associates with, a network of other attorneys and other professionals, like immigration lawyers and accountants.


back to top


Bernd Stephan, Co-Chair Media and Entertainment
President & CEP, Media Finance Group, LLC

Bernd Stephan is the founding principal of the Media Finance Group (MFG). MFG’s core services include financial and strategic advisory, international cross-border consulting services for companies based in the U.S. with investments in Germany and vice versa, film finance consulting and investment advisory services for investors who are interested in investing in the Media and Entertainment industry (  Bernd is an experienced finance executive with extensive U.S. and international experience in media and entertainment, corporate finance, operations, accounting, international tax consulting, start-up consulting and international cross-border consulting. He has tremendous expertise related to the media and entertainment industry and has a long track record of securing financing.

Before founding MFG, he served as CFO of The Film Department where he led the company’s IPO process and was the Controller of the Yari Film Group.  He oversaw the financing of such films as Law Abiding Citizen, Academy Award Winner Crash, Hostage, Illusionist, Hoax, Painted Veil, Prime, Matador, The Rebound, A Little Bit of Heaven, Accidental Husband, Narc and many more. He started his career in the accounting industry and worked in several firms in Germany and New York.  He is a member of the Gemeinschaft zur Förderung des deutschen Films in Los Angeles (chaired by Dr. Bernd Fischer, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany) and of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA). He holds a Masters of Accounting from the Corporate State University of Baden Wuerttemberg in Germany and is a licensed CPA.

back to top


 Event Manager

Kathrin Turner has been Co-Owner, Art Director and the creative force behind a global gourmet food company, a global Omega 3 distributing multi level marketing company and an upscale Southern California restaurant since 1997.

With her experience in event management, international trade show events, private upscale dinner events, menu planning, marketing and design, she has now joined GABA as Event Manager for Southern California. Her diversified creative and managerial skills have their source in Fashion & Costume Design.

A native of Germany, she graduated as a professional tailor and earned her Masters of Fashion Design from the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany.