Dear SABC Members & Friends,

The Swiss American Business Council presents its Winter 2016 newsletter for its members and friends. SABC members can submit contributions for future newsletters to:

In this issue we feature contributions from Sam Burckhardt, ETH Zürich MBA, Swiss Center of North America, AFEX, Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors AG, Furnishings + Accessories LLC, Hotels of Switzerland, UBS, GF Machining Solutions and Hegel Logistic LLC.
Platinum Member 

Gold Member

Silver Member 

Welcome New SABC Corporate Members 

We welcome Bühler Inc. as our new SABC Corporate Member and its president René Steiner. Bühler is the global technology partner for efficient production systems, engineering solutions and associated services in the food processing industry, chemical process engineering and die casting. Bühler has locations in MN and also in MI as BuhlerPrince, Inc. Bühler AG is the parent company headquartered in Uzwil, Switzerland.

We welcome AFEX as our new SABC Corporate Member with Portfolio Manager, Angie Kappel, CTP. Please find below more information about AFEX in their news item.
SABC's Annual Fundraiser and Christmas Dinner 2015
On December 2nd, 2015, the SABC hosted its traditional SABC Christmas Dinner and Fundraiser at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. As always, this event was a wonderful way to network with leading Swiss companies and personalities in the Chicagoland and Midwest region. Thanks to our event sponsors and donors for the silent auction the event was a huge success. Entertainment was provided by the Sam Moesching Jazz Trio. 
Special Luncheon with US Ambassador to Switzerland
SABC, the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago and the Illinois District Export Council were proud to welcome to Chicago's Willis Tower the Honorable Suzan LeVine, United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Mrs. LeVine gave an impressive presentation on growing our economic ties, how we are doing and how you can benefit. The event had a fantastic turnout and was a great success.
SABC Annual Meeting 2016 
Graciously hosted by our Member
GF Machining Solutions LLC      
at 560 Bond Street, Lincolnshire IL, 60069Wednesday, March 16th
6:00 – 8:30 pm with a reception followed by a light dinner.

Our host and member GF Machining Solutions LLC ( is the world’s leading provider of machines, automation solutions and services to the tool and mold making industry and to manufacturers of precision components. Director of Business Development Gisbert Ledvon will be our host and has also offered to provide a tour of the facility.
During the evening, the membership will also be asked to vote on the 2016 Board of Directors, a list of which will be sent out very shortly.

Upcoming SABC Directory 2016 - 2017
We are preparing the new edition of the SABC Business Directory of the US Midwest, the leading resource of Swiss business interests in the Chicagoland area (see current edition at ). The new SABC Directory is planned to be released end of April 2016.
Vote for Sam Burckhardt as Switzerland's best Jazz Band 2016.

I have the great privilege and pleasure to be among five finalist bands nominated for the Swiss Jazz Award 2016. This came, in no small part, on the strength of our latest CD "Fly Over", which you can check out and/or order by clicking the previous link, or download at this link. The award is determined by popular vote, open to everyone, where you can express your preference of one of the five bands.

If you haven't yet voted, I would appreciate your vote. Click this link and scroll down to "Vote online here" and cast your vote. Voting is open and ends on March 4, 2016. The more votes I get, the better my chance to be among the three finalists, who will compete at the Jazz Festival in Ascona, Switzerland, at the end of June.

I thank you for taking the time to cast your vote, or for having done so, already.

Best wishes, Sam

You are an ambitious manager in mid-career wondering what the next step will be.
You want to prepare for the challenges of the future in our globalized, technically-advancing world.
Your company wants you to update your knowledge or take on a bigger role in Global Operations.
There are these and many other compelling reasons to consider an MBA from a world-class institution like the ETH in Zurich.
Besides earning a degree from one of the world's leading universities, you gain a truly global perspective, with invaluable insider knowledge of the world’s key markets.
In addition to this, you will complete a Master Thesis which applies what you learned in class to solve a business problem. This delivers value directly to your employer.
Join a small class of talented, highly-motivated peers who work closely with the world’s best professors, and grow your network for years to come.
Your degree will be recognized across industry and around the world.
Lean more about the Executive MBA in Supply Chain Management at

The art of Swiss Flag Throwing—Fahnenschwingen—will be taught to a new generation of young people.
The Swiss Center of North America is pleased to announce 12 one-hour Fahnenschwingen classes March through May in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

Damion Babler will teach the classes and plans to throw at events like the New Glarus Mannerchor Volkfest celebration. Babler is a member of the New Glarus Jodlerklub and has learned many of the 50 sanctioned moves in Swiss Flag Throwing.

The Swiss Center of North America is sponsoring Fahnenschwingen through a generous grant from the New Glarus Community Foundation which allowed the Swiss Center to purchase 10 authentic throwing flags from Switzerland for $300 per flag and stick.

The Swiss Center, which is the only national Swiss heritage and cultural center, works to preserve Swiss culture, heritage and roots. Contact President Beth Zurbuchen for more information at

AFEX has been a trusted global payment and risk management partner to businesses trading internationally since 1979. Offering a comprehensive range of global payment and foreign exchange services through designated relationship managers, AFEX can handle every aspect of a client’s foreign payment needs, from risk consultation to transaction execution.

The company currently serves over 25,000 companies worldwide with services to fit their specific needs from multiple locations across the US, Canada, Asia Pacific and Europe, including an office in Zurich.

AFEX’s General Manager for the Americas, Christian Spaltenstein, himself a Swiss national, explains why managing payments and currency exposure should be high on the list of priorities for SABC members:

“It’s never been easier for businesses to access the global marketplace; advances in global connectedness and new payments technologies are seeing to that. Exports from Switzerland to the US increased by 6% to reach record levels in 2015, for example. Markets are extremely volatile, however, driven by economic uncertainty and increasing intervention by central banks. When the SNB removed its peg to the Euro last year the franc quickly strengthened from 1.01 to 85 cents against the dollar which hit some exporters very hard.”

To learn more about our tailored international payment solutions, which enhance business opportunities between Swiss and American companies, please call our team of experts in our Chicago office on: +1 312 920 6800 or visit

“Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the world’s capital of Private Banking, Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors AG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the widely respected Vontobel, family-owned since 1924. Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors AG is dedicated to the needs of US investors. With significant international investment experience, we are able to provide our clients with internationally diversified wealth management solutions, multi-currency capabilities and custody of their assets in Switzerland.
In 2016 we will be launching new investment solutions focusing on Swiss and German equities only (small, mid and large cap). These solutions offer US investors the opportunity to benefit from exposure to certain equities infrequently advised on by US-based investment managers. Exposure to these “below-the-radar” equities can provide additional diversification and an opportunity for differentiated returns.
The Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors investment team has a wealth of global experience. In terms of Swiss & European equities, we possess a unique perspective relative to other US Registered Investment Advisors because we live and work in Switzerland, surrounded by the companies and industries that comprise our investment universe.
We rely on relationships with Swiss brokerage houses and research firms, information in the local press, and our extensive network to augment our analysis. Our parent company’s resources supplement this uncommon access yet allow us to remain nimble as a smaller and independent organization.”

Contact: Thomas Fritz, CAIA, Wealth Management Advisor, Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors AG, Tödistrasse 17, CH-8022 Zürich, Switzerland; Phone: +41 44 287 81 92, Cell: +41 79 919 95 57 and +1 917 865 84 75 (only during US travels); E-mail:
   Furnishings + Accessories                                 
A family room and kitchen in a double height space, provides a gracious setting for gatherings and entertaining.When relocating corporate offices to Chicago, or considering appropriate accommodations for executives, Furnishings + Accessories, together with our specialty consultants, can provide architectural and interior design services for discerning commercial and residential clients.
We will guide you through the design process, acting as editors and advocates, offering distinct options, to assist you in realizing living and working environs that reflect your personal and cultural predilections.
F+A is equally skilled with contemporary, transitional or traditional styles. We offer full service design, procurement services, and the installation of furnishings, art, antiques, and accessories.
Aligning fiscal realities with allocated assets, our attentions to detail, quality and client service are exemplary. English, Spanish, German and Mandarin, are familiar to the practice.
Founded and headed by Kathleen Hess, a licensed architect and interior designer in Illinois, her experience includes design of fortune 500 corporate offices, museums, law firms and private residences in the North Chicago suburbs and downtown Chicago.

Hotels of Switzerland – Our North American sales office has over thirty five years experience in the meeting and incentive industry. We offer the finest in Swiss hospitality for top level incentive programs for such clients as ED Jones. ED Jones selected Switzerland six times within eight years and gave Badrutt's Palace their highest rating ever recorded. Our hotels often make the top ten in the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List and are located in a variety of settings, such as the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken, and the Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne. Our close cooperation with Swiss International Airlines and local destination management companies allow us to provide you with complete tour elements including ground transportation and excursions. We work with a variety of budgets and can tailor an unforgettable meeting/incentive program for you at the top of Europe! For more information contact, p. 312.919.1500. And to see list of all our member properties and partners please visit our website:

Hotels of Switzerland                             Marius 312.919.1500    
1214 W. Elzdale                                        Werner   312.720.1500 
Chicago, IL 60660                               
Fax: 773/262-9323                            
Mobile:   Laura    773.330.8282      

Taking charge of an inheritance

Provided By:
Allen Carter, Executive Director

When a loved one dies, you may experience a flood of mixed emotions combined with the uncertainty of inheriting an estate. We want to help you understand, and take charge of this complex transition, so that you can move forward with more confidence and help ensure that you and your family are protected. 

The first pice of advice we give clients who have inherited significant wealth is “take your time.” Before making big decisions, you may need time to grieve for the loved one you have lost, sort through what has been left, and assess your own perspectives on investments, spending, and even gifting to others.

In the meantime, it’s best to park any liquid assets in safe, accessible vehicles like a bank account, money market fund or short-term certificates of deposit. if you inherit stocks, bonds or mutual funds, we can help you consider whether to simply maintain the existing investment plan until you’re ready to implement a plan of you own, or determine if there are certain assets that warrant more immediate attention based on your risk tolerance. And, if you receive real estate or other physical assets, make sure that the home or other property is maintained and kept secure until you decide what to do with it.

High-Performance CUT E 350 Wire EDM Streamlines Job Set-up

Part of GF Machining Solutions’ new CUT E Series of high-performance and high-productivity wire EDMs, the CUT E 350 incorporates a broad range of technologies to help manufacturers increase their flexibility and accelerate their time to market.

A new, large-touchscreen human-machine interface (HMI) makes operation intuitive and includes onboard Intelligent Collision Protection, built-in machining strategies and flexible job management. Information about geometries, machining processes and command programs is processed in a single file allowing jobs to be transferred among different machines in the CUT E Series, with the machines automatically managing all needed modifications. To further streamline job set-up, more than 10 automated measurement cycles are available to assist with workpiece preparation and the onboard AC CAM Easy allows an operator to prepare an ISO file and post-process it into a job during machining.

The compact CUT E 350 also features a modern Intelligent Power Generator (IPG) to further improve cutting speed, precision and surface quality. The machine can use dedicated wire for decreased part cost and increased throughput, and the POWER-EXPERT module automatically determines the optimal power to send through the wire, which is especially beneficial in stepped parts. The Corner Strategy module automatically adjusts parameters during changes in direction to produce sharp angels and small radii. These features combine to reduce cutting times by up to 18 percent as compared to standard machines.

To learn more about the CUT E 350 visit

Logistics for Medical Equipment – More than just “Get the job done”

OEM’s of medical equipment have long recognized that rigging and installing equipment is not their core business. Previously, OEM service departments were in charge of the delivery and installation of new medical equipment, along with troubleshooting and preventive maintenance. This resulted in installation completion delays due to service call interruptions and lack of routine in performing rigging and mechanical installations.

As expectations of skilled service technicians and pressure to reduce installation time continues to rise, OEM’s are increasingly outsourcing businesses who have trained technicians on staff and are experienced with shipping, rigging, installing, and servicing highly sensitive and valuable medical equipment. Offering project management, these companies work with hospitals, general contractors, and OEM project managers to define rigging paths and obtain rigging crews, forklifts and city permits.

Our technicians are specialized in certain systems (CT, MR, general XRAY, Cardiography, PET, SPECT) and complete installations every week. Given the high frequency of installation projects, Hegele Logistic’s factory trained technicians (many of whom have passed OEM audited internal training programs) have acquired a higher level of expertise and perform more efficiently than those who complete installations at a much lower rate.

Outsourcing installation to a service and logistics company is not always the cheapest solution. However, the end result is a fast, safe, and smooth installation process with minimal interruption to hospital operation and leads to higher customer satisfaction and faster revenue recognition of the OEM.  

For more information, visit

SABC Upcoming Events
March 8, 2016

SABC Member Event: Webinar: Greater Zurich Area - A Swiss Stepping Stone to Europe

March 16, 2016
SABC Annual Meeting 

SABC Upcoming Events
February 1, 2016

Growing Our Economic Ties
January 20, 2016
Global Trade Outlook 2016
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