"Change your language and you change your thoughts" --Karl Albrecht, Founder of ALDI & Trader Joes supermarket chain
No matter whether you find yourself working in business, politics, engineering, design, science, education or any other field, it is impossible to be a “citizen” of just one culture while ignoring the rest of the world. Part and parcel of the paradigm of the 21- century work environment are not only skills such as adaptability to constantly changing technologies - one of the key elements of a successful career is also to speak more than one language and the ability to successfully navigate in a multicultural society, in a global economy across different cultures and in a world in which all countries and its citizens are growing increasingly dependent on each other.
The German Studies Program at USC has invited experts from the German-speaking business world to talk about their experience as “bi-culturally fluent” members of the global economy. Leaders from companies such as Mercedes Benz, Bosch-Siemens Home Appliances, EuroVat Refund and the chairman of the German American Business Association in Southern California will not only share their insights with you but are also available for breakout sessions focusing on particular areas of interest (creative design & engineering and business) and Q&A.
EVENT LOCATION: University Club, Sriptorium Room
EVENT DATE: Thursday, November 6, 2014
Event Organizer & Moderator: Dr. Britta Bothe, USC German Studies Coordinator
5:00 PM Introductory Remarks: Dr. Bernd Fischer, Consul General of Germany
5:15 PM Panel
6:15 PM Breakout sessions:
1. Engineering and Creative Design
Session facilitator: Stefan Zeltner, 2014 USC Alumnus, Computer Science, KISS Institute for
Speaker: Christopher Rhoades, Chief Designer, Mercedes Benz Advanced Design Center
Session facilitator: Dr. Marion Philadelphia, USC Director for the Center of Management
Communications, Marshall Business School
Philip Walter, Senior Vice President, BSH
Wolfram Doelker, Chairman, GABA
Daniela Treptow, International Market Communications Analyst, Euro VAT Refund
7:15 PM SC Racing Team presentation, Club President: Sean Summers
7:30 PM Reception
Dr. Bernd Fischer is currently the Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany in Southern California and the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah. In his role as Consul General in Los Angeles he seeks to foster and deepen German-American relations and has lectured at prestigious universities on Germany’s reunification and the important role it plays in the European Union.
He holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from Heidelberg University and was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Arizona. Key posts of his Foreign Service career include German Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Head of the Economic Department at the Embassy in Washington, Deputy Ambassador in Tokyo and he served in the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York as well as various positions at the German Foreign Office headquarters in Bonn and Berlin.
Dr. Fischer also co-authored the German book “Zwischen Wilhelmstrasse und Bellevue: 500 Jahre Diplomatie in Berlin” in 1998, an overview of the history of foreign diplomacy in Berlin.
Mr. 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 was offered and accepted an opportunity to be one of the two founding automotive designers in the newly formed Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Sindelfingen, 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 noticeable 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, but then relocated to Carlsbad in 2008. He has lead 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.
Philipp Walter is a Senior Vice President at Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances in Irvine. Mr. Walter is since 2010 responsible for product development, manufacturing and marketing of dishwashers in North America. 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 after 3 years he got promoted to the head of the international marketing team for vacuum cleaners and irons. In this time he developed more than 20 new products, several products have received the iF design award and were recognized globally by several 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.
With 25 years experience in taking businesses global, his consulting practice focuses on start ups and 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 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 the German American Business Association of Southern California, Chairman of an Industry Association of Plastic Manufacturers in Germany, the Board of German American Schools, and the International Advisory Council of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.
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 conductingbusiness 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 internationalorganizations 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.
The first 80 students/faculty to RSVP will be able to attend the event and a networking reception after the talks. Please, complete the RSVP form upon which you will receive an e-mail confirmation.