The German American Chamber of Commerce® of the Midwest (GACC Midwest/ AHK USA-Chicago), headquartered in Chicago with a branch office in Detroit, was founded in 1963. GACC Midwest is an integral part of the network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs) with 140 offices in 92 countries around the globe. Our continuing mission is to promote and assist in the expansion of bilateral trade and investment between Germany and the United States, especially the Midwest. Our organization combines elements of a trade commission, a membership association, and a professional consultancy-quite a unique concept in international trade promotion.

GACC Midwest is seeking a full-time Manager, Government Projects and Trade Missions who will oversee and manage programs, delegations, and initiatives, many of which include some form of government financing. The Manager, Government Projects and Trade Missions will be a key part of a small, dynamic, and hard-working team. Candidates with less or significantly more experience than the listed range are still encouraged to apply as there may be flexibility to amend the seniority level and associated responsibilities of the role. Please note that this position will be based out of our office in downtown Chicago and is not a telecommuting opportunity.

Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Develop proposals and associated contracts for projects organized in cooperation with key partners, including German Ministries, dem Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), Germany Trade & Invest, other trade and economic development agencies, industry associations and chambers (“key partners”). This includes:

- Preparation of Exportinitiative and Markterschließung projects as well as Trade Missions for individual German States and industry sectors.

- Draft proposals (primarily in German) in accordance with the specific guidelines of key partner(s).

- Prepare project budgets with multiple currencies as well as timetables for project deliverables.

- Research industry information to identify and justify suitable project topics.

- Liaise with key partners to identify opportunities and new concepts for projects.

  • In close coordination with Directors and other colleagues, lead efforts of assigned project team to organize and execute all phases of trade missions as well as Geschäftsanbahung and Markterschließung projects. This includes:

- Ensure that all requirements and regulations are adhered to throughout the project cycle.

- Oversee project budgets and time expenditures and ensure that key project objectives and financial outcomes are met.

- Maintain appropriate documentation (primarily in German) per established guidelines, both internal and those of key project partners.

- Conduct thorough market research for each topic/industry focus, including identifying key market players, trends, and emerging technologies in both the US and Germany. Synthesize gathered information into market research reports per company standards.

- Cooperate with external partners to acquire participants as appropriate.

- Arrange business meetings between trade mission participants and target business partners using direct outreach via email and phone.

- Maintain and document communication with all internal and external project stakeholders including project reporting with respect to project guidelines and German subsidy law.

- Coordinate logistics such as travel arrangements as appropriate.

- Prepare formal written reports summarizing project execution deliverables and outcomes.

  • For trade missions and other projects that have an event component (such as a business conference or networking reception), support additional tasks such as:

- Identify current topics of interest within the industry field.

- Research suitable speakers and invite them to participate.

- Develop targeted promotional campaigns in close coordination with internal PR & Marketing department, including drafting flyers, website text, mailing campaigns and targeted social media posts.

- Acquire sponsors for events as appropriate.

- Work closely with internal Events team on logistical matters such as venue, catering, A/V, etc. and ensure that expenditures are within program budget.

  • Manage, motivate, train and mentor team members.
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with key partners, multipliers, and clients to support the development of new initiatives and projects.
  • Advise and support companies on their US market entry by researching potential markets, sales channels, and business partners.
  • Answer general trade inquiries and support the ongoing activities of GACC Midwest, including participating in GACC Midwest member events, cross-selling services, supporting other projects as needed, etc.
  • Identify and engage prospective customers and project participants using business directories, following up on leads from existing clients, participating in organizations and associations, and attending relevant trade shows and conferences.
  • Keep informed of policy issues and technological developments in key industries and strive to continually increase knowledge base.
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with key partners and clients.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline is required
  • 3-4 years of work experience in a related field
  • Previous experience supporting government-financed projects, with knowledge of proper documentation and reporting requirements
  • Strong German and English language skills, both written and verbal
  • Excellent communication skills; comfortability with public speaking would be advantageous
  • Experience working on multiple projects concurrently
  • Experience with market research strongly preferred
  • Excellent attention to detail, thoroughness and a high level of accountability are required
  • Self-motivated and highly dedicated; the ideal candidate will have the mindset of noticing what should be done and taking appropriate steps to ensure successful completion
  • Strong interest in learning about new technologies
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Ability to build and maintain working relationships in the AHK network and with key industry partners, multipliers & clients
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, including Outlook, Word, Excel & PowerPoint
  • Experience in one or more industry sectors that are of particular importance to GACC Midwest strongly desired, including machinery and automation, automotive, renewable energy/energy efficiency technologies, food and beverage, or medical devices
  • Experience with both German and American business environments strongly desired
  • Periodic overnight travel in the US and Germany is required

Benefits:

  • Full-time employment
  • Health, Dental, Vision, Short Term & Long Term Disability, Life Insurance
  • 401K Matching
  • 20 days paid vacation
  • Position is available immediately.