Written by Cherlee Rohling
The GACC South welcomed its new Houston Office Managing Director, Dr. Andreas Schumacher, with excitement this past July. The office has been filled with positive energy since his arrival, and we have had enough time to get to know “Andy”. Originally born in Münster, Andy traveled to New York City as an intern for a Swiss Filtration company and 20 years later, he still calls the United States his home. Andy lived in Buffalo, New York for 16 of those years where he worked in strategic marketing and organizational development in both industry and as faculty at several colleges. As an enthusiast for change, Andy grew a passion for helping others as he entered into private practice as an Organizational Psychologist. In his free time, he enjoys partaking in Tai Kwon Do with his wife and son.
So what does this black belt German family man coming from New York think of Texas? I had some time to sit down with him and talk about his thoughts on the Lone Star State as well as his goals for the GACC South.
1st Impressions of Texas
Andy considers Houston an amazing city that outgrows itself. Unfortunately, with such rapid growth comes a heap of traffic. As Andy commutes from Katy, he enjoys an hour of stop and go traffic with some NPR. Believe it or not, Houston is more than just traffic. He appreciates the entrepreneurial spirit and people striving for autonomy here in Houston. He also mentioned that everyone is so welcoming and nice here, making the transition much easier. His family is happy and excited about life in Texas- it sure does beat having to shovel snow from October up until May (sometimes).
German vs. American Business Style
Having experience in both the German and American Business sector, I was slightly curious as to what he had to say about the difference between the two. “Americans like to take risks and are driven by innovation. In order to succeed in the U.S., you must be willing to try new things. It is easier to start a new path here- you can be an engineer one day and decide to become a doctor the next. That is completely normal and possible.” He believes that if you want something and you truly pursue it, then you will get it. It is also about who you know in American culture. Networking and building relationships are key and open up more opportunities for an individual. He also advises German businesses to be careful of the presumed similarities between the two cultures. It is a completely new experience coming into the American business environment.
Plans for the GACC South and the German American Community
“The GACC South is Houston’s ‘best kept secret’”. Andy acknowledges the great team that is here in the Houston Office and wants to raise awareness of the strong talent that the GACC South has to offer. He would like to see the GACC South more known as a formidable resource for business and increase our visibility in key industries. He would also like to help companies and individuals with effective cultural integration into the South, Texas, Houston. Having such extensive experience in both cultures, Andy contributes to the German American Community and is looking forward to bringing the two cultures closer together.
If you haven’t already met him, join our Oktoberfest on Wednesday, October 1, or any other upcoming event!