Written by Nicole Prybula
In January 2015, the GACC South announced the new Tennessee Chapter Director, Heiko Juerges, President & CEO, H&D Corporation. With extensive experience in German-American business relations and a contagious enthusiasm for the Tennessee region, Heiko is keen on presenting a united and active chamber for the state’s business community.
Heiko always dreamed of living in the U.S., and through determination, dedication and patience, he made that dream a reality.
Heiko is a ‘German Yankee’, who grew up hearing thrilling stories of his Grandmother’s experience living in the U.S., triggering his strong desire to also live here one day. After spending eight years in the German Military, where Heiko embodied strong leadership skills, he moved to New York City to pursue his dream and start his own web design company, E.U.R.O.S.A. Technologies, Inc. Following the downfall of the U.S. economy at the beginning of the century, Heiko returned to Germany, but left with a plan to come back soon.
Back in Germany, he joined H&D International GmbH. Although the company did not have any expansions outside of Germany at the time, through hard work and perseverance, Heiko quickly moved his way to the top to expand H&D International GmbH to the U.S.
Since 2010, Heiko has served as President & CEO of H&D Corporation in Chattanooga, TN, expanding U.S. operations in the past five years from only two to 130 employees.
Tennessee; the ‘Silicon Valley’ of the Southeast
After living in Tennessee for five years, Heiko has developed an evident passion for the region and the many opportunities it brings.
Through its innovative, reliable and affordable networks, Tennessee has become a hub for high-tech companies in the South, with Chattanooga often dubbed the next Silicon Valley. In addition, through offering strong support programs and beneficial incentives for entrepreneurs, the state has quickly become an attractive region for startup companies.
With a positive economic outlook for 2015 and nearly 800 foreign subsidiaries representing 34 countries throughout the state – about 100 of which are German companies – Tennessee boasts a growing international business community. Now more than ever, the Tennessee Chapter of the GACC South can provide vital support and connections for the German-American business community in the region.
2015 Goals for the Tennessee Chapter
The new Director, Heiko, looks forward to invigorating the Tennessee Chapter with a united leadership committee and an active presence across the region.
By working with multiple partners, including the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, both Heiko and the leadership committee hope to drastically increase the footprint of German companies in Tennessee. Moreover, through focusing Chapter activities on business and economy, the Chapter is eager to become the ‘go-to’ source for German companies interested in entering the growing Tennessee market.
In 2015, the Chapter will bring various informative and valuable business seminars, factory tours and networking events to the region. Sign up for the chapter newsletter here to stay updated and make sure you do not miss any of the upcoming activities.