Written by: Nicole Prybula
The GACC South celebrated a monumental milestone as we hosted the 20th Annual Gala on October 24th, 2015.
Uniting 530 elite guests at the exquisite InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, the 20th Annual Gala paid tribute to the achievements of the German-American business community of the Southern U.S. Established in 1995, it is an honor to continue this celebration 20 years later, and to witness our strong transatlantic partnership continuing to grow today.
A delightful ambiance consumed the foyer of the Grand Ballroom, as guests entered the Gala in sophisticated gowns and tuxedos, and welcomed both new and old friends with toasts of German wine & Warsteiner beer.
Guests glanced at the array of Silent Auction items, presented their best pose at the Red Carpet Backdrop, sponsored by Mississippi Development Authority, and slowly made their way into the Grand Ballroom, where beautiful gold centerpieces and sapphire lighting set an elegant mood.
President & CEO of the GACC South, Martina Stellmaszek, welcomed the room and acknowledged the dedicated support of our community and strengthening economic cooperation across the globe. Chairman of the German American Chambers of Commerce and Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGCO Corporation, Martin Richenhagen, also recognized the cooperation of our members, not only across the South, but across the entire U.S. as well.
The GACC South was honored to welcome Dr. Peter Wittig, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States, to the stage, who delivered inspiring words honoring the transatlantic partnership and the continued success it has brought to our community.
Following a delicious meal, a special salsa dance performance kicked off the rest of the evening with excitement. Inspired by the performers’ swaying hips, guests dashed to the dance floor immediately following the start of the band The Celebrity All-Stars’ sensational performance. The dance floor remained packed for the rest of the evening.
The highly anticipated Silent Auction added even more excitement, as guests continued submitting bids until the last second before closing. The Silent Auction showcased over 100 unique items, including an Autographed Record Album by The Beatles, a Michael Jordan Signed Sports Frame and an electric guitar signed by Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santanta and Slash, amongst other Rock n’ Roll guitar legends.
The Silent Auction’s Charity Partner, SOS Children’s Villages USA received great support in their dedication to helping orphaned and abandoned children finding homes, thanks to the contributions of our guests and the kind donations from our network.
The excitement of the evening lasted long past midnight at the “After-Party”, where guests posed with silly props in the Photobooth and danced to German Schlagermusic in front of the DJ. Thank you to Western Union Business Solutions for sponsoring this year’s “After-Party”!
The success of this year’s Gala would not have been possible without the kind contributions of our members and friends. Thank you also to our VIP Reception sponsor, DEKRA North America, Inc., our beer sponsor, Warsteiner, our logistics partner, IFF, Inc., our Official Gift Sponsor, MostlyChocolate.com, the Audi of America car displays, and to all of our Table Sponsors and Silent Auction donators.
It was certainly a night to remember. The 21st Annual Gala will take place on November 12th, 2016 at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta.
The complete picture gallery of this year’s annual Gala can be found here.