The first board meeting of 2014 was held at the Ambassador’s residence on March 11th. Ambassador Peter Taksoe-Jensen opened the board meeting and welcomed the new members of the board: Leslie McLaren, Roxul; Chris Hedquist, Novo Nordisk; Jeff Telep, King & Spalding; and Joseph McAndrew of Boeing and Sarah Howell of Grundfos who could not attend. Also present were Nils Grier, Co-chair Steve Williams, Treasurer Benjamin Walker and Executive Secretary Mary Paul Smith Jespersen.
The Executive Secretary presented the report reviewing for the new board members the goals accomplished in 2013. The goals included: outreach to add new members; establishing a Life Science Working group; reactivating the Maritime Working group now that Ida Bo Jørgensen has arrived to take her position as Maritime Attaché; continuing the active and dynamic Defense Working group led by Lt. Col. Per Lyse Rasmussen; working to establish other working groups on energy, finance and food and beverage; holding events like the Annual meeting with Bruce Stokes and the Ambassador talking about the TTIP negotiations; the June 2013 Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus event on the Hill with over 200 people enjoying Danish beer supplied by ADBC member Shelton Brothers and wine supplied by ADBC member Ampelos Cellars; establishing the Honorary Advisory Board led by Ambassador Laurie Fulton; defining relationship with Associated members in Denmark; greater collaboration with the Confederation of Danish Industries; starting a dialogue with Associated chambers in the US. With these goals largely accomplished, we can set new and even more challenging goals.
Benjamin Walker presented the financial report. Our financials are looking good with a 20% rise in membership fees.
The Ambassador suggested that he and Steve Williams discuss expanding the Advisory Board with Ambassador Fulton; hold another event for the Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus; work on reaching out to members representing districts with ADBC member companies; ask Ambassador Gifford to become an honorary member of the board and then move to the Honorary Advisory Board when he leaves Embassy Copenhagen.
It was also suggested that we reach out to the associated chambers to discuss greater engagement. Steve Williams suggested working with Embassy in Denmark to establish a Friends group in the Danish Parliament. The Ambassador suggested since there is no tradition in Denmark for such a group it might be more appropriate to establish a TransAtlantic “group”.
Ambassador asked for discussion at the table about how to better use the powerful board that we now have and the meeting was adjourned. The Board members joined their spouses for a delicious dinner cooked by the Ambassador’s award winning chef Lars Beese.