On March 19th, Danish Ambassador Lars Lose hosted ADBC’s annual board meeting.
It has been a bit more than a year since the ADBC’s last board meeting in December 2016, so many activities were on the agenda for evaluation.
Steve Williams, Co-Chair of ADBC and President & CEO of Terma North America Inc. elaborates on the current shape and relevance of ADBC:
“As a forum that promotes open trade, the Council continues to be well supported, from companies across Denmark and the U.S. Together with the Danish Embassy, the ADBC is a constructive voice and advocate for close mutually beneficial bilateral and industrial ties. Multi-sector Danish-American collaboration remains strong, with the U.S. as one of Denmark’s top trading and investment partners, from agricultural, energy, pharma and transport sectors to defense, transportation and high-tech industries.”
Here are some of the highlights from the board meeting:
# Bigger and Better events
In 2017, the Embassy and ADBC have together invested heavily in positioning Denmark and Danish companies towards U.S. stakeholders and creating partnerships between Danish and U.S. companies. Two major events have proven to be especially successful networking opportunities for ADBC members: The Danish Constitution Day on July 5th and the Christmas Cocktail Party in December (over 400 guests visiting each of these events). The Danish Ambassador and the ADBC board members agreed that these events were of significant value and decided to keep these as foundation events for the year ahead.
# Striking the right balance in ADBC’s Financials
From ADBC’s Treasurer, Benjamin Walker, the message was that we have now reached a good balance between ADBC’s income and ADBC’s activity level.
In 2017, ADBC spend more than its income, but invested in internal as well as external marketing material – a lot of good stuff we did not have before, which we can reuse for future events.
In 2018, we have budgeted more conservatively and established a “Restricted Income Fund.” We expect, however, to maintain the same level and quality of ADBC activities due to an agreement with the Danish Embassy about a flexible arrangement of secretariat assistance and an expectation of more members joining ADBC in 2018.
# High Value for ADBC Membership
ADBC board members were satisfied with the range of ADBC activities looking back at 2017 and into 2018 (see 2018 calendar in this newsletter). The ADBC budget allocates funds for four main events over one year, two of which are the Constitution Day and Christmas Party and the other two events may vary. Apart from that, the Danish Embassy invites ADBC members to a whole range of other Embassy activities when relevant. Many of these are sector specific events, mostly within the Danish Trade Council’s industry focus areas: Energy, Environment, Architecture, Defense, Health, Food & Agriculture, and IT. The Danish Embassy will also continue to invite ADBC members to Danish Ministers’ delegation visits in the U.S. and cultural events.
It is the clear view amongst the ADBC board that ADBC members get high value for their membership, and it was requested that the Embassy share an activity calendar with events relevant to ADBC members regularly.
# Recruiting new members
The Ambassador reported that in 2016, ADBC grew 40% and in 2017, the ADBC Secretariat has focused on consolidation and creating value for members. The ADBC board discussed the opportunity of attracting new members to ADBC in 2018. The opportunity for ADBC members to network with each other is invaluable, and the ADBC board welcomes the idea of looking for new members to join ADBC in 2018 with a particular focus on attracting more American companies to the network. These initiatives will be key areas of focus for the Secretariat in 2018.