Networking: The American Chamber of Commerce marked two decades of bringing Luxembourg’s international business community together.
Photo: LaLa La Photo
The American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg (Amcham) celebrated twenty years in the Grand Duchy by hosting an anniversary dinner at the Domaine Thermal in Mondorf on Friday. Around 215 people enjoyed cocktails on the terrace before heading indoors for dinner.
Paul Schonenberg, Amcham chairman and CEO, opened the event with a rousing speech outlining the chamber’s history and thanking all present for their support. Twenty years ago, they were a bilateral chamber made up entirely of American companies. Following a process review, they became “a little bit more international” and adapted to the Luxembourg model that embraces diversity and inclusion--“which incidentally fits very well with Americans, because America’s a melting pot too.”
Since then, Amcham has grown into “the largest private chamber of commerce in Luxembourg with around three hundred and fifty members.” Schonenberg finished by saying: “It is not my chamber, it’s your chamber and the purpose of tonight is to say thank you.”
Guests were entertained by international magician David Goldrake and his partner, Viola, while Marco Boesen & Friends provided the music for the evening. Plenty were up and dancing before the main course arrived and all were in party mood.
“Amcham brings together many aspects of Luxembourg business,” commented Alison Shorter-Lawrence, the American embassy’s chargé d’affaires, “and gives everyone the opportunity to meet and promote American business in Luxembourg.” Sebastian Eberwein of Franklin Covey added “I’ve been a member for ten years now. We ran a one-day masterclass with them back in 2007 and have been working together ever since.”
British, Irish, Swedish, Luxembourger among nationalities
British ambassador to Luxembourg Alice Walpole said: “I’m really pleased that we have such a warm relationship because I value all that the different chambers of commerce bring to Luxembourg. Each has something slightly different to offer.”
“This is a great setting to look back over twenty years of growth,” remarked Geoff Thompson, editor of the Luxembourg Chronicle. Joe Huggard, chairman of the Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce agreed and added, “As a new chamber, we see Paul as setting the bar very high--a standard to which we all aspire.” Catharina Biver of Sparx Factory explained that, “as a business owner, I have to be very selective when it comes to where I spend my time. I prioritise Amcham for its mix of fun and firm focus on serious business issues.”
Pascale Petry, director of Lycée Michel Lucius, was also present: “They work with us to create opportunities for students, linking us with companies offering work placements. It’s really great for us.”
But the evening would not have been complete without acknowledging the role Schonenberg has played in Amcham’s success. Marios Paras, vice chairman of Amcham, made a brief speech in his honour, presenting a tie and placard from the team. “Amcham has come to where it is today, due mainly to Paul’s work,” he said. Many congratulations Amcham and here’s to a very successful future.