Düsseldorf

After my short trip to Frankfurt am Main, I visited Düsseldorf. I figured out the DB Bahn website, downloaded the iPhone app, and booked a ticket. I took a regional train from the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and then took one of the faster trains north to Düsseldorf where I met up with my friend Christian. It was nice to have a “host family” even though I was there for less than 24 hours.

2014_Germany Trip 21

What a cool city. I had never been and I’m ready to return. The city center is a vibrant core with a beautiful setting on the Rhine River. I arrived in the late morning on a Friday after the 2.5 hour trip. It was a big day for business in Düsseldorf because they were hosting the AmCham Germany annual meeting, which I attended. The afternoon session of the meeting featured a strong line up of speakers.

2014_Germany Trip 11

We first heard from Alan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company. Then we heard from Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman, and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. Both were entertaining and articulate speakers who were clearly comfortable with the mostly German audience. Mulally is American and prior to his Ford role, was a long time leader and career-long employee at Boeing.

2014_iPhone Photos 129

2014_Germany Trip 15

Ford has major operations in Germany and he had interesting thoughts about Euro-American free trade, energy policy, and manufacturing in the USA. He also spoke about Ford’s efforts at building sustainable vehicles that consume less fuel. I’ve followed his career since many of Horst Engineering’s products end up in Boeing aircraft. The crowd was a mix of German business people working for German firms, and a German business people working for US firms with a major presence in Germany. Most of the member companies are large global enterprises, so Ford and Dow were good picks.

2014_Germany Trip 12

2014_Germany Trip 32

Liveris has spent his entire career at Dow, rising through the ranks to lead one of the world’s largest chemical producers. He is a passionate Australian, who has spent decades based in the US, but traveling the world. Like Ford, Dow has a major presence in Germany and depends on the knowledge economy that Germany well-known for. Liveris unabashedly supports free trade and strong energy policy. Energy is the largest input cost in his company’s products. It is a much bigger factor than labor cost.

2014_Germany Trip 37

Our final keynote speaker followed a short networking break. That speaker was the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. She gave a talk and then followed it up with a handful of questions from the audience. She spoke in German, so I had to use a headset in order to listen to a translator, but I was still able to follow closely. She is a dynamo, and I was impressed with her delivery. I enjoy the art/science of public speaking and am always benchmarking good orators. She has a depth of knowledge that few world leaders have.

2014_iPhone Photos 139

Her prior career as a research scientist gives her politics an interesting base of information. I preferred her off-the-cuff remarks and answers to the questions, though her canned speech was still informative. She is famous for her battles with German labor unions and she has supported US policy many times during her tenure. She is also a strong supporter of business, so she was comfortable with the audience. She joked with the leaders of AmCham because after multiple requests, this was the first time that she accepted an offer to speak. It was my good fortune that she chose Düsseldorf.

2014_Germany Trip 69

We filed out of the conference into a beautiful Friday afternoon. Christian walked me around the city center, pointing out many of the landmarks. The city is seeing a tremendous amount of growth with major infrastructure projects (e.g. new train station, new buildings, etc.) underway. One recently constructed building is the Kö-Bogen development along the banks of the river that was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. It houses several businesses including the new Apple Store and is an amazing structure. I could have spent all afternoon photographing it in the wonderful sunlight.

2014_Germany Trip 100

We went into the Apple Store to check it out and ended up getting a fantastic demonstration. I’m in the market for a new desktop Mac to handle my large database of photos. My MacBook Pro needs to be unburdened from the responsibility of running Aperture. The first clerk saw us lingering near the sole Mac Pro on display and approached us. The demo was an explanation and comparison between the powerhouse Mac Pro and the top of the line iMac. I asked a few questions in English which he fielded with no problems, but then asked us if we had time for a demo. We agreed and he went to get Stefan, who was a more senior associate.

2014_Germany Trip 71

Stefan joined us so our little group swelled to four. He was awesome and I challenged him repeatedly, which only raised his game. At one point, he opened 20 OS X applications at once to demonstrate how fast the Pro actually was. The entire demo lasted nearly 30 minutes and was one of the best in-store customer service experiences I’ve ever had. It didn’t result in a sale, but it sure was impressive.

After the demo, we wandered back to the office, wowed by the experience. Dinner was at Christian’s home with other former US based ex-pat friends also as guests. We had great conversation catching up on business and family. The following morning, I borrowed a bicycle and helmet, and did a 20 kilometer ride along the Rhine. It was really neat to get out of the city heading south and then return on the opposite bank. After breakfast, Christian and I headed to Bad Liebenstein via Wetzlar. The driving experience was fantastic as we wound our way into hill country. All in all, my short trip to Düsseldorf was the perfect appetizer for the main event.

0 Responses to “Düsseldorf”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Horst Engineering

Thread Rolling Inc.

Sterling Machine

Horst Spikes

Instagram

Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

Follow me on Twitter

Categories

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 282 other followers


%d bloggers like this: