SWEDISH AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE | GEORGIA

  • 5 Feb 2021 10:45 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)


    We had the pleasure of talking to Michael Blake, Director of Strategic Advisory Services with accounting firm Brady Ware and Company. Michael is a SACC-Georgia individual member and joined the chamber last year. Brady Ware and Company is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. Michael works from the Alpharetta office in Georgia, but has only been at the office a few times since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. His job at Brady Ware & Company is to help clients make major strategic decisions and to help them understand those decisions with empirical data and analytical methods. Michael hosts a podcast called Decision Vision where episode #102 was launched this week. Read on about why Michael chose accounting, his interest in Sweden, his podcast, and much more - enjoy! 

    Background 

    Brady Ware & Company was founded about 65 years ago. It entered the Atlanta Market about 12 years ago with the acquisition of two firms and has continued to grow. Now they have about 140 employees, of which 34 are stationed in the Atlanta market. 

    “I like being an advisor more than I like being a broker and it’s been good ever since.”

    Michael joined Brady Ware & Company a little over three years ago with a background as a venture capitalist and an investment banker before becoming a business and intellectual property appraiser. Because of his experience with business appraisals, mergers, acquisitions, and strategic decision support, he was a natural fit.   

    Math is what makes us unique

    Blake explained that he’s not afraid to analyze data and to crunch numbers. 

    “I'm actually not a mathematician and when I was in school, I was not particularly good at math”

    He believes that people too often make important decisions without the benefit of consulting data. It is just a matter of being willing to explore the data, he says. “Reading data is not easy, it's a language all to itself that I've had to learn and our clients really like the fact that not only do we do that, but we also explain it to them in a way that they can use it.”

    Clients turn to Brady Ware’s strategic advisory support for help in making decisions that are consequential and hard to reverse. They utilize empirical data in order to help their clients make those decisions. Blake further explains that people do not have to be mathematicians, economists, or physicists to understand the data and inform their decisions. Our job is to bridge the gap between the math and the client’s application. 

    Business is about the purpose 

    Blake emphasizes that Brady Ware recognizes that, “…the client can often be in a very lonely place, especially if their role is to manage risk.  The risk manager can often be under tremendous pressure from colleagues, bosses and advisors to take a decision in a certain direction, while the risk manager resists because they think it’s in the company’s best interest to do so.  We want to be the ally of the person that is managing risk who is often putting themselves on the line for what they think is the right thing to do – or not to do.” 

    Michael is passionate about the podcast that he hosts in cooperation with Brady Ware & Company. He develops and hosts all the episodes of the podcast called Decision Vision, and episode #102 was released this week. Some of the people that have been interviewed are SACC-GA board member Tom Rosseland and Deborah Lanham, CEO of the

    Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce. This is a project he has been working on for almost two years. He is thankful for the whole team involved in the podcast such as the producer John Ray at Business RadioX, the Brady Ware marketing team, andover 100 guests who have appeared on the program.

    “My goal is to help clients become better decision-makers by sharing the experiences of people who have had to make those decision before” 

    The interest in how people can make better decisions was inspired by world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Kasparov once said that improving your skill in chess is about learning how to become a better decision-maker. Michael was inspired by that sentence and strives to make Decision Vision about helping people become better decision-makers. 

    Atlanta is a great place for business 

    Michael thinks Atlanta is a great place for business because of the opportunities to develop relationships. “My relationship with the Swedish American Chamber is really a great example of that because I've had a fascination with Sweden for a while.”

    Atlanta offers lots of organizations as well as landmarks. The places that Michael likes to visit are the Civil Rights Museum, Georgia Tech, and The Downwind Restaurant and The Globe Hub at Peachtree DeKalb Airport. 

    His relation to Sweden

    Michael is not aware of any Swedish heritage, but that hasn’t stopped him from developing an interest in the country. Sweden is known as an innovative nation and, due to Michael’s background in technology, this fascination with Sweden comes naturally. He even recently completed the Swedish course on Duolingo. 

    “Innovative companies have come out of Sweden and continue to come out of Sweden”

    Sweden’s strong set of social programs and innovative spirit further fuels his interest. He referred to an article that said that Sweden is considered one of the top-3 innovative countries in the world.  

    Finally,

    He wanted to finish this interview with two highlights. “First of all, I think the Swedish chamber is fantastic.”

    He has always looked for an opportunity to get involved with the chamber since he has learned the language. He would love to do more with the chamber in the future and also travel to Sweden and learn if there is an opportunity to develop business relationships there.

    The second point is that people are more than welcome to contact him for advice. “I've been very fortunate that I had the help of many people to make good decisions over the course of my life and career, and I want to do the same for others”.

    SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST HERE



  • 22 Jan 2021 7:30 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)


    We recently had the pleasure of speaking with our new SACC-Georgia member, Dan Erling, President and CEO of Accountants One Inc. Accountants One has been recruiting Accounting and Financial professionals in the Atlanta area since 1973. Their focus on high-quality relationship building has allowed them to develop a unique database populated by an elite group of candidates. Their commitment to culture fit, honesty, integrity, and confidentiality attracts a large variety of exceptional candidates who want ethical career growth. Accountants One offers staffing solutions to companies who need anything from Data Entry Clerks to CFOs, and everything in between. With a whopping 97% direct hire success rate, Jessica and Alex sat down with Dan Erling to see how they have been able to maintain and grow their success - enjoy!

    Background

    Prior to starting his career at Accountants One, Dan worked as an Atlanta inner-city math teacher. His father Bert ran a small recruiting firm and when Dan joined the firm his father ensured him there would be no nepotism. Dan worked his way from sales to running the show, which is where he finds himself today.

    - Originally, we focused on addressing hiring and staffing needs in Atlanta, but we have now expanded our operations across seven states. Today, Accountants One has an office of 35 employees and we utilize a recruiting and staffing method that matches candidates with employers not solely based on experience, but also on character and assurance that the candidate will match our clients’ culture.

    Helping their clients get to the next level

    Dan attributes their success to “Learning how to listen.” He emphasizes the importance of finding a candidate that not only can perform the job, but finding a candidate that also has the ability to integrate with the culture of the potential employer. Accountants One conducts monthly and yearly audits to ensure that their clients are happy with their new hires and that they are the right fit.

    - It is satisfying to find candidates who fit the long-term focus and career goals as well as bring that final piece to help their clients take their business to the next level.

    The importance of addressing the business culture

    “We understand our client’s culture at a deeper level to address their biggest needs.”

    Dan has always been a big believer in organic growth. The firm has seen exponential growth numbers where they have expanded into the healthcare sector as well.

    - What separates Accountants One from other staffing agencies is that we are our clients’ partner in the acquisition of talent from a cultural basis. We can find candidates that are ‘the right fit’ for our clients. We are not only looking for employees for the sake of filling a spot. Instead, we understand our client’s culture at a deeper level to address their biggest needs.

    When talking about Covid-19 and how it has impacted the company, Dan explains that they are lucky to have had no downturns in terms of revenue losses, and despite COVID-19, their employees have still been able to perform at a high level.

    - They have delivered excellent service while conducting interviews virtually.

    Community Involvement - can accountants be funny? 

    Dan started a fundraiser called “The Search for the South’s Funniest Accountant”, a stand-up show featuring accountants, to prove a friend wrong - that accountants can indeed be funny. Over the years, along with Junior Achievement of Georgia, they have sold out the Center Stage in Atlanta for 5 years running and were set up for a big show at the Coca Cola Roxy before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Dan smiles and says: 

    - We have been able to raise around $450,000 and have turned three former financial professionals into professional comedians. Proving that accountants can indeed be funny!

    Atlanta as a business-friendly city

    Dan thinks that Atlanta has a lot to offer and that it is a very business-friendly city. Dan also mentions that it is enjoyable both for walking and eating outdoors and that he enjoys the climate.

    - Atlanta has a fantastic airport that easily connects you with the rest of the world. The area is also becoming the next big hub for businesses, and especially the entertainment industry. For hiring purposes, Atlanta is a perfect place to find excellent candidates because of the large millennial population, which is a big advantage for Accountants One.

    Dan’s connection to Sweden

    Dan explains that he is very proud of his Swedish roots and has a pin button that shows that he is 51% Swedish. Dan’s father was a member of SACC-GA for many years and he has always been a big fan of what the chamber has to offer, including the fantastic smorgasbord at the Lucia event. Dan traveled to Ystad, Sweden last Christmas to visit his relatives with whom he shares a close relationship.

    - After witnessing the Swedish culture up close again, I decided to rejoin SACC-GA, and I am so glad to be back!

    Welcome back, Dan and Accountants One!



  • 22 Jan 2021 6:48 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)

    Interview with Alex

    • What did you learn from your internship at SACC Georgia? 

    During my time at SACC-GA, I had the opportunity to learn many different things about international business and customs. I learned most importantly, just how grand the Swedish presence in Atlanta is!  In addition, I learned how to effectively communicate with business owners and administrators to discover creative solutions to their business needs.
    • What will you bring to your next position that you practiced at SACC Georgia?

    In my next role, I will bring with me a lot of skills I learned to master during my time at SACC GA. During the pandemic, I have been able to improve my presentation skills and have been able to be more relaxed when presenting in front of larger audiences. Since a lot of our events were conducted virtually, being able to set up, plan, and execute events and meetings virtually will be a great thing to be able to know as I progress in my career.
    • Did your internship at SACC-Georgia live up to your expectations? And in what way? 

    It absolutely lived up to my expectations. It exceeded my expectations in many ways. All of the members I met and had the opportunity to speak with on a weekly basis had so many great stories to share about their work life, their challenges, and how they overcome their challenges. It was all very inspiring, and it gives me a lot of enthusiasm and confidence in myself going forward.
    • What is your best memory from your internship at SACC Georgia?

    I have many memories from my time at SACC-GA. My fondest memory from my internship has to be the interviews I conducted with our members. I thought that they were very enjoyable and a great way to get to know the members on a personal and professional level.
    • Finally, what are your future plans?

    My future plans are still something I am mapping out as we speak. First and foremost, I will be graduating from FAU in the Spring with a BBA in Management. I will look for a job in the Metro Atlanta area within business development. One day, I may move back to Sweden to my hometown of Gothenburg. I look forward to starting my career and I am very appreciative of my time at SACC-GA.


    Interview with Jessica 

    •  What did you learn from your internship at SACC Georgia?

    My remote internship as a Marketing and Event Intern gave me valuable insights and skills in how to plan and execute events in a digital setting, how to create value for members and other stakeholders without being physically present, and how to plan and execute various marketing activities to enhance engagement. Indeed, it has been different to work remotely and also for the chamber to adjust to a “new normal” with regards to Covid-19, but it has been extremely educational and interesting to work around these constraints.
    • What will you bring to your next position that you practiced at SACC Georgia?

    As an intern at SACC-Georgia, I have definitely realized the power of networking. I feel inspired by the people that I have met and I will continue to be curious about other people, cultures, ways of working, etc. I believe that this will continue to spur my eagerness to learn new things and build new relationships!
    • Did your internship at SACC-Georgia live up to your expectations? And in what way?

    I’m really satisfied with my decision to work at the chamber this autumn! It definitely exceeded my expectations in terms of working under great leadership, among inspiring people, and at the same time feeling that what I did was valuable.
    • What is your best memory from your internship at SACC Georgia?

    I have several! Of course - the personal interactions that I have had with my
    colleagues and members of the chamber. But also doing the promotion video about our corporate member Nefab. It was an exciting project and the video was appreciated by both Nefab and our members - we managed to add great value to one of our corporate members, which is of course always the goal!
    • Finally, what are your future plans?

    Right now, I’m going to finish my last semester of my master’s program in Innovation and Industrial Management at the School of Business, Economics, and Law in Gothenburg. This semester will be dedicated to writing my master thesis and in October I start my new position as a management consultant at Capgemini Invent in Gothenburg which I’m excited for! Of course, I also need to come and visit Atlanta as soon as possible! I look forward to exploring this vibrant city in real life.
  • 21 Jan 2021 6:38 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)

    We are so excited to present our new Marketing & Event Intern at SACC Georgia. Elin Ringqvist will work remotely from Karlstad until June.

    Elin, a warm welcome to SACC-Georgia. How are you?

    Hi, thanks! I feel good during these hard pandemic times. I have been waiting to get into this position for almost a year so I feel happy to finally start this internship.

    Why did you apply for this internship?

    It has always been a dream to work abroad. I lived in Denver, CO four years ago, and that's how I first heard about the SACC organization. I have visited 15 states in the United States, but never Georgia. I have heard that Georgia is known for its hospitality and which I have already seen and felt. I have also heard that it is a great opportunity for young professionals to network with successful companies in the States. 

    What are your expectations for your internship?

    My expectations for this internship are to practice and improve my marketing and event skills. I am also looking forward to a network with different companies in Georgia. From what I've heard Georgia is a beautiful state with lots of fun things to do. Unfortunately, I will not experience Georgia in real life  this semester, but hopefully when the pandemic is over.

    What did you do before you went into practice?

    I have been involved and managed events at my university. In addition I have also been active as a project manager in my student fraternity. I have always had an interest in social media and marketing, and I graduated from Karlstad University with a major in Media and Communication with a focus on digital analysis.

    What do you think SACC-Georgia can offer your future career?

    I hope to gain a broader experience of how to market on social media platforms and create events in a professional environment. I also hope to network with companies to see how they work to succeed.


  • 19 Jan 2021 7:43 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)

    We had the pleasure to have an interview with Petter Bengtsson, Head of Americas at Sinch. Sinch is a global leader in cloud communications for mobile customer engagement. Sinch started their journey in a little shop window in Stockholm, Sweden and has now expanded to an international powerhouse serving enterprises across the globe. Their products and solutions enable companies to engage their customers via personalized conversations. Read more about the interview here ->

  • 13 Jan 2021 5:59 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)

    We had the pleasure of talking to Anders Hoberg, General Manager at Atlas Copco Industrial Assembly Solutions. A Swedish multinational industrial company that was founded in 1873 manufacturing industrial tools and equipment. In addition, a corporate member of SACC-Georgia. Read the interview here about Anders’ journey at Atlas Copco, their greatest challenges and opportunities with running a global business in the US, the opening of two new offices in Atlanta, and much more! 

  • 16 Jun 2020 11:32 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)

    Background

    I was fortunate enough as a kid to live in many different places and got to experience many different cultures. I was born in Sweden and lived in Sydney, Australia and in Tokyo, Japan. Growing up with an American father and a Swedish mother, I got to learn a lot about the Swedish and American cultures. After graduating from high school in 2015 In Gothenburg, Sweden I moved to Philadelphia to explore my roots in the United States.  In 2016, I accepted a scholarship to play lacrosse at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. I am now a senior finishing up my B.B.A. degree in Management.

    What did you do prior to working at SACC Georgia?

    Prior to working at the SACC Georgia, I had the opportunity to work for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League as a Financial Accounting intern. I worked alongside the executive staff for a professional sports organization and got to see first-hand how teams manage a budget, promote events, and day to day activities for a sport organization.

    What would you like to achieve at the SACC? 

    I would like to enhance my knowledge about Swedish and American business operations and would like to help the Georgia office attain its goals and promote the SACC’s presence in Atlanta. In addition, help companies here in the area benefit from the SACC’s services and opportunities.

    What do you look forward to the most about being a part of the SACC?

    I look forward being able to bring my skills that I have learned throughout my young adult life and bring it to a professional setting where I believe I can excel. Having grown up in a bilingual household, I feel like I can relate and can bring a lot to the table at the chamber of commerce and to businesses in the area. I feel like it will be the first time in a long time where I can showcase my skills from my past and incorporate them into this diverse setting.


  • 29 May 2020 11:01 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)


    Serenbe

    While Serenbe has certainly shifted to abide by state and federal guidelines due to COVID-19, life in the community hasn't completely shifted from it's normal path. All restaurants and the Inn have remained open,  Although large gatherings and events have been canceled or postponed, Serenbe are still providing residents and guests a respite from urban life with access to the outdoors and miles of nature with virtual tours, stays at The Inn (including increased interest in extended stay rentals and lots of work from home options), smaller group outdoor kids summer camp, goat yoga, horse trailriding and farm tours. 

    Consumers are catching up to emerging trends that have now been accelerated due to the pandemic; such as seeking more space, withdrawal from the urban core, access to nature, work from home and slowing down their fast-paced lifestyles. Serenbe's design, which combines permanently protected greenspace with urban amenities, proves to be extremely resilient as consumers are shifting to this new lifestyle. There is ample acres of land to allow all homes direct access to nature, large front porches and sidewalks for connection to neighbours and businesses, and their organic farm is open for drive thru veggie, all while maintaining social distancing. Residents have been involved with projects such as Still Serenbe, a photographic documentation of the community during COVID-19, as well as "porch connects", where neighbours enjoy each other's company from porch to porch and wave and socialize from the sidewalks. While these times are unprecedented and uncertain, Serenbe is staying resilient and strong through a deep community connection with each other and nature. 


    A group of neighbours using one of the pocket parks for a cocktail party to stay connected but abiding by during at home and social distancing




  • 29 May 2020 9:25 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)

    KILPATRICK TOWNSEND

    In an effort to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, is part of the Georgia Small Business/Nonprofit COVID-19 Remote Pro Bono Clinic that was recently launched.This project helps small businesses and nonprofits in Georgia handle the impact of COVID-19. Through this project, small businesses and nonprofits can receive free consultation from attorneys from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton along with a few other Atlanta law firms.

    This new pro bono clinic assists small businesses and nonprofits in Georgia with 25 or fewer employees. These organizations can submit their legal questions using an online form located on the Georgia Bar website (see link below also). Pro bono lawyers with legal subject matter expertise in a selected subject matter will then be matched with a small business to offer a free 45-minute telephone or virtual legal consultation on questions related to:

    • The CARES Act (federal relief programs)
    • Commercial leases (amendments, terminations)

    • Employment (furloughs, leases, layoffs, etc.)

    • Dissolution/bankruptcy/business closure
    • Contracts/force majeure
    •  Insurance

    Read more


  • 29 May 2020 9:17 AM | SACC-Georgia (Administrator)


    ELANDERS AMERICAS

    Certain critical infrastructure industries have a special responsibility in these times to continue operations. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued guidance and lists to support State, Local, and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily.

    Elanders Americas supports customers operating in critical infrastructure industries, as designated by the DHS. As part of the supply chain supporting those industries, Elanders Americas will remain operational to provide the products and services necessary for their customers to support critical infrastructure needs.

    For more information click HERE



ABOUT SACC-GEORGIA

The primary objective of SACC-Georgia is to promote an exchange of business, trade, investment, technology and culture between Sweden and the state of Georgia. SACC-Georgia is one of 19 regional chambers across the United States, cooperating under the umbrella of SACC-USA based in Washington, D.C.

CONTACT

info@sacc-georgia.org

1100 South Tower, 225 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA


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