Dear Tom, board members and friends,
I feel very proud and happy today. I was Israel’s Consul General in Atlanta when the seeds of the chamber were planted and to see the organization flourishing 20 years later, is a real joy. I have closely followed your activities during the last two decades and can easily say that the solid and sophisticated economy Israel is having today, has a lot to do with your creativity, dedication and generosity. For that we here in Israel are extremely grateful. Thanks Y’all…
When I look back to the first days, it was the support of mainly three individuals that enabled me 20 years ago to establish the chamber and to hire its legendary director – Tom Glaser. It was Johnny Imerman, who donated the seed money to get going (later matched by the Atlanta Jewish Federation), and Bernie Marcus with the late Jerry Zucker who gave me the public backing I needed to recruit the first 50 members.
“Home Depot” was also the first company to open its doors – exactly 20 years ago, to Israeli products. We enthusiastically seized the opportunity and the rest is history.
Diplomats are usually bad business people and I am not an exception. But when I think about the amount of business created by the South-East USA-Israel chamber of Commerce over the last 20 years, I feel like a real tycoon.
Congratulations to all of you! I wish you lots of success with your mission that is so important for Israel, for the US economy and for the relations between our two great countries.
Ambassador (ret) Alon Liel
Former Consul General of Israel to the Southeast
Tom Glaser and the Atlanta AICC are the top US group promoting economic ties with Israel. It is due to your tireless and effective efforts that the South East has become a major destination for Israeli startups building offices in the US. If we could only figure out how to clone your amazing personal and organizational DNA and export it around the world we could change the world for Israeli trade.
I am proud to be associated with you and am looking forward to the next amazing 20 years as you go from strength to strength.
Investor, Jerusalem, Israel
The bottom line in judging any initiative is this: “did it make a difference?” The line right above it should be “and how effectively was that difference made?” Judging the AICC, the answer to these two questions is a resounding “yes” and “very effective.” The numbers speak for themselves.
But the value is not only assessed by dollar figures – as important as they are. The AICC has put Israeli R&D, innovation, and ingenuity, and its derivative products, on the map. Literally, on the map of the southeast. The AICC helped sign deals and helped initiate the establishment of Israeli corporate presence in the region.
Focusing on business development. The AICC succeeded in turning Israel from a “charity enterprise” into a “business enterprise.”
I had the privilege of chairing the AICC Security Committee for three years. We tried to introduce Israeli security products through expos, meetings and introductions. It gave me a chance to meet dedicated entrepreneurs and see some amazing technology.
The AICC is a role model for how to establish relationship based on mutual interests and it should be emulated by others.
Here is to 20 more years!
Dr. Robbie Friedmann
Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE)
The American Israel Chamber does a phenomenal job of bringing together Israel-based companies, and in particular, entrepreneurial start-ups, with partner companies in the southeastern US. The team’s constructive and positive approach has helped garner a very positive reputation in the business community. There has been no better ‘shadchen’ for connecting Israeli companies with great matches in the US. Congratulations on 20 years of success and best wishes for many more to come!
Ira G. Pearl
AGL Resources, Atlanta, GA
I got involved with AICC after I was impressed by passionate & hard working individuals who operate relentlessly to promote US – Israel business relationships. Those efforts are well orchestrated via committees, strategic and tactical plans that lead for a great venue for anyone seeking to start and grow their business.
Senior Vice President and U.S General Manager
Time To Know, Tel Aviv
———————————————————————————————————————- AICC has been a true partner to propel Atlanta’s innovation. We value our partnership and the role AICC has played in bringing together Atlanta and Israeli innovation companies. Because of this, we are reaping the efforts in growing our region as a center of gravity for technology in the southeast.
MAC’s Global Commerce recognized AICC efforts by awarding this organization our first ever International Partners Award at our First Annual Global Impact Awards ceremony in 2010! Congratulations on a very productive first 20 years!
VP Global Commerce
Metro Atlanta Chamber
Congratulations to the AICC! I would like to extend a special thanks to Tom Glaser who has worked tirelessly to build new partnerships for me and the many new thinkers around me at the Medical University of South Carolina. Bravo Tom, and thank you.
Medical University of South Carolina
AICC has been a great source of information and a wonderful opportunity for networking! Best wishes for the next 20 years!
Lee Hardeman Customs Broker, Atlanta, GA
Looking back over the last 20 years, it is so gratifying to consider the history and accomplishments of the American Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast. From an effort that began as a way to create employment for new immigrants to Israel, to the present organization which acts as a bridge between highly sought after Israeli technology and businesses, it is truly mind-boggling.
I wish AICC many more years of success and achievement in the future.
Robert J. Deutsch, P.A., Asheville, NC
Congratulations to AICC on 20 years of illustrious service to Georgia and beyond.
It’s been a true privilege for TAG to partner with you over the last many years.
There are many building blocks required to foster a strong community. AICC, whether leading or following, has quietly added an unmatched richness to our tech industry… contributing essential elements to the creation of a quality ecosystem.
Thank you for 20 great years. I look forward to the next 20.
President and CEO
Technology Association of Georgia
Congratulations to Tom Glaser and the Chamber’s leadership on this momentous event. To be sure this bilateral chamber has been the pace setter in the field and both Israel and the US are the better for it. Let’s hope that the past 20 years are only the first 20 years and that the chamber goes from strength to strength as it enters its 3rd decade.
Over the past 20 years the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region has proven to be the most effective link in developing bi-lateral relationships between Israeli and American businesses. A significant number of Israeli companies have located in this region and the jobs created and economic multiplier to the community can be attributed to the involvement of the Chamber and its members.
Atid EDI, Jerusalem
I congratulate the AICC for its 20th anniversary. My experience with the AICC has been excellent. The contacts facilitated by the dedicated people on the ground have helped NASS to develop some strategic relationships with American companies and we are very excited by the potential of these relations.
NASS’s mission is not limited to the promotion of its own services and products, but also to make our excellent reputation and network in the Homeland Security area available to Israeli companies trying to penetrate the American HLS market. I find the AICC a natural partner in these efforts and I look forward to expand our cooperation.
I am pleased to be a supporter of the American Israel Chamber.
The Chamber has created outstanding ties between the South Eastern US and the State of Israel. It has helped broaden the overall understanding and investment between the US and Israel. Tom Glaser’s vision and drive have created an association that will continue to thrive. We owe a debt of gratitude for his untiring efforts to make the AICC the most meaningful and impactful organization of its kind in the country.
Jay M. Davis
Chairman & CEO
National Distributing Co., Atlanta
As one of the people at the table on “day one” it is amazing to see how AICC has grown and contemplate all the great efforts it has made over the years. Congratulations to Tom, the staff and all the volunteers (without whom no non-profit can function).
Professor of the Practice
Georgia Institute of Technology
I’ve know the AICCSE for quite some time – Tom hired me to work with him in 2000, and for about five years I supported, together with the Chamber membership, the Southeast activities of many Israeli companies. I returned to Israel in 2004 and continued working with the Chamber as its representative there.
Now I’ve had the opportunity to experience the Chamber as a member receiving its support. Through my work with Idea Bio-Medical, I’ve reached out to Tom Glaser and the Chamber asking for assistance in reaching potential customers. In my experience, the Chamber’s speed and efficiency of work are unmatched! Through its support, we were able to secure our first sale to the Medical University of South Carolina, and have had several other important meetings such as with Emory. We’ve gained important experience through our interaction with the Medical Committee of the Chamber, as well as with the several researchers we met as a result of Chamber introductions.
I’ve now experienced, first hand, what I’ve helped many other Israeli companies experience since 2000 – the Chamber’s professional support, which opens doors to relevant business contacts, which shortens business processes and therefore saves money and effort, and which provides exposure that’s so important when entering a new market.
Thank you Tom Glaser, Chamber team and members for your amazing work, for your support and attention.
Manager of Global Sales and Distribution Channels
IDEA Bio-Medical, Rehovot, Israel
I had the privilege of working with and for the AICC as part of the partnership program with Yokneam Megiddo. AICC performs commendable work on behalf of Israel and advances business opportunities successfully.
Please accept my warm congratulations on your 20th anniversary, may you continue on the path of success for the worthy cause of advancing Israel’s business opportunities .
Fineline Excellence in PCB, Yokneam Ilit, Israel
During the last 13 years I have had the opportunity to discover in great detail why the AICC deservedly earned the reputation of being the most effective economic development organization between Israel and the USA.
Not only did the organization play a key role in the decision made by Veritas to set up its US headquarters in Atlanta, but it also served as a springboard for growing a strong US network of advisors and a healthy funnel of customer relationships for its investment portfolio.
Veritas Venture Partners, Atlanta, GA
Tom Glaser and the American Israel Chamber of Commerce have been wonderful to work with on both a personal and professional level. Congratulations for all that you do to bring Israel and the Southeast closer together.
I have been associated with Tom and the Chamber for all 20 years, first when I was the Exec at the Savannah Jewish Federation and for the last 14 years while serving as the Exec in Memphis. I am proud of the collaborative efforts and all that Tom and AICC has accomplished.
Memphis Jewish Federation
It’s difficult to accept that 20 years have passed since I had a drink with a young man named Tom Glaser, talking him into starting and managing an America-Israel Chamber in Atlanta. I knew he’d be good but never dreamed how good or how great a leader, not just a manager. It was one of my best picks ever. Tom, you’ve done me proud!
Congratulations to Tom and to all the SE Region Chamber officers, directors and members.
Lloyd E. Shefsky
American-Israel Chamber, Chicago
Congratulations to the AICC, Tom Glaser, and his staff, for 20 productive years helping to bridge business ties between Israel and the Southeast US. The AICC has become the preeminent engine driving commerce between Israel and our region, and I continue to be impressed with its creativity and effectiveness.
As a regular visitor to Israel representing Israeli companies and universities in my IP legal practice, I routinely come into contact with people and companies who not only have heard about the AICC and its wonderful work, but who have also personally benefited in some way through their association with Tom and his colleagues.
The AICC, its professional staff, and its volunteers set the bar very high for bi-national Chambers, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my association with this organization over the past 15+ years, as a Board member, committee chair and volunteer.
Congratulations again! Looking forward to the next 20 years, and beyond!
Partner – Patent/IP Attorney
Ballard Spahr LLP, Atlanta
Congratulations to Tom and eveyone who has contributed to the Chamber’s success over these past 20 years. Having been around at the beginning and witnessed what the Chamber has grown up to be, is extremely rewarding to me personally and to others who bridge the entire time line of the Chamber’s history Under Tom’s able leadership, the Chamber has adapted to the challenges of the day and has maintained it’s mission and effectiveness in a very volaltile business environment.
This is the the mark of a well run organization,one that is able to develop and sustain a caring group of members and leadership that can not only preserve its existence over time, but enable it to thrive in all types of eras…..kind of reminds one of the State of Israel itself!
Central Atlanta Progress
We, at The Birmingham Jewish Federation, deeply value our relationship with Tom Glaser and the entire American Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region organization. Their work has been a tremendous resource to us, benefiting our Federation and companies in Alabama. In fact, it’s hard to imagine not having this great organization as a resource and partner! Tom is a good friend who is devoted to the welfare of our community and his efforts over the years have been outstanding. We wish Tom and the Chamber many, many more years of success and look forward to our continuing relationship. Best wishes, Richard Friedman, Executive Director, Birmingham Jewish Federation
Birmingham Jewish Federation
I have been involved with AICC for the last ten years.
This important organization is striving to create business relationship between young Israeli companies and well-established US companies from the south-east. The opportunities that young Israeli talents have to collaborate with successful US companies create a Win-Win situation and contribute to the development of Israel’s and US economies.
As the representative of the Coca-Cola Company, I took part in some mutual business ventures that prooved the importance of AICC. I am looking forward to continue working with AICC for many year,s and very happy that Tom Glaser is the president of this vital organization.
DM Operations Management, Inc.
The work of AICC to develop business connections between companies in the SE US and Israel has been a great success. In our association with AICC we developed key relationships that assisted with our economic development mission. Congratulations to AICC for 20 wonderful years and wishing many more to come.
Director, Econ Dev (Retired)
It is a great pleasure for me to congratulate you and all the members of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, South East Region, on the celebration of your 20th anniversary with the well deserved title of the Eagle Star Award.
I personally and many of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce members are impressed by the activity of your bi-national chamber. We are aware that you have brought the activities of the Chamber to a very high level, contributing significantly to the members and also to the economy both of the SE Region of the US and Israel.
We have witnessed many Israeli companies establishing their activities in the Atlanta, Georgia region and other parts, thus penetrating and expanding their business activities in these regions and the U.S.
I may add from personal knowledge that the work accomplished by AICC and its achievements could be exemplary to other chambers of commerce showing how dedication, creativity and profound understanding of the economies truly make a difference.
On the whole, we regard the U.S. as our friend and real partner and you have managed to help us materialize this approach.
The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce
On the Chamber’s twentieth anniversary, I want to wish you Mazel Tov on this wonderful milestone. What you and the AICC have accomplished is nothing short of astonishing. Through your efforts and vision, history has been made and history has been changed.
To Tom and to your board, let me extend a Yashar Koach for two decades of glorious achievements.
Rabbi Shalom Lewis
Congregation Etz Chaim, Marietta, GA
I wish to congratulate you on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region. As Atlanta’s Sister City in Israel for the past 11 years, we are greatly appreciate your activity on behalf of Israel’s business community, in making business contacts and finding business opportunities to enter new markets. On the occasion of your anniversary, I wish to encourage you to continue with your important business activity that contributes to the growth of the global economy.
This year, Raanana is celebrating its 90th anniversary, and is currently busy with the development of its business activity, with the expansion of the city’s industrial and commercial park. An increasing number of industrial, hi-tech and technological companies have chosen to establish their business activity in Raanana.
I wish you many more years of successful activity, and the strengthening of the warm relationship with Israel. May the development of both social and commercial ties between the twin cities of Atlanta and Raanana continue to flourish.
The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region is an exceptional organization among the various Economic Development entities working on promoting business cooperation and trade development between the US and Israel. It is a true pleasure working alongside Tom and Guy with a sincere and well-targeted approach.
Thank you and congratulation on your 20th Anniversary!
Ronen (Ron) Kenan
Managing Director, Israel
State of Georgia USA, Israel Office
It has been already two decades since I first met with Tom Glaser in 1992. AICC was just a small operation, making its first steps, located in a small office (I think at the JCC in Atlanta). I was looking for funding for NESS, then a young startup company that I had just founded. My meeting with Tom was extremely instrumental, not only for NESS, but particularly for myself. Tom became a friend, a dear friend.
AICC became a solid base for NESS’s initial activities in Atlanta and the US. Tom’s determination and commitment to assist me were incredible. I remember that Tom introduced me to some valuable and helpful people in Chattanooga, TN who facilitated raising funds and establishing some clinical work at one of the rehabilitation centers.
This was only the beginning of long term cooperation with AICC that significantly contributed the development of NESS and its success. I recall that in our first meeting, Tom shared with me his vision and goals. He and his team have definitely achieved a great deal, and created an outstanding operation. Indubitably, AICC became a viable instrument to support Israeli companies success. Well done and Congratulations!
Haim V. Levy
NanoDerma, Raanana, Israel
AIPAC congratulates the AICC on twenty incredible years of success. We share a common goal of strengthening the relationship between the United States and Israel and AIPAC could not ask for a better or more effective partner in this unending endeavor. May the next twenty years breed the same success as the first twenty. Mazal Tov to Tom and the whole AICC team.
Southeast Regional Director
The AICC has been an important partner for the Metro Atlanta Chamber over the past 20 years. The AICC has assisted us on numerous business recruitment and trade missions to Israel and has been instrumental in locating many Israeli companies to the Atlanta area. The AICC has also connected dozens of Atlanta companies to business opportunities with companies in Israel. Israeli companies here in Atlanta are an important part of our community – they have contributed heavily to innovative solutions in health care, cyber security, information technology, defense and other industry sectors. At the root of all of this success has been Tom Glaser – he has been a real leader, great partner and true friend. We are proud of our association with the AICC.
SVP, Economic Development
Metro Atlanta Chamber
Thank you Tom for 20 years of great leadership.
State of Georgia
AICC, under the superb leadership of Tom Glaser, created over the years a unique echo system that fuels regional economic growth and trans-Atlantic business partnerships in healthcare, CleanTech, Water technology, IT, and more.
The activities and operating mechanisms in place connect many dots and continuously create new ones, such that government officials, educators, scientists, private enterprise, entrepreneurs, industry conglomerates and start-up companies in the SE and Israel can easily meet each other and form partnerships in ways which would otherwise not be possible.
May the next 20 years be just as exciting and rewarding.