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Celebration of the 15th anniversary of AmCham Slovenia with Slovenia’s most successful business representatives and the guest of honor Mr. Ronald M. šega

On Tuesday the 25 November 2014 AmCham Slovenia celebrated its 15th anniversary with Slovenia’s most successful business representatives and the guest of honor Mr. Ronald M. šega, an astronaut of Slovenian descent who orbited the Earth more than 270 times. On this occasion, AmCham Slovenia launched the “Believe in Slovenia” initiative, the purpose of which is to show what a remarkable and a creative nation Slovenia is and to connect Slovenia and the USA through stories of individuals who share successes and positive feelings toward Slovenia.

President of AmCham Slovenia Matej Potokar took the opportunity to thank everyone who co-created AmCham Slovenia and emphasized “Without you, we would not have more than 50 events per year, we would not have committees and working groups trying to contribute to the society with their constructive proposals, there would also not be any integration between young people and no US-Slovenia economic integration – US Business Bridge.” Mr. Potokar added: “Without your help, we would also not succeed in the socially responsible project Giving Back to the Community and would not, within two weeks of 2013 and 2014, give more than 8232 hours of voluntary work back to the community. I could continue listing numbers, however, our strength is not in numbers but in the community.

US Ambassador to Slovenia Joseph A. Mussomeli pointed out: “As a representative of the diplomacy sector I have worked with a number of American Chambers of Commerce around the world, but nowhere have I had the opportunity to work with an AmCham community that was so devoted to its work, to the economic development of the country and to promoting the development of young people as is the case with AmCham Slovenia.

Jacek Pryzeck, Senior Managing Director of Goodyear Dunlop Central Europe, as a sponsor of the 15th anniversary and as one of the founding members of AmCham Slovenia said: “The Goodyear Group was one of the founders of AmCham Slovenia in 1999. We had hoped AmCham would become a platform for sharing ideas, experiences and for combining the powers that would help create a better business environment in Slovenia. After 15 years I can say that AmCham Slovenia has become all this and much more.

AmCham Slovenia celebrated 15 years of operation together with the most successful business representatives and the evening’s guest of honor Mr. Ronald M. šega, an astronaut of Slovenian descent, who has orbited the Earth more than 270 times, worked at NASA for many years and spent tense 17 days, 12 hours and 25 minutes in space, including a docking mission to the space station Mir. This was Mr. šega’s fourth time in Slovenia, his last official visit being due to his role as an Under Secretary of the US Air Force. This time, he visited above all as an extraordinary individual with extensive experience, who is not only connected with Slovenia through his roots but also through pleasant memories and positive feelings. “I recognize Slovenians as extremely capable and good-hearted people, who can achieve anything they set their minds on. From a space perspective, the world is small which means the greatness of a nation is not measured by the size of a country but by the size of its heart – and Slovenia certainly has a big heart.

With Mr. šega’s visit, AmCham Slovenia also launched the “Believe in Slovenia” Initiative, the purpose of which is to connect the USA and Slovenia through extraordinary stories of Americans with Slovenian roots who believe in Slovenia, through stories of Slovenians who convinced the world with their “American Stories” and through Americans that cultivate positive feelings toward Slovenia. As Zvonko Fazarinc, who among others also works as a senior scientific advisor to the vice-president of R&D at Hewlett Packard, noted: “Slovenia has many talented people, all we need is more self-confidence and more faith in our abilities.
You can read stories of all initiative members at: www.believeinslovenia.si

Ajša Vodnik
, Executive Director of AmCham Slovenia, while launching the initiative said: “I deeply believe in Slovenia and I have at least three specific reasons for this:

creative young people, with incredible ideas and determination to live and succeed in Slovenia, our nation’s character as well as admiration and love toward Slovenia, which is cultivated by everyone who knows our country or is connected to it through their ancestors.

On its 15th anniversary, AmCham Slovenia as part of the “Best of the Best” program also awarded the best business practices in Slovenia. It aimed to reward particularly those companies that bring new knowledge and experience into Slovenia and significantly enrich Slovenian economy through the transfer of good practices. This year’s winners of “Best of the Best” award are Young Hopes from the Triglav Insurance Company, Symbiosis Between Generations from the Zavod Ypsilon and Attentive Towards the Environment from Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires.

AmCham Slovenia also marked its 15 years with 15 values that reflect their beliefs and work. Each of the values was supported by a member company that donated funds, a part of which was dedicated to the Association of Friends of Youth Ljubljana Moste – Polje and to their Family Center, which supports families in need.

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