AmCham Slovenia Regular General Assembly

At its annual Regular General Assembly, held on 24 September 2013, the Members of the American Chamber of Commerce – AmCham Slovenia passed the Amendments to the Bylaws, elected the Board of Governors and again for the two-year mandate for the AmCham President confirmed Mr. Matej Potokar. Mag. Ajša Vodnik, the AmCham Executive Director, presented the work of the previous year and major plans for the coming year, the year, in which AmCham Slovenia will celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of its work and activities.

Matej Potokar, AmCham Slovenia President for the Period 2013-2015 with Staunch Support from AmCham Members

In his address, Matej Potokar committed himself to continue to work actively for AmCham also in the future:

»With my full responsibility, I bind myself that we will at AmCham Slovenia continue with the mission and work of AmCham Committees, with the Program for the young – the AmCham Young Professionals TM and with socially responsible projects and initiatives such as the project Giving Back to the Community – AmCham Corporate Volunteering Week, as we add a note of social responsibility into most of the projects we carry out. Not for publicity, but simply because we wish to give back to our society. I give you my full commitment that I will as the AmCham President and with your great support continue to work to the best of my ability«.

Thierry Villard and Sandi Češko Re-elected into the Board of Governors

Thierry Villard, CEO, Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires:

»As a member of the Board of Governors I have gained valuable experiences and the years of active participation at AmCham Slovenia have been fantastic and I can say that AmCham Slovenia is way ahead of other AmChams in Europe. It was very refreshing to participate in the development of the excellent program for young – the AmCham Young Professionals TM and its upgrade – the AmCham Young Leaders Club, as I have in all four generations noticed a strong passion for changes. They are the future Slovenian leaders, so we have to let them develop. As a mentor I sometimes had an interesting feeling that actually they were my mentors. They say that they have learned a lot from me, but in reality it was them who gave a lot to me. They have given me a message that we need to do something good together. I give you my full commitment that I will maintain a strong focus and passion also in the coming years and I can say for myself that AmCham Slovenia gave me something, I could have never expected – my own Avatar«.

As Sandi Češko, the owner and CEO of Studio Moderna, was at the time of the Assembly in the USA, his co-worker now for already last 12 years, Metka Glas presented him very sincerely:

»Sandi can be presented in too many ways – all are excellent. However, I decided to present my story of – how I have seen and perceived Sandi Češko in all these years of our cooperation. Sandi tends to confront you with challenges constantly. Every day. Several times a day. He literally »pushes« you out of your comfort zone. He taught me the lessons of life: Learn from those who are better than you. Try to be a little faster than you already are. Do not make mistakes. If you work hard, you will make a progress. Of course I try to follow these lessons every day – however, the lessons still last. Sandi likes to associate with the young very much. He is a wonderful mentor and inspiration to many. He learned about business from his father and is now transferring his knowledge – to me, to others. He taught me to cooperate with my colleagues. He is aware of the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and teaches it continuously on all possible levels. He has a passion for new and for changes. I can not tell what he will be doing in the future, but I can tell the following: The only thing that is constant in the pole is the change and therefore you can expect changes also in the AmCham Slovenia«.

Elected to the Board of Governors for the First Time – Janez škrubej and Agata Jakončič

After presenting herself and the company MS&D, Agata Jakončič, Managing Director Balkans at Merck Sharp & Dohme committed herself:

»If I am elected to the Board of Governors of AmCham Slovenia, I will strive and focus on the goal of how to improve the Slovenian business environment, how to open it to business opportunities, how to improve its attractiveness, how to prevent the economic blind spots and how to become a country open to the region and to the world«.

Janez škrubej, Executive Director of the Slovenian Market and Head of Financial Advisory at Deloitte as well presented the vision of the company Deloitte Slovenia and made a commitment:

»In the last two years, in addition to my first Deloitte Slovenia home, my home became also AmCham Slovenia, as I attended and actively participated at AmCham events many times. I can say that among all events held in Slovenia, the AmCham events have the added value – for us – the economists. Therefore I would like to through AmCham Slovenia also personally with my know-how, high level of motivation and productivity contribute to the society even more«.

Ex-officio Member of the AmCham Board of Governors

Joshua M. Harris, Political, Economic and Commercial Chief, U.S. Embassy to the Republic of Slovenia said that he was glad to be in Slovenia and stressed some priorities that the U.S. Embassy has in cooperation with the AmCham Slovenia, i.e. socially responsible project Giving Back to the Community, the International Conference US – Slovenia Business Bridge, TTIP and ALUmni Program.

»I promise you that we will continue to strive for Slovenia to remain an attractive business environment. Together we can achieve success«.

General Assembly Confirmed the Amendments to the Bylaws Entirely

Bylaws – Amendments: Klemen Tičar, Partner at Law Office Ulčar & Partners at the request of the Board of Governors reviewed the Bylaws and proposed appropriate changes to ensure the Bylaws to be in accordance with the laws in force in the Republic of Slovenia.

New Bylaws, which entered into force on the day of its adoption, are published on AmCham website. We would like to point out some important changes:

I. MEMBERSHIP

* No individual members

4.1. The members of AmCham Slovenia are the founders and the legal entities, who send their applications for the membership and meet one of the following conditions:

4.1.1. are business companies with a seat in the Republic of Slovenia;

4.1.2. are business companies with a seat in the United States of America;

4.1.3. are business companies with a seat in other countries, working in the Republic of Slovenia through their subsidiaries; or

4.1.4. other legal entities, that are deemed by the Board of Governors to fulfill the requirements required to join the AmCham Slovenia membership.

* Resignation till now was till 30 days before annual membership expired- was unclear

4.5.2. A member may resign its membership by giving a written notice at the latest by 31 October of the current year otherwise he is obliged to pay the membership fee also for the next period regardless of its resignation.

II. Board of Governors

*Board of Governors has a more supervisory role

Competency and Decision-Making

5.3.5. The Board of Governors is responsible for supervision of the current operations of AmCham Slovenia and implements other duties, defined according to the law and Bylaws.

5.3.6. Besides the already stated duties, the Board of Governors:

5.3.6.1.appoints the Executive Director and

5.3.6.2.approves the annual plan of activities, proposed by the Executive Director.

5.3.7. The Board meets when necessary, but at least once every 4 (four) months.

5.3.8. The Board of Governors adopts resolutions by the majority of all votes of present members. The Board of Governors forms a quorum, if there are at least 4 (four) members of the Board of Governors present.

5.3.9. The work of the Board of Governors is in greater detail presented in the Regulations of the Board of Governors, adopted with the simple majority of votes of all members of the Board of Governors.

* Young Professionals actively included

* Ex-Officio Governors

Despite other provisions in the Bylaws, the Board of Governors as an Ex-officio member of the Board of Governors appoints also a representative from the Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of Slovenia, a representative proposed by the Embassy.

Despite other provisions in the Bylaws, the Board of Governors appoints as extraordinary members of the Board of Governors also the – at the time – winner of the »AmCham Young Professionals« Program- the winner of the AmCham »Top Potential of the Year« Selection.

The Extraordinary Governors, appointed pursuant to the paragraphs 5.3.16. and 5.3.17. do not have the right to vote at the Board of Governors.

*Same number of vacant positions as members-different procedure

*Appointment of the members of the Board of Governors

In case that the number of the candidates for the Board of Governors equals the number of the vacant positions, the members of the Board of Governors shall not be voted. In this case the General Assembly by open voting decides on proposed candidates.

*Executive Director

Has more executive function and more responsibility

5.4.1. AmCham has an Executive Director, who represents AmCham Slovenia independently and without restrictions.

5.4.2. Despite the provisions in the paragraph above, the Executive Director may make business deals of which value exceeds 50.000 EUR annually, only together with the President of AmCham.

5.4.3. The Executive Director is appointed by the Board of Governors for the mandate of 2 (two) years. Unless the Executive Director resigns or if his work is not being recalled in a written form at least 90 (ninety) days prior to the end of mandate, the mandate and the contract shall be automatically extended for next two years. There are no other restrictions at the mandate of work of the Executive Director.

5.4.4. If the Executive Director is discharged from his function he has the right to remain employed by AmCham Slovenia at different suitable position.

5.4.5. The Executive Director is in charge of current operations, deciding on internal organization and employment and other managerial issues of managing AmCham Slovenia. The Executive Director shall report on AmCham Slovenia activities to the Board of Governors.

5.4.6. The Executive Director is the chief officer of AmCham Slovenia. The employment contract or the managerial contract is signed by the Executive Director and the President on behalf of AmCham Slovenia.

5.4.7. The Executive Director is the member of the Board of Governors, but does not have the right to vote.

AmCham Report

Mag. Ajša Vodnik, AmCham Executive Director, presented a review from June 2012 till September 2013 and noted that membership has grown from 216 to 250 members. We would like to thank sincerely to all the members for their support and all the sponsors who enable such varied and great program of events. She pointed out two very significant AmCham programs – AmCham Young Professionals TM, which unites 400 young potential leaders and is this year held already for the fourth time and AmCham Business Leader’s Club, denoting socializing at the highest level.

Check AmCham Slovenia Events: September 2012- September 2013 VIDEO

Outstanding Activities and Affiliation of Members to AmCham Committees

Vida Dolenc Pogačnik, AmCham Deputy Director thanked to all Members of Committees – especially to the Chairs of the Committees, who with their professional work and great contribution of knowledge and energy try to change the Slovenian business environment for the better:

»Dear Members, let me just make a quick review of AmCham Committees.

The purpose of all Committees is to make Slovene business environment more pleasant for the companies already based here and for potential investors.

AmCham has 8 Committees and 2 Working Groups. This year 5 Committees – Tax, Labor, Public Procurement, IP and Environment prepared a letter for the Prime Minister and the Government, together with Position Papers for each mentioned field.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COMMITTEE

Organized IP Conference in April and prepared Position Paper, an expertise that will be presented to all State Institutions that covers IP area.

ENVIRONMENT and SPATIAL COMMITTEE

Prepared Position Paper and met with Minister of Infrastructure and spatial planning, Samo Omerzel and his team. Some parts of the mentioned Position Paper will be on the agenda when the new legislation will be in preparation.

CSR – CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY COMMITTEE

It is a very active Committee, especially this autumn. Ajša will tell you more about the great project AmCham is doing this month.

LABOR COMMITTEE

Prepared Position Paper and 2 Professional Updates on labor and pension reform and also include representative of the Unions in the debate. Future goal is to involve all stakeholders in the debate regarding the situation and proposed changes in the field of labor market.

LEADERSHIP AND TALENT DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

Was actively involved in selection of the AmCham Top Potential of the Year 2013 and will play its important role within AmCham Young professionals program also in the future.

TAX COMMITTEE

Prepared Position Paper and also got more visibility in media, namely Tax Chair Barbara Guzina commented raise of VAT and introduction of crisis tax.

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

Is a supporting and advisory group to AmCham Team, especially focused to serve the interest of all AmCham members.

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT COMMITTEE

Prepared Position Paper and at the beginning of the year Professional Update on the amendment of the Public Procurement Act.

This year AmCham suggested to the Board to form 2 Working groups that are covering important issues: first group is for Corporate Ethics and Transparency and the second will cover the TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement between US and Europe.

A few facts for the conclusion: all committees have strong relations with competent Ministries and working closely with US Embassy on all topics covered by AmCham Committees. Since not many members are familiar with the Committee work, we decided to start with the monthly Advocacy Brief that will be sent to all members by e-mail.

Committee’s work is coordinated by my colleagues Nina, Maja and me and we are always prepared to give you all information you need.

At the end AmCham Team would like to thank all members that are working in the Committees on a completely volunteer basis.

AmChampions

The AmCham Slovenia is aware of how important it is also to approach the individual regions in Slovenia. Therefore we are very proud and pleased that Mr. Marjan Žargi, Director of MZK Elektro d.o.o., assumed the role of the first AmChampion and thus the honorable role of the representative of AmCham Slovenia in his region.

Giving Back to Community and US – Slovenia Business Bridge – Main Projects till the end of 2013

Mag. Ajša Vodnik, Executive Director, American Chamber of Commerce – AmCham Slovenia:

»American Chamber of Commerce – AmCham Slovenia is in for two important challenges in October, i.e., the International Conference US – Slovenia Business Bridge, which corresponds to our basic mission and is intended for foreign investors to invest in Slovenia and for Slovenian companies wishing to make a name in the U.S. market, by which we wish to enable more workplaces and business opportunities. With the same extent of responsibility and energy we are tackling the first week of AmCham Corporate Volunteering – Project Giving Back to Community. People who work within the companies are part of society, therefore we wish with all our heart to show that it is important that we all as a part of society support each other. In this way we wish to connect the international economy, efforts of the Slovenian Philanthropy and the vulnerable groups of our society, as it is important to be aware of the interdependence and the fact that individuals only if happy can create a happy society«.

Very Satisfied Members Proposed a Toast to the AmCham President and to the Confirmed Members of the Board of Governors

With the top quality wine from Vinoteka Brda and accompanied by the rhythms of the great band Blow Up, very satisfied members proposed a toast to the AmCham President and to the confirmed Members of the Board of Governors.

Special thanks to Hewlett-Packard for supporting AmCham Annual General Assembly once again!

For more photos check AmCham Facebook Page

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