What a wonderful "Welcome to Treffpunkt" message to all our german-speaking communities and individuals from Volker Benkert!
Click to video to see his enthusiasm 'in action' as he recognizes that "anything that ties my old home to my new home in Arizona is important."
Thank you, Volker!
THE ADVISORY BOARD
A special appreciation goes to our Advisory Board, which consists of supportive volunteers who help to evaluate and guide our plans so that we best fulfill the mission and vision of the organization.
Volker Benkert studied history and English at the Universities of Bonn, Edinburgh, St. Petersburg, and Fribourg. He graduated with a master's degree from the University of Bonn and a doctorate from the University of Potsdam. Volker is an Assistant Professor in the school of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University where he teaches a broad spectrum of curriculum, including upper-division courses in modern German and European history. Volker has authored and edited many books/publications (as seen in Amazon) and is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer at educational conferences.
Nina Berman, PhD
Nina Berman is director of and professor in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. She has published books and articles on topics such as German colonialism, orientalism, globalization, minority literature, disability, translation, and intercultural contact. She was born in Göttingen, grew up in Kassel, and was educated at Göttingen University, San Francisco State University, and the University of California at Berkeley. Nina moved to Phoenix in 2016. She is looking forward to connecting with and help strengthening the German-speaking community in the Valley.
Dieter was born in Bonn and grew up and went to school in Böblingen near Stuttgart, Germany. He served in the German Armed Forces communication unit in Dillingen. Dieter attended the University of Tübingen and San Francisco State University and graduated with a degree in business administration. Dieter is a VP Investments with First Financial Equity Corp. and manages retirement and trust assets of small- to medium-sized family business owners. He is engaged with the German-American Community through the Chamber and cultural organizations. Dieter lives with his wife, Merrill Leffmann, in Scottsdale and Sedona. Their daughter, Cheye, was raised bi-lingually and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in Magdeburg, Germany.
Werner Bonadurer was born in Switzerland. He has lived in Arizona since 2008 with his wife, Irene, and their two sons. Werner is a clinical professor of finance at Arizona State University. Following his B.A. degree, he graduated with an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Werner received his Ph.D. in finance with summa cum laude from the University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland. Prior to his engagement in academia, Dr. Bonadurer was a senior executive with a leading global investment bank where he lived and worked in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Since 2019, Werner has been acting as the Honorary Consul of Switzerland in Arizona.
Werner Bonadurer, PhD
Wolfgang Klien came to the United States in 1968, after receiving a Masters Degree in Architecture and City Planning from Vienna Technical University The allure of “Cowboys and Indians” drew him to the Southwest and he came to Phoenix in 1971. Wolfgang is an architect in his own practice. He holds registration licenses in AZ and CA with a Certificate from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Wolfgang's appointment as the Honorary Consul of Austria in 2004 is based on the enduring love for his country and his understanding of its history and culture, as well as its position as a contemporary partner in a growing global community.
Bernhard Neumann, PhD
Bernhard was born in Mannheim, Germany. He holds a master degree in business engineering from the University of Karlsruhe and a PhD in mathematics/artificial intelligence from the University of Duisburg. Bernhard has been with the German software company SAP for over 30 years: he is a Senior VP in software development, managing teams in Tempe/AZ, Canada, Germany and India. He moved with his family (Michaela and 3 sons) from Mannheim to Scottsdale in 2007.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors consists of active volunteers who serve to fulfill the mission and vision of the Treffpunkt organization. As the company´s governing body, the board is responsible for providing organizational leadership and direction; ensuring that programming and plans align to and achieves our mission; overseeing financials and the annual operating budget; and promoting Treffpunkt in the community.
Carolin Gey, Board of Directors - President.
Carolin was born in Munich and grew up in Kassel, Germany. She attended school in Kassel and studied at universities in Nuremberg, Germany and Sevilla, Spain. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ (for 18 years). Carolin is the Honorary Consul of Germany in Arizona. She is also the Managing Partner of kybun USA LLC, a company exclusively importing and distributing kybun products from Switzerland in the United States. Carolin and her family do celebrate their heritage frequently in their home and are excited to share and experience more with fellow German-speaking members of the community.
Christiane Reves, PhD, Board of Directors - Vice President.
Christiane Reves is a Lecturer and Lower Division Coordinator for German at the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. Her teaching and research brought her to Germany, France, Italy, Israel, and the US. Her primary research interests are migration, networks, cultural transfer, and regional history. Reves worked in public relations for congresswoman and State Minister for Migration and Integration, Maria Boehmer, in Berlin, Germany (2001-2006). Christian now lives in Phoenix and is curious to discover more about German culture and heritage in Arizona.
Susan Butler, Board of Directors - Secretary.
Susan was born and grew up in Kiel, Germany. She has a law degree from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel and practiced law as a partner in a law firm in Kiel. In Scottsdale, Susan earned her Masters in International Trade Law from the University of Arizona. Susan works as an attorney in Scottsdale and teaches as a part-time professor of International intellectual property law at the University of Arizona. She is admitted to the State Bar of Arizona and the German Bar. Susan and her family embrace their German heritage and their personal and professional networks in Germany. Susan is very excited about Treffpunkt, Inc.!
Annemarie Haenfler, Board of Directors - Treasurer.
Annemarie was born in Freiburg, Baden Württemberg. She went to school in Offenburg, studied Law at the University of Tübingen and District Court in Karlsruhe and consulted German law in Melbourne and Milan. Annemarie lives with her husband, Tom, in Paradise Valley, AZ since 1998. She is a principal at ACS Services LLC, providing geotechnical engineering and related services statewide. Annemarie and Tom travel frequently to Germany to visit family and friends. She looks forward to sharing her heritage and contributing to the expanded development of German language and culture to the community.
Annika Heitmann, Board of Directors – Marketing.
Annika was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. After studying at the University of Hamburg, she had her own practice as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapy practitioner in Hamburg. Annika has also served as a department manager in a tourism company. She has lived in Phoenix since 2016 and works as an office and marketing manager for kybun USA. Annika also plays a key support role to the Honorary Consul in Arizona: in that role, Annika keeps very close and vital contact with the German community.
Martina McConnon, Board of Directors - Membership.
Martina is a Munich native who came to the US in 1996 to establish a US office for her German employer. Years later, she and her husband founded a PR and marketing agency where Martina holds the position of Marketing Director. Martina resides in Phoenix with her family. To maintain her German roots, Martina speaks German with her children at home, frequently visits her family and friends in Germany, and has been involved in German groups in the various cities where she has lived. She enjoys being involved with the German community in Arizona.
Martin Metz, Board of Directors - Volunteer Management.
Martin was born and grew up in the most charming city in the World: Berlin. He lived all over the place, studied Business in Germany, South Korea, Japan, and the US, and is a Managing Director within the cybersecurity business of a top consultancy dedicated to securing the global financial system. Martin lives in the US since 2018 and maintains a funny trilingual Babylonian confusion at home. Through supporting Treffpunkt, he wants to contribute to cultural exchange, bring people together, foster German heritage in the United States, and always seek an excuse to eat an authentic bratwurst.
Bernard Otremba-Blanc, PhD, Board of Directors - Outreach.
Bernard is an international business consultant with offices in Arizona, Mexico, Germany and Libya. He was born in Germany and grew up in France, Switzerland and Germany. A “citizen of the world”, he has lived and worked in nine countries in Europe, the Middle and Far East and North America and has traveled in 119 countries, on all continents. Bernard came to the U.S. in 1985 to assume responsibilities as Chairman/CEO for all of the Americas, for a subsidiary of a multinational European manufacturing company. From 2002 to 2012 he served as German Honorary Consul to the State of Arizona and was twice honored by the President of Germany with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Cross and Cross of Merit First Class). Bernard has since 1997 served as the Phoenix Warburg Chapter Director in the American Council on Germany and is a board member of the Arizona Club in Dresden, Germany.