Interview with Sweden Day 2016 Honorary Guest: Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States

Björn Lyrvall is Ambassador of Sweden to the United States. His previous diplomatic stations include Leningrad, Moscow and London. Prior to this current role, he served as Director General for Political Affairs at Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. He has also been posted at Sweden’s Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels and worked alongside Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, as Special Advisor in his role as EU negotiator and International High Representative in Bosnia and Hercegovina, as well as the United Nations Special Envoy on the Balkans in 1999.AmbassadorBj-rnLyrvall

We are pleased, proud and honored to have him as our Honorary Guest for Sweden Day 2016 during his exclusive and highly anticipated visit to Atlanta, Georgia, which will include meetings with Swedish companies, Georgia officials and international local dignitaries. Read more about his personal perspective and position on being the official representative of Sweden in the U.S. – a challenging yet interesting and fulfilling role in which one is faced with tackling a number of issues on both national and international level. Here more about what his thoughts on Swedish-U.S. relations are below!

 

Where in Sweden are you from?

I am from Borlänge, an industrial city in the province of Dalarna, in the heartland of Sweden.

 

Have you ever been to Atlanta?

No, not to visit but I have passed through Atlanta numerous times. I know that it is a hub in the U.S. and an important state for Swedish businesses.

 

What is your impression of Georgia?

I was driving through Georgia with my parents during the end of the 70’s, when I was a student. However, I have not spent much time there but I would like to get to know it better. It is home to 45 000 Swedes and an important state for us. Of course, I watched the Olympics in ’96 and I know that there have been several dynamic developments in recent years.

 

What do you enjoy most about being the Ambassador of Sweden to the United States?

Meeting with people in this great country, promoting healthy relations and pursuing a broad agenda.

 

Embassy of Sweden_LogoHow would you describe the essence of Swedish-U.S. relations?

Strong historical ties. We unify and collaborate around various topics including innovation and entrepreneurship, but also in tackling global challenges, security issues, trade and the refugee crisis in Europe. I would like to highlight that Swedish-U.S. relations have strengthened enormously over the last few years. The Nordic Summit, which was held a few weeks ago in the White House, where President Obama invited all Nordic head of states, was a good example underlying the importance of the very strong bonds between Sweden and the U.S.

 

Living in the U.S., what do you miss about Sweden?

I miss my family and relatives back home and I love to go back and either go cross-country skiing or visit my red cottage in Dalarna. However, I really love living in the U.S. and I feel very fortunate to have this position.

 

We look forward to welcoming Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, on June 6 for SACC-Georgia 3rd Annual Sweden Day Celebrations in Atlanta!

 

Text: Sabina Woldai

Pictures from SACC-GA’s & WAC YL’s Young Professionals Happy Hour May 13, 2016!

Pictures from SACC-Georgia’s & The World Affairs Council of Atlanta Young Leaders Joint Social for Young Professionals under 40!

We would like to thanks our co-hosts: the French American Chamber of Commerce – Atlanta (FACC-Atlanta), the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, the Netherlands American Chamber of Commerce SouthEastern United States, the Belgian American Chamber of the South, the British-American Business Council and the Ecuadorian American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia  for a fantastic night of international mixing and mingling!

Thank you to all who came and participated or took part in organizing this event for a brilliant and enjoyable evening at the One Eared Stag in Inman Park!

 

Meet Ulrika, Sweden Day 2016 Performer!

Meet Ulrika Lindstrom, a multitalented, creative genius and brilliant Atlanta-based, up-and-coming popstar who will be performing live at Sweden Day 2016!

We met with Ulrika and her team, Nick Chahwala and Charles Malone, to get to know her and their production company a bit better. Bravo Ocean Studios is a versatile Grammy-nominated production and songwriting team who have worked with artists such as Katy Perry, T.I., Gym Class Heroes, Beastie Boys, Mariah Carey, and The Dream. They work, produce, develop and create everything from music and design to artist development, record production and branding. You can read more about the Bravo Ocean Music Group and their three different divisions here.

Here’s what she had to say about her past experiences, current expectations, projects and goals, as well as her future dreams, hopes and insights to her incredible and successful journey which has taken her from a musical upbringing and classical training in Stockholm, Sweden, via the golden coast and entertainment industry of Los Angeles to the ecclectic and innovative southeastern hub, cluster and music scene that is Atlanta, a place she loves and now calls home in the U.S.

Ulrika portrait Ei- PR

Tell our members who you are!

My name is Ulrika. I am an independent pop artist from Stockholm who now resides in A-town. Just kidding, Atlanta.

How would you describe your music?

I call my music “epic pop”. It’s electronic with influences of late 80’s and 90’s. Some songs are fun dance songs and others are emotional mid tempos and ballads. I’m inspired by Annie Lennox, Sia, Ellie Goulding, Phil Collins and Benny Anderson.

Could you tell us a bit more about Bravo Ocean Music Group?

Bravo Ocean Music Group is located by Grant Park and was built 2014 by myself, Nick Chahwala, Charles Malone & Prisca Strother. The music group consists of three divisions: Bravo Ocean Studios, Bravo Ocean Production and Ullis Design. We endeavor to provide our clients with the most important elements that are fundamental in successful artist development. With record production and songwriting at our core, we also recognize the importance of having an image and identity that reflects the creative direction of the artist. All under one roof, our three divisions specialize in helping recording artists recognize and create their own unique avenues through our approach to record production and brand content development.

In addition to being a Bravo Ocean artist, I am spearheading the group’s branding department, Ullis Design.
Marketing & Event Coordinator Sabina Woldai and Executive Director Sara Henriksson with Ulrika at Bravo Ocean Studios

Marketing & Event Coordinator Sabina Woldai and Executive Director Sara Henriksson with Ulrika at Bravo Ocean Studios


What brought you to Georgia?

Short version: I lived in LA for a few years and was signed to a label which had it’s core organization in Atlanta. The head of the label knew of a group of producers and songwriters in Atlanta and thought that we would be a great match creatively. He was right! The group was Nick Chahwala, Charles Malone & Prisca Strother. As soon as I heard their music I knew I was sitting on a gold mine. We started working and everything just made sense. I ended up parting ways with my label and moved to Atlanta.

What is your impression of the music and creative scene in Atlanta?

When I first was introduced to Atlanta at 19 all I saw was the hip hop scene. But when I came back a few years later I got introduced to folk, blue grass, swing, all these amazingly care free and southern music styles. I fell in love with the people and their untroubled outlook on life. After seeing two completely opposite ends of the music spectrum in Atlanta I realized that everything exists here. You just have to track down whatever you’re into. I must say that I have found some incredibly talented artists and creators here! What I love more than anything is the sense of collaboration and support for the arts. The only thing Atlanta might be missing is really good modern pop, but hey, that’s why I’m here!

How is your Swedish heritage incorporated to your daily personal and professional life in the U.S.?

Sweden raised me and will always be my home. My family, values and outlook are Swedish and I looove sharing my Swedish heritage and traditions with my friends and family here. I incorporate it in so many ways. For instance, my esthetics, from my home to my design are Swedish (go Ikea!). Simple things like setting the table before dinner and eating with fork and knife comes from my childhood. I also bake a lot of Swedish cakes like chokladbollar and grandma’s drömtårta, and I often cook meatballs with lingonberry jam and mashed potatoes. Swedes are obsessed with good lighting and so am I! I use dimmable track lights throughout my house, even in my closet, ha. I also prefer to walk everywhere which is pretty non american, and I LOVE Swedish music and find a lot of inspiration from people like Robyn, Benny Anderson in my professional career.

Last but not least I have to mention that I celebrate Swedish Christmas every year with glögg, pepparkakor, Kalle Anka, julbord, dans runt granen, tomte, julrim och risgrynsgröt. I’m also always singing and crying a little during Lucia just because that tradition meant so much to me growing up in Adolf Fredrik’s music school.

We thank Ulrika for this interview and look forward to seeing her mind-blowing live performance together with her superb band on Sweden Day, June 6th, in Piedmont Park! You don’t want to miss this – we’ll see you there! Register here.

Text: Sabina Woldai

Pictures from SACC-Georgia’s Annual Golf Tournament 2016!

We would like to thank all participating teams, players and companies for attending SACC-Georgia’s Annual Golf Tournament 2016! We hope you enjoyed the day at St Ives Club! It would not have been possible without our brilliant Golf Committee, consisting of Jonas Jarvholm, Mats-Ola Bydell and Jan Meijer. Special thanks to our Hole Sponsors: Arnall Golden Gregory & Autoglo, and our Prize Sponsor: Paramount Transportation Systems.

 

The participating teams represented the following companies: Arnall Golden Gregory, Autoglo, Ballard Spahr, Cost & Compliance Associates, Gatc, Korn FerryRodl & Partner, Staffing Technologies & Qmatic.

We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Golf Tournament!

Best wishes,

SACC-Georgia

 

Pictures from Member Appreciation Reception 2016

Thank you all for joining us on our Annual Meeting & Member Appreciation Reception on March 10, 2016, at the beautiful office of our corporate member AGG, who sponsored the event together with Epic.

Your presence contributed to a great evening, it was a pleasure meeting and reconnecting with both old and new members and friends of SACC-Georgia. We very much look forward to enjoying another great year with you here in Atlanta!

Best wishes,

SACC-Georgia

Pictures from Private Tour of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

SACC-Georgia was invited for a private, exclusive tour of the world’s busiest airport – our corporate member, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport!

We thank our Board Member Alrene Richards Barr for enabling this event, and our members for joining us for an interesting insight to the background and behind-the-scenes operations of the International Terminal, which opened on May 16, 2012.

IMC Event

On February 17, we co-hosted an International Night, organized by IMC-Georgia Chapter, together with the Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce, the French American Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia.

The event drew together a gathering of of diverse professionals within Atlanta’s International Business Community.

SACC-Georgia thank our members for coming and hope they enjoyed an interesting evening!

 

New Trainees

Please welcome SACC-Georgia’s new trainees for 2016!
2016 Trainees

From left to right: Sabina Woldai, Marketing & Events, Carl Dunger, Business Development and Emilia Strömberg, Accounting.

 

Recent graduates Sabina and Carl arrived in Atlanta just over a month ago and although it isn’t their first time in the U.S., it is their first time in Georgia. They are eager to promote and impact the work of SACC-Georgia and learn more about the American business scene and culture. Emilia, Law student at Emory University, arrived 6 months ago. All three are very happy to be part of SACC-Georgia and they look forward to meeting you at our upcoming events.