Birgitte Houen-Tolstrup – President
Erik Seifert – Vice President & Business Development Board
Erik is one of the original founders of the Danish American Chamber – as such he served as 1st Vice President in 1997-99, and his company donated the first logo, design, and branding to the Chamber. At CrossArtist Branding, his own full-service agency, Erik makes great products sell better – by helping technology companies position and communicate their brands. Earlier, after stints at Hewlett-Packard and IBM, Erik on his own took Navision into the US, after which he rolled out the product across Europe, quadrupling export revenues in just two years, and in the process becoming Chairman & CEO of the company. Along the way, he led the efforts that branded Navision globally and led to its eventual acquisition by Microsoft – who still uses many of the trademarks Erik created. Besides creating branding and communication for his clients, Erik is an avid tennis and
soccer player, skier, golfer, and dog enthusiast. Erik holds an M.A. in Economics from UGA, a Masters in Finance and International Economics from Copenhagen Business School, and a B.Sc. in Political Studies from Presbyterian College.
Sysser Senoff – Chairman of the Social Board
Sysser is raised north of Copenhagen and lived out-of-Denmark since 1997. She is married to Joel, has 3 children and has lived in Atlanta, Sydney, London, and Melbourne through the last 20 years. Sysser is currently working for Maileg USA and has previously worked for Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen. In her spare time, she loves to laugh, travel, paint, cook, and everything creative.
Annegrete Baltzer Enwright – Social Board
“I came to Atlanta for the first time in 1997, exactly a year after the Olympics. I was a young lady in the house for a Danish Elder couple, and while visiting, I met my husband. Thomas and I married in 2000 in Denmark. I relocated to Atlanta once I received my Green Card in May of 2001. Over the summer of 2001, I took on two jobs. One was a shipping management position and the other as a gymnastics coach. After a while, I began pursuing a degree in architectural drafting. After graduation, I worked a couple years in drafting till the economy turned and it took a toll on the construction market. In 2008, I gave birth to a sweet, loving, caring, smart baby girl who loves science, robots, Legos, and gymnastics. In 2011, we added another sweet, super loving, caring baby girl who loves her stuffed animal collection, art, Legos and gymnastics. I have now been with Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta for almost 17 years. I love coaching gymnastics and that I have the opportunity to take my girls to work with me and share my love of gymnastics with them. I have volunteered for Scandinavian Festival for several years and have also been on the board. Currently, I also volunteer at Poole Elementary, and I serve as a member of the PTA board and DACC Social Board.”
Helle Stampe – Chairman of the Business Board
Helle Stampe is Founder and Managing Partner of iNSIGHT RESOURCE, collaborating with CEOs and executives globally. Helle’s growing business is offering assessment, coaching, and counseling to respected international clients, helping them attract, assess, onboard and retain talent. Based on 25 years of experience in the fashion and textile industry, Helle believes that there is more to a successful team than academic skills. Hard skills must be aligned with company history, culture, and organizational structures to enforce great results. Helle has proved that the methods she utilizes to assess, onboard, and retain, new personnel creates a better flow, job satisfaction, and growth, which ultimately provides any business with competitive results. Helle has facilitated several workshops on “Motivation and Engagement”, “Understanding Personality Differences”, “Mindfulness and Personal Leadership” as well as workshops within team development and yoga.
Lars Houen-Tolstrup – Business Board
Terma North America Inc, Director Business Development Airborne Systems
Robert H. G Lockwood – Business Board & Treasurer
Robert Lockwood is a partner in the Atlanta office of the law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP and a member of the Intellectual Property Department. Mr. Lockwood helps Danish companies and other clients manage their intellectual property portfolios. He represents clients in a variety of matters, including intellectual property counseling, trademark licensing and prosecution, trade dress, copyright, domain name and technology issues. He evaluates and manages intellectual property portfolios and also handles intellectual property audits and policies. He also advises and consults clients on trademark and copyright infringements, branding strategies, management of domestic trademarks, and opposition and cancelation issues. Mr. Lockwood plays a strategic part in the negotiation and drafting of domain name licensing agreements and settlements, as well as employment and independent contractor agreements. He has represented clients in arbitration proceedings before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WPO) and has experience conducting due diligence investigations related to intellectual property protections as part of company mergers and acquisitions.
Jesper Mikkelsen – Business Board
Jesper Mikkelsen moved from Denmark to the U.S. in January 2017. Following his passion for automotive, he soon joined Porsche Cars North America, Inc. as a corporate communications specialist. Jesper holds a Master’s degree in Media Studies from the University of Copenhagen. He was part of the PR team with Denmark’s largest media company, Egmont, during his studies. After graduating, he took a position in the Marketing department with the country’s leading commercial broadcaster, TV 2. Jesper lives with his wife in Atlanta and enjoys meeting new people and exercising.
Yelena Epova – Business Board
Yelena is the partner-in- charge of Aprio’s International Services practice. She specializes in advising domestic and international companies on international tax issues and tax planning strategies regarding inbound and outbound operations. She also assists clients with domestic tax issues by providing tax planning and compliance services. Yelena is an active member in many professional organizations, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants. Yelena is also a founding board member of GlobalEXECWomen, former chair of the board of the Georgia Council for International Visitors and chair of the 2013 Consular Ball. She is a graduate of the 2011 Leadership Atlanta program. Yelena has written for numerous publications. She is a regular contributing writer to Global Atlanta on international tax issues. She is also a frequent speaker at many international and domestic seminars including those pertaining to businesses entering the U.S. market. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Yelena received her Master’s degree in Engineering from the Technological College of Leningrad. Upon her arrival in the United States, she continued her education in Accountancy at Georgia State University. Yelena has received the Golden Key Award for the highest score on the CPA exam in Georgia and the Elijah Watt Sells Award for being in the top 100 scores on the CPA exam in the nation. Most recently, Yelena was recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of 15 “Women Who Mean Business” in Atlanta. Yelena has also been recognized by Atlanta Magazine as one of the 55 most influential foreign-born Atlantans.
Anne Steffensen – Chairman of Business Development Board
Anne holds a Master’s Degree in International Business Communication from Copenhagen Business School. In 2016, Anne moved to Atlanta to work for the Trade Council of Denmark where she developed a vast network in the Danish-American business community in the US. She is currently working for Ramboll in Atlanta as a Business Development Consultant. Feel free to reach out to her to discuss how DACC can help you with your business needs.
Ida Kroell – Director of Marketing
Ida Kroell is an Atlanta based, Event Manager with a Master’s Degree in Event Management and Communications. Ida has worked within the events industry for 11 years with passion and success. Her skills as a coordinator are of excellence, as Ida has organized and executed small and large-scale conferences, events, and weddings in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2014, Ida founded EVENTLAND LLC – a global Event Planning and Production Company, based in New York and Atlanta. Prior to the launch of her business, she was the Head of Events and Conference and Communications Manager with two well-renown, international companies. Ida is specialized in logistics, execution, budgeting, contract negotiation, venue booking, floorplans, catering, build-out and breakdown, branding, furnishing, décor, A/V, lighting, hotel management, sponsor, booth, speaker and sponsor handling. Ida is further tech-savvy and skilled in digital project management utilizing programs, including MS Office, PowerPoint, Excel, Google Drive, Canva, Pages, and numerous other digital platforms. She is highly skilled in developing timelines, to do lists, budgets, registration sites, online events sites and apps, newsletters, social media content management, and website content management.
Alja Kristensen – Business Director
Alja has longterm experience in international Sales and Marketing where she has been working on building and developing new markets for several Danish companies in most of Europe, most recently in the Fashion Industry. She masters English, Danish, Norwegian and Russian fluently and has a great flair for style, fashion, and design through professional experience as well as personal interest. Alja moved to Atlanta GA with her family in August 2016 and was vigorously immersing herself in the new American environment ever since. Alja claims “Danish-American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia has a great potential for creating unique business and social values to its members. Her goal as Business Director is to develop and strengthen this potential by bringing it to the next level.”
Chris Smith – Honorary Board Advisor
Mr. Smith has practiced law in Georgia since 1991. He received his Bachelors of Business Administration Degree from the University of Georgia in 1988. He received his Juris Doctor Degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in 1991. He is admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Smith maintains a practice with an
emphasis on business, products liability, wrongful death, personal injury and international law. He regularly advises and represents European companies on issues relating to entry into the U.S. market. In 2006, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe, II appointed him Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Denmark. In 2016 he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen. A frequent lecturer, he is regularly quoted by the media and makes guest television appearances on a variety of programs. He has won numerous awards including “The Governors International Award for Individual Contribution to the State of Georgia”. He and his family reside in Macon, Georgia.
Peter Vang Jensen – Honorary Board Advisor
Peter’s professional experience spans three industries – civil aviation, international trade, and finance – in five countries on three continents. A native of Denmark, Peter began his professional career with Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). 20 years with the company gave him a unique perspective of the challenges and opportunities of multi-national (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), worldwide administration, marketing, and sales operations in hugely diverse environments and cultures. During those years he lived and worked in Denmark, Sweden, The Philippines, and South Korea. Peter later served as Trade Commissioner for Denmark, located in Atlanta, Georgia, promoting Danish export products, services, and tourism in the seven U.S. Southeast states. Most recently he was a registered Financial Consultant for 19 years with national and local brokerage firms. Peter is an adviser to the board of the Danish-American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, USA; adviser to the board of Make a Difference Now, a U.S. registered non-profit organization that provides quality educational opportunities for vulnerable children in Tanzania; member of the Board of Directors of Buckhead Rotary in Atlanta; and an advisor and consultant with Tula Executive Search in Atlanta. Peter has volunteered on business and community development projects lasting several months in rural South Africa (twice) and Argentina (one time). Peter served as an air traffic controller in the Royal Danish Air Force with the rank of sergeant. He received his BBA from Copenhagen School of Economics in Denmark and completed the Program for Executive Development (PED) at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. A keen traveler, Peter has visited almost 60 countries, trekked the Himalayas in Nepal, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and over 45 days walked solo the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail from southern France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.