AMCHAM turns 20 with a bang
(CS) The American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg celebrated its 20th anniversary on Friday with a party that saw diplomats, politicians and the business community let loose.
Hosted at the Domaine Thermal on Mondorf-les-Bains, the evening kicked off with a cocktail reception, hosted outdoors in the sudden bout of summer weather that the Grand Duchy experienced on Friday.
When the event moved indoors for dinner, suit jackets were swiftly placed on chair backrests. “We’re here to have a party,” said AMCHAM Chairman and CEO Paul Schonenberg, who has stood at the helm of the chamber since 2000.
What started as a chamber for US companies in its inception, developed into an international business chamber, with members from US but also Luxembourg companies and the many other international businesses present in the Grand Duchy, Schonenberg explained.
AMCHAM “embraced diversity and inclusion,” the chairman said, adding that the melting pot culture is just one of the things that Luxembourg and the US have in common.
AMCHAM now counts some 350 members and hosts around 40 events a year, including the popular Thanksgiving dinner, business seminars but also community-oriented discussions, for example on Luxembourg schools, to help connect the international community to local issues.
“It’s not my chamber, but your chamber,” Schonenberg said, thanking more than 200 invited guests for their commitment, dedication and contribution, as well as his team.
Kicks and magic tricks
The evening was not a formal event of long speeches. The first guests were on the dancefloor before the main course had been served and despite the air conditioning, most men’s ties quickly followed the jackets to their resting place.
Guests noshed on a prawn and quinoa salad, followed by salmon, cabbage and potatoes.
A keyboard player and singer kept the crowds entertained and between courses the dance floor was busy, with MP Marc Angel taking US embassy Chargé d’Affaires Allison Shorter-Lawrence for a spin and UK ambassador to Luxembourg Alice Walpole cutting some shapes together with Schonenberg.
Illusionist David Goldrake together with Viola LaLa Mia stunned the audience performing an impressive card trick and other feats of magic.
Well into the night a big birthday cake provided AMCHAM Co-Vice-Chairman Marios Paras with a chance to direct a few words of thanks to the CEO.
“AMCHAM has come where it is today because of Paul,” he said, praising the latter’s tenacity, grace and dedication, but also his willingness to argue and will to achieve.
The “AMCHAM family”, as Schonenberg called his team, together with their guests continued celebrating until well into the night, clearly eager to make the next 20 years also a success.