On October 11, 2017, Greater Zurich Area appointed eight U.S. executives, entrepreneurs and influencers as Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassadors. Suzi LeVine, former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, commenced the ceremony.

Greater Zurich Area’s success as a business location and innovation region is an accomplishment by many brilliant individuals together. At the residence of Consul General of Switzerland, Mr. Hans-Ulrich Tanner, Greater Zurich Area for the first time appointed U.S. executives, entrepreneurs and influencers as Honorary Ambassadors.

“We launched this program to give recognition for each executive’s outstanding accomplishments between the United States and Switzerland. The Honorary Ambassadors are vital to conveying Greater Zurich’s overall message and to continue to elevate the peer support for those interested in doing business in Greater Zurich Area” Sonja Wollkopf Walt, CEO Greater Zurich Area, said.

The Honorary Ambassadors all have strong ties to the Zurich region. They’ve helped companies to establish their operations in the Greater Zurich Area and grow their business. The Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassadors are:

Anita Roth, Airbnb

Anthony Maggiore, Atlassian

Friedemann Thomma, Venable LLP

Matt Atkin, UBER

Philipp Stauffer, FYRFLY Venture Partners

Randy Knaflic, Jawbone (former employer: Google Zurich)

Stewart Karlinsky, Pacific Tax Policy Institute 

Ted Rogers, XAPO

Suzi LeVine, a strong proponent of Swiss technology and  innovation, shared her experiences in office. ”Throughout my time in Switzerland, I was impressed with the quantity and quality of innovation demonstrated across sectors and with every size business. That is only possible because of the exceptional talent coming out of the Swiss Dual-Education system. This includes apprenticeship as well people coming out of the Universities. When I speak with U.S. businesses looking for where to locate their innovation-oriented businesses in Europe, I emphasize that those U.S. firms who have already chosen Switzerland are fishing in a stocked pond of talent. I believe that U.S. firms thrive in Switzerland because of the many shared values we have between our sister republics.”

Sonja Wollkopf Walt, CEO Greater Zurich Area, together with Consul General of Switzerland Hans-Ulrich Tanner and Suzi LeVine then appointed the Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassadors. After the ceremony, Ted Rogers, President at Xapo and newly appointed Honorary Ambassador, commented, “I’m truly honored to be appointed as Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassadors. I continue to believe that Switzerland and particularly the Zurich region offers the world’s best operating, financial and regulatory environment and consequently the greatest level of protection for our customers’ bitcoins.”

Matt Atkin, another newly appointed Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassador and formerly in charge of Uber’s international expansion into Switzerland remarked, “Ever since I connected with Greater Zurich Area in early 2013 to discuss launching Uber in Zurich, I’ve been blown away by everything your organization and region has done to make us feel welcomed in Zurich (and more broadly in Switzerland).”

Impressions Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassador Event

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About the author

Lukas Sieber is Executive Director North America at Greater Zurich Area Ltd (GZA Ltd). Prior to GZA Ltd, he worked at Burson-Marsteller Switzerland as digital strategist, developing digital and social media campaigns for national and international clients in the EMEA region. Previous to Lukas’ position at Burson-Marsteller, he worked at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C., and was responsible for all public diplomacy activities and programs for the Swiss government throughout the United States. Lukas hold a master’s degree from the University of Zurich in Political Science and Geography and earned a postgraduate certificate in International Business Management from Georgetown University.

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