Helge H. Wehmeier to be Honored as 2014 Distinguished German-American of the Year

The German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® (GAHF) is proud to announce that Mr. Helge H. Wehmeier will be honored as the 2014 Distinguished German-American of the Year™. The 28th Annual Award and Fundraising Gala will be hosted by Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, on its premises at 1999 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006 on Saturday, November 1, 2014. This stunning office building was designed by the renowned German-American architect, Helmut Jahn.

Since 1987, the award has provided national recognition for outstanding leadership, contributions, and achievements by Americans of German-speaking ancestry in various aspects of society, including business, the arts, education, science and politics. The GAHF Board of Directors chose to bestow its 2014 Distinguished German-American of the Year™ Award upon Mr. Helge H. Wehmeier of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Wehmeier is recognized for his acclaimed corporate leadership as the former President and CEO of Bayer Corporation, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayer AG – a global company based in Germany with a proud tradition in life sciences and polymers. Under his leadership, Bayer Corporation’s revenue doubled in size to $11 billion, while it won U.S. national recognition for its advancement of diversity and fairness in employment practices as well as work safety.

Mr. Wehmeier also played the pivotal role in assuring that Americans had access to the medicines needed during the anthrax crisis of October, 2001. His active leadership at that time on Capitol Hill and in meetings with White House officials still serves as a template for the forging of private-public partnerships.

Helge H. Wehmeier was born in Goettingen, Germany. In 1965, he joined Bayer as a management trainee in Leverkusen, Germany and retired as Vice Chairman of Bayer Corp., Pittsburgh, in 2004, after having served as President and CEO from 1991 to 2002. During that time, Pittsburgh served as the headquarters of all Bayer operations in the USA. He is an alumnus of the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Institut Europeén d’Administration des Affaires in Fontainebleau, France. Most of his professional life, Wehmeier lived outside of Germany – four years in the UK, and in the US from 1967 until 1974 and 1989 to the present.

Furthermore, Mr. Wehmeier has been a member of numerous professional organizations, such as the American Council on Germany, American Chemistry Council, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Society. He currently serves on the Board of Owens-Illinois and PNC Financial.

The GAHF’s Annual Award and Fundraising Gala honoring Mr. Helge H. Wehmeier will begin at 5:30 pm with a cocktail reception, followed by a formal dinner at 7:00 pm. Tickets for the gala dinner are $175 per person, of which $100 are a tax-deductible donation. For convenient online ticket purchase, lease click here.

There are also several sponsorship opportunities for those who wish to support the GAHF as a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Sponsor, which includes numerous participation and recognition benefits. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact the GAHF Executive Director Petra Schürmann at 202-467-5000 ext. 105 or email us at info@gahmusa.org.

The day after the gala dinner, all guests are encouraged to attend the official opening of a new photo exhibit “The Fall of the Berlin Wall – Seen from an American Perspective”,presenting works by the San Francisco-based artist Colin Campbell, at our museum on 719 Sixth Street, NW.

The exhibit opening is scheduled to take place at 12:00 noon, on Sunday, November 2, 2014 – in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

For more information, please visit www.gahmusa.org or e-mail us at info@gahmusa.org.