For the first time since 2012, the State of New Jersey has an official presence in Europe with the opening of the Choose New Jersey Europe Office in Berlin. Gov. Phil Murphy, representatives of Choose New Jersey, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority were welcomed by Christian Rickerts, State Secretary, Berlin, and Stefan Franzke, CEO of Berlin Partner for the announcement at the Amerika Haus.
“Today’s announcement marks a renewed effort to increase trade opportunities and strengthen relationships between New Jersey and Germany,“ said Murphy, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 2009 to 2013. “Choose New Jersey’s mission is to attract businesses from all over the world to the State of New Jersey. With this new office, we now have Nicola Michels to bring New Jersey’s message of opportunity directly and regularly to the businesses of Germany and throughout Europe.“
Jose Lozano, President & CEO of Choose New Jersey, noted that the organization’s investment in a European office is reflective of a recent increase in international activity at Choose New Jersey as it undertakes economic development efforts on behalf of the State, as well as changes in the global market place.
“Whether you are a manufacturer, biotech or technology start-up, European companies seeking to expand are finding that New Jersey has the talented workforce, expertise and the access to U.S. markets they need to grow successfully,“ said Lozano. “We are very pleased to have Nicola Michels join our team as Managing Director of the Choose New Jersey Europe Office and communicate New Jersey‘s value to the European business community.“
Among the Office’s many activities, Michels will represent New Jersey at trade conferences and business meetings; undertake lead generation and public relations/social media efforts.
“As part of the Choose New Jersey team, I stand ready to meet with businesses looking to expand to the U.S. to help them better understand the value of locating in New Jersey,” said Michels. “It is an honor that the first official statements Governor Murphy is making today are about the importance of this new Office and the work we’ll be doing in Germany and Europe.”
Michels is a seasoned economic development professional with over 20 years of experience spanning three continents. She started out her career in South Africa becoming Deputy Executive for a trade association representing German, Austrian and Swiss companies. She then spent 15 years in the United States working for the German American Chamber of Commerce in New York City. In her last role as Vice President she launched a program for German tech start-ups exploring the U.S. market. Michels was also instrumental in raising awareness in the benefits of German vocational education and training in the United States, working with the German Embassy on the Skills Initiative and serving as a board member of MechaForce New Jersey, an Internship Manufacturing Program. Michels is a German-American dual citizen, fluent in English and German, and also speaks French.
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