The American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic is a non-profit, nongovernment organization governed independently by a board of directors elected from and by its membership. We are a member of the US Chamber of Commerce. We connect around 1500 top executives and company owners representing nearly 300 companies. Our member network spans industries, sizes and nationalities.
Our objective is to improve business environment in the Czech Republic. We can achieve it through networks of our members, business associations, public administration and NGOs we cooperate with. Our members can take an advantage of provided business opportunities, management improvements and advocacy.
The Chamber is registered in the Commercial Register administered by the Municipal Court in Prague, section A, entry No. 7665. Id.-No.: 481 18 320.
Strong communities are built by the efforts of those people who can balance self-interest with public good. The AmCham Plus Club was created to acknowledge such people and the good deeds they have done for all of us. Members of the Pus Club receive a lapel button that they are asked to wear to remind each of us that the health of our society does not begin in the prime minister´s office but in the actions of every one of us each day.
The Plus Club is growing each year as new members are being appointed regularly during AmCham General Assembly held in June based on their long lasting contribution and participation at various AmCham activities and projects.
List of current members:
The time and talents of AmCham members are what make the organization thrive. Without the voluntary efforts of dozens of members throughout the year, our organization would not be able to advocate new reforms, organize insightful seminars, and make the connections that bring greater prosperity to the country.
Each year, since 2011, at the Thanksgiving Ball, we recognize members’ acts of social responsibility by awarding the annual Wings Award for a member who has made significant contributions to AmCham activities and the business community as a whole in the course of the previous membership year.
From 2013 we also give a Wings Award to a community leader whose activities have improved the condition of community life in the Czech Republic and have had a positive impact on the public. This is a non-political award, regardless AmCham membership.
Any AmCham member can nominate by sending filled nomination forms to AmCham offices (via email or regular mail). Nomination period usually run from the beginning of September until the mid of October. The final approval of the nominees is made by the AmCham Board of Directors.
The Financial Crisis Advisory Centre (Poradna při finanční tísni) is a Public Benefit Organization and a unique example of cooperation of the largest Czech financial institutions/banks on a non-profit platform. By providing a free-of-charge counselling to concrete individuals in personal financial/social crisis and/or difficult life situations, the Centre gives the concept of “corporate social responsibility” a very concrete content.
Under the leadership of David Šmejkal, the Centre provides a high- quality and effective advisory to citizens in financial crisis, in imminent or existing insolvency or subject to execution, and help in submitting applications to be discharged from debts. Thanks’ to David´s efforts, the Centre has already 8 branches in Praha, Ostrava, Ústí n. Labem, Šumperk, Hradec Králové, Litvinov, Česká Lípa, Plzeň and Prostějov. The general aim of David Šmejkal´s advisory services is to make people aware of responsibility over personal finances, teach the wide public how to avoid risks associated with indebtedness and promote responsible borrowing. His team does so through professionally structured seminars, workshops, lectures which they adjust to each specific audience and its experience: schools, companies, social service providers, senior homes, unemployed.
Dobrý anděl foundation helps families facing financial distress as a result of illness. In 2011, Petr Sýkora and Jan + Černý set up Dobrý anděl foundation and committed for the first 5 years to pay 25 million CZK. Anybody can become Dobrý anděl (Good Angel) by contributing regularly any small amount of money. Financial contributions from all Good Angels are re-distributed each month down to the very last “penny” to all the families who need it and are registered in this foundation. The operating expenses of the endowment fund are financed out of the private funds of the founders.
Jan Lorman´s background is in directing theatre and radio broadcasts. In 1990 he set up an organization called Život 90 with a mission to improve the quality of life and general well-being of senior citizens. Život 90 is Jan´s great passion and his work for this organization has been a life-long commitment with significant and far-reaching impact on the community as a whole.
Život 90 cooperates with governmental and municipal institutions in creating programs aimed at social, educational and cultural activities. It provides numerous humanitarian services to enable the elderly to more actively enjoy their lives as members of society.
Mr Lorman´s team has been operating a special telephone line for senior citizens who are in distress or in need of help. Hundreds of thousands of pensioners have confided in the Život 90 helpline over the years of the organization´s existence and have benefited from its valuable advice and guidance.
AmCham Wings for a member goes to Jan Valdinger of Change Partnership for his long-term contribution and cooperation on AmCham projects.
Milena is the type of individual who, when there is a problem, does not point fingers at others, but points it at herself and gets to work finding and implementing a solution. She challenges conventional thinking, she views “no” as the first step to getting to “yes”, and considers the government a piece to the puzzle, not a separate and alien power.
Her work in Amcham focuses on making the country a hub of international business. This year, her efforts were integral to devising a better policy for immigration and labor. In the next year as the country continues to find its competitive footing, we are counting on her to help us fill the vacuum in positive economic policy that the continuing political crisis has created.
Daniel and were recognized for their outstanding efforts to make the public procurement process more transparent and efficient.
Dan chaired the Platform for Transparent Public Procurement and served as its general spokesman. His ability to lead discussions to concrete conclusions, and to coax consensus from the various political parties, government agencies, and civic associations that are members of the platform was essential to achieving the legislative reform and creating an atmosphere of cordiality and confidence that should enable the Platform to undertake further reforms.
Daniel chaired the expert working group on the reform of the public procurement act. His task was difficult: he had to reach agreement on the principles of the reform, work with the government on drafting the reform, and then carefully vet both the government’s proposal and other amendments to ensure that the principles were achieved both in the text and in practice, and that the legislation would have no damaging side effects. His precise work often put him, at times, into the crosshairs of both politicians and other enthusiastic reformers, who did not like it when their big ideas were confronted with the challenge of working in practice. Without hours and hours of his work, along with hours and hours of his patient explanation, we would not have the solid, workable reform that is currently in the hands of the Senate.
In 2015, AmCham Board proposed to dedicate funds (CZK 200,000) raised during the auction in 2014 for projects which:
One World, Many Voices is an AmCham philanthropic program to support long term development of the Czech Republic.
Since 2012, the program has been contributing to development of community involvement in the Czech society.
Objectives of the program include:
From this new grant competition AmCham has supported 11 school projects throughout the Czech Republic in 2012/2013, 9 schools in 2013/2014 and 8 schools in 2014/2015.
Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions - contact Gabriela Rybova at email@example.com
The program Facebook pages:
Who can compete for donations?
Classes or similar school groups from public basic schools and public high schools in the Czech Republic can submit their project proposals.
How much can a school get?
A maximum cap on single projects is not set.
What kind of projects can be submitted?
Submitted projects have to be beneficial for wider community (not only the class), it has to involve the school, local community (public) and a local government organization. Cooperation among kids, teachers, public and municipal government representatives is desired. Projects should have a long-term positive effect and sustainability.
Submitted projects should be prepared by children to a large extent, written in English (up to 3 pages A4 format) and should include:
Projects should be delivered either to AmCham office via regular mail or via e-mail to Gabriela Rybova at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grants are awarded to individual projects (donation contract to a school). The project has to be realized within 12 months from receiving the money.
The final report in English language and short video has to be submitted to AmCham.
Specific details are published with opening of the grant competition every year at www.amcham.cz, Facebook page and LinkedIn.
Each year money for the One World, Many Voices program is raised mainly during the annual Thanksgiving Ball.
At the Ball the Silent Auction supported by many sponsors and donors is held. Any member company can donate an item for Silent Auction that is going to be auctioned.
Important source of finance for the One World, Many Voices project are donations from corporate tables. Companies that order a corporate table can voluntarily pay extra CZK 10.000 margin that is donated to this project.
For more information contact Gabriela Rybova at email@example.com.
Winners of the grants in Fall 2014 (with links to their videos about completed project):
Winners of the grants in 2013/2014:
Winners of the grants in 2012/2013:
List of donated schools from 2003 until 2011:
Ústí nad Labem:
ZŠ ESB, Brno
ZŠ Emy Destinové, Praha 6
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As AmCham President, I would like to utilize my Honeywell career to demonstrate how fostering diversity across nations and cultures can bring valuable knowledge and experience. In our ever changing environment we are able to diversify our technological abilities to also deliver cyber security to reduce vulnerability in our personal and professional lives. Honeywell is successful in providing cyber security to build defences against the growing threat of cyber-attacks. Continuing to diversity across all levels enables our community to strengthen and improve the environment in which we work and live.
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I´m happy to build on my 14 years AmCham Board experience (last six years as 2nd Vice President) and to contribute to a further expansion of AmCham as the leading voice of the business community in the Czech Republic. I am sure you have noticed that the Executive Committee and the Board of AmCham have successfully followed the approved strategic plan in both Advocacy and Networking agendas. I am pleased to hear from many members that our efforts are truly appreciated.
As a member of the Executive Committee I concentrate mainly on AmCham networking agenda. I am happy to see that in the last couple of years an increased number of members participated in targeted, high level events that have been organized by AmCham, including our “crown jewel”, the traditional Thanksgiving Ball.
I am also proud that Constellation Executive Search company is an active Corporate Patron of Amcham in the Czech Republic. In Constellation we always aim at attracting new investors to enter the Czech market and to create new job opportunities in the Czech Republic.
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As a board member, I will represent the hospitality industry and would focus on promoting Prague and Czech Republic as a viable destination for holding congresses and conventions and a high-profile destination for demanding travelers
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I try to devote my energy to three areas :
1. Create a vision for Czech Competitiveness/ Collaborative-ness 2030/2040 and a related action plan to attract and retain the best talents from the region.
2. As also President of Prague Convention Bureau to create the synergy for the ecosystem that promotes applied research and high value added services by bringing together R&D, investors as well as businesses into incubators and accelerators.
3. Explore further the responsibility of business to society through more responsible and informed leadership.
My energies is especially devoted to small and medium enterprises, which do not have resources commanded by large corporations.
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With opposition to U.S.-led sanctions against Russia rising and with sanctions against Iran and companies doing business with it about to be reinvoked, the position of the AmCham becomes more precarious. More than ever, we need to find a balance between supporting U.S. foreign policy and addressing the concerns of those whom it affects negatively. Our independence as an organization is put to the test. I have always prided myself on separating my own business and personal interests from those of the Chamber and its members, and I vow to continue to do this.
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As a Board member, I like to build upon more than two decades of work of previous managing partners of KPMG in contributing to AmCham active role in enhancing the local business environment. AmCham has a strong record of achievement and KPMG is proud to have been an active member. Our contributions have included, in particular, the very active involvement of my predecessors, Jan Žůrek, František Dostálek and Charles Randolph in the area of tax policy, sustainable development, and good government. As a lawyer by background, I intend in particular to focus on the legal and tax reforms of the new government and their impact on the business environment.
I would also like to continue to strongly support development of transparency and ethics in the Czech business and public environment. Government and the public sector in general remains far from efficient and operates below its potential. I am convinced that AmCham as an independent, reputable and respected representative of the business community can play a key role in promoting best practice in this area.
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Having worked for many years in area supporting research, development and engineering, I would like AmCham to influence development of “innovative economy” – economy with advanced and high quality production. I also want to promote development of regions to distribute economic growth more evenly.
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Since the early days in my professional career I tended to take part in public debates – as a (part time) journalist, as advisor, as participant in various task forces in governmental and NGO sector. Today, AmCham is probably the best place for an intelligent public debate. The atmosphere of openness, level of engagement and quality of contributions in AmCham debates significantly exceeds the current standards. The most recent political and security development in Central and Eastern Europe and in Czech Republic in particular, AmCham can and should play a role in preserving Czech Republic as a member of Western security and political structures.
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I focus on legal reform and economic development, and on the new construction law. With my experience advising businesses here for the last 15 years, I know there are many aspects of Czech law that need improvement. As a board member, I try to facilitate communication between members and AmCham to identify legal/business issues that are worthy of attention. Promoting economic development is another priority, and specifically in the regions. Industrial zones, brownfields, and public-private partnerships can attract new investment and business opportunities while also improving quality of life. As a member of the Board of Directors, I work on combining the skills of our members that are interested in these projects with our success in government policy-based initiatives.
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I am a father of three girls, a partner with a major New York-based law firm, a Prague born patriot, and a keen cyclist. I genuinely care about the future for my family and the Czech Republic.
Throughout my practice, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of key investors, helping them to understand the workings of this country, its laws, courts, magistrates and politics. Although I have done work for state institutions, such as the Prague Council, when investigating defaults in the course of the Blanka Tunnel procurement, or the Ministry of Finance, when half a billion crowns of state funds were channeled into a private Swiss bank account and then simply lost, I have made a firm decision to act exclusively for private investors, with a focus on U.S.- and Western European-based clients.
Over the years, the most notable U.S.-based clients with whom I have worked have included, for example, TPG, La Salle, Prologis, Honeywell and Johnson Controls. At our firm, we have assisted a number of the most successful privately held businesses that have outgrown the region and become European or global players, such as Avast, PPF, EPH, CTP and Bonatrans.
We are a confident and independent law firm of reputable standing, and we find ourselves in the best possible position to assist both international investors and major Czech-based players in navigating the current waters. In fact, we have a vested interest in making sure that the Czech legal system continues to improve so as to make sure that this country remains an attractive place to live and do business.
This is a trying time for our young legal and democratic system. Our laws have evolved significantly, but our politicians are increasingly tempted to question the limits of the established rule of law. It is foreign investors and successful local businesses who are typically an easy target and the first to come under pressure in such a political environment.
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Manufacturing in the Czech Republic faces a major transition. As compensation spikes upward, production lines will need to become more efficient and more productive. Our facilities will have to become more attractive to employees and more economical. I want to work with other manufacturers to drive those process improvements and promote government policies that will make this transition successful."
Michel's AmCham Priority:
• Country Manufacturing strategy
• CNB Monetary policy.
• Cooperation with other countries Chambers of Commerce
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Jaroslava joined Manpower in 2001 as Country Manager Czech Republic. Under her leadership, the company’s turnover increased from 100 million to 3,6 billion CZK. Manpower Czech Republic currently serves 1.200 clients, placing 24.000 new employees yearly. In 2006 she became member of the Global Leadership Team ManpowerGroup Inc and in October 2007, she was made responsible for development of Manpower Slovakia.
Prior to joining Manpower, Jaroslava worked as commercial director of the French Chamber of Commerce from its foundation in 1997. She was the vice president of the chamber’s board of directors from 2002 to 2006.
She is the founding member and the president of the Association of providers of personnel services – APPS, which unites the leading personnel and employment agencies in the Czech Republic. The Association significantly contributes to the changes of labour law aiming to increase the openness and flexibility of the sector.
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As a company, we believe the next wave of this country's growth depends on larger and more effective investment into research and development. I want to use our recent experience to help shape policies to increase the proportion of private research investment to public research investment, and to share best practices among high tech manufacturers so that the country's manufacturing capabilities are among the best in Europe.
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AmCham pursues policies and investments that will help the Czech Republic increase GDP per capita by 60% by 2025. During my time on the board and as president, I have been involved in many initiatives that have led toward this goal, and strengthened the voice of business as part of society. I would very much like to continue being a part of this effort with a focus on improving the processes and outcomes of municipal procurement and improving AmCham's channels to communicate the important events of all the businesses in our community.