Almost dipping our feet in the Atlantic Ocean — that is how close we were to the beach at the combined Swedish and Norwegian Chamber of Commerce networking get-together on April 10. The event was held at the Swedish-owned Pelican Grand Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.
But, the beach could wait, since our mission was a business card exchange, with the NACC Norwegian Chamber of Commerce. About 80 people attended, mingled, enjoyed the stunning view and listened to inspirational and informative speeches by Peter Hult, president of the local Swedish American Chamber of Commerce (SACC) and Inger Torill-Kirkeby, president of the Norwegian Chamber (NACC) about upcoming events and trade opportunities.
The SACC Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach started about six months ago to promote trade, commerce and investment opportunities between Sweden, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, and between our members. We are an open and inviting chamber and our motto is: To be “all-inclusive, not exclusive.” The chamber exists because, and for the benefit, of its members.
The energy and excitement is ever-present, and in a short time more than 100 people and 50 large and small companies have joined. Not only have connections been made within the Swedish and the American business community but many internationals, including Norwegians and Finns, have also found one another working in the local business community.
We have hosted many events since our inauguration last September. This past January the Swedish Chamber together with our partner Norwegian and Finnish chambers, co-hosted a cocktail event at the Pelican Grand honoring the Norwegian Air Shuttle airline start-up of direct flights between Ft. Lauderdale and Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. The Pelican Grand went all out with great food and even an ice sculpture to welcome the Norwegian Air Shuttle and the Norwegian management team.
Norwegian’s direct and convenient flights from Scandinavia have already attracted more visitors, and are now opening doors for more business between Scandinavia and Florida. Pelican Grand is a stunning place —and also a little bit like home, since it is owned by Swede BO Jertshagen and has a Swedish director of revenues, Anette McCrady.

To find out more about SACC Ft. Lauderdale Palm Beach, see and NACC

By Kerstin Holm
Secretary of the Board, SACC Ft. Lauderdale Palm Beach