Interview with Stephen Schueler, President, The American Club Denmark

Interview with Stephen Schueler, President, The American Club Denmark


Please provide us with an overview of The American Club Denmark, highlighting key figures your mission and the unique role that you play in fostering connections within the community.

We are very proud of our 103-year history, which makes us the second-oldest American Club in the world. Our mission is to cultivate commercial, professional, cultural, and social relationships. Our efforts fall into four distinct areas.

First, we work with the United States Embassy (the Ambassador’s wife, Sherry Leventhal, is on our board) to help support and host American government delegations, most recently a delegation of 16 congressman led by Congressman Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader, whose father was from Denmark. The event provided an opportunity for the congressmen to interact with American entrepreneurs and families. This gives us a great opportunity to build relationships between the two countries.

Second, we foster business relationships between Denmark and the US. Our next major event is with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) – the largest environmental sustainability fund in Denmark – at which we hope to build a collaboration between the two countries. We will also host an event with Ken Fisher, the famous American business advisor.

Third, we promote both countries’ mutual culture. For example, we host American Club ballet events. Currently, the lead ballerina is Holly Dorger, who is from Michigan, she has been knighted by the Queen of Denmark. We hosted an event with the Buffalo Art Museum, the third-oldest art museum in America, which has created an entire wing dedicated to Scandinavian art in their newest building. They have an endowment that purchases paintings every year across Scandinavia for the museum.

We hosted an event with Thomas Vinderberg, the Danish film director who won an Oscar for his film, Drunk, an event with Mads Tolling, a double Grammy winner who is from Denmark, now living in the US. Our upcoming events include. Don Johanson, probably the most famous anthropologist who found Lucy in Ethiopia.

Finally, we build personal relationships between Danish and American members. We support American families who are moving to Denmark and adjusting to the culture. We have golf, concerts, speaking events, and we celebrate American holidays, including Thanksgiving.


How is The American Club Denmark actively marketing the country to attract investments from US companies? Do you have any specific strategies or sectors that you can highlight to showcase Denmark’s business appeal?

We showcase commercial success. For example, a Houston-based company, InerFuel, which developed a patented fuel additive to make fuel more sustainable by improving engine performance by 6% while reducing carbon emissions by 20%. In November of last year, Bunker Holding, a 100-year-old Danish firm and the largest bunker fuel company in the world, signed an agreement with InerFuel to market the product globally across the marine industry.


With the recent economic expansion in Denmark, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector with companies like Novo Nordisk experiencing significant demand, how does The American Club Denmark view the current business trends and opportunities in the Danish market, specifically for American businesses?

I have lived in Denmark for over eight years, the relationship has never been better between the two countries. I have been fortunate to have lived in five countries outside the US, including Argentina, Venezuela, South Korea, and Russia. Denmark has the absolute best relationship [with the US]. My great grandfather was the Ambassador to Denmark, it an honor for us to live here.


Denmark’s government recently unveiled plans to invest €19.2 billion in defense over the next 10 years, in line with a pledge to meet NATO’s spending target. Given the US’ role in NATO, are there specific sectors or industries that might witness notable growth or collaboration with American companies due to this investment in defense?

One of my favorite events is the US Marine Ball, which I have attended every year, regardless of what country I am living in. The strong defense relationship between the US and Denmark was probably the most evident at the last Marine Ball, which featured generals and the heads of the different branches of the arm forces including Army, Air Force, Navy. A major beneficiary of this relationship would be Maersk, which is a leading shipping operator for US and Denmark and has very strong relationship with the US.


Connectivity between the US and Denmark is expanding, but are there specific strategies or collaborations The American Club Denmark is considering to leverage for the benefit of its members and the broader community?

I would like to see even more direct links and flights from Copenhagen to the US. Copenhagen Airport is world class and has fantastic accessibility from the city. Being able to reach it in 20 minutes is a significant enabler, and flying from Washington or Philadelphia is very easy if it is a direct flight.


In August 2023, Denmark unveiled plans to boost carbon capture with a $3.9billion investment through two large tenders in 2024 and 2025. How do you see this initiative influencing environmental and economic dynamics in Denmark? Are there opportunities for collaboration between US companies and Danish entities in the context of sustainable and eco-friendly projects?

We believe it is important to create visibility for the available grants, ensuring leaders take advantage of the opportunities. We help create awareness through our business relationships. It is important to visit in person and participate in different seminars to create a stronger relationship.


With the recent launch of the 30th fund by European Maritime Finance and the successful investor seminar in Copenhagen, how do you perceive the opportunities and developments in the maritime and finance sectors in Denmark? Are there areas where American investors and businesses might find appealing prospects for collaboration or investment in the maritime industry?

There has been a very close relationship between European Maritime Finance (EMF) and The American Club Denmark, and they are an official sponsor. EMF has been a positive addition to the organization by bringing business leaders to our events, which creates a positive mix of people and collaboration`. Our last event, at the US Ambassador’s residence, was one of our most successful, with almost 200 attendees, a good example of a positive mix of people generating collaboration.


To finalize, what is the club’s vision for the future of US-Danish relations, and what is your final message for the audience of USA Today?

We want to continue building a strong foundation between Denmark and the US and ensure that we are still here in 100 years, we believe that our focus on four key areas and building relationships will build a stronger future. We have a wonderful relationship with the US Embassy, and the collaboration has allowed us to build relationships between the governments of the two countries. The US Embassy has been excellent and very supportive of our mission. I cannot think of two countries that are more aligned and collaborative. We want to continue enabling that mission, especially through government, business, culture, and building of personal relationships.




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