The suburbs of Philadelphia may seem like a strange place to develop a passion for international business, but that’s exactly where Camille Sailer got her start.
Sailer grew up in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, not far from her father’s hometown. But her mother was a Manhattanite, and the urge to visit those stomping grounds was strong, so the family spent a lot of time in New York. It was the exposure to diversity in New York, fueled by the different languages spoken at home, exotic gifts from family members living and traveling abroad, and by the fact “we schlepped around the world,” Sailer says, that sparked her interest in global business.
Sailer, the president of the European American Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey (www.eaccnj.org), will host a wine and cheese reception at the Nassau Club in Princeton on Wednesday, January 22, at 5 p.m. For information visit www.eaccnj.org. “We’re also organizing a ‘Transatlantic Trends Update’ with a prominent commentator in mid-April and we are continuing our bilateral market focuses, under the rubric of ‘Market Showcases’ in the next few months, as well,” Sailer says.
The European American Chamber has also organized a series of Getting to Know Europe forums, each focusing on different industries and/or regulations in Europe. There will be one on Thursday, January 23, at Rider University, called Successful Grant Writing by NJ Companies for EU Funding. “There are billions of euros available to American companies,” says Sailer. The health sector in particular, Sailer says, can really benefit from the available grant money. “New Jersey is the epicenter for healthcare industries, so this forum can help.”
“We held a similar forum nine months ago and it was highly successful, so we wanted to do more,” Sailer says.
Target audiences of the Getting to Know Europe forums are senior level executives in their industries as well as members of the scientific and academic communities. “These are the people who sell, buy, invest, and employ; they have experience in many different sectors, so the forums are a great way to for attendees to broaden themselves professionally and personally,” Sailer says. The forums center around panelists and speakers who share their expertise, are free of charge, and usually have about 60 to 70 participants.
Funding for the forums came from a grant bestowed by the EU delegation in Washington, D.C., on EACCNJ, for a second year in a row. “It’s very prestigious,” Sailer said, “We felt very proud to receive it two years in a row.” The grant also helps offset the cost of EACCNJ’s Trade Mission to Europe, which is scheduled for the end of February (see sidebar).
Another upcoming Getting to Know Europe Forum, titled Transatlantic Travel and Tourism Connections, will be at Stockton State College at the end of May, and is intended to attract the Atlantic City crowd as well as other vacation-dependent areas in New Jersey; with the goal of increasing tourism and travel to the region. “This one is different for us, but it’s very important to that part of the state.”
Sailer’s expertise in international trade is impressive: she is currently an attorney specializing in global trade, business development, and educational programs, and she keeps busy speaking and writing about international business and trade issues.
She got her start at Lafayette College (magna cum laude) and received her law degree from Villanova. She also attended University of Madrid, where she received a degree in Spanish studies. Sailer served the American Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Seoul, South Korea; and Brussels, Belgium in various capacities related to international business law and regulations. She taught international business and trade law courses as a visiting professor for the University of Maryland in Seoul. She also spent time in Stuttgart, Germany, with the American Consulate General, representing U.S. businesses and academic interests, and helped to expand the presence of American companies in Germany.
Back on this side of the Atlantic, prior to becoming the president of EACCNJ, Sailer was the vice president for business development at the World Trade Center Greater Philadelphia, and more recently, the director of international trade for New Jersey. She speaks German, French, Dutch, and Korean. Her experience and skills put her in a perfect position to help foster connections and build businesses in New Jersey.
She lives with her husband in Seaville (Upper Township) in Cape May County and Ocean City. They have two children.
The European American Chamber of Commerce provides valuable services to the U.S., since the EU is the United States’ largest trade partner, but the group is particularly beneficial to businesses in the state. “Most states depend on transatlantic trade, but it’s especially so in New Jersey,” says Sailer. “New Jersey companies are world leaders in developing services, technology, and products to support energy efficiency and develop alternative energy sources, which is attractive to European businesses. And there’s proximity. So much comes right through our ports.”
“We’re a known quantity in Europe, we open doors for people. We help people expand their profits,” says Sailer. “It’s an investment.”