SACC Chicago has 14 Board Directors, three Honorary Directors, one Executive Director and one Intern. The Board meetings are held once per month.
Vlad Mansson is a seasoned business strategist and international trade professional with experience from driving projects and leading teams across more than 20 markets globally, in APAC, Europe and the Americas. Key areas of expertise include Smart Cities, Transport Systems and Sustainable Technologies.
Mr. Mansson is the Country Manager for Business Sweden in the US and has previously served as the Market Manager and Director of Trade and Investment for the Swedish Trade and Invest Council in Taiwan. He also has a background as a management consultant within the Volvo Group.
Prior to the US, Mr. Mansson has been involved in the Swedish Chambers of Commerce in Shanghai, Bangkok and Taipei.
Chad Eric Bergman
North Park University
Chad Eric Bergman is Director of the Center for Scandinavian Studies at North Park University in Chicago. North Park was founded by Swedish immigrants in the 1890s, one of six Swedish heritage universities in the United States.
North Park University has exchange programs with schools in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland. North Park also recruits degree-seeking students from Scandinavia offering generous scholarships. Guest lecturers, performers, and artists from Scandinavia enrich the liberal arts, professional, and theological academic programs of the university.
Mr. Bergman is co-founder of Akvavit Theatre, a company devoted to producing Nordic plays in translation. He earned his PhD in Theatre History and Criticism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and spent a year in Finland on a Fulbright researching bilingual theatre.
Karin Moen Abercrombie is the Executive Director of the Swedish American Museum and Honorary Consul of the Consulate of Sweden in Chicago.
Ms. Abercrombie has a financial and operational management background and was a management consultant for 15 years, until 2006 when she began at the Swedish American Museum. Ms. Abercrombie was involved with the Swedish American Museum for about 10 years prior to her role as Executive Director, serving on the Board’s exhibit committee during the creation of The Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration. She was a Board member between 2003 and 2006.
Ms. Abercrombie was appointed Honorary Consul of Sweden in Chicago in 2019.During the 13 year period that she has been the Executive Director, the museum has strengthened its position in the community and work with the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, SACC, SWEA, and many other Swedish-American local organizations. Her tenure has seen the renovation of the building’s lobby and façade, the purchase of a parking lot to increase ease of access to visitors, the replacement of the iconic Andersonville water tower, and the purchase of a neighboring building to expand the Museum’s cultural programming capacity.
Ms. Abercrombie serve on the Board of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer and is past board member of Swedish Council of America, SWEA Chicago and Chicago Cultural Alliance.
Chairman of the Board
Carl Wiberg is originally from Goteborg and has studied in Stockholm, Frankfurt and Malaga, obtaining his M. Sc. in Accounting & Financial Management at the Stockholm School of Economics. After stints living and working in Denmark and Germany, he relocated to Portland, OR in 2010 and since 2014 he, his wife and their daughter are Chicago residents.
Carl has a diverse background working within mulitple industries such as renewable energy, chemicals and industrial printing. He now works for Videojet, a Danaher company which is world-leading within the manufacturing of coding and printing equipment. He is responsible for driving sustainable profitable growth of the Videojet global supplies and parts businesses.
In his spare time, Carl enjoys yoga, running and skiing. On occasion you can also find him enjoying the taste of a craft beer at one of the many fine breweries in Chicago.
Carl Kallen is responsible for the market development and scaling of Zebra Technologies Enterprise Asset Intelligence (Enterprise IoT) Solutions across North America. Carl brings Zebra 20 years of advanced, international business development know-how from technology behemoths Samsung, Sony and Ericsson. During his previous tenure at Samsung he managed to effectively transform the B2B unit to a premium product and solutions division, increasing value-share sharply.
Carl previously worked with Global Carrier Groups T-Mobile, Telefonica, 3 and America Movil in Senior Sales Management appointments at Samsung, Sony and Ericsson, winning multiple global and local excellence awards. He began his career with Procter and Gamble where he gained invaluable experience in consumer products sales and marketing management practices.
Born in Venezuela, raised and educated in Switzerland, Spain and Sweden, Carl is a truly international business professional, speaking 5 languages, having lived in 7 countries and conducted business in 36, spanning four continents. He holds dual Bachelor’s degrees from Boston College in Economics and Spanish. He earned his Master’s degree from the Stockholm School of Economics in International Business and Economics and has been a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Hull.
Janis A. Rueping
Janis Rueping has had a long and rewarding career at Swedish Hospital, which recently joined the North Shore Health System. In addition to overseeing quality and risk, she provides administrative leadership for the hospital’s patient safety, medical staff services, infection control, patient experience, survey readiness, ethics, palliative care and hospice, and pastoral care programs. She is a graduate of North Park College and more recently completed her graduate degree in non-profit administration at North Park University. As a resident of the North Park community on Chicago’s North side, and as a member of Swedish Hospital’s leadership team, she has a strong appreciation for the Swedish roots in her communities.
Janis joined the Board of SACC Chicago in January 2012 and has served in several roles, including past President and Chair. She continues to serve as a member of the Lucia Luncheon Planning Committee and has an interest in strategic planning.
Janis and her husband Frank have two adult children, both married, who live in Chicago and Holland, Michigan. Their family of six enjoys traveling together and spending time at their vacation home in northern Michigan.
Vice President of Finance
Michael Richter serves as managing director at J.S Richter; audit, tax and consulting. He is also managing partner of International Attest Solutions, providing similar services for US subsidiaries of French owned companies. Prior to this work, Michael had an 11 year career as an engineer, specializing in machine tools, process automation and controls design, having earned his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1987. He studied accounting at College of DuPage, and earned his CPA in 2000. He also carries the CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) credential, and is a Director of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest.
Vice President of Programs
Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, PC
Beata Krakus is originally from Täby, Sweden. After receiving her Master of Law (Juristexamen) from Stockholm University in 1997 her first position was as an associate with Magnusson Wahlin Advokatbyrå (then Dahlman Magnusson Advokatbyrå) at their newly opened Warzaw office. She was part of establishing one of the most successful and profitable offices within that firm. Her work consisted in assisting primarily Swedish clients in legal matters related to their Polish business ventures.
After moving to the United States, and after going back to law school for a Juris Doctor, received Cum Laude, from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, Beata started at as an associate with Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP at the firm’s Chicago office. She has now moved to the law firm Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. where she has continued her corporate transactional practice specializing in franchise law and distribution issues.
Beata has been involved in many different aspects of SACC, from the Young Professionals Committee of SACC Chicago and organizing the Entrepreneurial Days Committee for SACC Chicago in 2007, to serving on the board of SACC-USA and as Vice Chairperson for SACC-USA.
Vice President of Membership
Elin is a Consultant for Business Sweden in Chicago, where she is delivering analyses and hands-on support for Swedish companies with international market expansion, sales acceleration, and stakeholder management. She is interested in sustainability and how Swedish front-runners can make a positive impact internationally.
Originally from the Swedish west coast, Elin moved to Chicago a couple of years ago attending Business Sweden’s Talent Accelerator Global Trainee Program, with a first placement in Italy and second in the U.S. Elin holds a M. Sc. In Accounting & Financial Management from the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg. She has studied in Spain and in Washington State, and has experience from working with various B2B engagements, e.g. in the workwear industry. In her spare time, Elin enjoys traveling, but also exploring everything Chicago has to offer – including trying not to go to the same restaurant twice.
Vice President of Communications
Kurth Lampe Worldwide
Kitty Kurth is the President of Kurth Lampe Worldwide, a strategic communications firm that has Chicago know-how with an international reach. For more than two decades Kurth Lampe Worldwide has provided public relations and consulting for campaigns, NGO’s and corporations in the United States and around the world.
Kitty is a graduate of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. She is the host of the Girl Pundits podcast and resides with her husband Kevin Lampe in Chicago.
Vice President of YP
Pontus Andersson is an Associate at Business Sweden where he assists Swedish technology companies with their journeys to the United States. Recent transplant from Mississippi, Pontus has spent the past five years helping local entrepreneurs and students grow their businesses while running his own startup or two.
Pontus holds his degree from the University of Mississippi and has previously spent a year living in Austria. In his free time, if he’s not exploring new food options in Chicago or attending pop-up events in the Loop, he can be found trying to revive a long dormant tennis career.
Tom Thorelli is a Swedish-speaking US lawyer with over thirty years of experience working with small- to medium-sized Swedish companies in minimizing legal risks when doing business in the United States. His firm combines a broad range of expertise (with four lawyers located in the Chicago, Illinois headquarters) in the fields of intellectual property law, product liability preventive management, acquisitions, corporate law, contract negotiation, and immigration; all with small-firm attention to detail and customer service to create tailored legal solutions for its clients. The firm’s clients range from high-tech startups to companies with software applications, telecommunications, medical devices, automotive and aeronautic industries, consumer products, security technology, consulting services, etc. Over the years, Thorelli & Associates has assisted over one thousand foreign companies in properly structuring their entry into the US.
Thomas has a close working relationship with many Chambers of Commerce located throughout Sweden. He is often invited to speak about an array of legal issues, including immigration, product liability preventive management, contract negotiations etc.
Oskar Berg is the Regional Director Americas for Absortech, Inc. In this role he is responsible for designing and implementing a multi-continent distribution network and supply chain solution for North and South America. Oskar is relatively new to Absortech but brings 20 years of business development experience from his previous role as President of Combi Wear Parts, Inc. In this role he Initiated and launched North American partnership with several external European parts supplier and secured dedicated distributing partners in the majority of North and South America.
Oskar was born and raised in Sweden but moved to the United States and Chicago in 1999. He has served on the Board of SACC Chicago in the past but due to family and work commitment he decided to step back for some years.
Oskar holds an MBA from Depaul Kellstadt Graduate School of Business as well as a Master of Science Business degree from Jonkoping International Business School.
Gunn most recently retired from the position as the SACC Chicago Executive Director. She held the position from June 1, 2010 until December 31, 2020.
Gunn has extensive knowledge of the Swedish-American business community in Chicago area as she previously worked at Scandinavian Airlines, the Swedish Trade Council and the Honorary Consulate of Sweden in Chicago. She has also twice served as a Board Member of SWEA, Chicago.
Gunn grew up in southern Sweden and earned a Master’s degree in Home Economics from the University of Gothenburg where she lived before moving to Chicago. She now resides in the Libertyville area with her husband. She has two children and two grandchildren. She enjoys travelling, interior decorating and gardening. She also enjoys sailing as well as other outdoor activities.
Katarina Stetz is a Swedish cosmetic formulator, private label consultant & entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in the beauty industry. She has a dual master’s degree –in chemical engineering from Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm & in finance from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Katarina also have vast experience in management consulting, project management, IT implementations & supply chain management. She has lived and worked in Sweden, UK and the US and has great understanding of what it is like to start businesses on both sides of the pond.
In his role as director Nicklas manages four teams of automotive project engineers globally, of which one team in the USA. Nicklas’ and his teams develop tooling packaged for customers such as Ford, Chrysler, Volvo, Scania, Caterpillar, Tesla, American Axle, ZF, and other automotive brands, and their suppliers.
Prior to working at Sandvik, Nicklas worked at the conceputal design engineering department at SSAB (Swedish Steel) with technical, and economical analyses for customers of high strength steel globally. Before that Nicklas worked at Volvo Car Corporation, and Ford Motor Company in Sweden, and Germany as project manager for two large car plattform projects. When at Volvo Nicklas represented the Ph.D. students in different forums.
He has lived ten years in Chicago, and currently lives in Bucktown. He owns a farm in Falun that he rents out. He is originaly from Sundsvall, Sweden.
Nicklas Bylund speaks six languages fluently, and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Aided Design, a MSc in Mechanical Engineering, a French Grande Ecole engineering degree, as well as an MBA.
Learn Swedish Now
Jessica Tovesson is the founder of Learn Swedish Now, LLC. Learn Swedish Now provide educational solutions that prepare our customers for upcoming relocations, new work assignments, or improved communication with family and friends in small-group classes or as private lessons.
Prior to relocating to Chicagoland, Ms.Tovesson was a teacher and Assistant Principal at The Swedish School in Washington, DC. She also taught the Swedish language and the culture to professional adults, preparing them for carrier advancement in Sweden. Ms.Tovesson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (B. Ed.) from Stockholm University, Sweden, and has taught children in public and private schools both in Sweden and the USA for more than 15 years. Prior to moving to the USA in 2006, Ms.Tovesson volunteered at The Swedish Red Cross as a teacher in CPR and First Aid.
Maria Loew started at SACC Chicago in January 2021. She brings with her a network of Swedish-American business contacts from her years as a consultant at the Swedish Trade Council (now Business Sweden) and most recently as a board member of SWEA Chicago.
Maria was the Head of Operations for Chicago-based events company Proxfinity and set up the San Francisco office for the Swedish company Intermezzon, which develops digital education software. Originally from Jönköping, Maria started her career at Husqvarna AB before moving to the United States in 1988.
Victoria Afnani joined SACC Chicago in January 2022 and works alongside Maria for the SACC Chicago office. She is currently studying her bachelor’s in business administration at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg. Victoria grew up in a small town south of Gothenburg called Kungsbacka, but has always dreamt of living in the U.S.
Her future aspirations revolves around working in large organizations such as the UN or the WTO, where she can help make the world a better place. She has previous experience within business development and international markets, specifically in the Nordics, the U.S and China. Victoria also has a passion for travelling, getting to know new people and exploring new places and cultures.
121 West Wacker Drive, Suite 618
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 257-3002