GABRIELE KOLEMAINEN | Board Member
I was born in Bremen, Germany where I also attended the Universatität Bremen. I have a degree in Social Science and a second degree in Economics from the Academy for Economics. For the past 25 years, I have worked in Germany (Bremen, Hannover, Berlin) and in the US (Chicago) in various positions within the accounting field.
Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed traveling. I spent several months in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. During my father’s assignment in Monkey Bay, Malawi, I was able to visit him for a few weeks. Of course, I have also visited many countries in Europe. I am intrigued by “Andere Länder, andere Sitten”. I love to taste other culture’s cuisine and I always try to learn at least a little of their language. I enjoy the hospitality given to me and I try to give that back to others I meet in my daily life.
I met my husband, Sigurd, while we were living and working in Berlin. When he said he wanted to move back to Chicago together, I was excited about the new adventure in my life. During the first years, I learned a lot about the American culture and society, however sometimes I missed my home country. In the past, Maifest, the Von-Steuben-Parade and Oktoberfest often helped me through my homesickness. In 2014, I decided to volunteer at Stammtisch and Maifest. I never thought that it would be so much fun! I truly enjoy the interest Americans have in German culture. Many Chicagoans have German roots, which shaped their lives and I love to talk to the guests at DANK Haus who have much in common with me.
The DANK Haus became something like a home away from home and I would like to give back to all the visitors of Dank Haus what I have found here for myself.