The German-American Hall of Fame (GAMHOF) hosted a Manhattan news conference on Monday evening, January 28, 2008, to announce the ten outstanding individuals who have been elected as the initial inductees to the Hall of Fame.
The news conference was kicked off by remarks from His Excellency Thomas Matussek, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations. Ambassador Matussek praised the GAMHOF concept and introduced the first ten inductees. Representing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was city Records & Information Services Commissioner Brian Andersson, and representing the German Consulate was Deputy Consul General Stefan Grabherr.
Special thanks were accorded to the event’s sponsors, Mercedes-Benz of Manhattan and Deutsche Telekom-USA (parent of T-Mobile).
GAMHOF, which was founded in 2005 and introduced publicly at a reception for 1,000 at the Washington residence of the German Ambassador to the United States in October 2005, conducted a thorough process to consider notable Americans of German ancestry, leading up to the final election of the first 10 inductees. The Advisory Board of GAMHOF made recommendations to the GAMHOF Board of Trustees. Eventually, the Trustees voted for the inductees, who were announced on January 28, , 2008.
“By inducting ten truly great and notable Americans into the German-American Hall of Fame,” said GAMHOF Founder and Chairman William Hetzler, “the general U.S. public will begin to have a better understanding and appreciation for the irreplaceable contributions of German immigrants to America.” As many as 70 million Americans claim German ancestry, making them the largest ethnic group in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census. “Our GAMHOF motto will be “Educate and Celebrate,’” added Mr. Hetzler.
In addition to the announcement of inductees, the NEW GAMHOF website (www.gamhof.org) was introduced on large screens for attendees to view.
The first ten inductees, as elected by the Board of Trustees, with advice and input from the Advisory Board are: