Every year, since 1987 the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® (GAHF) has recognized an American of German-speaking ancestry for outstanding leadership and achievements in business, the arts, education, science, politics and society. The Distinguished German-American of the Year™ Award is the only national honor of this kind.
Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Erich Ast of Pennsylvania is a long-time supporter, member of the Board of Directors, including his service as treasurer for almost a decade, and a generous benefactor.
GAHF Board and Charter Member
Fred Hansen of New York is a charter member, and has been with GAHF since its inception in 1977. He has filled many different board positions including his role as long standing secretary.
GAHF Co-Founder and Former Director
Helmut Krüger of New Jersey is one of the original co-founders of GAHF who promoted the organization all the way to the Reagan White House, and served as president and vice president in the early days.
Former Pilot and VP for Northern California
Hank Stoffel of California, GAHF’s vice president and decades-long regional representative in Northern California, whose tireless commitment helped establish the foundation and its museum among the German-American community.
Entrepreneur, Investor and Thinker
Peter Thiel started PayPal in 1998, led it as CEO, and took it public in 2004. He also leads a number of companies and the Thiel Foundation.
Secretary of Commerce, South Carolina.
Robert “Bobby” M. Hitt III was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to serve as Secretary of Commerce in January 2011.
This year’s awardee Mr. Philip F. Anschutz, not only represents the essence of the Distinguished German-American Award, but he also will be the first Volga-German descendant to receive this award.
CEO and Chairman of Caterpillar, Inc.
Oberhelman’s German roots are in Westphalia, and he received the award on October 29, 2015 at the National Press Club for his outstanding leadership of Caterpillar through accelerated business cycles and improved global manufacturing and operations.
The German-American Heritage Foundation (aka United German-American Committee of the USA, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN 23-2033554), and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Please remember GAHF in your estate plans.