Chairman of the Board



Arnold Haake

Chairman of the Board, Past President

Arnold J. Haake is currently the President and General Manager of the Commercial Real Estate Opportunity Fund of SWFL. Previously he was chairman of the board, president and CEO of the Royal Palm Bank of Florida, a commercial bank, with European stockholders and clients; he founded in 2001 and subsequently sold in 2006. Most of Haake’s earlier banking assignments have been in Europe and the Middle East with the international operations of The Chemical (now JP Morgan- Chase) Bank of New York. He has also been member, director and president of the European American Network (previously called the European Chamber of Commerce) since its inception in 2000. Haake was born and raised in Missouri, has a professional military background and has been a full time resident of Southwest Florida since 1994.



Bev Larson

Bev Larson


Bev Larson has been living in the area since 1976 and has been in Real Estate Building & Development and currently as a Realtor, representing Buyers, Sellers & Investors in Lee, Collier and the surrounding Counties, specializing in Commercial, Residential, Investment Properties & Businesses in this area for over 38 years.
Bev is a Designated ABR, ASR, RECS, CRS, TRC & CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) and CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) as well as a Member of CCIM, CIP, REIS, SWFLREIA, WCR, NAWIC, EAN.
Bev is the 2015 President & Board Member of the Florida CCIM Chapter SWFL District, 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 - Florida Realtors Commercial Alliance Committee Member, 2015 Vice-Chair of the Commercial Committee of Naples Area Board of Realtors, a Graduate of the 2011 NABOR Leadership Class, the 2015/2016 President and a Member of the Board of Directors of EAN, 2014 Chair of the NABOR Global Network , 2012/2013/2014/2015 Commercial Alliance Co-Chair - Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Member of the CID (Commercial Investment Division) and Global Network at the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, Gulf Shore Life 5 Star Agent 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and the V.P. and on the Board of Directors for "The Offices at Coconut Point". Bev is Certified in Feng Shui and has earned the Advanced Business Certification. Bev is a Master-4th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, eligible for her 5th degree testing, and a 1st Degree Black Belt in Hapkido, eligible for her second degree testing ...


James A. 


James A. Hollars

Vice President

James A. Hollars .....



Sebastian Nye-Schmitz

Sebastian Nye-Schmitz


Sebastian Nye-Schmitz, J.D. is a Certified Public Accountant and Attorney at Law, licensed in the State of Florida with his own private firm, The Nye-Schmitz Law Firm, P.A., located in Bonita Springs. His areas of practice include all levels of tax controversy, including CPA support and independent representation of clients during audits, appeals, US Tax Court cases, refund litigation, and establishing of collection alternatives with the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, he is a transactional attorney, providing service for sales of businesses, drafting contracts, estate planning and real estate closings. ( and
Sebastian was born in Germany and moved to the United States in 1995. He's considered a “local" to Southwest Florida and graduated Cum Laude from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2004, followed by a Master of Science Degree in Accounting & Taxation from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2005. In 2007, he became a Certified Public Accountant and started his own CPA Firm.
He decided to continue his education and, in 2012, graduated, Cum Laude, from Ave Maria School of Law with a Juris Doctoris degree. He passed the Florida Bar Exam and promptly started working as an associate Attorney for a small boutique tax law firm. In 2014 he then opened his own law practice.
Sebastian is bi- lingual and holds both German and United States citizenships. He is very family oriented. He has been married for four years and is a father to a toddler and in December 2014 his family will expand by two more feet.



Harald C. 


Harald C. Hutterer


Harald C. Hutterer was born in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. He graduated as an electrical engineer, studied ecology and landscape architecture, completed a college for management and has a master in photography. He is bilingual and well connected to businesses and leaders in Austria. For 15 years, he managed a business for audiovisual electronic equipment. In 2002 he started to manage an advertising agency with main focus on billboards. With “Gallery Impact”, he organizes exhibitions for international, but especially FL artists. Harald came to SW Florida in 2008. A year later he started his local business Amcosun Solar Electric. In 2014, he started an advertising agency in SW Florida, that enables local businesses to promote their services and products in Austria.


Honarary Board Members



Michael Schneider-Christians

Past President and Honorary Board Member

Michael is a 1985 immigrant to Florida from Germany. He has an MBA degree from a German university. Michael was one of the founders of the European American Network group. Michael has always worked in international business, in Im- and Export of tools in Germany and in international real estate here in Florida.





Candace Wehbe-Dennen

Honorary Board Member

Multicultural and multilingual, of Swiss and American nationality, her vast overseas experience in both Director level positions of international finance and the Diplomatic Corps have provided Candace with a truly “European” view on issues, and her networks are broad based in industry, government and finance. She has assisted businesses looking to expand either US to Europe or Europe to US, including harnessing institutional investors to finance projects, the build out of tourist revenue streams, development of educational opportunities, investment in foreign real estate or company relocations and expansions. An active member of many local and international organizations, her time is divided between Europe and the USA.




Susanne Pawlik

Honorary Board Member

... more info coming soon!




Past Presidents



Trish Leonard

Past President

Trish Leonard, IOM, is the owner of TLC Marketing & Creative Services, a full-service boutique marketing, public relations and event planning firm, located in Estero and Bonita Springs Florida. Our goal is to exceed customers’ expectations from start to finish. TLC Marketing & Creative Services, was chosen the 2015 Small Business of the Year by the Estero Chamber of Commerce. Trish was recently featured in the 2016 Woman of Distinction national magazine and the 2011 Zonta Woman of the Year and serves of several boards and committees in Southwest Florida.


Norma Brenne 


Norma Brenne Henning

Past President

Norma Brenne Henning, J.D. Is an immigration attorney and owner of the Henning Law Firm P.A. with offices in Naples and Tampa. She has served the Federal Republic of Germany as Honorary Consul since 2003. She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law and has an undergraduate degree in journalism from Troy State University.