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IN PROFILE: Liese Peterson

BUSINESS: General Manager, von Hagen North America, LLC

AGE: 60

BACKGROUND: “I have a bachelor’s degree in German from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, and a master’s in management from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Our firm is in the business of building trade show exhibits for companies large and small throughout the world. What really plays a role in my having this wonderful job is my ability to speak a foreign language. I speak German, Italian, and some Russian.”

FIRST JOB: “My first ‘real job’ was as a chair-side dental assistant but I was horrible at it and was fired because I was often grossed out and would leave the treatment room to avoid getting sick.”

YEARS IN BUSINESS: “Thirty years total, about half in the trade show business, and for the last 10 years have been deeply involved in trans-Atlantic business development.”

PERSONAL: “I spend my free time with my new husband and three dogs, and in summer, there’s just nothing like swimming with a Labrador Retriever.”

BUSINESS CLIMATE: “This is such a timely question because our business is greatly affected by changes in currency rates. That means it’s less expensive for Americans to exhibit in Europe, but more expensive for Europeans to exhibit here.”

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