Hugh K. “Kirk” Atkinson
President, Adah International, Inc.
Kirk Atkinson grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended John Carroll High Catholic School, and received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Alabama in 2004.
Kirk’s grandfather, a machinist and mechanic, instilled a love of working with his hands at an early age. Kirk put himself through college working as a certified automotive mechanic during the summer and winter breaks.
His father, a professional technical writer, instilled a love of history and literature, which led to an affinity for adventurist authors such as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemmingway and Rudyard Kipling, and eventually the travel bug that would lead him to Europe.
After college, he began working as a contractor for World Business Advisors in Birmingham, where he assisted with site selection and economic development duties for international projects.
Kirk became interested in European cultures and business while working for the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority. As senior project manager, he managed the location and expansion of several European companies in Tuscaloosa County, including BLG Logistics, Inc.
Kirk then followed BLG’s project team back to Germany to begin an international education and career path. In Dusseldorf he received German language and international relations training from the Heinrich Heine University and moved to Bremen to begin working directly for the BLG Logistics Group. At the BLG, Kirk was on a projects team assisting with new logistics operations in England, France and Germany.
While in Bremen, he was introduced to Bremeninvest, the lead agency for economic development and international trade in the State of Bremen and was charged with establishing their new offices in the southeastern United States.
Kirk moved back to The States in 2010 and for five years directed U.S. development and trade efforts for Bremeninvest while also managing business development and project management for BLG, Inc. Since then, BLG, Inc. has grown from around 100 employees to over 1,000 and Bremeninvest has welcomed several new American investments in the State of Bremen.
In February 2015, Kirk decided to concentrate fully on his own company, Adah International, Inc. Adah’s services are focused on what Kirk came to find as the biggest needs between industry in the US and Europe: project management, engineering, maintenance and most of all, developing workforce with a German dual-apprentice model.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. (Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It)
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