Tim Albers, Liesel Albers-Bentlage and Günter Albers, Managing Directors and shareholders of ELA Container, have been named "Family Entrepreneur of the Year 2023" by the INTES Academy for Family Businesses, the Family Business Network Germany (FBN) and the association DIE FAMILIENUNTERNEHMER. The award was presented in November at the INTES Academy's "Entrepreneur Success Forum" in Bonn.
The jury rated the entrepreneurial courage, foresight, desire for new things, entrepreneurial spirit and awareness that a good company needs good governance as key factors in choosing the siblings as award winners.
The prize has been awarded regularly for around 20 years to entrepreneurs who have a successful concept for the long-term continuation of a family-run company.
"The Albers family not only shows entrepreneurial drive, but also recognized the importance of professional governance at an early stage and drew up a family constitution almost 15 years ago," says jury member Catharina Prym, INTES Managing Director and expert in family governance.
Jury chairwoman Prof. Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, Chair of Family Businesses at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, emphasizes that after the founders Bernhard and Elisabeth Albers and the current second-generation award winners, their children are already waiting in the wings to join ELA: "The rules for the third generation to join the company have already been defined."
"Our children are keen and they all have potential," says Liesel Albers-Bentlage. Three of them are already working for the Albers Group. However, just being part of the family is not enough to join the company." The conditions for this include a longer stay abroad and three to five years of professional experience. "This is laid down in our family constitution," says Albers-Bentlage.
The award winners look back on 30 years of working together and took over the management of ELA from their father Bernhard Albers in 2005. Since 2023, Liesel Albers Bentlage and Günter Albers have managed the company as dual leadership - Tim Albers has remained active as a partner since his retirement.
"The recipe for our successful company history includes above all the qualities of honesty, directness and self-discipline," says Tim Albers. "We have always been able to regulate ourselves and have therefore always pulled together in the end." There is also a rule for conflicts: "If someone is not happy with something, they have to say so within two days," says Günter Albers. The family and the company are successful with their rules.
Catharina Prym, Managing Director of INTES Akademie, is certain that she has made the right choice with the ELA family: "We have a strong family here, strong cohesion and good governance with shared values and rules for working together. The entrepreneurial energy can therefore flow completely into the success and growth of the group of companies."
The three siblings also inherited their entrepreneurial spirit from their father. The Albers Group now comprises 60 companies and more than 2,800 employees. The portfolio includes the fish farm "ALBE", the pet food manufacturer "Landguth", the online store for dog food and accessories "alsa-hundewelt", the health institute Ems Vital and the start-up "LateBird", an automated supermarket in a container.
"We are delighted to receive this award for Family Business of the Year 2023," says Günter Albers. The value of the award is expressed in particular by the high-caliber jury and the previous winners. The latter include the Busch family (Busch SE, 2022), the Goldbeck family (Goldbeck Group, 2019), Prof. Dr. Martin Viessmann (Viessmann Werke, 2016) and Heinrich Deichmann (Deichmann, 2012).
This year's jury consisted of Dr. Patrick Adenauer (President of the Family Business Network), Lutz Goebel (Member of the Executive Committee of DIE FAMILIENUNTERNEHMER), Prof. Dr. Nadine Kammerlander (Chair of Family Business at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management), Catharina Prym (Managing Director of INTES Akademie), Ulrich Reitz (Head of Business Editing and Member of the Editorial Board of n-tv), Uwe Rittmann (Head of Family Business and SMEs at PwC), Prof. Dr. Tom A. Rüsen (Chairman of the WIFU Foundation/Managing Director of WIFU) and Dr. Frank Döring (Managing Director of Rochus Mummert Executive Consultants). Dr. Tom A. Rüsen (Chairman of the WIFU Foundation/Managing Director of WIFU) and Dr. Frank Döring (Managing Director of Rochus Mummert Executive Consultants).