Youngstarts | Talk | A Round of Succession | Presse Münsterland e.V.
Talk round, streamed from the Döpik company in Stadtlohn
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Press release

Family-internal company successors report: The balancing act between tradition and modernity

Talk round of the joint project Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland with around 200 participants

Traditions can be both a burden and an opportunity - especially in a company. How they mastered the balancing act between tradition and modernity when taking over a company was reported by four company successors and one successor on Thursday at the "One Round of Succession" topic talk of the joint project Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland. The discussion round was streamed live from the Döpik company in Stadtlohn and revolved around topics such as digitalisation, leadership style, responsibility and work-life balance. Around 200 interested people watched digitally and participated in the topic talk via live chat.

"With our talk round, we want to show that a business succession can be an exciting alternative to founding a company. Unfortunately, there are far too few of them so far," said Frank Sibbing, head of the project Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland at Münsterland e.V. Especially in the case of a family-internal takeover, the successors are faced with the question: "What has proven itself, which traditions do I take over, but where do I also bring my own character into the company?"

The present successors were also faced with this question. Hermann and Lukas Knemeyer are both managing directors of the company Knemeyer GmbH & Co KG in Ostbevern and both successors. 56-year-old Hermann Knemeyer has been managing the company since 1997, when he took it over from his uncle. His 29-year-old son Lukas Knemeyer then came on board as co-managing director in 2021. Hermann Knemeyer emphasised: "It was important to me not to block any paths for my son. If he hadn't wanted to take over the company, that wouldn't have been a problem either," said the senior boss and emphasised: "Putting pressure on him is the worst thing you can do." But his son Lukas wanted to take over, as he recounted: "For me, it was never ostensibly about setting my own accents, but rather about taking the company forward."

For Tobias Picker it was also important to go his own way. The Managing Director of Döpik Energietechnik GmbH in Stadtlohn - and at the same time the host of the evening - took over the company from his father in 2010. He emphasised: "My father let me do everything, including making mistakes. That was exactly right. I would later do the same with my sons as he did." The fact that he was given full ownership of the company in 2010 was an enormous step for him. "For me, it was important to also be the managing director and owner on paper from the beginning, so I feel even more responsible."

Isa-Marie Damschke, managing director of Fragemanns Reisekutsche in Velen, and Lukas Kremer, master baker at Bäckerei Kremer & Sohn in Velen, also spoke about their experiences and their role in the company. Isa-Marie Damschke has been active as the third generation in the family-run omnibus and taxi company since 2019, and Lukas Kremer is about to take over the Kremer & Sohn bakery in Velen. The successor and the successor told about how they ventured the step towards digitalisation with the company and how their management style differs from that of their parents. Andrea Hansen moderated the evening.

More about Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland

The event was organised by the joint project Gründergeist #Youngstarts Münsterland, which strengthens the start-up intensity in the Münsterland region and opens up new start-up potential and target groups with target group-specific offers. The project is funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Economics of North Rhine-Westphalia within the framework of the ERDF call "Regio.NRW".

Münsterland e.V. is implementing it as lead partner together with the following partners: Wirtschaftsförderung Kreis Coesfeld GmbH (wfc), Wirtschaftsförderung im Kreis Warendorf (gfw), Technologieförderung Münster GmbH, TAFH Münster GmbH, Wirtschaftsförderungs- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft Steinfurt mbH (WESt) and Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft für den Kreis Borken mbH (WFG). Further supporters are the North Westphalia Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Münster Chamber of Crafts.

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Mareike Meiring
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