What were your highlights last year?
The biggest highlight of 2019 for me personally was the decision that the business of Berlinger Special AG could continue. This made it clear that we must immediately continue to use our wealth of expertise in this specialized field for the sake of fair sport!
It was also hugely satisfying for me to see how the new management team in the field of anti-doping - Thomas Bechter (CEO), Oliver Gehrig (Head of Sales & Marketing) and Patricia Huber (VP Marketing) - got right down to work, with pleasure and enthusiasm, on the issue of "drug-free sport".
What were the main reasons for your decision to continue the Anti-Doping Business?
First of all this was possible, in particular, through the extremely positive feedback from our customers who, in spite of all the turbulence, wanted to continue placing their trust in our services and the impeccable quality of our products. The second point was the swift response of the WADA, which put forward the first concise regulations for doping control materials in November. In fact, we would have liked the regulations to have been even more stringent and clear. Nevertheless, the new guidelines gave us the security we needed to continue producing our tried-and-trusted products.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love working with interested and enthusiastic people. It has been enriching and very satisfying to work with our new management to form the “dream team”, comprising the CEO, senior management and Chairman of the group of companies. It gives me great pleasure to have the necessary time and a good deal more freedom to take care of our company’s strategic issues and to keep up with my contacts at home and abroad.
Is there a particular achievement you would highlight in this new function?
I have already managed to highlight particular issues in my new role as “Sustainability Ambassador” within our company. That is a subject that extends well beyond environmental issues. As a cutting-edge family company that thinks across the generations, we want to become even better informed about these issues in future. This point has also been firmly incorporated in our new company strategy - especially because we also want to take responsibility for young people, the community and everything that comes after us.
What are your next projects?
At the moment the biggest project is – like for most board members worldwide I suppose – to steer what is the so-called "corona-crisis." Fortunately, we as Berlinger Group were very well prepared and introduced strict separation and new behavior rules already at the beginning of March according to our pandemic plans. Our main goal was always to keep our employees safe and to keep our operations up and running in order to guarantee all supplies. As you may know – besides the Anti-Doping equipment we also provide most of the vaccine manufacturers world-wide with our temperature control devices. It is a great responsibility in these difficult times to keep business as usual in the interest of all who need to be protected the most. For the moment it still looks all positive and we work hard every day to continue in this pace.
Is there something you like to say to the Anti-Doping Community in these times of general crisis?
My family experienced more than once that in each crisis there are always hidden chances: let’s look at them too and let us concentrate on helping each other. "Together we will get it done" – "solidarity" – this rare but fascinating and deeply binding attitude I've always admired to observe by working within the field of anti-doping for over 25 years. You all bring so much experience in daily practicing this selfless thought! So let us bring this spirit further and beyond – in these times, we will all need it – the sports community in particular too!