Rust, Germany: Roland Mack, the founder and owner of Europa-Park at Rust near Freiburg, was ceremonially admitted to the “Hall of Fame” of German family businesses. The jury regards Roland Mack as a “visionary entrepreneur” who acts as a role model for society through his outstanding achievements. Roland Mack has set the standard through his visionary, sustainable and modern corporate management, according to the jury’s statement. The honour is awarded annually by the Handelsblatt newspaper.
The long-term safeguarding and new creation of jobs, environmentally friendly economics as well as societal and cultural commitment have been outstanding. Stefan Heidbreder, managing director of The Foundation for Family Businesses in Germany and Europe, gave the laudatory speech praising Roland Mack. According to Heidbreder, Roland Mack has been a “Pioneer of German Industry” in many respects; as well as the successful development of Germany’s biggest theme park, he has also been a role model in his social commitment and the existentially important issue of company succession. His sons Michael and Thomas Mack were brought into the company leadership at an early stage.
Europa-Park is the most-visited seasonal theme park in the world, recording more than 5.5 million visitors in its 40th anniversary year in 2015. Europa-Park has approximately 3,600 employees. Europa-Park is also one of the largest gastronomic businesses and the largest hotel location in Germany with more than 4,500 beds. Since opening in 1975, over 100 million people have visited the park. According to an international survey of the German Tourism Association, Europa-Park is the most-visited tourist destination in Germany ahead of even Cologne Cathedral and Neuschwanstein Castle.
During the gala evening in Munich with numerous entrepreneurs from all over Germany, Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller von Trumpf in Ditzingen and Prof. Jörg Sennheiser were also presented with awards. Roland Mack stressed that his ancestors would be very proud that he has received this high award on behalf of nine generations of the Mack family. He sees his task, as a trustee of this company, to pass it on to the next generation in as good a condition as possible.
As a “Pioneer of German Industry” Roland Mack now stands alongside entrepreneurs such as Berta Benz, Robert Bosch, Margarethe Steiff, Markus Miele, Emil Underberg, Carl Zeiss, Hans-Peter Stihl, Regine and Erich Sixt, and August Oetker. Laudator Stefan Heidbreder emphasised that with Martin Herrenknecht and Roland Mack, two outstanding entrepreneurs from the Ortenau region of Baden have been admitted to the Hall of Fame of German family businesses; the honour has been awarded by the Handelsblatt newspaper for eight years.
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