German CEO Excellence Awards 2022

German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 LDG Laboratories Dr Gansauge: Most Innovative Oncology Entrepreneur 2022: Frank Gansauge KOKE GmbH: Best Digital Signage Solutions CEO 2022: Dirk Koke

2 EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 Contents , Welcome to the German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 In recent years, corporate leaders have been subject to unpredictable changes that have encouraged industries to change and develop the way they work. Subsequently, these changes have stimulated business leaders to focus their aims on surviving and thriving in new and uncertain economic conditions. Changes to the global economy have highlighted the individuals that have advanced through and combatted unexpected challenges. Last year transitions began in global corporations as they developed due to the lasting effects of the pandemic and we saw progression in trends that will shape the climate of business today. Sif Brookes - Senior Editor Website: AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.

EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 3 Editor’s Note , Contents: 4. LDG Laboratories Dr Gansauge: Most Innovative Oncology Entrepreneur 2022: Frank Gansauge 6. KOKE GmbH: Best Digital Signage Solutions CEO 2022: Dirk Koke 8. neowake®: Mental Wellbeing Tech CEO of the Year (Western Europe): Marvin Alberg 9. GmbH: Most Innovative Adult Learning Platform CEO 2022: Renate Wittmann 10. Labor Berlin – Charité Vivantes GmbH: Best Diagnostic Medicine CEO 2022: Nina Beikert 11. Adenauer&Co. Online GmbH: Casual Clothing Brand Managing Director of the Year 2022: Axel Heiter 12. TKUC GmbH: Best Telecommunications Support Developing CEO 2022: Thomas Kress 13. Mala Closure Systems Inc: Most Innovative Packaging CEO 2022: Claudia Goldschmidt & Business Management Versatility Award 2022 14. qoom applications: Best Quality Management App Solutions CEO 2022: Walter Gmelin 15. Pape Consulting Group AG: Most Influential Headhunting Consultant 2022: Christian Pape 16. Heinz Georg GmbH: Best Low Loaders/ Trailers Friction Surfaces CEO 2022: Benjie Georg 17. Digitaler Erfolg Rocks: Best High-Performance Digital Coach 2022: Bastian Hoffmann 18. INtem Trainergruppe Seßler & Partner GmbH: Most Trusted Corporate Training CEO 2022: Helmut Seßler 19. nod studios GmbH / Furnished GmbH: Best Interior Design CEO 2022: Daniela Rank 20. Factory Berlin: Most Innovative Membership Organisation CEOs 2022: Martin Eyerer & Nico Gramenz 21. 2conclude UG: Interdisciplinary Consultancy Holistic Leader of the Year 2022: Mathieu Viehmann 22. Charge Construct GmbH: eMobility CEO of the Year 2022: Adrian Zierer 23. m.Doc GmbH: Most Innovative Digital Healthcare CEO 2022: Admir Kulin 24. inboundBUZZ: Best Online Marketing CEO (Europe): Sylvana Duranovic 25. VOID International Media Group: Best Video Content Marketing CEO 2022: Richard Breitengraser 26. DreamIT: Most Innovative Software Development CEO (Northern Germany): Norman Schöneich 27. Best Digital Experiences CEO 2022: Hans Elstner 28. Asurfriends: Best Insurance Customer Engagement Solutions CEO (DACH): Manuel Eichberger 29. vleet GmbH: Best Digital Workplace CEO 2022: Mathias Meyenburg 30. Hoffnungsträger Foundation: Best Refugee Integration & Support Business Leader (Europe): Marcus Witzke 31. GetYourWings gGmbH: eLearning CEO of the Year 2022: Anabel Ternès 32. infraView GmbH: Most Innovative Rail Monitoring & Predictive Maintenance CEO (Europe): Simon Giovanazzi 33. Munchner Verlagsgruppe: Non-Fiction Publishing CEO of the Year 2022: Matthias Setzler

4 EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 Most Innovative Oncology Entrepreneur 2022: Frank Gansauge LDG Laboratories, a research and treatment provisions firm led by Dr Gansauge, is a front runner in dendritic cell therapies for tumours. Targeting the malignant growths by taking samples of progenitor cells in the blood and working with them in a lab setting, it has become a pioneer of one of the least invasive and procedurally aggressive cancer treatments currently available. Headed up by experts in their fields who have each contributedmassively to modern science, the efforts of LDG Laboratories have thrust it onto the main stage of cancer therapy development as a field. LDG Laboratories – or the Laboratories of Dr Gansauge – is a German company that helps its patients to fight cancer by boosting their immune system. Working by way of dendritic cell therapy, the effectiveness of such procedures in targeting skin, kidney, breast, pancreas, and prostate cancer has been proven time and time again; it has also been shown that patients suffering from colon and ovarian cancer benefit from the treatment. Fundamentally, this treatment was developed thanks to the work of the ‘father of modern immunotherapy’, Professor Ralph Steinmann, who was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine in 2011, the highest honour a scientist can receive. After this, countless research and therapy facilities have been turning towards dendritic cell therapy as cancer treatment solutions, increasing accessibility and being the inspiration behind 7,000 scientific papers looking into the impacts, benefits, and results of such treatments of various cancerous bodies. Thanks to the increased research and development that Professor Steinmann made possible, dendritic call therapy is already legal in a few select countries such as the USA. Critically, as a direct part of this movement, LDG became the exemplary research laboratory that it is today when it took over Cabion Technologies, retaining the original Feb22387 team in order to preserve the excellence they had already achieved. Now, LDG Laboratories proudly looks back on over 500 successfully performed therapies in partnership with LANEX-DC. This exemplary team takes great pride in helping everyone it can in any way possible in this manner. With so many different cancers that afflict the human body, it is pivotal that modern medicine can keep up with developments, findings, and technological growth so that treatments can keep getting better and better, aiding patients to find growths of mutating cells quickly so they can treat it early. This, above all, is the most critical factor when it comes to cancer treatment. Dendritic cell treatment, therefore, can be used in the treatment of all manner of different cancers – but nominally skin, kidney, breast, pancreas, and prostate – in order to help the body’s own immune system in treating the disease. Using a special procedure, it targets progenitor cells that have the potential to become dendritic cells, isolating them from the blood and promoting this behaviour using certain messenger substances, exposing cells to such substances in lab settings before reintroducing them. By cultivating them outside of the body, LDG Laboratories has discovered a way to handle all potentially confounding variables in order to make the process more reliable. Furthermore, its process is as stress-free as it can possibly make it, with only a small 200 ml sample of blood needed from a patient. From there, the isolation of the dendritic progenitor cells can begin under stable, temperature neutral conditions, processed in clean rooms certified to EU GMP guidelines, allowing the researchers in question to keep a close eye on the proceedings in order to keep it safe and efficient. Nominally, therapy by use of dendritic cells has become known as a gentle therapy. In contrast to procedures such as chemotherapy or radiation, in which foreign substances or radiation are used to fight the tumour, treatment by way of dendritic cells uses the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer. It bolsters the body’s ability to fight back against harmful growths, and although side effects can occur, these have been reported universally to be far less profound than that of more aggressive treatment options. All of this has been made possible by Professor Doctor Frank Ganauge, a specialist in surgical oncology, chemotherapy, and subsequent therapies. A father, dedicated medical professional, student, and professor, he completed his medical studies in Tübingen

EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 5 , and Cardiff, gaining notoriety as a front-runner in modern scientific advances related to cancer and cancer treatment. From 1992 to 1999, the Professor – a native of Sindelfingen originally – worked as an assistant doctor in a Surgical capacity at Ulm University Hospital. Using this experience as a springboard, he found his passion truly lay in finding new and better ways to help people struggling with tumours that would be just as good at reducing the growths as aggressive treatments without the added trauma of such therapies. He also has experience with heading up day clinics and research laboratories, working in the surgical clinic proper as a senior physician for two years, where he expanded on his already expansive knowledge of surgical oncology within chemotherapy and its follow-ups. In 1995, Professor Ganuage received the Fred Stephans Award, and the Merckle Research Award some four years on, publishing over 160 scientific journals and writing numerous book chapters during this time. Additionally, he has also become a reviewer for renowned scientific journals and a co-editor of Langenbeck’s Archives of Surgery, contributing to modern science in exemplary ways that have propelled LDG Laboratories and his own research into prominence. Hoping to continue to promote the effectiveness of and improve the processes within dendritic cell tumour therapies in the future, he hopes that he and his team will be able to provide this treatment for countless more individuals in the coming year. Working with diligence, tenacity, and respect, LDG Laboratories only hopes to help treat malignant tumours for all patients who require its help. Company: LDG Laboratories Dr Gansauge Contact: Frank Gansauge Website:

6 EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 , Best Digital Signage Solutions CEO 2022: Dirk Koke A digital signage company implementing the best of new technologies into its hardware, software, andmanagement solutions, KOKE is allowing German companies a newway to put their best foot forward. Providing its customers with the best solutions to signage, it adds value, technological prowess, and long-termpride to its clients’ marketing toolkit, continuing to develop user-friendly hardware and software that is just as much of a pleasure to work with as its talented, empathic, dedicatedmembers of staff. A full-service provider operating with diligence, excellence, and a dedication to innovation, KOKE has been offering digital signage options to a wide variety of different clients. Fundamentally, it has made a name for itself by continually creating more individual hardware and software solutions that allow its customers to achieve their vision with ease and effectiveness, creating messaging that gets its point across quickly and understandably. Working with individual small projects – and also large projects from major customers who order a bulk of products – its devices, software, and content can be seen throughout its home nation of Germany, Feb22155 across all different sectors from retail to the medical sector, sports, and the wider corporate ecosystem. Its aim in all things is to provide its customers with all-round support that will satisfy their needs. In essence, this includes hardware, software, rollout, content, support, and single-source coordinated efforts, making it a one-stop-shop for signage in its region that its clients can trust; it is also happy to work with clients to develop bespoke hardware and software solutions in line with their specifications. Critically, this ethos is what has allowed it to funnel so much effort into innovation, research, and development, all of which resulted in the creation of its operating and support software, the KOKE management system – KMS. The KMS is recognisable by its user intuitive interface, its usability for people of all technological backgrounds, and its broad compatibility. Additionally, the idea for the company was born long before the entity even existed, beginning with the drive that spurred on the career of the founder, Dirk Koke. The CEO and mind behind the company’s current trajectory, Dirk Koke’s idea for KOKE was born from a desire to see screens be used for so much more than just television, opening himself up to the idea of different areas of application and working hard to make them actionable. Thus, he cut his teeth focusing on the increasing use of hardware, software, and support systems from different sources as a sticking point. Since this time his commitment to furthering these fields hasn’t changed, although it has certainly progressed; with the inauguration of KOKE as a company in 2011, he was able to launch his ideas into a marketable product, hitting the ground running in his industry. KOKE was essentially founded because Dirk Koke himself couldn’t find the satisfactory answer to bespoke signage options that he wanted to see. Therefore, it was created with the foundational principle of offering all components from just a single source – itself – in mind, allowing clients to find what they need, when they need it, in order to get their message across to their audience. With the tenants of attentive listening, honesty, and transparency forming its core pillars, all of these elements rolled together managed to create a trustworthy, discrete, reliable

EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 7 , company that provides exemplary quality products with outstanding customer service at every juncture. Dirk Koke’s vision for the company has been to create a powerhouse of these principles, as he wished to develop a company that champions the relationship between provider and client. Critically, by focusing on the person behind the order form, he creates a business that is a true delight to work with, bucking the trend that so many of its peers fall into where they are invisible behind highend devices and chat logs, instead wishing to put forward a friendly face and a kind word. Ultimately, its digital signage aims to be poignant for the client and the viewer. It doesn’t detach itself from emotion, instead it works hard to consider what kind of emotion the client wishes to evoke, and creates it in the end result, its staff working with the highest levels of creativity and motivation in order to achieve this. Together with its customers, it works hard to clarify requirements, details, and motivations, resulting in something truly bespoke; these tailor-made solutions have propelled many of its clients into new heights of success within their market segments as a result, achieving high-end perfection and making digital signage a joint passion project between itself and the customer. Additionally, working in an industry which is evolving every day, its efforts allow it to keep a finger on the pulse of new technologies and developments, implementing the best of the best into itself in order to remain staunchly competitive. Using hardware optimally, getting the best out of all of its systems, and constantly perfecting its KMS product, Dirk Koke’s team has been working hard to ensure that each of its offerings are exemplary. Each one of them works out of its Pfungstadt location, their work supported, secured, and documented accordingly, helping clients to find the best solution for them and helping them through the implementation of KMS in order to show them just how much easier it makes things. At present, despite the signage industry currently suffering massive supply shortages due to global bottlenecks, KOKE has been developing new ideas in response that allow it to continue serving its clients with the excellence they expect, having kept the lines of communication with its clients uninterrupted the entire time. This, the fun it has whilst working with its clients, and the goals it has for furthering digital signage in Germany are promising an exciting future for KOKE, one that it is pleased to be able to welcome more clients aboard for as it moves into the remainder of 2022. Company: KOKE GmbH Contact: Dirk Koke Website:

8 EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 , pure frequencies that have the ability to alter our relationships with our bodies. This biofrequency device pulsates a weak electrical current throughout the body. The Diamond Shield biofrequency devices, including microcurrents and EMS, stimulate the self-healing powers of the individual. Marvin says, “With thousands of testimonials, we can confidently state that it is possible to induce resonant effects on the body and mind. We are aiming to get mental training and frequency therapy on a new level.” Having gained vast popularity in its home country of Germany, neowake® is now seeking to expand internationally, and will soon be launching the neowake® app and international website ( to make it even easier to access its sessions all over the world. Company: neowake® Contact: Marvin Alberg Email: [email protected] Website: Jan22702 Mental Wellbeing Tech CEO of the Year (Western Europe): Marvin Alberg Marvin Alberg foundedmarket-leading neowake® to develop, with the help of German labs and neuroscientists and the best technology available, highly effective and stimulating neuro-acoustic frequencies that help the body andmind. These frequencies enable people to experience their lives fromnew perspectives and to delve into relaxation, energy, sleep, regeneration andmuchmore whenever they wish. In light of Marvin’s success within the German CEO Excellence Awards 2022, we learnmore about this ground-breaking technology and what it can do for individuals. It was in the early 20th century that a special kind of biofrequency was invented for the first time, which had the ability to deliver results for the mind and body without any side effects. The founder of those highly effective frequencies was Dr Rife. However, due to his markable invention, he faced a tragedy that he could not imagine – Powerful people who didn’t want his studies to become public knowledge. But now, his legacy lives on. neowake® presents the next dimension of biofrequencies: the fully developed technology of Dr Rife can now be used for more vitality and youth, with numerous studies having shown that sound frequencies effectively promote healing and vitality. The powerful technology of neowake® biofrequencies encourages DNA to repair cell by cell. How does it work? There are singers who can shatter wine glasses by singing a note – the note the singer sustains is the exact resonant frequency of the wine glass. The same thing happens with infected body cells when the neowake® biofrequency technology is applied in your daily routine. It is helpful for Alzheimer’s, tinnitus, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Lyme disease, fungi, bacteria, viruses, pain, inflammation, and abscesses. neowake® Sound is known as ‘the future of mental training’. The scientifically-proven neowake® sessions help people to achieve heightened mental, physical and emotional states, with changes being felt within 10 minutes. The neuro-acoustic sound technologies stimulate holistic brain activation, the so-called hemisphere synchronisation. There are over 300 sessions available with new weekly releases, all exclusive and free with non-binding neowake® membership, and an initial seven-day free trial for new members. neowake® CEO, Marvin Alberg is 25 years old and founded the company to support those who, like himself, want to wake up spiritually and make a difference in the world. With the ability of biofrequencies to activate all states of consciousness, people can find themselves and feel enriched on their life path. neowake®’s Chroma watch is part of its neowake® Light project. This laser technology is a 5-in-1 treatment that provides each user with laser acupuncture, intranasal laser therapy, intraarticular laser therapy, all part of external laser treatments. With different low-level laser lights – of four most effective spectral colours – the neowake® chroma watch has different settings for different treatments: Blue (450nm) – improves blood circulation (increase in NO production), has a rejuvenating affect (activation of telomerase), has an antiinflammatory effect, lowers blood pressure, and allows for the biogenesis of mitochondria. Green (532nm) – promotes oxygen availability, increases production of ATP in mitochondria, reduces lactic acid, repairs damaged signal paths, reduces blood viscosity and improves blood flow. Yellow (589nm) – has a detoxifying effect (improvement of antioxidant enzymatic systems), has an antidepressant effect (increase in serotonin levels), stimulates metabolic and oxygen supply, and has an anti-bacterial effect. Red (650nm) – promotes cell growth, improves blood circulation, stimulates the immune system (stimulation of leukocyte groups), and has an antioxidant effect (lowering the concentration of lipid peroxide products). With all of these settings, neowake®’s Chroma watch has the potential to change lives for the better. And, alongside the Chroma watch, neowake® Bio provides neowake®

EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 9 , Jan22589 Most Innovative Adult Learning Platform CEO 2022: Renate Wittmann GmbH is a German edtech start-up which uses modern formats to influence and develop further education in a way that makes learning fun again. CEO, RenateWittmann joined the company in July 2021 and her hard work and dedicationwithin the role has seen her achieve success within EU Business News’ German CEO Excellence Awards 2022. We got in touch with Renate to learnmore about the company and her career. Throughout her life, Renate Wittmann has gained a lot of experience, enabling her to perform in her current role as CEO with great expertise and success. She has been teaching since 20 years old, when she began holding classes for volunteer leaders. After studying social pedagogy and pedagogy with the focus on andragogy, Renate facilitates national and international trainer certifications as the head of product development for a publishing company for personality testing and development. During this time, she was also responsible for software development and IT. After that Renate had gained four years’ experience as a product manager at a leading German academy and then in July 2021 she became CEO of Renate commented, “My entire professional life now comes together in this role. My experiences help me to master the versatile roles that management in a startup brings with it.” Renate has never stopped learning and training over the years, saying, “I am a lifelong learner and I want to keep it that way. Not a day without learning. At the moment, one thing close to my heart is that I contribute to letting prosper.” lets customers learn whenever and wherever they want, its continuously growing network of experts dedicated to delivering seminars (both online and in person), podcasts, videos, e-learning, e-books, and various courses and training. As an education platform, it offers 360-degree learning perspectives, which means it also helps academies to digitise their businesses and provides fulfilment for smooth operations. For companies, offers profound knowledge, training and transferable skills, enabling them to upskill and reskill their employees. In addition, the edtech company supports them to establish internal and external academies and participant management. This makes training budgets manageable and training needs easy to manage. As a platform for trainers, consultants and coaches, is unique, offering an end-to-end connection to education. For, transparency in dealing with customers is very important, which is why it takes time out for its clients to talk, support, network and value each different mindset and expertise. It is also dedicated to building partnerships with corporate clients that last, clarifying their expectations and further education needs and goals and striving to exceed them. As a leader, Renate sees herself as an enabler, encouraging her team to come together with the goal of supporting customers, and facing any challenges that arise. She said, “Each team member is invited to be a part of the vision. Together, we constantly adjust it and make sure that we recruit employees who share our purpose.” And she has found building a new company to be both exciting and challenging at the same time. Renate tells us, “In order to establish all areas, I am challenged daily to switch between the different roles. All areas of company management are important and it is necessary to keep developing and growing. The simultaneity sometimes becomes a challenge when you have to be an IT manager, key account, customer service, accountant, and much more all at once and don’t have hundreds of employees to delegate to. However, the appeal lies absolutely in the fact that you are involved in all the development processes and can shape a new entity.” The COVID-19 pandemic has also been a significant challenge for Renate and the company. Not only has it changed society, but also the entire way of working life. Renate said, “Remote work demands new ways of collaboration, with life and work merging much more. Developments have accelerated and the pressure of digitalisation is growing. People and organisations not only need more resilience in these volatile times, but they need new work processes, in collaboration and in personal development. “Learning takes on a central role here. I think that learning should not only be related to one’s own cosmos, but that the focus should be in interdisciplinary competencies. At a time when job profiles are disappearing due to automation, other perspectives on working life are needed.” Renate is now focused on the future of scio. zone, with 2022’s plans being on continued customer acquisition, outreach, marketing and technological advancement. is aiming for internationalisation, entry into the lifelong learning journey, and offering of innovation hubs. Renate concludes, “We still have many ideas. We would like to contribute with our platform to decentralise education and enable people worldwide to gain new perspectives of personal and work life through learning.” Company: GmbH Contact: Renate Wittmann Email: [email protected] Website:

10 EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 , Best Diagnostic Medicine CEO 2022: Nina Beikert Founded in 2011, Labor Berlin is a joint venture of Charité and Vivantes – Europe’s largest hospital laboratory and one of the three most innovative mid-size companies in Germany. Nina Beikert is the CEOwho leads Labor Berlin’s top-notch team to success and we take a look at how this happens. Labor Berlin is an interface between clinics, laboratories, science and industry, with the aim of ensuring early access to relevant innovations and cutting-edge diagnostic medicine for large hospitals and medical practices in Germany. It prides itself on a combination of utmost efficiency as well as highly specialised testing and innovation. Many of its medical doctors work as hospitalbased physicians, giving them an exceptional opportunity to provide excellent counselling on medical questions to clients. With values of innovation, excellence and integrity, Labor Berlin’s goal is to make innovative, best-in-class medical diagnostics broadly available, out of passion, for the benefit of patients. Therefore, it offers its services not only to its shareholders, but to a broad range of hospitals and medical practices. Nina Beikert said, “With more than 10 years of experience in performing medical diagnostics for some of the biggest hospitals in Germany, we believe that we have proven we are able to handle this responsibility.” Every customer has their own needs, individual processes and specific fields that Labor Berlin has to adapt to – and that it can learn from. It does not have a perfect “one size fits all” solution, neither does it have answers to all questions. Nina tells us, “I consider the sales process in our business as team work with our clients in order to elaborate the best solution and service tailored to each customer. With an open dialogue and providing maximum transparency regarding what we can and what we cannot offer, we have been very successful.” Nina Beikert’s professional career began in the diagnostic industry. She had the excellent opportunity to be part of a trainee programme with one of the market leaders for medical diagnostics, with a focus on leadership. The Jan22586 knowledge she gained during that time, the accompanying training on leadership and personal skills, the intense and helpful feedback from her mentor, as well as the network she was able to establish through different projects helped her a lot when starting her first leadership position as head of sales at Roche Diagnostics directly after completing the trainee programme. She told us about her experience: “I realised that my mentor had been completely right: salespersons are usually not keen on being led closely. In this sense, I thought about what I could offer them to help in order to be successful in their jobs – an open dialogue, feedback and sparring instead of “tightening the reins”. It turned out to be the right way. We were very successful as a team with a great team spirit.” After four years, Nina was offered the role of managing director at a young and inspiring company called Labor Berlin, and she is in a fantastic position to lead. She commented, “It was a big step for me – from leading a sales team to leading a complete company. A great team of 700 brilliant, caring and talented employees helped me a lot with this transition, as well as my enthusiasm for our service, an open mind, skills gained from past experience, open feedback from my team – and hard work.” Labor Berlin’s vision is to become the top innovator in the industry and to shape the diagnostic future, in order to improve patient care. It is building on a strong basis as its employees are dedicated to their work of helping patients. And, as in many cases, communication is key. A vision needs to be translated: what it specifically means for every team and how everyone can contribute, no matter which business unit they work in. Nina said, “As a team, we have developed and constantly review our strategy on how to reach our vision and set realistic goals. And what is important: we are celebrating achievements together.” To conclude, Nina enthuses, “I feel very privileged to have the best team that I could imagine and to work for the finest purpose that I could think of: the chance to make a difference in patient care together. I am looking forward to continuing the successful development of Labor Berlin towards being the top innovator in our industry and to shaping the diagnostic future.” She continued, “Besides that, I am looking forward to joining more advisory board positions in order to contribute with my experience in other industries. And I set my heart on passing on my experience to young leaders – and to learn from them as well.” Company: Labor Berlin – Charité Vivantes GmbH Contact: Nina Beikert Email: [email protected] Website:

EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 11 , knows when the shops are reopened and it must be ensured, that our full collection could be presented in every beach house. But on the other side products must be sold through our online shop, which was during the lockdown the only way to sell. But our very motivated team made such a great job, that the complete company never got into trouble.” Now, the company has its sights set on the future with plans to grow across Europe and beyond. Axel elaborates, “We are planning to expand the e-commerce to USA and maybe even Japan. Because a lot of customers love us in these countries, which we know due to receiving a lot of positive messages. These are very difficult markets so we are planning how to go the right way, and we are thinking about planning this with a strategic partner.” With regards to his own career, Axel tells us, “Currently, I am very happy that we came through the pandemic without losing a store, customers or earnings. We have had a very good time in e-commerce. My plans are to settle our position in the market and to strengthen our local stores and expand our e-commerce.” Company: Adenauer&Co. Online GmbH Contact: Axel Heiter Email: [email protected] Website: Jan22319 Casual Clothing Brand Managing Director of the Year 2022: Axel Heiter Adenauer&Co. is a German casual clothing brand for hoodies, t-shirts, sweats, jeans and blouses. Clothing specialist, Andreas Adenauer founded the company in 2010, alongside software and project engineer, Axel Heiter who became CEO for e-commerce, and later, also marketingmanagement of the brand. Andreas Adenauer created a different brand to that which familiar with the German market. With a passion for the sea, and the German North Sea and Baltic sea coasts, it is a lifestyle and emotional brand inspired by love for the beach, ocean and sand between the toes. The concept starts with the product, continues in the optic of the online shop and marketing, and it reaches the local stores which are called “beach houses”. Adenauer&Co. doesn’t work with retailers and its products are only available in its own stores and online shop. So far, Adenauer&Co. has 45 beach houses, mostly in Germany, but also in Mallorca and Austria, with plans to expand further across the globe. Each beach house has taken a while to come together because Andreas Adenauer personally designed and dressed each individually. When one enters an Adenauer&Co. store, they instantly feel the warm and relaxing ambience of a beach house, enhanced by blue and yellow hues of the coast. Axel Heiter is responsible for the online shop which delivers to nearly all countries in Europe, and he feels that it is important that people get the same sense of a beach house here, too. Axel said, “This is difficult because visitors cannot feel and smell like in our local shops. So we created a different page to other brands. There are no products on the starting page, only an emotional picture with an emotional message. And inside the categories, you will find everywhere small pictures, also with emotional messages. Feelings and emotions are more important for us than selling products.” He continued, “This is what our customers have been loving and honouring for 12 years. We have a customer service team of people who love our brand and who work with passion. These are the points that are very important to me.” Axel Heiter has been a self-employed software and project engineer for more than 30 years, with extensive experience in e-commerce, which stems back to 1998 with an e-commerce project for one of his clients at the time. It was in 2010 that a friend asked if he was interested in joining a start-up in fashion business and to manage the e-commerce – So, Axel became a shareholder and CEO of e-commerce for Adenauer&Co. Talking about his approach within his role as CEO, Axel shares, “I am a very structured and disciplined person. When starting a new project, it is very important to me to structure and analyse it and to set up milestones. I check which team member is the best for the specific part of the project. Then we hold meetings at certain times to share the status of each other’s work.” Axel Heiter is proud of the small teams that make up the company, saying, “Our employees start from day one knowing the company story. We have small teams which are proud to work for us. They all love our story and what we are doing. These feelings of joy are passed onto the customer.” The team has remained hard working, dedicated and resilient during the toughest times, too, including the COVID-19 pandemic, as Axel goes on to say, “During the last two years, we made a lot of things right, otherwise we wouldn’t have this good position in the market. Other fashion-brands closed shops, but Andreas Adenauer opened through the pandemic more beach houses. We want to be ready and visible for our customers when the pandemic ends. Our team worked very often 7 days a week to move products from shops under lockdown to our online shop. Difficult decisions have to be made, because nobody

12 EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 , Jan22386 Best Telecommunications Support Developing CEO 2022: Thomas Kress Founded in 2017, TKUC is a system integrator for cloud-based telecommunication solutions and IT security. The company currently has 25 permanent employees, in addition to a network of partners and freelancers, who cater to its medium-sized business and corporation clients. Its goal is to become one of the most attractive employers andmarket leaders in its field. Company CEO, Thomas Kress has been recognised within the German CEO Excellence Awards 2022, so we got in touchwith him to learnmore. In the area of telecommunications, TKUC specialises in cloudbased telephone communication systems and the integration of telecommunications systems with UC solutions such as Microsoft Teams. The IT security area has a focus on endpoint security and protection against malware and ransomware. Together with the solutions of its technology partners, TKUC is able to bring the endpoint security of its customer to a new level of security. It guarantees over 99% detection of unknown malware file-agnostically in 20 milliseconds. No other solution on the market can do that. The company is led by CEO, Thomas Kress, who has 30 years of experience as a consultant and project manager in the field of telecommunications, and he has implemented a large number of projects during this time. After working at national and international companies, he decided in 2017 that he no longer wanted to spend his time with the structures in corporations and acting without consequences. Rather, his goal is to give young people a chance and build a strong innovative company, together with them. Thomas leads TKUC without hierarchy, although it of course has structures and responsibilities. He said, “Our strength is our team and the internal cohesion. We have an open door policy and a regular exchange. Our processes are almost completely digitalised and we are working on an increasing improvement of the processes.” It is the team’s responsibility to listen to customers, to provide them with a service that is as high quality as possible. To do this, TKUC’s staff lead the conversation with questions, so the customer is provided with the best solution for them and they recognise the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. Thomas commented, “Unfortunately, we recognise again and again that competitors often only present the advantages and the customer is then disappointed. To avoid this, we offer our customers a test before the actual project starts.” Thomas leads the team in a style that is cooperative; he is open to change and suggestions for improvement, and he gives employees the opportunities to implement this. He said, “Employees are allowed to make mistakes, as long as they also learn from them and mistakes are not repeated. Employee discussions are conducted at eye level; I explain my decisions to the employees, but in the end it is clear who determines the direction.” With regards to TKUC’s industry, Thomas sees very different situations in its tow areas. He tells us, “In telecommunications, many companies are very reluctant to invest and optimise. Although they recognise the disadvantages of separate telecommunications and UCC solutions, they tend to postpone possible integration. “The situation is completely different in IT security. Companies recognise that they are not optimally protected with their current solutions and are open to new solutions. At this point, of course, the unique position of the solution helps us.” Now looking towards the future of the business, Thomas has a clear growth strategy in place which will see an increase in sales and the number of employees tenfold by 2025, overcoming the company’s current challenge in finding new employees. In terms of goals for 2022, the aim is to double sales. With regards to his own career, Thomas said, “My goal is to have the company operational without me in five years at the latest. I will then act as an advisor to TKUC and help young entrepreneurs build their businesses.” Company: TKUC GmbH Contact: Thomas Kress Email: [email protected] Website:

EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 13 , her relationship with Mala Closure Systems Inc. due to the differences in culture. It was only through questioning and forging relationships with her employees that Claudia was able to combat this restriction over time. Whilst this challenge was inevitable due to the amalgamation of American, German, and a wider channel of European cultures, Claudia refuses to sweep it under the rug, instead, recognising the differences and giving these cultures the weight that they deserve. Under her leadership, the future looks exceptionally brilliant for Mala Closure Systems Inc. Its current plans involve the search for sustainability, where the company will shake off the environmental impact of traditional metal printing and take new methods on board. Along a similar vein, Claudia’s plans are simple – to continue to invest her ideas and energy into the company. Additionally, she hopes to build a future for her employees, providing security for them and their families. In both cases, development is the primary focus, cultivating a balance between life and business. Contact: Claudia Goldschmidt Company: Mala Closure Systems Inc. Web Address: Jan22337 Most Innovative Packaging CEO 2022: Claudia Goldschmidt & Business Management Versatility Award 2022 Designing bespoke bottle closures, Mala Closure Systems Inc. has delved into a niche yet fascinating area of business. Beginning in Germany, the company has found its home in California, where it is expertly led by Claudia Goldschmidt and her partner. Indeed, the company has changed drastically since its founding but it is this evolution that has ensured its longevity and success. As a former subsidiary of the German company, MALA Verschluss Systeme GmbH, Mala Closure Systems Inc. has developed exponentially throughout its life. Now an entirely independent company spanning from Petaluma, California, Mala Closure Systems Inc. specialises in the decoration of wine and spirits closures, designing unique, bespoke screwcap closures. Moreover, whilst the company primarily serves small to medium sized vintners, it also provides its services to distributors, spirits bottlers, and event managers who are hoping to acquire a tailored, high-quality closure design. Claudia Goldschmidt, a cofounder and the current CEO of the company, joined Mala Closure Systems Inc. in March 2011 after meeting the owner, her now life partner, in 2010. Claudia began as a Production Manager that ultimately restructured the company’s production process and increasing its output. Indeed, during these formative stages she honed her skills across the company before transitioning into sales and marketing – an area in which Claudia possesses over 25 years of experience. 2011 continued to be a busy year, as together the couple started to develop the sales office in California into a micro company, which was then followed by a production facility in 2014. Under Claudia’s expertise, the company has sustained a devotion to client-centricity and has enhanced its focus upon what exactly moves its customers. Mala Closure Systems Inc. prioritises the customers’ preferences as its overarching goal is to present a satisfactory result, henceforth, it conducts a rigorous consultation process. Of course, whilst it is rare, things go wrong and mistakes happen, but in this case, clear and open communication is important and crucial for success. Transparency is vital – the customer must remain up to date, maintaining an awareness of any issues and solutions, and simply, the production process in general. The company’s success is further bolstered by the company’s strategy, which has flooded each element of the business. It is constantly looking for ways to evolve, to improve, and to outdo its competition. For example, this year the company plans to double its sales and further expand its production across a range of closure sizes. Ensuring this growth, it has already ordered the equipment to make this a reality. In addition, Mala Closure Systems Inc. is taking on the challenge of producing sustainable products – therefore, it has committed itself to utilising eco-friendly materials. None of this would have been possible, however, without Claudia’s leadership. Working on a predominantly flat hierarchy, Claudia opts to lead at eyelevel, coming faceto-face with the daily operations. In essence, the company works together in harmony, making decisions as a team rather than as individuals. Claudia believes that it is only through this approach and, subsequently, the combination of each team member’s skills, abilities, and experience, that the company can overcome challenges. Of course, Claudia has faced numerous challenges herself, particularly at the start of Mala Closure Systems Inc.

14 EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 , Feb22092 qoomapplications is a regtech company originally founded for the medical, outpatient and inpatient care market. It supports the organisations within this market by fulfilling their legal obligations, such as documentation of qualitymanagement, occupational health, hygiene and data protection. In light of DrWalter Gmelin’s success in the German CEO Excellence Awards 2022, we take a closer look at the company and his career. qoom applications’ tool enables business owners to meet the basic regulatory requirements, focusing on small- and mediumsized businesses that need a simple and comprehensive solution. The tool is designed for the company and its people, not just for the documentation, and it is deeply integrated into the daily workflows of its customers. This allows customers to connect their relevant documents with the workplaces and topics of their organisation. Founder and CEO, Dr Walter Gmelin first began setting up his own small businesses when he was a student, offering small businesses support in the digitisation of their workflows. He commented, “To overcome these issues, you need to understand the real pain points of the daily work.” Once he had graduated with a PhD in biochemistry, Dr Walter began his business career in the marketing department of a large American biotech company. Not long after that, he got asked to train his colleagues in various continuous process improvements, a major building block of quality management. Dr Walter said, “Although I went through several senior positions at various companies, where I learned to manage teams and drive business successfully, these two steps in my professional career had the biggest impact on my role as a future CEO.” And he hasn’t stopped learning; Dr Walter has continued growing within his role of CEO, learning how to be patient and open to unforeseen situations. He has also welcomed the opportunity to get to know his colleagues and partners who share the company vision, building real relationships of mutual trust. Speaking about his leadership style, Dr Walter said, “I motivate our employees and partners to offer constructive criticism, because I often miss certain aspects myself. This creates open and mutual trust in the team and helps us to develop better products for our customers in the long-term.” A key factor that Dr Walter has observed within the industry during his career, particularly more recently, is a big push for digitalisation. He said, “We have all realised that access to important information should be independent of our current location, whether we are in the office, on the road, or in the home office.” At the same time, new regulations are introduced every year, and as a business owner, it is necessary to focus on the business whilst remaining compliant. qoom applications strives to provide customers with the tools that bring real value to their businesses, not sell the product out of fear of penalties. qoom applications is still a young start-up with a short presence on the market. Its strong growth, and the positive feedback from customers and its partners gives the company confidence that it is right on track. For 2022, it has ambitious goals for new products on the market. The aim is also to expand business partnerships with other tool and service providers to offer customers comprehensive regulatory solutions to support their business operations. As for Dr. Walter's goals for the future, he is confident he will be successful in the long term, and he has the right people and partners to do that. He said, "By working closely with our customers and partners, we set the stage to remain successful in the long run." Company: qoom applications Contact: Dr Walter Gmelin Email: [email protected] Website: Best Quality Management App Solutions CEO 2022: Walter Gmelin

EU BUSINESS NEWS / German CEO Excellence Awards 2022 15 , opportunities, while gaining a competitive advantage in the market. Now one of the leading personnel consultancies and head-hunters in Germany, Pape Consulting Group prides itself on continuous client and candidate satisfaction. This is what its people live and work for. As a pioneer for innovative and reliable personnel search, more than 1,000 companies have benefited from its services and entrusted it with their most important issue of finding the right employees, and this will continue to be the case. Company: Pape Consulting Group AG Contact: Christian Pape Email: [email protected] Website: Jan22585 Most Influential Headhunting Consultant 2022: Christian Pape Pape Consulting Group is a personnel consultancy operating throughout Germany and Europe. It offers holistic solutions around the topic of human resources, from the search for specialists and executives to innovative and complex internet solutions for career platforms. CEO, Christian Pape has been recognised within the German CEO Excellence Awards 2022, so join us as we take a closer look at the company and how it came into existence. Pape Consulting Group is one of the few sector-specialised personnel consultancies in Germany, its solutions including recruiting specialists and managers; executive search at top management, C-level and board level; conducting assessments; coaching; training; diagnostics; outplacement/ newplacement; personnel marketing; and employer branding. Additionally, it offers new innovative methods such as perspective consulting, StaffingPro, video coaching, and inverse headhunting. Pape’s approach as a solution provider is what sets it apart from competitors, as well as the industry-related qualifications of its consultants and the unconditional will and promise to successfully implement every mandate. Its goal is always the “perfect match” between the company seeking personnel and the highly qualified candidates. Company CEO, Christian Pape studied electrical engineering and became selfemployed in 1992, when he fulfilled his greatest dream. He discovered a gap in the market for a specialised and sector-oriented personnel consultancy and founded his first company, Pape Consulting Group with this idea. In 2000, he led his company to become one of the top 10 sector-oriented personnel consultancies in Germany. It was difficult for the company when it started out three decades ago to develop its own identity in what was then a very confusing market of personnel consultants. It needed to stand out from the “usual market” consultant cliché. In 1992, Pape was the first HR consultants to develop and publish a website, and it was laughed at by the established “executive searchers” at the time. With a strong sales and industry-related approach, Pape Consulting Group positioned itself as a solutions provider, but it was viewed as an outsider within a conservative industry; an infantile newcomer that would surely disappear again quickly. So, the company had to come up with its own methods: a powerful network; a specialised, interdisciplinary team; and above all, innovative methods of finding and approaching candidates. It has always been important to Pape that it clearly communicates its “being different” to the outside world. This has resulted in a communication concept with its own logo, a claim, and a campaign that reflects it as a company under the motto, “Did you ever try to…?” The multi-award-winning personnel consultant’s proprietary search methods, extensive network, and competent team have achieved “andersmacher”, as Handelsblatt newspaper describes it. And it manages this within a changing labour market, which is caused by so many factors such as demographic development, digitalisation and new social perspectives. All this needs to be taken into account in order to attract new candidates. “The Great Resignation” is a new trend in the labour market, where employees voluntarily quit their jobs in large numbers. Possible reasons include changing perceptions due to the pandemic, and many are looking for a better work-life balance. This is also exacerbated by the ever-worsening demographic situation. This is where Pape comes in, helping candidates to find employment, as well as having a franchise partner model available since 2001 which supports startups and experienced consultants in their self-employment. Pape, as the umbrella organisation, provides the know-how of how to lead a successful personnel consultancy, covering project procedures, acquisition strategies, contacts, networks, business partners, and a database of highly qualified candidates. Each franchisee can benefit from valuable enrichment and business Pape Consulting Group AG