On 9 June 2010, Hohenstein Institute will be awarding the "Hohenstein Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence in Global Textile Services" to Christine Krautschneider, long-time managing director and current chairwoman of the Supervisory Board for Salesianer Miettex in Vienna, Austria. The ceremonial address will be presented by Austrian National Assembly member and former Minister for European and International Affairs Dr. Ursula Plassnik.
This non-endowed award was created three years ago, with the aim of honouring individuals in international textile services for their outstanding entrepreneurial excellence, and to create more public awareness of the significance of leasing textiles to society. During the selection process, jurors focused on the strategic vision, business success and responsibility for employees which characterise these business personalities. The jury consists of the director of the Hohenstein Institute, Prof. Dr. Stefan Mecheels, the initiator of the award, Prof. Dr. h.c. Josef Kurz, as well as winners of previous years. The Hohenstein Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence is the world's only internationally significant award for the textile services area.
Christine Krautschneider took over the management of the company following the sudden death of her husband in 1985. Fortunately, at that time Hans Krautschneider had already undertaken steps to change the firm's structure from chemical laundering to leasing textiles and laundry hygiene as a result of a two-year educational stay in the US, where he recognised that the future of the company would be with corporate rather than private clients. With the creation of Salesianer Miettex in 1970, he laid the foundation for positive future growth, which has continued to this day.
Without management experience, but a commitment to continue the company as a familyrun business in her husband's spirit, over the next 25 years Christine Krautschneider successfully built the company into a leading company in Austria, and opened new branch offices in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania and Serbia. Currently, the "Salesianer Gruppe" consists of a total of eleven operations in Austria, and eight additional locations in other European countries. With its 2,200 employees, Salesianer Miettex is now in a position to process more than 350 tonnes of laundry per day.
This impressive performance of Christine Krautschneider's 25-year management tenure is, in her own words, based on "punctuality, cleanliness and reliability", because these are the very characteristics that form the basis of maximum quality and satisfied customers. However, she also says that none of this would have been possible "without the commitment of each of our employees". It was what allowed the original one-woman laundry from 1916 in Vienna's Salesianergasse to become a modern European textile service provider by 2010.
Christine Krautschneider lives and loves a cooperative management style. She involved her employees in decision-making processes as early as 1985, when she suddenly found