Ladies' turn: VGP shareholders elect new board members
Interview with newly elected VGP shareholders board members Katherina Reiche, Vera Gäde-Butzlaff and Ann Gaeremynck
Diversity is important in business, as it is also in other aspects of life and society, and diversity certainly is valued at VGP. It is very positive, therefore, that three outstanding professional women have just been elected to VGP’s board as independent directors. The new directors are Katherina Reiche, Vera Gäde-Butzlaff, and Ann Gaeremynck. Together, they now constitute VGP’s independent directors. These women bring diversity to VGP’s board also by their various professional backgrounds and personal perspectives.
VGP Location3 asked what it is about VGP that motivated each of them to accept a board seat:
“VGP is an incredibly exciting company with an impressive history of growth,” remarked Katherina Reiche, who is German. “It’s a family-run company with a clear European focus. Those are just three good reasons – among many others – for supporting VGP in my new function.”
“I am impressed by VGPs development to date and convinced by its business model,” noted Vera Gäde-Butzlaff, also German. “In my opinion,has all the necessary requirements to be successful in the long term. An important success factor is that the industrial parks are both built and operated by VGP, and always with an emphasis on high technological and environmental quality.”
“First, it is an entrepreneurial, listed firm with a clear mission, vision, and strategy,” pointed out Ann Gaeremynck, who is Belgian. “The firm performs very well, has committed shareholders, and is very well run by a highly experienced CEO and qualified management team. Moreover, the functional complementarity within the board and the fact that an appropriate set of expectations were put forward for my role were definitely important in my decision.
“VGP is an incredibly exciting company with an impressive history of growth. It’s a family-run company with a clear European focus.”
CEO Jan Van Geet recently affirmed that he is “extremely pleased that our board nominated Ann, Katherina, and Vera to join the board. They have all three enjoyed exceptional professional careers: Katherina and Vera have invaluable experience in co-operating with German municipalities, state governments, and with clients at the interface of the public and private sectors and Ann in financial reporting, audit, and governance.”
Ann Gaeremynck is currently a professor of accounting and audit at the KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. She holds the Deloitte Chair on Governance. Her fellow board members have chosen Gaeremynck to chair VGP’s audit committee.
Katherina Reiche is CEO of the Association of Municipal Enterprises in Germany, as well as President of the European Confederation of Public Employers and Enterprises. She formerly served in Germany’s Bundestag.
Vera Gäde-Butzlaff previously was an Assistant Secretary of State at the Ministry for Regional Planning, Agriculture and the Environment of Saxony-Anhalt, served as CEO of the Berlin Waste Management and City Cleaning Company, and later as CEO of a large regional German energy provider. Presently, she chairs the supervisory board of Vivantes, a municipal company running hospitals in Berlin.