At the end of the corona year 2020, the association had 10,872 members. This figure was more or less unchanged from 2019, reflecting the appreciation of members for the services of BVL even in times as difficult as these.
The 42nd Ordinary Members’ Meeting of BVL on April 20, 2020 was held with a limited number of on-site attendees and an accompanying webinar, made possible by the excellent technical support from BVL.digital. Nine BVL members were physically present in the premises of BVL Campus, all of them employees of BVL, and their job was to stage the Members’ Meeting and the webinar. 270 members attended the meeting via the Internet and were able to ask questions in a chat format or request to speak by raising their hand. As neither the association laws nor the statutes of BVL permit online votes at the Members’ Meeting, around 140 members assigned their voting rights in advance to Katja Wiedemann, Head of Member Services. New Board Chairman Prof. Thomas Wimmer moderated the webinar together with Managing Director Uwe Peters, looking back at the year 2019 and forward to what we can expect during the remainder of 2020. In particular, he underlined the work of the BVL Chapters. The Members’ Meeting approved the actions of both the Board and the management.
One of the main topics on the agenda were the elections to the Board. Katja Windt, member of the Executive Board at SMS Group GmbH in Düsseldorf, was re-elected following the end of her current term in office. Moreover, the election of six new members - Eva Combach, Marcus Dirks, Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, Kay Schiebur, Christina Thurner and Marcus Wollens – lowered the average age of the Board. All candidates recorded a personal video beforehand for presentation to the Members’ Meeting, and all the candidates were elected unanimously apart from their own abstention (see also the detailed report on the restructuring of the Board).
The Board of BVL held four meetings in 2020 – the first meeting in March was still an in-person event in Stuttgart and was followed by virtual meetings in May, September and November. A large part of the deliberations was devoted to the ways in which the normal operations of BVL with its many in-person events can be adapted to a pandemic scenario. The strategy meeting in November outlined the content-related and financial plans for 2021 – a year during which BVL will likely be forced to implement tough cost-cutting measures in order to offset the financial losses due to the cancellation of in-person events.
BVL mourns the loss of Hanspeter Stabenau
Hanspeter Stabenau, founding member of BVL and long-time BVL Board Chairman, passed away in Bremen on June 10, 2020 at the age of 85. Born in Königsberg, Hanspeter Stabenau was a logistician of the first hour, and he is a man who made his mark through his activities in both theory and practice. His credo was that you can only be successful in your job if you enjoy the work you are doing.
After earning a degree and a PhD in Cologne majoring in Transport Science, Stabenau moved to Bremen in 1961 and began working for the German Foreign Trade and Commerce Academy (DAV), first as a lecturer, and from 1966 as Director of Studies. Together with Prof. Helmut Baumgarten, Jürgen Busch, Peter Höhndorf, Dr. Gernot Lukas, Dr. Albert Schmitz, Dr. Klaus Spicher and Manfred Türks, Stabenau was one of the founders of BVL in 1978 and the Chairman of the Board of the association until 1999.
The creation of the International Supply Chain Conference – which took place in 1984 for the first time – is one of the milestones of his efforts on behalf of BVL. In order to promote logistics topics, Stabenau regularly brought together companies from different sectors and experts from academia around the same table. He represented both DAV and BVL – and therefore the logistics sector – on numerous bodies.
Stabenau retained close ties with BVL and DAV right up to the end. He was Honorary Chairman of BVL, regularly visited head office in Bremen to talk to the employees there and was also an enthusiastic attendee at the International Supply Chain Conference in Berlin up to 2017.
The BVL Board, the members of all the association bodies, long-time colleagues and the employees of BVL and BVL Campus, of which DAV has been part since 2007, are saddened at the loss of a committed logistics expert and likeable human being. We will not forget him.
Federal Cross of Merit for Prof. Raimund Klinkner
German President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier has awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to Prof. Raimund Klinkner. This distinction pays tribute to the manager and entrepreneur, in particular for his wide-ranging achievements and commitment on behalf of the logistics sector. Klinkner was the honorary Chairman of the BVL Board from 2007 to 2017, and during this time he did everything in his power to promote the reputation and the development of logistics.
He operates at the interface of economy and science, at the points where production and logistics intersect, and he draws on its wide-ranging knowledge and contacts to provide inspiration and bring experts in logistics and supply chain management together to exchange ideas – in Germany and around the world. Throughout all this, he never lost sight of the importance of developing up-and-coming new talents. He was an Honorary Professor at the Logistics Faculty of TU Berlin University for 20 years, and in 2008 he called into being BVL Campus with the German Foreign Trade and Commerce Academy (DAV) and a wide-ranging Seminars unit, all under the umbrella of BVL.
When Klinkner withdrew from his position as Chairman of the BVL Board at the end of 2017 having served the longest term in office admissible under the association statutes, he was able to look back on an extremely successful time at the helm of BVL – and was already eyeing new honorary functions. So, it comes as no surprise to learn that today he is Chairman of the Presiding Board of the German Transport Forum (DVF), and he still enjoys close connections with BVL as Honorary Chairman.