Our journey since 1922; Special Edition
Datums: 14 jūlijā 2022
NNZ celebrates its 100th anniversary in October 2022. We will be sharing ‘our journey since 1922’. SPECIAL EDITION.
1993 -2004 The right man at the right moment
Continuity is everything
When Wim Boot – the very successful second-generation owner – stood down as director in 1993, his primary concern was: who would be the new leader? His two sons, Marco and Len, were already working at the company, but were too young to take on this responsibility. Wim's idea was that the new leader should also be given the task of mentoring Marco and Len over a ten-year period to prepare them for the top job. The search began for someone who could fit seamlessly into the company culture and lead the company into a new phase. Wim Boot breathed a sigh of relief when the all-rounder he sought turned out to exist in the person of Rony Kelz.
Kelz was employed by the company from October 1993 to 2004, 10 years of which as CEO, and alongside him were: Marco Boot as Director of sales and purchasing and Len Boot as Director of marketing and finance. Quality, innovation and internationalisation became the drivers behind the company. In line with the NNZ philosophy, Kelz always looked at the longer term. ‘You can only make short-term decisions if you know where you want to end up in the long run.’ Under Kelz's leadership, the company in North America would return to 100% NNZ ownership after long negotiations with the joint venture partner. As a trading company, NNZ must also work in partnership with its suppliers and customers. Kelz's entrepreneurial qualities would help the company to grow even further internationally.
See the person
He also provided great impetus to the further professionalisation - in 1999, NNZ was one of the first in the industry to obtain ISO 9001 certification - and innovation of the organisation. During his term of leadership, NNZ receives important innovation awards and in 1998 the Groningen Enterprise Award. The company with more than 100 employees and 14 international branches scores well on various quality criteria and doubles its turnover in five years to around 100 million Dutch guilders. In his acknowledgement, Rony Kelz says: ‘NNZ is first and foremost about people, secondly about people and thirdly about people’.
His businesslike, social and people-centric personality ensures that people within NNZ can say: we're not a family business, but a business with a family. Looking back on his successful years as director, Rony Kelz is still proud today that, as a German, he was successful in a purely Dutch company. In his years as CEO, the family was 'grandiose in human collaboration. Honest, fair, human... these are the special characteristics of the Boot family. For me, those are still the essential values that are needed to run a family business.' In 2003, Kelz handed over the CEO baton to Len Boot. He views ensuring the continuity of the company as the crowning achievement of his work for NNZ.