Rainer Winter celebrates 65-year company anniversary
As a family entrepreneur, Rainer Winter’s connection with uvex practically dates back to birth. A ceremony was recently held to officially mark his 65 years of service at uvex. Having started out as a small factory for occupational safety goggles, the former “Winter Gesellschaft für Optik und Augenschutz mbH” developed under his leadership into a corporate group operating on an international basis. Rainer Winter, who is the holder of the Golden Citizens Medal from the city of Fürth, has now received the uvex proud people Award from his team and his family in recognition of this professional commitment.
Rainer Winter became Managing Director of the sport and sunglasses segment of his father’s company in 1962, but he had already achieved the first significant milestone in his career back in 1956, when he created the brand name “uvex”. To this day, high-quality products for protecting people at work, in sport and for leisure pursuits are still sold under the short form of the quality seal “UltraViolet Excluded”. Further milestones followed, including the founding of the company’s own production plants in Germany and across Europe, the steady expansion of the product portfolio and the establishment of numerous subsidiaries around the globe. In 1980, Rainer Winter established the Rainer Winter Foundation, which provides rapid, non-bureaucratic assistance to sick, needy and disabled children. The Foundation focuses its work on Rainer’s home area of Fürth and the metropolitan region of Nuremberg, and has so far raised EUR 3 million.
In 1994, the uvex safety group, uvex sports group and Filtral group were positioned under the umbrella of uvex Winter Holding as market-orientated subgroups. The aim here was to bring this traditional, long-established company successfully into the future. In 1999, the process of gradually transferring management responsibilities of the company to Rainer’s son, Michael Winter, was initiated; in 2005, he took over full responsibility for the operating business of uvex group, becoming the third generation of Managing Partner in the process. His daughter Gabriele Grau is also a Managing Partner and Chairwoman of the Rainer Winter Foundation.
In a ceremony with long-standing colleagues and business partners, Michael Winter and Gabriele Grau, who were representing the family business, honoured Rainer Winter with the uvex proud people Award for his exceptional lifetime of service. Looking back at the past 65 years, Rainer Winter commented: “I inherited the company from my father with sales of DM 400,000. These days, the uvex group is generating sales of around EUR 475 million”. Michael Winter and Gabriele Grau said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate together today. Our father both managed and lived uvex as a 100% family business. We plan to follow his example in the future as well”.