Christophe Viellard- Henokiens President (2010-2013)
Because of their extraordinary longevity, Henokiens Association members are an exception to the economic landscape. The specific characteristics of their respective backgrounds, the common values which unite them, such as respect for product quality and human relationships, know-how transmitted with passion from generation to generation and the continuous questioning of achievements, all these constitute a message of hope for all family businesses, especially those forming the economic and social fabric of the future.
An association of family businesses and bicentenary companies, Henokiens seek to enlarge their family circle.Today, there are 56 members including 14 Italian, 16 French, 10 Japanese, 4 German, 4 Swiss, 2 Dutch, 2 Belgian, 2 Austrian, 1 English and 1 Portuguese. Talented dynamic managers head these companies. In 1981, in a spirit of recognition and cooperation, they formed an exclusive and rigorous international organization called the Henokiens Association.
Membership to the Henokiens Association is based on company longevity (the minimum period of existence is 200 years) and permanence (the family must be owner or majority shareholder of the company and one member of the founding family must still manage the company or be a member of the board). Furthermore, the company must be in good financial health and up-to-date.
Created in 1981, the objective of the Association is the development of its membership throughout the world based on a common philosophy: the value of the concept of family businesses, a viable alternative to multinational corporations.
The Henokiens Association is not a brotherhood. Its members are involved in highly diversified sectors including aircraft, trade, services, publishing and heavy industry.
The Henokiens Association is not a business club. Members of the Association may even be competitors. Henokiens do not exchange services, only ideas.
In 1981, the idea of creating an association of bicentenary family businesses came from the Chairman of Marie Brizard, a descendant of the creator of the first anisette in 1755. He decided to place it under the aegis of Henok (or Enoch) a name from the Bible. Henok (or Enoch), one of the greatest Biblical patriarchs, was the son of Cain and the father of Methuselah. He lived before the Great Flood and was 365 years old when he ascended to Heaven without experiencing death. After a year of research, Gerard Glotin, Chairman of Marie Brizard was able, with the help of 164 Chambers of Commerce and 25 embassy attachés, to identify 74 companies. From this, a selection of approximately 30 was made.
The first meeting took place in 1981 in Bordeaux. Since then, Henokiens meet each year in a different country for their General Meeting. In 2015 it was in Italy, 2016 in The Netherlands and in Austria in 2017.
Each of the companies has a fascinating history. At times, these involve legendary characters and industrial adventures that could serve as a source of inspiration for literature, television or film, all three media being great amateurs of dynasties.
Despite or perhaps because of their illustrious ancestors, Henokiens are deeply rooted in the economic realities of the present and they manage their companies with talent, navigating between modernism and tradition, between know-how transmitted from the past and innovation or diversification.
Henokiens are unwilling to rest on their laurels and are constantly striving to achieve more than previous generations. The development of their firms has been continuous.
However, corporate power is not a criterion in becoming a Henokiens member. Priority is given to solidity.
This explains why companies of different sizes can be found among Henokiens members who may boast world-renowned figures or names less well-known by the general public.