BEGO News

BEGO mourns the loss of his senior partner and former managing director Joachim Weiss

The workforce of the German family-owned company takes farewell with a heavy heart to their highly esteemed senior director Joachim Weiss, who passed away on the 15th of May, 2017 at the age of 92 after a brief serious illness. The passionate entrepreneur decisively shaped the traditional company in the last century and always accompanied it with a marked sense of responsibility – since his entrance as an apprentice until his death. With great appreciation and many lasting, grateful memories, BEGO looks back on his fulfilled life.

His contribution to the company success

During his 63 years (1945 – 2008) of active business leadership and with new ideas and an attractive product range, Joachim Weiss (*11. April 1925) made BEGO one of the world's leading dental companies. After returning from captivity as a prisoner of war, he began his career as an apprentice in the Bremer Goldschlägerei, founded in 1890. Together with Theodor Herbst, son of the founder Wilhelm Herbst, and his father Fritz Weiss, he substantially led the rebuilding process of the company, which had been destroyed in 1944. Back in those days, he worked in various departments, such as the mechanical repair workshop, the dental laboratory as well as the commercial area. Five years later, he became a participant – without any studies, but with an old merchant tradition of Bremen.

Joachim Weiss achieved his first great success by launching the casting alloy Wironit. In the upcoming years, the product range has been steadily expanded and included alloys as well as investment materials and devices. With the inauguration of the new building in the Neue Vahr (Bremen, Germany) in 1960, the development of international markets, such as Europe, Asia and America, also became more and more the focus of the entrepreneurial activities. The first foreign representatives’ conference started in 1964, which is now called BISS (BEGO International Sales Symposium) and took place for the 53rd time in Bremen with 81 trade partners from 31 countries this year. In 1990, Joachim Weiss and his employees celebrated the 100th anniversary of the company. Shortly afterwards, the cornerstone for the new building was set in the technology park of the University Bremen, which still is the headquarter of the dental specialist today. On the 75th birthday of Joachim Weiss in 2000, a celebration with employees and business friends took place at BEGO, co-organized by his son Christoph Weiss, who is a member of the management board since 1994. In 2002, the BEGO Medical division was established and entered into the commercial register – with Joachim Weiss as chairman of the supervisory board.

With his company chronicle „Questioning the Status Quo – The BEGO Bremer Goldschlägerei yesterday and today", published in 2005, the determined entrepreneur, who has always been curious until the old age, left behind a work that allows a review of an eventful life. Until his death the book was personally handed over by Joachim Weiss to new employees. After the dental pioneer has resigned from the operational business duties in July 2008 and has entered the BEGO advisory board, he not only celebrated his 90th birthday in 2015 with Bremen’s former mayor Henning Scherf, but also experienced the 125th anniversary of the traditional company.

The center of his actions: the people

Joachim Weiss was aware that the success of a company depends on the people who are working for it. Therefore, he campaigned strongly for a team-oriented cooperation and introduced the BEGO company principles more than three decades ago. These were developed with employees and are still used today. Until his last days, Joachim Weiss visited the company for a lunch in the canteen, where he was always warmly welcomed by the employees and in close contact with them.

Honors for his tireless efforts

Joachim Weiss received many awards for his extraordinary commitment. He became the chairman of the executive board of the VDDI (Association of the German Dental Industry) and hold this position from 1994 to 1995. Additionally, he received the honorary certificate of the Hungarian dental technician guild OFI as well as a certificate of the Hungarian dental technical association in 2000. Afterwards, the Bremen University medal followed, which honored his pioneering spirit as an entrepreneur and promoter of the University Bremen. In 1982 he was also a member of the German foundation “Haus Seefahrt and Schaffer”, which focuses on the care of old nautical members and their wives and widows. In 2009 Joachim Weiss was awarded the coveted AMW-Award of the Working Group for Management and Business Research at the University Bremen, recognizing the special life performance as an entrepreneur and the special merits of business and society.

Joachim Weiss has not only taken an honorary position in the history of BEGO, but also in the hearts of his employees, partners and customers. The entire BEGO group is deeply grateful to him for his tireless effor

The family-owned company mourns senior partner and former managing director of BEGO, Joachim Weiss