UP&DOWN



PEOPLE UP

Yvonna Kreuzmannová
Photo: archiv
Yvonna Kreuzmannová
The director of Tanec Praha festival and the Ponec theater received a French “Knight of Art” order this January. The decoration was given in appreciation of her engagement in the artistic sphere, and highlighted her merits in uniting the cultures of different nations.
Jiřina Bohdalová
Photo: ČTK
Jiřina Bohdalová
The local actress won the lawsuit against the Ministry of Interior. The court decided that her name appeared on the list of StB agents by mistake. Her case may motivate politicians to change current legislation.
Martin Jahn
Photo: ČTK
Martin Jahn
According to the CEO of CzechInvest, the organization attracted investments worth CZK 38 billion last year, which is CZK 7 billion more than in 2002. The 60 new investment projects will create 1,200 new jobs.

PEOPLE DOWN

Miroslav Antl
Photo: Petr Poliak
Miroslav Antl
The former police president deputy, who had a car accident under the influence of alcohol last year, has not picked up his summons for one whole year. His offense is now past the date for possible prosecution.
Petr Gerlich
Photo: ČTK
Petr Gerlich
The court issued a warrent of arrest for the former chairman of the board of directors for Moravia Banka. The manager faces accusations of such criminal behaviour as violating his duties related to property administration and abuse of information in his business activities.
Jana Volfová
Photo: ČTK
Jana Volfová
The former ČSSD MP and vice-chairman of the shadow government resigned from her current post as director of a school for EU Administration in Prague 9. According to inspectors, accounting errors indicate she made unauthorized transfers amounting to millions of crowns.

Valdemar Grešík
Photo: Jan Vágner

Valdemar Grešík – Healing with nature
IN THE ÚSTÍ NAD LABEM region, which suffers from 17% unemployment, Děčín native Valdemar Grešík (41) serves as a revelation and inspiration for other entrepreneurs. The owner of the firm Natura, which includes a production facility, wholesale outlet, distribution network, and retail outlet for therapeutic herbs, teas, and dietary supplements, started out fourteen years ago on his own. He now employs 47 people and is “living his dream”.
When he was young he was interested in herbs, so after he graduated from the School of Economics he continued his studies of pharmacology. In the nineties he lectured at the 1st School of Medicine and worked on the UNESCO program, which helped in the war against diseases affecting third world countries. However, he admits that he was prompted to go into business at least partially by his frustration with being physically unable to help everyone who turned to him. Doing business on a large scale proved to be an ideal way out. “Our therapeutic mixtures are helping thousands of people. That’s more important than treating a single person,” says Grešík, whose wholesale business currently supplies pharmacies, large grocery chains, and his own retail network. Last year Natura sold 100 tons of herbs and teas, with revenues of CZK 50 million.
Grešík’s success was built on his personal approach and the absence of middle-men. “I’m very passionate about this type of business, and first-rate quality is paramount to me. I get my greatest satisfaction when a satisfied customer comes back,” says this entrepreneur, who in his private life is very particular about a “natural” lifestyle. He lives with his girlfriend and children in a wooden chalet near a forest, where he enjoys walking with his dog in the picturesque Labe (Elbe) countryside.

Michal Uher
Photo: Petr Poliak

Michal Uher: Packaging success
ONE OF THE FOUR executive directors of a company that manufactures corrigated cardboard packaging, Kappa Packaging Czech, has good reason to be happy. Its product, a carton with internal separation walls for packaging six bottles of wine, was named “Package of the Year 2003” in a competition organized by the Czech packaging association SYBA, and also met the criteria established by WorldStars for Packaging Awards, an international competition. Michal Uher (43) appreciates the recognition. “It won’t be long before manufacturers from the West start coming to us to see how it’s done. That would please me immensely,” confides this manager, who has had a diverse career.
In the mid-eighties, as the general director of the firm Frigera, a manufacturer of refrigeration equipment, he tried his hand at crisis management, when with the fall of COMECON Frigera lost most of its markets. He then worked as the sales director for Daewoo Avia in Prague, which he left because he didn’t like Korean management methods. He is very content in the paper industry, where he found a home four years ago. The Dutch owner, Kappa Packaging, B.V., hired him to bring the moribund firm back into the black. He succeeded by introducing many changes at the Kappa Brno plant he’s in charge of and specializing the production program. Kappa now supplies several dozen clients, including Nestlé, Opavia, and Velvana, and controls 30% of the Czech market.
” Our goal is to get better every year,” says Uher, who devotes a lot of time to his work. He travels from Brno to his native Kolín to be with his wife and two children only on weekends and for vacations. He likes skiing and active getaways the best. “The adrenaline rush I get from skiing down a difficult piste or windsurfing in a brisk breeze ‘recharges’ me better than anything else. It’s the ideal way for me to relax,” he says.

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