San Sebastian (Spain), 14 May 2019 – Andrés Sendagorta, President of the SENER Foundation and Vicepresident of the engineering and technology group SENER, has been appointed new President of Aefame, the Basque Family Business Association, taking over from Javier Ormazabal, who has held the post of President for four years (since the association was created in May 2015). Andres Sendagorta’s appointment took place on Tuesday 14 May in San Sebastian, during the first part of Aefame’s General Meeting.
In his speech as Aefame’s new President, Andrés Sendagorta highlighted the legacy left behind by Javier Ormazabal, the association’s founder and person responsible for helping to foster a spirit of respect, openness and collaboration with the Government, other business organizations, the media and society in general. He also mentioned Aefame’s main concerns, such as the economic slowdown, high public debt, ageing population, shortcomings in the education system and relocation, among other problems; he then went on to talk about the need to divulge the work carried out by family businesses in society, the contribution they make to social progress, as well as the need to attract talent through commitment to innovation, the environment, corporate social responsibility, equality, family and work-life balance. Against this backdrop, he pointed out that “In the specific case of family businesses, a little more is needed to attract the very best. We must be sure our management is professional, placing workplace meritocracy first and foremost”.
Andrés Sendagorta concluded his speech with these words: “We know all too well that a business that doesn’t expand will end up in decline. Making a family business grow is an exciting challenge because it combines the management of specific, measurable aspects, such as profit and loss, invoicing or return on investments, inherent in all business activities, with the handling of emotions, feelings and traditions, more typical of family relationships. Helping to meet this challenge has been, and is, our Association’s main contribution to family businesses and ultimately to society at large”.
Andrés Sendagorta, a company shareholder, has been working at SENER for 21 years, holding the post of Vicepresident since 2005 and President of the SENER Foundation from 2018. He holds a degree in General Management from the IESE Business School (Universidad de Navarra) and is also a member of the Governing Council of the Stock Market Studies Institute (Consejo Rector del Instituto de Estudios Bursátiles). Andrés Sendagorta graduated from Spanish Naval Academy in 1985 as Lieutenant Junior Grade in the General Upper-Rank Navy Corps, and has held various posts during his military career, including that of HARRIER Jet pilot at NAVSTA Rota, and aboard the Príncipe de Asturias aircraft carrier; Operations Manager and Second-in-Command; and Upper-Rank Corvette Captain in the General Navy Corps. In 2009, he was awarded Spain’s “Grand Cross of Naval Merit – White Decoration”, a special distinction bestowed by King Juan Carlos I.
Aefame consists of 62 companies from all three Basque provinces, and employs over 148,000 people. In four years, the association has become a social and institutional benchmark for family businesses and business families. 84 % of Basque companies are family businesses.