A woman of character: Gisela Sick celebrates 100 years

Gisela Sick, wife of company founder Dr. Erwin Sick and honorary citizen of the city of Waldkirch, celebrated her 100th birthday on 8 November.

Gisela Sick, wife of company founder Dr. Erwin Sick and honorary citizen of the city of Waldkirch, celebrated her 100th birthday on November 8 with a small reception in her honor at the Gisela Sick Bildungshaus building in Waldkirch. With her attitude and her values, Gisela Sick has played and continues to play a decisive role in the family business.

Born on November 8, 1922 in Aachen, she can look back on an outstanding professional life and still has a considerable influence on the family business founded 76 years ago today.

Ms. Sick’s ethical and cultural influence, coupled with timeless ideals continue to provide invaluable guidance to employees worldwide and have helped pave the way for the success of the family-owned firm that began as a simple sensor manufacturer in the today’s modern and international company.

“Gisela Sick is a role model for SICK employees. She has significantly influenced the family business and, since her husband’s death in 1988, has courageously led it to an international future. We are grateful to her and today we celebrate the birthday of an extraordinary woman who has never lost her down-to-earth, practical nature. The entire Board of Directors and all employees warmly congratulate her,” said Dr. Mats Gökstorp, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SICK AG.

Gisela Sick actively and enthusiastically supported her husband before and after the founding of the company “Erwin Sick, Special Photoelectric Devices” in 1946. Initially, she coordinated both the fledgling company and their family life in a small room of 20 square meters, no electricity or running water, while her husband concentrated on his inventions.

Later he began to devote more time to the ever growing business. For example, you were personally present at the establishment of branches in Japan and the United States; she has also dedicated herself to training, professional updating, the promotion of young people and the well-being of personnel.

The move from Munich to the Black Forest in 1954 and, two years later, to Waldkirch marked the constant growth of the company: from 150 employees in 1960 to the Group, today synonymous with intelligent sensor technology, with a worldwide presence of well over 11,000 employees.

From 1990 to 1999, Gisela Sick was a member of the company’s advisory board and later of the Supervisory Board, of which she is still Honorary Chairman. Even today, having reached the age of 100, she still follows the development of the family business with great attention and passion.

After the horrors of the Second World War, there was only one logical conclusion for Mrs. Sick and her husband: SICK products should only be developed for the benefit of mankind, a principle that still holds true today.

Employees from all over the world wanted to thank Gisela Sick on her special day with a birthday present: personal memories, anecdotes and images of shared experiences were collected in a book that was given to her during the ceremony.

Gisela Sick generously shares her personal interest in music and the fine arts, for example, by sponsoring some students through scholarships. In addition, she gave the company a Steinway grand piano to celebrate her 70th birthday and organized piano concerts for employees. On her 80th birthday in 2002, she founded the Gisela and Erwin Sick Foundation to expand her efforts in education.

The Gisela Sick Bildungshaus building, in which she celebrated her 100th birthday, is an important project for the foundation. The building represents a holistic concept of education and training, providing young people with access to education, music and healthy food.

“You can’t alter the fact that you get old. One must, however, ensure that the legacy is passed on to subsequent generations early. We succeeded very well. I am proud of my family, totally committed to running the business and to various charitable causes,” commented Gisela Sick, happy to have left her and her husband’s life’s work in the hands of future generations.

“A company can only be so successful when its people work together and collaborate. No single individual could ever achieve this. Only functional interactions guarantee long-term success,” said Gisela Sick. Happy birthday also from the staff of Open Factory Edizioni srl

A historical photo of Erwin and Gisela Sick from December 1944. In 1946 the company “Erwin Sick, Special Photoelectric Devices” was born.

A woman of character: Gisela Sick celebrates 100 years