The Schoeller Family & Trusted Family
In this interview, you will meet Rosemarie Blin, from the Schoeller Family! She shares how her family has been using the Trusted Family platform, not only for for general communication and document sharing, but also for their recent ‘Talent Management’ project:
Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Rosemarie Blin, I’m a daughter, mother and grandmother of the Schoeller Family.
How does the platform help your family?
Our platform is mainly family-oriented and not business-oriented. Our large family network has been cultivated over 100 years and keeping the family connected is what this is all about. The different branches of our family have always been connected: through several companies where family members collaborate, by the areas where they live and through long-term family traditions.
Today we are over 600 living members in our family network. Many members live in Germany, but across the years our family has spread worldwide; Austria, the United States, France, Singapore, Australia and even reaching out to New Zealand!
On our platform we currently have 300 active family members but still aim at including the other ones too.
Although we organise physical events, it is impossible to gather everyone in one place. Having a shared platform for our family helps us share news and stories with every one, no matter how far they are.
Why did you need a digital family platform?
Before having our platform we mainly communicated through letters, we had a physical archive in Düren, we then used fax and emails, but gradually needed to move towards digitising our communication using video-conferences tools and having our own family communication tool. Our platform was been set-up nearly 10 years ago and back then was just a fraction of what it looks like today!
Since 1890, we have always organised in-person family reunions every 3 years, as a regular institution. The World War ll made the only exception to this. During this period we also lost the database of our family members, as everything was handwritten (addresses, birthdates, etc.). One family member did an amazing job in the 60’s, to gather all our family data again and reconnect the family. This became the foundation of our current digital database. The goal is to have a complete and up to date family database on our platform that lasts over time.
What is your main usage of the platform?
The platform allows us to gather member’s profile information, to search how members relate to each-other (parents, children, cousins, etc.), to share news about themselves on our newsfeed, share pictures, and much more. It allows us to connect more easily; one of our members recently posted that he was travelling to New York, which allowed him to connect with a family member living over there. That’s what matters the most to us.
We also have a dedicated page on our platform for our Family Advisory Board. This is the place where we share and archive all documents and the “protocols” of the general assemblies, etc.
Besides, we recently added a “Talent Pool” section. This allows us to share job opportunities for the family members who might be interested in working with one another and to search for great talents amongst our family. It also allows our members to express their interests, skills and career ambitions. Amongst our family members we have entrepreneurs, bankers, movie makers, producers – so many members who are talented in different and complementary fields and industries!
We consider this a door opener, but of course not a guarantee.
Any advice for a freshly onboarded family?
Include young family members right from the start! They are the ones that will spread the word and engage the younger generation too.