SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — MountainWest Capital Network (MWCN) announced the recipient of its annual Entrepreneur of the Year award, naming Hanko Kiessner as the 2021 honoree. Now in its 33rd year, MWCN’s award recognizes a Utah entrepreneur who has built an industry-leading company, inspired others to pursue their own entrepreneurial vision, and gives back to the community.
Kiessner is the co-founder and CEO of Packsize International, a Utah-based company that has grown rapidly to become the global leader in Right-sized Packaging on Demand®️. Packsize has held a ranking on MWCN’s Utah 100 list 10 times. Packsize addresses a pressing need to reduce unnecessary air from corrugated shipping, an issue receiving greater visibility due to the recent exponential growth of e-commerce. The Packsize line of custom box-making machines, automated systems, software, and packaging workflow solutions help fulfillment centers and other businesses drastically improve their packaging efficiencies and reduce waste.
After owning and operating paper goods and corrugated board businesses in his native Germany, Kiessner and his wife Laura decided to return to Utah, where they had met while attending the University of Utah. The Kiessners and their three children traveled by ship and train to arrive, temporarily moving into her parents’ home where they founded Packsize, a corrugated packaging technology leader with operations in more than 28 countries.
“Our theme for the award ceremony this year is ‘Blue Sky Mindset,’ and Hanko Kiessner embodies that ideal through his passion for the environment and his sustainable approach to business,” MWCN’s Entrepreneur of the Year Vice-Chair Jake Kastan said. “Packsize is a success because it solves a fundamental problem, and it’s an industry leader because Hanko is always focused on innovation and improvement.”
Kiessner heavily invests time and resources in corporate social responsibility and is passionate about constantly advancing Packsize’s products to minimize environmental impact. Packsize helps companies across several vertical markets reduce packaging waste. The company has an internal goal to be carbon net neutral by 2030. Kiessner is also a founder and board member of Leaders for Clean Air, a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to improving Utah’s air quality through implementing and promoting electric vehicle projects and technology.
“A lot of people work in a job that they know is problematic and want to give back charitably as a way to compensate. My belief is that we can do both at the same time,” Kiessner said. “This is a wonderful privilege to be named MWCN’s Entrepreneur of the Year, and it really goes to my team of outstanding people who bring their best selves to work every day, and who have made this company such a success and a great place to work.”
Kiessner attended the University of Utah, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and an MBA from the David Eccles School of Business. After returning to Germany, he co-owned Skanwell Meyer GmbH + Co. KG and Busse & Niederstadt GmbH, both paperboard product companies.
Since its founding in 1983, MWCN has been committed to recognizing entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneur of the Year is a key feature of MWCN’s outreach to foster business relationships and recognize outstanding members of Utah’s business community.
Kiessner joins other entrepreneurial giants and pioneers who have also been named Entrepreneur of the Year since 1983. Past honorees include Dr. Steve Neeleman, Fred Lampropoulos, Ryan Smith, Jeremy Andrus, Aaron Skonnard, Peter and Nicole Mouskondis, Tom Dickson, Todd Pedersen, Josh James, Peter Metcalf, Larry H. and Karen Gail Miller, Alan E. Hall, Amy Rees Anderson, Kirk Benson, Dr. Ted Stanley, Ken Wooley, Dr. Hunter Jackson, David Evans, Ray Noorda, Dale Ballard, Dr. Dinesh Patel, Gary…