Education, character, skill, intuition and courage. These are just a few of the words used to describe Eggon João da Silva, one of the founders of the WEG Group and winner of the 6th Prêmio Inovar para Crescer (Innovate to Grow Award) in the category Innovative Business Personality. Offered by PROTEC (Brazilian Pro-Technological Innovation Society) in partnership with SENAI, the purpose of the award is to propagate the concept of innovation of distinguished companies and business personalities which made the constant improvement of products and processes a factor of competitiveness.

An example that with courage, determination, discipline and, above all, passion it is possible to overcome barriers, create opportunities and make dreams come true, Eggon da Silva started to work at the age of 13 at a register office as an assistant clerk in Jaraguá do Sul. In 1957, after 14 years at the most important bank of the state, he became partner of a company specialized in the production of car exhaust systems and in 4 years increased the company’s workforce from 8 to 150 employees.

In 1961, along with Werner Voigt and Geraldo Werninghaus, he started to build a dream by founding the company which less than 50 years later would become one of the largest Brazilian multinational companies. The three partners, each with their own expertise, exercised innovation day after day: Werner Voigt in search of means to perfect the technology of products, Geraldo Werninghaus in the pursuit of more efficient production and Eggon da Silva engaged in the quest of a more and more modern management system.

Entrepreneur, administrator, leader and, above all, a dreamer, throughout his career Eggon da Silva proved more than once that success is a consequence and not a goal. Always driven by his strategic intelligence, he was never afraid of challenges. “I helped to build the largest motor manufacturing company of Latin America, I restructured Perdigão and I gave my contribution to many other companies. I have achieved my personal goals”, he says.

Until 1989, Eggon da Silva participated directly of WEG’s destinies as Executive President, which placed the company among the best in the sector with outstanding participation on both the domestic and foreign markets. After that, along with Werner Voigt and Geraldo Werninghaus, he became part of the Board of Directors of the company where he stayed until 2004. His trajectory is also connected to companies such as Oxford, Tigre, Marisol and Perdigão, where he was a member of the Boards of Directors. In the last, he was also President Director in 1994 and 1995 and it was his the tough mission of recovering the company from financial distress.

"Our wish is to encourage innovation. We award companies who dared to try and had the will to overcome challenges in this world of great difficulties", declared the president of PROTEC, Humberto Barbato, at the award winning ceremony. Besides Eggon da Silva from WEG, personalities from companies such as Embraer (Category Vision), Altus Sistemas de Informática (Category Strategy) and Nibtec (Category Revelation) were also awarded.