battleROYAL Appoints Judith Hoch as Co-CEO: We Revisit Her 10-Year Journey With Us
When Judith Hoch began her journey alongside the budding, ambitious project that was battleROYAL at its inception, a decade ago, she had already amassed a fair amount of experience as a freelance event and business manager on a range of German and international cultural productions of varying scales. She was in search of an industry family she could not simply work for – but build something with. Almost instantly, the strength of the strategic partnership became as apparent as the spirit of trust, support and camaraderie connecting the compact nucleus of (what was to become) the battleROYAL company.
In 2012, emboldened by the collaborative spirit, and energized by the challenge of a bold creative pursuit yet to find its shape and direction, Hoch facilitated the very first step in helping an eager team of determined and far-reaching creative dreamers find a stable footing in Germany by becoming a GmbH.
This very first action set the tone for what Hoch’s work and presence within the team was to grow into, in the years that followed: an operational mastermind, consistently helping turn the wildest, most ambitious creative utopias into fair, fluid and transparent logistical feasibility.
In her years as COO, Hoch has set the operational framework for every facet of our work, ensuring that each project gets the logistical, human, and budgetary consideration it requires to make it a success. Far from buying into any potential misreadings of her workload as cold and overly cerebral, Hoch knows first hand the joy that can derive from utilizing managerial and legal devices to ensure the protection, smooth unfolding and full expression of each and every creative department that makes us into what we are. “For years, my personal favorite task has been negotiating contracts with clients,” she explains. “Some people would say that is dry work; but in my view, legally sculpting the details of a collaboration with care and accuracy, making sure all creative services we engage in are taken into account, was a very exciting bridge for me.”
Efficiency in this type of negotiating position, particularly within our industry, requires far more than a good grasp of tax jargon and interpersonal skills. With an academic background in art and education, Hoch has, both in and outside of her managerial work scope, always sought to put human connection first – she has, right alongside our team of producers, designers, choreographers, and more, demonstrated a deep passion for helping ideas come to life, enabling unique experiences for the diverse audiences we are constantly striving to find new, exciting and unexpected ways of engaging with. “Understanding where creatives come from, I know that what they deliver is the result of years of personal and professional development, and increasing awareness about that among industry clients has always been one of the main reasons I see my role as important in the overall equation.”
The end of 2021 brought on the celebration of our very first decade in the business – a period of growth beyond our wildest dreams, but one that has certainly not been left to the odds. The past ten years have seen our close and extended team of core members, collaborators and freelancers work harder, with more drive and passion than it would have seemed plausible to envision. Through her devotion and invaluable contribution to the development of our company for over ten years, as well as through the quality of her open, inclusive and constructive management style, it seemed both well-earned, and simply natural to use this commemorative milestone as an opportunity to appoint Judith Hoch as our co-CEO – henceforth, working even more closely with battleROYAL CEO, owner, and longtime trusted friend and collaborator Brendan Shelper on not just the operational, but the structural expansion of the company as a whole, paving its way forward. “Partially stepping out of the day-to-day, and devoting more of my time to the strategic future of battleROYAL is a very exciting outlook – one I cannot wait to focus on.” Hoch’s appointment further solidifies our commitment to a gender balance in leadership roles (at battleROYAL, 70% of these roles are occupied by women).
A sharp pragmatism, a deep appreciation for creativity and its vectors, and an empathetic connection to both the people at the heart of battleROYAL, and their creative brainchild have led Judith Hoch to reaching the executive heights of our company – we are as proud as we are excited to see her ambitions expand.
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