Sunday, October 9, 2011

Celebrating 20 Years in Prague

This last week, we celebrated 20 years since the start-up of KNO Česko in Prague in Autumn 1991. Steven Kelly, who founded KNO after military service in 1979, and partner M Mari Novak who joined him in 1984, arrived in Czechoslovakia soon after the fall of communism. 

Starting out in initially in a small flat, they soon opened up the first office at the Benešovská 21 villa in the Vinohrady district of Prague.

Mari and Ivan, 1991

Steven, Sofie, Anetta, and Donna - 1992
The early staff started quickly with two projects - the beginning of a 5 year sales and service training relationship with GM/Opel and the introduction of country-wide salary surveys with Coopers and Lybrand, later to become PricewaterhouseCoopers.

First GM/Opel Dealers Training 1992

Flyer for Salary Survey - 1992 to 2002
In 1993, KNO started the beginning of a decades long partnership with World Learning, managing the USAID funded training initiatives in support of the ongoing reforms in that period.  In 1995, KNO was joined by Hana Hanibalová, for coordination of these program efforts.
In 15 years, over 70 training programs were conducted in Prague for USAID audiences from many countries. Hundreds of Czechoslovak managers were trained during the country transformation as well.

In the past 4 years, Hana and manager colleague Michaela Karásková, who joined KNO in 1999 focusing on customer service research, have taken the majority ownership in the Czech firm.

During the past 20 years, KNO has provided quality consulting, training and research performance support to many of the top businesses in the Czech Republic.  Notable collaboration efforts are linked here.

Several company milestones from 20 years of operation are detailed on the KNO website.

Below are a few historical team photos from the last 2 decades of KNO Česko operations.

Retreat with Slovak colleagues

Jana, Martina and Veronika

Robert, Miša and Jana circa 2005

Mark, Steven, Karel and Ondrej in 1995

KNO team circa 2000

1997 AmCham Cover

Team at Villa Safranka circa1998
10 Year Celebration in Crete, Greece 2001
Strategy Session on Ruska Terrace 2004

Happy Anniversary KNO!

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