“I enjoy getting involved in exciting projects, events and activities together with good people.”

Stefan Riner is a new member of the EMBA HSG Alumni Board. At the last General Assembly, the EMBA 61 graduate was unanimously elected to the now seven-member board. In this interview, Stefan Riner talks about his motivation, his background and draws fascinating parallels between challenges in the business and sports worlds.

22.03.2024; Zürich; Universität St.Gallen EMBA HSG Alumni; . © Valeriano Di Domenico

What is your motivation for joining the EMBA HSG Alumni Board?

I like to get involved in exciting projects, events and activities together with good people. In the specific case of the Board of the EMBA HSG Alumni Association, it is the cultivation of the EMBA community that brings so many interesting people together. I also look forward to maintaining and expanding my personal network.

What do you think makes up the EMBA community?

It includes many very exciting people who come from very different industries, but who nevertheless have a very similar mindset due to their positions and functions. This always provides a good basis for exciting discussions, a lively exchange of experiences and mutual support.

You mention our network. Was this also a reason for you to do the EMBA at the HSG?

Absolutely. The EMBA at the HSG convinced me with the weekly model, but a very important point was and is also the large and multi-layered network that we have in the EMBA community and among HSG alumni.

What do you personally bring to this committee?

I have a lot of experience in organising events and can contribute this know-how to the events. I’m an open person who finds it easy to get in touch with a wide variety of people and, if necessary, motivate them to get involved in the community or take part in events. I am therefore a suitable link between the decentralised EMBA tribes and the Board.

You have already taken part in several EMBA HSG Alumni Board meetings – how do you perceive the Board and its work?

The Board members are very committed and passionate about the association. The primary goal is to organise exciting events for the community with topical issues and high-profile speakers. Lifelong learning is at the centre of this. I find the board team to be very diverse and the people complement each other very well. I’m really looking forward to working with them in the future.

You have already mentioned that you are responsible for the topic of tribes within the EMBA HSG Alumni Board. What exactly is your role there and what is your goal?

I actually have a very pleasant task: I attend the events organised by the tribes in the regions to find out what their needs and expectations are of the Executive Board. I support them in increasing the number of participants by trying to motivate the new alumnae and alumni of the EMBA cohorts in particular to take part in the tribes’ events. My short and medium-term goal is to strengthen the EMBA tribes in terms of participant numbers as well as succession planning for the tribal presidents. The long-term goal is to have a pure EMBA tribe in all regions again.

A few weeks ago, you took on a new job; you will be the Director of the Swiss Gymnastics Federation. What does a director of the gymnastics association do and what appeals to you most about the position?

Together with the Executive Board, I manage the operations of Switzerland’s largest sports organisation. In concrete terms, this means managing the head office and the association centre in Magglingen. In addition to managing the day-to-day business, I am also responsible for implementing the vision and strategic decisions of the Board of Directors. What appeals to me about this role is the complexity of the association with its countless stakeholders and interfaces, sports and the political challenges in the sports environment. It’s actually an ideal combination of business management and politics. A dream role for me as a gymnast with an EMBA degree.

Is there a special bridge back to the EMBA for your challenging new job? Along the lines of “well, I have an EMBA degree, I can make good use of this course…

That is certainly the versatility of the EMBA. The networked thinking, the business administration and the operational thinking in strategy topics. The interplay between the various disciplines is complex – and yet all the individual parts are needed. I learnt how to orchestrate the different areas in a very profound way.

To get to know you a little better personally: what do you do when you’re not organising a sporting event or volunteering for the alumni?

Sport is a big part of my life. In addition, further education, travelling and spending time with my wife are very important to me. My favourite activities are those where I can combine everything.

Contact Us

Do you have any questions or require further information? We will be happy to help.

Apply now

Register online to start your personal application process.