Martin Essl has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of bauMax Group since 1999, and founded the Essl Social Prize in 2007. He is also a board member of BHB (Federal Association of German Home Improvement, Building and Garden Stores) and EDRA (European DIY Retail Association). As CEO of bauMax he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, in addition to receiving other awards. He began his professional career after graduating from business school and a retail traineeship in the United States.