1.) Could you please tell us the basic stations of your career at Clyde Bergemann?
I started my career in production then sales engineering with Bergemann in 1992 in Wesel as a member of the Entrepreneurship Training program at Deutsche Babcock. After a year in Wesel, I worked for Deutsche Babcock companies in Oberhausen, Australia and Egypt. Then in 1995 I had the chance to go abroad with Bergemann (as it was then known) and I took over the position as sales engineer for the new equipment sales for the power market in America. Two years later we had our first breakthrough introducing new water cleaning technologies into the US from Germany.
After completing an MBA at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in 2004, I became Managing Director of Anthony Ross, a sister company based in Portland, Oregon. In 2008 I returned to Atlanta as Managing Director of Clyde Bergemann Atlanta and since 2016 I am Vice President & COO of the Clyde Bergemann Power Group Americas, responsible for all operations within North and South America.
2.) Could you describe your core activities?
My core activities are leading and supporting the management team at Clyde Bergemann Atlanta, Brasil, Colombia and Canada in achieving our company goals. Everyday looks somewhat different but most of the time I focus on listening to employees, customers and suppliers, providing input when and where needed. But a major part of the work is coaching employees, supporting them on ways to achieve those goals more effectively and independently. Furthermore I support our sales efforts for major projects by developing sales strategies and help to resolve issues with customers which in turn helps increase customer satisfaction to grow our business. Of course, I must also ensure that the group top management team is advised and in support of developments at all times.
3.) Why did you pick Clyde Bergemann as your employer?
My interest in Deutsche Babcock and then Clyde Bergemann originated from my fundamental curiosity in the energy industry as a building block of society as well as its technical complexity. My father had been involved in the industry, primarily oil and gas, and the highly technical nature of the industry had always driven my curiosity. Not taking anything at face value, but asking hard questions and following the answers wherever they lead using engineering and creativity is key.
4.) What characteristics do you associate with Clyde Bergemann?
- Flexibility and energy (our strong “can-do” attitude coupled with perseverance)
- Integrity (doing what you say)
- Innovation (never satisfied and therefore always striving to improve and learn)
- High level of Autonomy (the polar opposite of the big company mentality, getting stuck on bureaucracy, you can adapt and change strategies to meet changing demands)
5.) How do you motivate yourself and your people?
I work hard to ensure that everyone’s views are effectively voiced as well as heard and try to communicate clearly the basis for making decisions. We focus a lot of time on building effective teamwork and leadership skills to ensure that everyone’s competences and experiences can make a difference. This helps the company but it also helps the individuals achieve a lot more of what they want and helps drive higher long-term motivation and satisfaction.
6.) What was your biggest success in your career?
So far, I think that helping Clyde Bergemann establish a strong base on the power market in the US was a good success. Our water cannon technology was very helpful to a lot of customers, as it was something completely new which competitors considered not applicable.
7.) What was the most memorable situation during your time with Clyde Bergemann?
One memorable even was the celebration of our company’s 25th anniversary of establishment in the United States in Atlanta. All employees plus some of our original long-term ex-employees attended. It was memorable because it gave us a chance to reward and recognize so many of the people who have turned Clyde Bergemann into the success it has become in the Americas today, a remarkable achievement going from a small 20 man unit purchased in 1988 all the way to the strong organization that Clyde Bergemann has now become.
8.) Where is your favourite place on earth?
I’d say together with my family, wherever we are. We have gone through so much travel, and moving around together and been at each other’s side every step of the way, supporting and building our lives together that there is nowhere else I would want to be.