(Stolberg.) The name of Kerschgens is well known in Stolberg. Many people in this region of Germany are familiar with the distinctive elephant logo on the roughly 30 trucks of Kerschgens' "green fleet". These trucks make daily deliveries to approximately 300 customers from the company's headquarters in Stolberg and three other locations in Würselen, Bitburg and Trier. For more than 50 years, Manfred Kerschgens actively shaped the fate of this family-owned company as CEO and partner. On Sunday, January 17, the Stolberg native celebrates his 80th birthday.
Founded in Stolberg in 1876, Kerschgens has grown from a small steel trader to a company of international renown. Today Kerschgens Werkstoffe & Mehr is the one-stop supplier of steel, stainless steel, non-ferrous metals and perforated metal plates. Its staff of approx. 210 is distributed across four locations. Manfred Kerschgens' business decisions were always guided by his sense of responsibility for these employees and their families.
Even beyond his role in the company, the former CEO was and is deeply committed to supporting his home region and giving back to society – whether by joining or cooperating with associations and guilds, as a long-term member of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce's examination board, or by donating to social, charitable or other non-profit organizations at the company sites.
"An entrepreneur's responsibility for his decisions doesn’t end with his active time in the company", he says. The same foresight also marks the course he set for his company's future. Last year, the partners followed his suggestion in choosing Heinz Herbort, CEO of many years, and his son Felix as the next-generation management team, thereby securing the future of Kerschgens Werkstoffe & Mehr GmbH as an owner-managed family company. This is a matter close to Manfred Kerschgens' heart.
"Felix Herbort (30) will join the management board this year. Together with his father and with Pierre Schlüper (52), who has been with Kerschgens for over 30 years and has served on the management board since 2017, he will lead the company into the future", he says happily. "Even though I have mostly retired from day-to-day operations, I am glad that people still want my advice on important strategic decisions and that I can continue to support the management team with my business experience." He stresses that the company is still very much a part of his life and that he feels deeply connected to his home region and its people.