Top-level visit at HOPPE
The Federal President of Germany, Horst Köhler, visits the HOPPE plant in Crottendorf (Ore Mountains)
On 9th December 2005 the German part of the HOPPE Group enjoyed a visit from the German Head of State, Federal President Prof. Dr. Horst Köhler, who visited the plant in the Ore Mountains, one of the nine plants of the Group which operates worldwide and with headquarters in Switzerland.
He was received by the owners of the company, Mssrs Wolf Hoppe and Christoph Hoppe. Together with his wife, Mrs Eva Luise Köhler, and accompanied by the Prime Minister of Saxony, Prof. Dr. Georg Milbradt, the Federal President listened to a presentation about the company by Mr Wolf Hoppe, the central theme being the company philosophy and the owners’ ideas of leadership. The Federal President was visibly impressed by what he saw: what began as a lecture quickly developed into a dialogue! Mr Köhler asked many questions of obvious interest to him, especiallly about leadership, and in so doing he spent considerably more time than was originally planned.
A further topic was why, after reunification, HOPPE had become involved in East Germany at all, and in Crottendorf in particular, and how this involvement has been successful there ever since.
The focal point of the ensuing tour of the plant, during which the Federal President also spoke with employees, was the training of apprentices. He shook the hand of each one of the 24 apprentices at the Crottendorf plant.
His entry in the visitors’ book seemed unusually expansive. He wrote, “Here I got to know a company and its owners with a forward-looking philosophy in the best sense. It can be an example to us all. I wish the company all the best for the future because it’s all about people.”
The fact that the Head of State had come to HOPPE at all was an honour in itself, so this praise on top was even more of an expression of recognition and confirmation for the company leaders and as such an encouragement to continue along the chosen path. The whole visit was marked by its extremely friendly and personal nature.