Thoughts from our CEO on the 5th anniversary of GEZOLAN USA
I started developing the North American market for GEZOLAN as early as 2001, and it took almost 15 years to establish a solid presence. As GEZOLAN’s market share kept growing over the years, a long-cherished dream of having a production plant in the United States gained momentum. Finally, the KRAIBURG Holding Executive Board granted in 2016 a large investment to set a plant, and the project started to move forward.
The Grand Opening on June 21, 2018 was the preliminary highlight, when we ramped-up the lines and commercial production started. This is the date we now celebrate the 5th anniversary. Until the Grand Opening, the project suffered several fallbacks and the leading team went from euphoria to nightmare and back to euphoria within days. The project phase was so dynamic and eventful, that the team was tired and eager at the same time. Nevertheless, I remember fondly a few anecdotes of the project phase:
We realized that some of the machines and the equipment would not get into the building once the walls would be erected and the building closed. The gates on the back were too small. Not even the giant forklift to position the vulcanization kiln would fit through any of the gates. One of the project engineers identified the issue early enough and instructed the builder to modify the size of one of the back gates. This gate was internally known for a while upon the name of that engineer: the Bucheli Gate.
Another anecdote is, that at the Grand Opening day, our Management Team insisted in having an ice sculpture featuring GEZOLAN’s logo. This was a great idea, but it lasted just enough to capture it in a photo and a short video before it melted much before we toasted our champagne glasses.
Our Project Manager back then, Roland Burreiner, put a professional team together to build up the entire organization from the scratch. He became ad interim Managing Director for two years and experienced in that time, the dynamic of such giant task. But the local Management Team with all local staff have been very professional, and in spite of the distance of the upper Corporate Management, the daily business was secured and professionally taken care of. Actually, the GEZOLAN USA has experienced a sustained and rapid growth through that period of time.
Many colleagues who were on board in the early stages are still part of the GEZOLAN family. And that is the secret of our success: having employees who believe in the project and stay on board to make GEZOLAN a success story. We are now set to cruise towards making the success story of GEZOLAN USA a reality, with a professional organization.
Within the scope of the celebrations for the 5th anniversary of GEZOLAN USA, I would like to humbly thank everyone for the contribution to our success. To those who stayed, those who went and those new. To all of them, in particular the current Management, staff members and all corporate members my highest gratitude and best wishes for the great history yet to come.