Hans Hermann Voss – Entrepreneur and benefactor () | Hans Hermann Voss-Stiftung

Hans Hermann Voss

On October 3rd, 1926 Hans Hermann Voss, the first child of Hermann and Emmy Voss, was born in Bochum. Several years later, his sister Erika was born. Hans Hermann Voss went to school from 1933 to 1943 in Wuppertal. During the last two years of World War II, he was drafted as a “Luftwaffenhelfer”, an air force helper. After the end of the war he went back to school to get his high school degree in 1946. From 1948 to 1953, he studied mechanical engineering at the technical university in Stuttgart, today’s University of Stuttgart. In 1957, he married his wife Christa (née Theil), a skilled graphic designer who also grew up in Wuppertal.

The Entrepreneur

Hans Hermann Voss was only 26 when he joined his father’s fitting factory “Armaturenfabrik Hermann Voss” in Wipperfürth in May of 1953. His father greatly welcomed this step, as he was highly active in local politics, as the city mayor of Wipperfürth, along with his business activities. At this time, with a production program of water fittings that was petering out, the company had very little to offer in the way of promising prospects for solid business development. In search of new products and customers, Hans Hermann Voss took up an older inquiry from the company Graubremse in Heidelberg, a then renowned manufacturer of truck and trailer brakes. He successfully established the company there as a supplier for pipe screw connection components and soon acquired new customers, such as MAN. In the course of time he gradually expanded the company into the international VOSS group. His wife Christa assisted him with her professional expertise in creating the first catalogs and trade fair stands as well as in designing the company buildings. His sister Erika was likewise a great help as an interior designer. 

The Engineer

“As a mechanical engineer, my priorities have always been set on technically outstanding products at competitive prices and on the closest possible relationships with our customers.” This is how Hans Hermann Voss once aptly summarized his corporate philosophy as an enthusiastic technician. He was a passionate engineer, and hardly anything fascinated and motivated him more than solving challenging technical problems. Innovative strength has always been the top priority for him in his company. He liked to call his company first and foremost an “engineering office with affiliated production”.  

The Employer

Hans Hermann Voss felt a connection with the common good and his fellow men, especially, of course, with the employees of his company. Education, for example, was close to his heart. He ensured that VOSS gained recognition as a training workplace and achieved exemplary work particularly in this area. The company employees likewise felt a close connection with Hans Hermann Voss as an entrepreneur and as a person. They knew and felt that he was always sincere and honest with them and that they could rely on him. His long-time companions were especially important to him; therefore, the annual seniors’ meeting was always a highlight for him. When he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, Hans Hermann Voss arranged the ceremony to take place during this seniors’ meeting, that is to say, in the midst of “his people”. ”

The Benefactor

In 1992, Hans Hermann Voss and his wife Christa established the Hans Hermann Voss-Stiftung. Hans Hermann Voss felt committed to give something back to the people and the region who had contributed essentially to his company’s success. That is why, even long before the foundation was established, he had made generous donations in the closer surroundings of Wipperfürth. Another main reason to establish the foundation was to secure the further existence, the continuous development and the independence of his company, which represented his life’s work. Hans Hermann und Christa Voss appointed the foundation as heir to their company shares and their private assets. Hans Hermann Voss died on July 31, 2006.The foundation continues to pursue his ideas and holds his signature in its logo.