Hans Hermann Voss
Hans Hermann Voss, the first child of Hermann and Emmy Voss, was born on October 3rd, 1926 in Bochum. Several years later, his sister Erika was born. From 1933 to 1943, Hans Hermann Voss went to school in Wuppertal. During the last two years of the war, he was drafted as a “Luftwaffenhelfer,” an air force helper. 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. He married his wife Christa in 1957.
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 at the time, as the city mayor of Wipperfürth, along with his business activities. At this time, the company employed five individuals and, with a production program of water fittings that was petering out, 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 widely known manufacturer for truck and trailer brakes. He succeeded in establishing himself there as a supplier for pipe screw connection components and soon gained new customers, such as MAN. Rapid growth of the company began; branches were founded in other locations, and even in Wipperfürth, more and more small production facilities had to be used over the course of the growth. Only after Hans Hermann Voss managed to acquire two existing company sites on either bank of the local river Wipper in 1969 and 1987 was there sufficient space for a central main factory and for further growth. Within just a few years, the company grew to one of the largest employers in Wipperfürth. As a skilled graphic designer, his wife Christa assisted him 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.
“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 summed up his company philosophy. He was a passionate engineer, and hardly anything fascinated and motivated him more than solving challenging technical problems. Thus he viewed his company first and foremost as an “engineering office combined with integral production,” as he was fond of saying. Innovative strength was top priority for Hans Hermann Voss, and still today his company is recognized first and foremost as a competent development partner for its customers.
Hans Hermann Voss was not only a successful entrepreneur and gifted engineer, he also felt a connection with the common good and his fellow man, especially, of course, with the employees of his company. Education, for example, was especially close to his heart. He personally 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 depend on him. His long-time companions were especially close to his heart. The annual seniors’ meeting was therefore always a highlight for him. When he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, Hans Hermann Voss insisted that the ceremony take place during this seniors’ meeting, that is to say, among “his people.”
Stemming from their social engagement, Hans Hermann and Christa Voss established the Hans Hermann Voss Foundation in 1992 and appointed it as the heir of their company shares and their estate. It was imperative to Mr. Voss to put his house in order in such a way that its existence, continuous further development, and independence of the company, which was truly his life’s work, could be secured. The mission of the foundation reflected what was important to him during his life. Hans Hermann Voss died on July 31st, 2006. The Hans Hermann Voss Foundation continues to pursue his ideas and holds his signature in its logo.