Foundation

Who we are and
what we support.

Drawing: Markus Krumscheid
Foundation

The most important facts in brief

Established in 1992 and named after its founder, the Hans Hermann Voss-Stiftung is a non-profit foundation under civil law with legal personality, based in the more than 800-year-old Hanseatic City of Wipperfürth in the Bergisches Land region.

Projects are funded by the foundation’s income from assets. The majority of the funding comes from the stake in the VOSS Group, which is owned by the foundation.

With a regional focus, we support projects locally in the Oberberg district within the framework of our four foundation objectives natural sciences and research, education and training, youth and senior citizens as well as charitable causes. In selected regions around the world, we fund projects in the field of education.

We work closely together with various non-profit organizations and public institutions to identify and support suitable projects. This also includes other foundations that pursue similar goals.

Endowments to the foundation's capital stock and donations in line with the foundation's objectives are possible at any time. Donors will receive a corresponding receipt.

Foundation objectives

Key ideas

As a passionate engineer, Hans Hermann Voss had a keen interest in promoting inventive spirit and technical progress. The Hans Hermann Voss-Stiftung therefore supports – mainly in the Federal Land of North Rhine-Westphalia – students of natural scientific and technical disciplines with scholarships. In addition, selective research projects with regional relevance are funded.

The foundation’s objective of education and training goes back to Hans Hermann Voss’ awareness of the importance of a good education for the future path of life. It was his concern to help young people master their way through school and training. The two focus areas of our regional education funding in the Oberberg district and in selected regions worldwide are STEM education (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology) and the transition between school and training. In the Oberberg district, we also promote music education for children, healthy eating and exercise in daycare centers and schools. Locally in Wipperfürth, we furthermore support hands-on projects in daycare centers and elementary school and projects that focus on schools and daycare centers as living spaces.

 

Hans Hermann Voss was committed to making it easier for young people to enter (professional) life and to providing old people an appropriate place in society at the end of their working life. Even before the foundation was established, he supported local associations, especially in the area of youth sports. In Wipperfürth and in the Oberbergischer Kreis district, we foster youth work in local sports and music associations, as well as sports and leisure activities of other local non-profit organizations. This support is aimed at both young people and senior citizens. We also support integration and inclusion work.

On a case-by-case basis, we also fund charitable causes. This includes social projects run by non-profit organizations, which aim to improve the living condition of people in need and promote the common good in Wipperfürth and the Oberbergischer Kreis district in the long term. Our foundation fosters counselling service and facilities for people in need of all ages.

Bodies of the foundation

Board of Trustees and Executive

The bodies of the Hans Hermann Voss Foundation are the board of trustees and the executive.

The foundation board of trustees is the supervisory board of the foundation. This committee establishes the guidelines of the foundation work. Four sessions of the board of trustees take place during the year, during which decisions are made on project funding. The board of trustees also decides on assignment of the foundation executive.

Members of the board of trustees are:
Dr. Regine Hagen-Eck (chairperson)
Dr.-Ing. Hans Wobbe
Ass. jur. Jochen Hagt
Wolfgang Schmitz

The foundation executive leads the current operations of the foundation.

The foundation executive is Johanna Holst.

History

Hans Hermann Voss – Engineer, entrepreneur, benefactor

1926

Origin, education, family

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. He 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.

1953

Joining his father's company

Hans Hermann Voss was 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 active in local politics, as the city mayor of Wipperfürth, along with his business activities. His mother Emmy worked in the company's accounts department. His sister Erika later repeatedly supported the development of the main factory in Wiipperfürth as an interior designer. Over time, Hans Hermann Voss expanded the company into the international VOSS group.

“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.” Innovative strength and solving challenging technical problems were always at the forefront of his corporate philosophy. He liked to call his company first and foremost an “engineering office with affiliated production”.

1957

Wedding

He married his wife Christa (née Theil), a skilled graphic designer from Wuppertal, in 1957. Christa assisted him with creating the first catalogs and trade fair stands for the VOSS company, as well as in designing the company buildings. Their marriage remaining childless was one of the reasons why, the two of them began to consider the idea of a foundation as a succession solution for the company at an early stage.

1992

Foundation established

Hans Hermann Voss felt committed to give something back to the people and the region who had contributed essentially to his company’s success.He had made generous donations for the purpose even before the foundation was established. 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. At the end of 1992, Hans Hermann and Christa Voss established the Hans Hermann Voss Foundation and appointed the foundation as heir to their company and their private assets.

2000

Review of the structures created

Almost twenty years after the foundation was established, Hans Hermann Voss took another fundamental look at the structures of his foundation and its foundation objectives. He revised the foundation's statutes and set up a board of trustees as a second supervisory body alongside the executive board. He also stipulated that the chair of the foundation's board of trustees should always be the same person as the chair of the company's advisory board. The foundation objectives were reformulated.

2004

Award for his services to the common good

Hans Hermann Voss felt a strong connection to the common good and his fellow human beings, especially to the employees of his company. Training, for example, was a matter close to his heart. In addition, his long-standing companions were particularly important to him, which is why the annual "Jubilee and Seniors' Reunion" was always a highlight for him. When he was to be awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2004, he insisted that the ceremony take place at this seniors' meeting, in the midst of "his own."

2006

Death of Hans Hermann Voss

When Hans Herman Voss died on July 31, 2006, everything was in perfect order: The Hans Hermann Voss Foundation became his heir and was able to continue its sponsorship activities in his spirit. The Hans Hermann Voss Foundation still bears his signature in its logo today.

A new phase began for the now "large" foundation, which had been endowed with more capital thanks to his legacy. The administration of the foundation had to be restructured in line with developments. The Board of Trustees laid down funding guidelines on how the foundation's objectives and work should be concretized in the spirit of Hans Hermann Voss. The foundation executive began to establish new collaborations in order to develop the Foundation's funding activities equally across all of its objectives. To this day, the foundation provides funding with a strong local and regional focus, but sometimes also beyond the region.

2022

Death of Christa Voss

A few years after the death of her husband, Christa Voss gradually withdrew from social life and only accompanied the foundation from a distance. From then on, she lived in seclusion in her house in Dohrgaul. She passed away peacefully at home on November 2, 2022 at the age of 89.

Funding

Shaping the future together

Together with numerous partners in the region and beyond, we develop and support a wide range of projects in line with our foundation's objectives.

What we support

Projects

What we currently support

With a regional focus, we support projects in the areas of natural science and research, education and training, youth and senior citizens, and charitable causes.

Project overview