At some point of time, every successful family business is ready for a generation change. Consequently and following the celebration of the company's 100th anniversary in November 2018, the next atmospheric event at BERG took place, for which the entire workforce and many former employees gathered in the foyer of the company.
According to the motto “transition to the next generation” the gentle withdrawal of the senior shareholders Dietrich Kramer (79) and Dietrich B. Grautoff (81) was initiated. Dietrich Kramer began his career at BERG in 1970. Of 49 years with the company he worked for 44 years as commercial managing director. His wife Renate (née Grautoff) is the granddaughter of the company founder Wilhelm Berg.
Her brother Dietrich B. Grautoff was a shareholder in the company for more than 50 years. In his speech, the grandson of Wilhelm Berg appealed to the workforce to trust the next generation of shareholders and symbolically passed the baton on to the seven members of the next generation, of whom Henrich B. Grautoff (Head of Sales) is the only one active in operational business.
Afterwards the representatives of the next generation were given the opportunity to introduce themselves personally. On behalf of the Grautoff family, Georg W. Grautoff paid tribute to the achievements of “two great personalities”. They were allowed to retire, but he hoped that the young generation would still be able to draw on the “wise assessments and wealth of experience” of the two senior shareholders in the future when making difficult decisions.
After this Stephanie Hall (daughter of Dietrich Kramer) expressed her appreciation for the staff and management. She emphasized her father's exemplary function and assured that the new generation, would be ready to take on the demanding task responsibly.
The new and the old shareholder generation of BERG at a glance (from left): Stephanie Halle, Dr. Steffen F. Grautoff, Dietrich Kramer, Franziska Kramer, Henrich B. Grautoff, Ruth Grautoff (in the front), Katharina R. Form, Dr. Georg W. Grautoff, Dietrich B. Grautoff und Ferdinand Kramer
The last words were reserved for Dietrich Kramer: He thanked for the event in his honour. BERG proves that family businesses continue to have a promising future. The company's history shows how important solid development is ‒ not a revolution, but sustainable evolution. Long company affiliations of the employees would stand as proof of continuity, reliability and good cooperation. The strengths of BERG have always been creativity and innovation in product development. Only in this way it was possible to develop into a permanent fixture for the product range in Germany. Dietrich Kramer concluded his acceptance speech with the Latin Motto “Vivat, crescat, foreat”. May BERG live, grow and prosper in this spirit.