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German Ambassador Impressed with Large Weekend Workforce During Visit to Putzmeister America


Wolfgang Ischinger, the German Ambassador to the United States (center) tours Putzmeister America in Sturtevant, Wis., and pauses in front of the company’s new five-section 47Z-Meter concrete boom pump. Also (from left) are: Matthias Heinz, vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Putzmeister America; John D. Gatto, chief executive officer of Transatlantic Venture Solutions L.L.C. and head of the Midwest-Wisconsin Chapter of the German-American Chamber of Commerce; and H. Carl Mueller of Mueller Communications Inc. The chamber of commerce arranged Ischinger's visit.

Matthias Heinz, vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Putzmeister America (right) explains manufacturing operations to Wolfgang Ischinger, German Ambassador to the United States. The ambassador took special interest in Putzmeister because he was born in Nuertingen, Germany, a neighboring city to Aichtal, the world headquarters of Putzmeister.

German Ambassador Impressed with Large Weekend Workforce During Visit to Putzmeister America

STURTEVANT, Wis. (June 4, 2004) – German Ambassador to the United States, Wolfgang Ischinger was impressed by the relatively large number of people working

on a Saturday when he paid a visit to Putzmeister America operations here on March 27.

Ischinger learned that the large number of personnel working on weekends was not staged. Rather, it is a typical occurrence based on strong demand for Putzmeister equipment.

The ambassador visited the German-based company’s Wisconsin facilities as part of a goodwill trip sponsored by the Midwest-Wisconsin Chapter of the German-American Chamber of Commerce.

Ischinger was welcomed and provided a tour by Matthias Heinz, vice president of finance and chief financial officer for Putzmeister America. Putzmeister, which produces concrete and material-placing equipment, is headquartered in Aichtal, Germany. The company was of particular personal interest to the ambassador, who was born in the neighboring city of Nuertingen.

During his tour, Ischinger said he was especially impressed with Putzmeister’s state-of-the-art, four-story paint facility, as well as the large weekend workforce.

The ambassador’s visit was scheduled as part of the Midwest-Wisconsin Chapter’s mission to provide networking opportunities for Wisconsin companies with business interests in Germany and to encourage two-way trade.

Ischinger had his own objectives during his two-day visit. As the ambassador of Germany to the U.S. (not the ambassador to Washington, D.C.) his goodwill duties require him to travel to various regions of America. Wisconsin was of special interest to him because of its German ethnic heritage. Another task for him was to explore any interest that Wisconsin businesses may have in trading with Germany.

Furthermore, the ambassador wanted to make certain that the American people do not harbor misconceptions about the state of German-American relations and where they are headed. He cited several examples of how Germany has been a strong ally of the U.S. in the worldwide fight against terrorism.

Along with the visit to Putzmeister, the ambassador toured the nearby S.C. Johnson manufacturing facilities, spoke at various functions with greater Milwaukee area business people and attended a fundraising event for the German Immersion School.

Putzmeister America is one of the world's leading heavy equipment manufacturers, specializing in concrete and material placing equipment. As market leaders in technology and innovation, Putzmeister offers a complete line of truck-mounted concrete boom pumps, separate placing booms, truck-mounted telescopic conveyors, and trailer-mounted concrete pumps. In addition, the company provides a wide range of mortar, grout, shotcrete, plaster and fireproofing pumps and mixers, industrial pumps, as well as tunneling and mining equipment. The company originally achieved international ISO 9001 quality certification in 1998, and this past summer successfully completed the transition audit for compliance with the recently revised and more challenging ISO 9001:2000 standards.