Hans Deamer

  • President of W&H Corp.
  • Management style | Just one of the team but the buck stops here!
  • Hobby | Collecting and restoring antique cars and motorcycles
  • How did you get into the converting business? Started as a young sales engineer for John Dusenbery at their UK licensee, TI Fords, in 1975, selling slitters. My territory included Northern UK, Germany, and India.

  • What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy? Look after your customers. Don't compromise on supporting them.

  • Have any management or business books influenced you? I make it a point never to read business books…it's a “flavor of the month” thing. Just look at all the management styles that have been trendy, then lost favor as the next new thing was introduced.

  • What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started out in business? That I was going to get older! Time goes by so fast; you must relax sometimes and take some time for your family…kids grow so fast, and if you miss it, you can't get it back.

  • What is the biggest threat to the converting industry right now? Low-cost imports have to be the biggest long-term threat to the North American converting industry, but I am a total believer in our industry's ability to adapt and compete.

  • Do you have a personal motto? Do the right thing in business and in your private life…not always so easy.

  • What is the worst advice you ever got? Don't worry about the calories.

  • What sustainability efforts has your company made? Sustainability is the current buzz word…sorry, but that is how I see it. Our company is reacting by developing machines that will use less energy, and this makes sense just from an operational cost viewpoint as well. There is so much misinformation out there about flexible packaging and plastics in particular. Our industry must react in a balanced way with facts and action to reduce plastics waste, especially the stuff that ends up in the oceans, where it is a real problem. Real problems like possible global warming, water and air pollution have very little to do with plastics. I have some strong opinions on this, which I will not voice here!

  • Who's your personal hero? My dad. He was born in England in 1922 and was an orphan with rickets and had to wear leg braces as a small boy. He lived in orphanages until he was 14 and trained as a sheet metal worker and became the most skilled craftsman I have ever met. When he retired in 1982, he was plant manager at a big UK computer company with responsibility for more than 400 employees. He is now 87 and lives in North Wales. He taught me about hard work and doing things right.

  • What advice would you give to someone starting out in this business? Be honest and act with integrity. Look after your customers and your business will be okay.

About Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp.

  • 23 New England Way, Lincoln, RI 02818; 401-333-2770

  • www.whcorp.com

  • Founded in Germany in 1869; 50 employees in US office

  • Manufacturer of printing presses, extrusion systems, multiwall equipment, and sack and bagmaking machines

Who is your personal hero? Share your perspective. Write to yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


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