Having newly joined his eldest brother Benjamin as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the successful family enterprise, "it's such an honor" for Steffen Haegele to help lead the organization and its various properties into the next and future stages. "Our father Karl has always invented new products, and we want to do the same. That will always remain a prime motivation in our company," he says. "I'm excited for that, but on the other hand, I also have great respect for how important and challenging this is. We must and will continue to be humble."
As a Haegele, Steffen was raised in the company business, from his youth days right up through his apprenticeship and subsequent university studies. "Growing up in a family-owned business is very special, and yet very different from the experiences of many of my peers," he says. "Because of that, this company means so very much to Benjamin Haegele and I. We both have scars on our hands, literally, for the work we have done growing up."
Steffen Haegele, 28, earned his Master's Degree at the Aalen University of Applied Sciences (Aalen UAS), graduating in 2017. During his studies as an industrial engineer, he worked in Product Management at Mercedes Benz Trucks in Stuttgart, Germany, and completed his Master's Thesis at ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik GmbH in Bietigheim Bissingen, Germany. He came onboard full-time in 2018 at Haegele GmbH, the German-based designer and manufacturer of Cleanfix reversible fans for the efficient cooling and cleaning of mobile agricultural, construction, mining and forestry equipment.
His "great respect for the role and the responsibility" has only grown since becoming CEO in 2019, particularly when reminded that his father, Karl Haegele, took on the "daunting" challenge at age 18. "My respect for him grew even more when I experienced what it means to be in this position," says Steffen. "To me, it's very much about the caring aspect – to care for the employees, to care for the company itself, and to care for our customers and partners around the world."
A lifelong positive and respectful sibling relationship with Benjamin Haegele has resulted in a seamless, respectful working relationship, says Steffen. While it's natural that two people, even brothers, will occasionally have differing opinions, "the bottom line is that we think alike in most ways and in the truly important ways. To me, it's a perfect fit."
Cleanfix North America, of Stratford, Ontario, provides full service of the Cleanfix product line to the U.S. and Canadian equipment markets.