Tony Hooimeijer, since a long time president of KARL MAYER North America, went into his well-deserved retirement on February 28, 2023. Already since November 2022 he supported his successor Mariano Amezcua in his familiarization with KARL MAYER, and on January 1, 2023, transferred leadership of the company.
Mariano is well prepared for his new challenges. During stays in Germany, he learned about the business units and central functions of the KARL MAYER GROUP. Furthermore, this graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with a later MBA in Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology brings extensive industry experience for his new position. For 25 years he led business and service teams for companies that are engaged in industrial automation and software solutions. Most recent Mariano Amezcua was President & CEO of DAP America Inc.
What his plans are, what Tony Hooimeijer provided him in support to find his way and what moved these two leaders during this hand-over process, Ulrike Schlenker from my TEXTILE NEWS learned about in an Interview.
US: Mr. Hooimeijer, you started your work at the KARL MAYER Group in 2004, were in the top position at KARL MAYER North America from then onwards and led the company through many changes and upheavals. What were your major successes? What are you particularly proud of?
TH: There are many things to be proud of. First of all, we maintained our excellent market position. That was not easy. The U.S. textile industry had been going through many struggles and very dramatic changes in the period before I joined and is still struggling. The challenges include markets for three and the last few years five business units. Other area where I am proud of is our team. We always kept everything together and maintained a good team through all our changes. Think of closing our New Jersey operation and consolidate into Greensboro, integrating three major acquisitions, Benninger, LIBA and Stoll and assisting the Warp Preparation Business Unit with three more technology acquisitions, etc.
US: Mr. Amezcua, we just heard about many changes. What will you change? What are your goals in your new position?
MA: My first focus will be on the growth of KARL MAYER North America and on customer proximity through Field Service and other Professional Services. We will actively promote Customer Care service packages, technology conversion upgrades, and training programs for customers. A complementary goal is to adopt a project-based approach focused on solving problems and adding value to customer operations. Here I also see great potential for digitalization, leveraging digital technologies will allow us to increase customer retention.
We must develop our service capabilities and applications expertise, and in turn increase our technical support team. We will also cross-train our technicians to build a broader knowledge base and gain flexibility as we respond more quickly to our customers’ service needs. Finally, we must coordinate with the respective headquarters for the Business Units to receive installation and training assistance on new products when they are introduced into the American market.
"My first focus will be on the growth of KARL MAYER North America and on customer proximity through Field Service and other Professional Services."
US: For your plans your team will have an important role. What do you expect from your team?
MA: I will encourage our sales team to achieve greater customer intimacy, particularly by spending more time addressing manufacturing concerns and better understanding the challenges, opportunities, and business priorities. The closer we draw to our customers, the better we will be able to forecast market needs, actively manage our supply chain, and maintain customer loyalty.
US: Regarding the ambitious goals of Mr. Amezcua, what would you advise him to be successful?
TH: My most important advice will be the saying to concentrate on the essential, meaning on our markets, our products, our applications and be available always to work on meeting customer needs, large or small.
"My most important advice will be the saying to concentrate on the essential, meaning on our markets, our products, our applications and be available always to work on meeting customer needs, large or small."
US: Good advice from your predecessor, Mr. Amezcua. From your side, how did you experience your introduction period with him?
MA: Tony has been the lynchpin of KARL MAYER North America for nearly 20 years. He is highly respected by manufacturing executives and thought leaders across the textile industry. I will have very large shoes to fill replacing a legend such as Tony. He shared lots of knowledge and experiences with me quite openly and this will remain helpful. I will also keep his mobile number on speed dial so that he is only a phone call away!
US: Then I wish you, Mr. Hooimeijer, a happy retirement and you, Mr. Amezcua, much success in your new position. Thank you very much for the interview!