Today, the ebm-papst Group, a pioneering manufacturer of fans and motors, has over 15,000 employees around the globe and generates annual revenues of more than 2 billion euros. Gerhard Sturm was born on December 17, 1934 as the third of five children in Künzelsau-Nagelsberg, Germany. When he was 14, Mr. Sturm started his apprenticeship as a machinist. Afterward, the classmate of Reinhold Würth and Albert Berner started working at Ziehl-Abegg, the fan manufacturer. After passing the master’s examination, Mr. Sturm was appointed to the position of plant assistant and in 1960, he became the head of external rotor motor production. In 1963, Gerhard Sturm and his mentor, Heinz Ziehl, founded a company known today as ebm-papst Group. The consummate entrepreneur influenced the company for more than 50 years, and retired from the operative business in 2007.
Mr. Sturm’s decisions always showed courage and a great deal of trust in his employees. For many decades, he upheld the company principle that every newly developed product must be superior to its predecessor in terms of ecology and economics. As a result, ebm-papst developed its GreenTech philosophy.
Providing sustainable support for training and continuing education has always been important to Mr. Sturm. A member of the university council at Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences for many years, he was also a key sponsor of the establishment and expansion of the Künzelsau campus. Mr. Sturm was also engaged in local politics: he was a member of the municipal council for decades.
For his social commitment and entrepreneurial activities, Gerhard Strum received many honors. They include the Federal Cross of Merit, the Medal of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg, and the Diesel Medal, the highest honor for inventors.
Mr. Sturm will celebrate his 85th birthday with his family and closest employees.