01. March 2012

25 years of commitment – with heart and soul – to the family owned and managed company

Margrit Harting

A teacher was the last thing she wanted to become. Developments, however, were to run a somewhat different course in the end. Back In those days, sons and daughters were expected to heed their parents' decisions.

Her father headed a private commercial school in Rahden, and it was here that Margrit Kohlhase instructed classes following her studies in Bonn, Würzburg, Innsbruck and Mannheim as from 1971 – the year in which she married Dietmar Harting. After a six year tenure as a qualified teacher of business studies (Dipl.-Handelslehrerin) she moved on to concentrate entirely on parenting. In the meantime, however, Margrit Harting had long discovered her pedagogic propensities, including a certain love of red ink – which today's staff occasionally experience in day to day interactions. It is now 25 years that Margrit Harting, together with her husband, has stood at the helm of the Espelkamp headquartered, family owned and managed company. On March 1, 1987 the 38-year old (born 1945 in Schötmar, Lippe) joined the company as the managing director of the entity HARTING Elektronik GmbH. Sales were in the region of EUR 75 million, and the workforce in Germany amounted to some 1,165 employees. Since 1992, the mother of two, and grandmother of six has been active as President and Partner.

The beginning of Margrit Harting's tenure ushered in a new era of company history. Generating ideas and impulses and outlining visions, she has made her mark, while also showing strong and sustainable commitment to the region and beyond. Corporate culture has taken center stage: company communication, marketing, public relations, human resource work, the promotion of female employees, training and further training of staff – these areas have been expanded on all levels and professionalized accordingly. In-house, and to the general public, HARTING presents itself as a high-tech, globally operating company, has won awards as a first class employer, as well as gaining significant acknowledgement as sponsor and promoter of the arts and culture in the Mühlenkreis district. In all of these activities, Margrit Harting is the driving force, and an inspiring, hands-on manager as well as a genuine event manager with the highest aspirations. She is also a brilliant speaker, spirited and witty, characterized by her clear-cut standpoints. Company celebrations, anniversaries, trade fair presentations and inaugurations such as the Botta building in Minden all feature as highly notable social events bringing people together and closer to each other. She is widely acknowledged by employees and business partners alike as “a personality and a perfectionist”.

The municipality of Espelkamp is a very special concern for Margrit Harting. The honorary citizen and holder of the Federal Cross of Merit, First Class, regards the municipality and the company as indivisible. The global player is dependent on an attractive location – both for its development and in order to attract highly qualified employees. Margrit Harting is strongly committed, insistent, demanding and impatient at times when doubters appear to gain the upper hand. “When it comes down to it, she is always concerned with the issues themselves,” as even those concede who know her as a tough negotiator. She headed the adult education organization “Volksbildungswerk” for a decade, while taking a passionate interest in advancing Espelkamp's Neues Theater (New Theater), and was personally involved in enabling the extensive modernization and the theater's program. With her heart in her hand she met Claus Peymann in Berlin in 2006 and succeeded in winning the famous director of the Berlin Ensemble for three guest performances at the Neues Theater in Espelkamp.

For a quarter of a century, Dietmar and Margrit have headed the company as a congenial duo. On the one hand, he is the level-headed, hands-on manager and technology mastermind, while she is the power woman, hunter and passionate dancer, who also ensures that due attention is given to life's wonderful moments – who is always glad to remember staff birthdays with small gifts and a heartfelt “happy birthday” chorus. Today, the day of the silver anniversary of her service to the HARTING Technology Group, and true to the spirit of the company, Margrit Harting herself is the recipient of our congratulations.