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July 2015

Senior boss Willy Schwenger celebrates his 80th birthday and receives the founder's prize for his life's workpreis für Lebenswerk

The founder prize from the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe Baden-Württemberg has existed for 18 years. For eleven years one personality has also been awarded a prize for their life's work. In 2015 this award goes to the "wire master": Willy Schwenger, senior boss at the Carl Stahl Group from Süßen, who in June celebrated his 80th birthday.

"Willy Schwenger is the perfect role model for today's founders," explains Sparkasse president Peter Schneider in his award speech. "The Sparkasse finance group is honouring a successful entrepreneur: it is people like Willy Schwenger that the Baden-Württemberg economy can thank for its excellent, global reputation - both in terms of quality and performance as well as its innovative strength and sustainability.“

Extraordinary effects over the past decades

The awards won by Willy Schwenger by various means over the years for himself and the company underline how extraordinary his effect has been in past decades. This applies both in business and social terms.

Thanks to his tireless commitment, the Carl Stahl Group is now known around the whole world. Although firmly rooted at home in Süßen, he loves to travel to new countries and discover new business lines for his company - this not only widens his horizons but also literally treads new ground for his business.

By this means Willy Schwenger - alongside his wife Gerda and the necessary portion of pioneering spirit, vision, drive and courage - established an impressive company with 61 locations and 1520 employees around the world and organised it to now become the global market leader in some areas.

The next generation continue to write the success story

But Willy Schwenger is also well-known and valued as a kind and successful entrepreneur far beyond Süßen. This has many reasons, not least the fact that he has remained faithful to himself and the secret of his success for his whole lifetime. "You can afford to be friendly - it costs nothing and achieves the most."

This secret and the management of the Carl Stahl Group were handed over by Willy Schwenger and his wife Gerda some years ago to the next generation. Since 2012 their son Wolfgang Schwenger, son-in-law Andreas Urbez and long-time companion Wolfgang Funk have been continuing the success story of the family-run company.