Wolfgang Schmidt

In November the TRACTO family had to say farewell to its owner, Wolfgang Schmidt. The news of his sudden death reached his family, the employees and the whole region completely unexpectedly.

Wolfgang Schmidt was a multi-faceted and passionate person with irrevocable values and a degree of clarity and commitment, which everyone who knew him well will miss. They describe him as a person who was in no way full of himself or even sought the limelight at all. He helped to make others shine by encouraging them to trust in their own strengths. Therefore, it was not unusual when people he had been talking to at events and trade fairs, were more than surprised to later discover they had been talking to the owner of TRACTO.

He thrilled his audiences much more with his passion and deep knowledge of technology and science. It really is still surprising for some people today that Wolfgang Schmidt was not an engineer, but in actual fact a diploma businessman. He made good use of these tools, which he acquired at the University of Cologne and during his studies at Mankato State University, when he took over the management of TRACTO-TECHNIK in 1994 after the death of his father.

It may not have been Wolfgang’s greatest dream to be at the head of a company. Attention and being in the spotlight was a strange feeling for him. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate for one minute to accept the responsibility his father had given him. In doing so, he made a promise to the staff and to the region, which he has safeguarded even after his passing away.

Unlimited safety – Unlimited trust
Over the past 26 years, Wolfgang Schmidt has taken groundbreaking decisions that have kept TRACTO stable even in the darkest of times. What made him and his decisions so special was his selflessness. During the world economic crisis, a good 10 years ago, he ensured by using his own private assets, that no employee lost its job. Thanks to his unselfishness, TRACTO has always been able to invest in the development of new technologies and products, as well as in the future of the company with a modern infrastructure. With his basic attitude of leaving the profits inside the company, he always ensured the necessary degree of freedom for groundbreaking decisions.

Free spirit & Philanthropist
Wolfgang Schmidt was a philanthropist, who left a mark on a lot of people’s lives. He gave them the opportunity to think and act independently and freely. They are grateful for his trust and commitment, even after his death.

“He managed to make me see the world with different eyes and preceive work, not as work, but rather as pure joy”, was a decription a staff member once made, who not only experienced him at TRACTO for 20 years, but also accompanied him in the conception, realisation and operation of his pyramids. Wolfgang Schmidt‘s incredible curiosity and his interest in even the most unusual topics enriched life in the Sauerland area. With lovingly designed hands-on exhibitions, he brought science and technology closer to children and adults alike.

For the future
At TRACTO, Wolfgang Schmidt had consistently made decisions over the last 10 years, which will secure the future of the company for generations to come. In 2010 he appointed Tim Hofmeister, an outstanding economic expert, as Managing Director and together they put the company on a very solid base after the crisis.

Right from the start, Tim Hofmeister also experienced the great commitment and approachability of Wolfgang Schmidt, who gradually withdrew from the operative business from 2015 onwards, because he knew that his father’s legacy was in the safest hands. “Wolfgang has always been open to new ideas and has always supported and contributed to what moves the company forward, which of course secures the company location and jobs. Our opinions never differed when making any groundbreaking decisions and I will miss him very much as a contact person”, Tim Hofmeister describes his personal loss.

One thing that will always remain of Wolfgang Schmidt is his attitude. For him, a good customer was not the customer who bought a particularly large number of machines, but a customer who was happy and satisfied with a TRACTO machine. His values should be our compass and shape our future thoughts and actions in his spirit.

Wolfgang, we will miss you!
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