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Lunch ‘n Learn German Style

Written By: Rhonda Hunter Thursday, November 4, 2010

LEDA held their International Lunch ‘n Learn with native German guest speaker Dr. Lothar Hackler, President and CEO of HOF Textiles, Inc.; a local German company that is headquartered in Hof, Germany.

Lothar shared many humorous stories about his first few days in Lincolnton and how warmly he was greeted and treated. From the check-out clerk at the Food Lion grocery extending a hardy welcome to Lincolnton, after noticing their accent and asking where they were from to his daughter discovering her new found freedom when expressing to her mother that she no longer had to take orders from her that America was a Free Country. Lothar and his wife Ingrid reside in Vale where they run a horse farm and enjoy the countryside living.

Lothar shared an interesting and informative power point presentation with many highlights and exchanges concerning the German life and their economy. He share what a stereotypical assumption of a German lifestyle was; their beer, the autobahn, and formal business attitude. German’s do enjoy their beer and great food, and there are no speed limits on the autobahn to speak of and when doing business if there is a disagreement the responses can be quite blunt.

Germany has the fifth largest economy in the world and is the leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force.

Education is highly regarded and by the age of 10-11 you choose your career path to either go to trade school or university. You can consume alcohol at the age of 16, get your driver’s license at 18 and once you have your license you never have to take another test or renew, it is for life.

Germany’s form of government is very similar to the US in that they have a president, but he is not a political leader and only signs laws once they have passed. You can vote at the age of 18.

Most companies and businesses are family owned for many generations. Restaurants are family run and there are no franchised restaurants. Germany has a very formal business atmosphere and sees no need to establish relationships with those that they do business with. In fact their personal life and professional life are kept separate.

LEDA expresses their appreciation to Lothar in sharing his delightful and thought provoking inside look at Germany. From the beginning with the participant’s laughter to the end; with time allotted for questions and answers an informative and familiarization of Germany was felt by all.

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