30th anniversary of Dirk Meertz
Prokurist Dirk Meetz celebrated thirty years with the company in October 2015
„My first flight was to Baghdad“
It is the 1st October 1985. Dirk Meertz starts his career with the company “Gebrüder Fruhen OHG Messe- und Innenbau” as an apprentice carpenter in the production department. At that time, Anton and Heinz Fruhen managed the company and, even then, demanded considerable dedication from their employees. Travel, both far and wide, to the major trade fairs around the world was not a rare occurrence. Alongside the core group of 15 employees, Dirk Meertz grew as the company did and experienced all the highs and lows as time passed.
The initial years of his career were mostly spent at trade fairs in foreign climes, setting up for German companies in the pavilion for the Federal Republic of Germany, which often took months.
“During my first few years with the company, I spent up to 50% of my time abroad.”, says Dirk. The first aeroplane journey of his life was a trip to Baghdad to the International Fair in 1985. At the time, almost all jobs abroad issued to German companies were assigned by the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft (Federal Germany Ministry for Economics). The aim of this central distribution of jobs, was to familiarise global customers with the companies based in Germany.
Fruhen was able to make an early global name for themselves and continued to develop. And Dirk Meertz was always part of team. He participated in major technological changes, from hand-drawn pencil visualisation of a trade fair stand through to visual animation on the screen of a computer. From the bench saw through to automatic CNC milling tools. Dirk is familiar with every technological revolution that has passed and values the changes.
“In the past, we handled large projects separately, but now we are able to run a number of large projects in parallel. Something that would have been unimaginable back then.”
Over time, Dirk moved up in the world, he became a master carpenter (Tischlermeister), but remained trued to the company and continued to climb the career ladder. With the growth of the company, the tasks beyond production also grew and over the course he became a project manager. In 1999, Bernd Fruhen appointed him as one of three Prokurists of the company and thus entrusted him with extensive decision-making authority.
“Due to many years working with the same colleagues, a number of good friendships have been established.”
When it comes to trade fair construction work, seasonal overtime is no rarity and it is normal to spend 13 hours or more at the trade fair site. Friendships amongst colleagues help to maintain your focus.
Looking back on thirty years, he describes both his development and that of the company as future-proof and solid. And when asked where he sees himself and the company in 10 years time, he answered:
“Then we will be amongst the Top 10 leading German trade fair construction companies!”
Here, it is clear that he intends to remain true to the company and continue to grow with us.
“I have been trusting him for 30 years and that will not be changing in a hurry.” I hope to see many more employees achieving the same anniversary. This is, in a way, confirmation that we work together well and that I am a fair boss to my employees.” Says Bernd Fruhen.
30 years of Fruhen represents considerable ambition and staying power, but also 30 years that we have spent together, 30 years that cannot be taken from us. Trade fair construction is a passion, and Dirk Meertz embodies this through and through. He is a touchstone of the company.