One year ago today, I was seated in New York City, taking part in the signing of the legal closing documents that would merge my beloved WIX and FILTRON brands with filtration-leader MANN+HUMMEL. A whirlwind of emotions flooded me that morning. I was anxious, relieved, but most of all, excited for the future. In that moment, I believed that the move was in the best interests of not only the WIX and FILTRON brands, but was the right decision for our people, and I truly believed a successful future laid ahead.
Fast-forward to today, and I still strongly believe the merger of Affinia and MANN+HUMMEL is a remarkable fit. I admit that there have been challenges along the way – but just like everything in life, there are always unexpected obstacles that enter our path. But, those obstacles are just stepping stones on the way to fulfilling a greater vision.
As you may have seen in a previous blog about charitable efforts, I like a challenge, especially when it involves business, sports, and raising money for our communities. One of the most memorable moments of the past year was a ping-pong challenge against MANN+HUMMEL’s very own Manfred Wolf that raised money for Gaston County Boys and Girls Clubs. My mind is a little fuzzy on who ruled the table that day, but I do recall being hoisted into air by my team.
The past 12 months have been filled with countless memorable moments, filled with energy, passion and pride in our team. Attending the Leadership Summit at the new Technology Center in Ludwigsburg was a time that solidified our place in the MANN+HUMMEL family. Watching senior leadership from WIX and FILTRON interact with our new colleagues from around the world was a great moment, as we were very warmly welcomed into the team.
Another unforgettable moment was speaking in front of our North American supply base, during the MANN+HUMMEL Filtration Supplier Day event that was fantastically orchestrated by our Purchasing team. Again, it was a symbolic blending of teams, for the benefit of our greater company. Through various meetings, events and interactions, it is clear that across the globe, our teams are working together with dedication, passion, commitment and perseverance.
By working together and appreciating our differences, our teams have achieved all the merger-related goals we set out to achieve for Year One. We surpassed expectations in synergies, project timing and teamwork, and I couldn’t be more proud of our people.
What will the next year bring? The next year will be a busy one, driven by even greater teamwork while we work to realize synergies and sales growth. Amazing achievements have already been accomplished, but there is so much more to come! Working as one strong team, we will continue to discover where our strengths lie, bringing together the best aspects of each other, and find our true rhythm. After all, there is nothing more powerful than having all our 20,000 people rowing fiercely in the same direction towards Leadership in Filtration.