From One Folder To An Extended Family

From a single file folder, to a finance and contracts office with 9 staff, I have had the pleasure to accompany EPOS’ evolution throughout the past 30 years. Including both very successful periods and some challenging times, EPOS’ long-standing success and growth has been remarkable for a company of its size! A qualified and competent leadership team has accounted for this and I’ve truly enjoyed seeing the development of staff along the way.

My EPOS journey began two days after returning to GOPA from my maternity leave in 1991. Mr. Gerhard Schneider handed me a file folder full of papers, asking me to ‘just have a look’ into the accounting of a company called EPOS which GOPA had recently acquired. Little did I know then, that from initially sorting a mess of papers, I would eventually shift to managing EPOS accounting full time.

From 1991 - 2005, a period where computers and technology were just slowly transforming business operations, I spent a lot of time hauling documents and brief cases of reports 120km between the towns of Bad Homburg and my home town of Siegen. Business operations for GOPA and EPOS were located in Bad Homburg, while accounting and finance were 120km away in Siegen. Although impossible to imagine now, finance and operations staff of didn’t interact face-to-face daily at that time.

All offices eventually were grouped in Bad Homburg, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I began commuting on a regular basis. EPOS and Dr. Gaertner enabled a flexible working style between my home office and EPOS offices. This allowed me to work in Siegen until my daughter was in secondary school. Such a work-life balance accommodation was rather novel at the time, but a benefit that has always been recognized at EPOS. Employees can continue to do great work while managing ongoing personal responsibilities too.

EPOS’ rapid growth phase was certainly an exciting experience, with so many people continually coming on board to manage new projects and new development initiatives. Although the company’s flat hierarchy didn’t enable everyone to evolve within the company over the past 30 years, I feel everyone associated with EPOS throughout the years integrated a great, solid learning and formation in international development consulting. EPOS employees that have moved on to other organisations have always been respected for their professional qualifications and experience gained while working at EPOS.

I’m looking forward to accompanying EPOS on new phases of growth and development in the years ahead. We have a very good team. And while I am always happy when new projects are awarded, I also enjoy celebrating the accomplishments of fellow team members as they develop their skills or overcome personal challenges. I feel like EPOS is my extended family – and that’s what I have really enjoyed about my work over these past 30 years!

Ute Horn-Lemke