Many people, some well-known and some less so, want to share their experience of pilgrimage with others. But it was the stories told by one person in particular that Heike Kallauch found so inspiring. The author Hape Kerkeling, she feels, sums up the experience of a pilgrimage perfectly. “He saps you of all your strength, but gives it back to you threefold.” Enthused by Hape’s adventures, she set out to find out what walking the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) was all about. The journey, which she has now embarked on twice, required not only perseverance, stamina and willpower, but also adventurousness and an openness to new things. Traits that she is in no shortage of, much to the approval of Dr Florian Siedenburg.
Currently Head of the Reprocessing department, Kallauch boasts a varied CV. “Yes, that’s true,” she laughs, before once again interrupting the interview to wish her employees a good weekend and, as always, thank them for their hard work and dedication. “I really mean that,” she explains, praising the commitment of her colleagues. “We don’t just work to rule here,” says Bremerhaven-born Kallauch, going on to tell us about the fun she has in her job and the many development opportunities she can avail of at ECOCOOL. “I’ll grow old here,” she says with a wink, glancing over at her CV.
After all, who would have thought that Heike Kallauch, today a head of department and the person mainly responsible for ECOCOOL Service GmbH, originally trained as a hotel clerk. She also sailed the world’s seas as a sailor and spent over 20 years working for a specialist sports retailer, most recently as branch manager. “Yes, I can’t say I’m afraid of new things.” It’s now over nine years ago that she joined ECOCOOL, initially as a seamstress, today as a member of the company management. “Dedication and perseverance pay off,” she says and smiles. So does reliability. Siedenburg can only confirm this, expressing his delight at the commitment of his employees. “But it’s very much give and take,” explains the passionate runner.
“Not every employer would let you take several weeks off to go on a pilgrimage,” explains the sports enthusiast. “On my first pilgrimage, I walked 800 kilometres; five years later I walked 200 kilometres more than that. And what can I say? Kerkeling really is right. You do find inner peace.” She will undoubtedly also have enjoyed the active nature of her undertaking. “My goal was to walk 40 kilometres per day,” she tells us, explaining that exercise is an important part of her life. She loves cycling and long-distance running. “I used to run marathons,” she remembers.
She compares the speed with which her current employer has developed not with a marathon, but rather a different type of race. “It’s more a sprint,” she declares proudly. She is delighted to be a part of this continuing success story. “And the best thing about it all: we’re nowhere near finished.”back to overview