Emerging Leaders

Manuel Merkt, President and COO, Hermle Machine Co.

Manuel was once a young factory worker in Germany who navigated his way to where he is today—the president and COO of an international manufacturing company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


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Manuel began his career like many in his native village in Germany, as a factory worker at Hermle AG. Not one to settle, his plan had him focused on constant improvement. Manuel's genuine passion for the company was so inspiring to Hermle leadership that he was offered a spot in the popular Hermle apprentice program. After receiving a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, he was offered a position as a junior sales manager at Hermle. He continued his studies while working for Hermle and earned another degree in industrial engineering.

Excelling in his new position in sales, Manuel's dedication and work ethic opened new doors for him; within seven months, he was invited to Milwaukee in 2010 to help with Hermle AG's fastest growing division, Hermle North America.

Since arriving in Milwaukee, Manuel has made it his mission to connect with the city’s German heritage. He has had an impact on his local community through raising thousands of dollars for German immersion students, launching a first-of-its-kind apprenticeship program to grow manufacturing in the state. His involvement with the German American Chamber of Commerce ensures that German companies succeed in the U.S. market.

Manuel was recently recognized by Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for his work in inspiring younger individuals and offering them opportunities and a potential career in manufacturing.

Manuel currently serves on the board of the Franklin Business Park Consortium, a non-profit organization focused on providing career development training to employees of nearby businesses of all industries. The organization works with local schools to provide employees with basic training in programs such as Microsoft Office, Salesforce and other tools.

This past December, Manuel was named president and COO at Hermle Machine. When not at work or contributing to various organizations, Manuel resides with his wife and their two boys.

To read about Production Machining’s Emerging Leaders program and the other 2018 Emerging Leaders who were nominated by their peers, click here. https://www.productionmachining.com/articles/production-machining-2018-emerging-leaders