Employee Spotlight – Rainer Maelzer
Please tell us a bit about your career background and what brought you to WhiteWater.
I am a happily married man with three daughters. Lucky enough, a male mongrel dog from Ibiza supports me once in a while. I started working in the industry in 1997 and funded my own company with my former partner Mr. Wiegand in 2006. While running wiegand.maelzer GmbH I did two projects with WhiteWater in 2010 in Minsk, Belarus. During these collaborations, I found out that the International way of working is different from the European approach. I felt that one company offering both the portfolio and know-how of a world market and the experience of a European player could be of great benefit.
Eight years later, in the summer of 2018, I met Geoff Chutter and Andrew Wray at the birthday of Mr Sue in Chimelong. The two of them tried the SlideWheel®, our brand new product at that time. They were impressed by the novel innovation, and we started to negotiate different options and levels of cooperation. My partner and I had different opinions on how to deal with this, a threat or a great opportunity! The rest is history. I sold my shares to my former partner, we transferred the SlideWheel license to WhiteWater, and I became a member of the WhiteWater family.
What is your role at WhiteWater?
I am the President of WhiteWater ERA GmbH, responsible for the European, Russian (post-Soviet) and African market. Together with my team, I manage client relations to increase market shares. I will coordinate the interdepartmental needs, especially between Richmond and the company here in ERA. In close cooperation with the executives in Richmond, we will develop a team to put or strategy locals for locals into practice. We intend to lead the market with creative ideas, solutions, and product combinations. I believe in a future of large private operated indoor and outdoor water- and theme parks in the ERA market.
What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?
Our clients often take are making a once in a lifetime decision; therefore, gaining their trust and delivering the goods, and more is what we set out to do. I feel that the vision and spirit of a company are reflected by the team. You must trust the first person you meet, normally this is sales. But the slide path designer, the project manager, and the supervisor at site, they are all faces of the company. Client’s, suppliers and partners appreciate and gain from the quality and enthusiasm of the people, they feel the passion and unity.
Geoff once said that we are so well prepared, we do not need luck. I agree that preparation is vital to act professional and to be confident in what you do; but, in my opinion, luck plays a significant role beside all the rest. Hopefully, it will stay on our side!
What was some of the reasoning behind moving the office to Munich?
WhiteWater ERA GmbH is 100% a daughter company of WhiteWater and will be responsible for all the contracts in the ERA market. Playing extra attention to the region, we decided to expand our team of experts to include designers, a larger sales team, project managers, supervisors and after-sales specialists, all local to Europe, all close to local production to reduce logistic costs. We chose Munich because it is a perfect connection hub and one of the biggest airports in Europe. The reputation of Germany is outstanding! When the time comes to expand, it will be easy for us to find strong engineers and new team members in the country. We wanted to have a local European company, to simplify tax and legal transactions and to underline the idea of locals for locals.
What is something that surprised you about working at WhiteWater?
The IAAPA trade show in Orlando 2019! It was impressive seing the WhiteWater team at work and how the team handled the show and their clients. After more than a year, I am still impressed by the offer books we receive from the Richmond team. The way we combine the different product lines leaves the impression that WhiteWater is the one and only partner for the development of a waterpark and not only the supplier of individual products.
The energy and drive behind WhiteWater are awe-inspiring.
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I would be an architect or an artist. The artist lifestyle sounds fantastic, to be free to do your writing, painting or acting wherever you are. When I was 15, my mom wanted me to be an actor, but my dad said I had to have a “serious” job, so I went towards a technical and economic degree. This ended up being the right choice; I love my job and the emotions of the business we are in, I don’t know if I could see myself doing something else.
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
First, I would take my family around the world for a month on a boat and second I would go and find a plot for the number one wish on my bucket list…
What’s on your bucket list?
I would love to build my own house from scratch someday; in fact, the lottery would help with that! I would like to have a plot of land with an easy commute to the city but also with a comfortable journey to the country and build my home there.
What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
Outside of the office sports are one of my main hobbies. I enjoy cycling, football, and golf and enjoy being a very active person. I also like art and architecture… If you ever come to Germany, pop by our office and have a coffee, German beer or sausage with the ERA team.