Frans van den Heuvel, Global Stahl Campus® Manager
Frans van den Heuvel has over 36 years of experience at Stahl. As a student he worked in the Stahl factory as a holiday worker. After studying at the Vocational School for the Leather and Shoe Industry in Waalwijk, he has been at Stahl for most of his working life and he knows the company inside-out. With his inspirational passion and incredible know-how, he is currently coordinating Stahl Campus®: a global knowledge center for the leather industry that was launched in October 2014.
Frans van den Heuvel (61) has visited many tanneries worldwide and possesses the kind of knowledge that is becoming scarce in the leather industry. However, Frans is not the only one in Stahl who has this unique knowledge and experience. One of the reasons the Stahl Campus® was founded was to nurture and share this knowledge and experience.
“The objective of Stahl Campus® is to preserve and share knowledge,” says Frans. “Historically, the center of knowledge for the leather sector was in Europe. Back in the days, the academies in Reutlingen and Waalwijk renowned. But as the number of tanneries in Europe was reducing substantially, the European academies lost their natural base. This meant that a lot of knowledge was lost and, in setting up Stahl Campus®, we want to get it back.”
The immediate cause of the founding of Stahl Campus® was that more and more questions came from the industry, says Frans. As of August 1st 2014, he has been working full-time on the Campus. “So now knowledge transfer is my profession and for me, personally, that’s a dream come true. I did my training at the Vocational School for the Leather and Shoe Industry in Waalwijk, but it has been closed now for many years. With the Stahl Campus® it has come back to life a little, only this time it is modern and completely tailored to today's requirements.”