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“Mr. Smetan hired me as I had finished my PhD ready for a challenge outside the academia, "in the real world". With his far-reaching vision and amazing ability to see the big picture he placed trust in my academic capabilities to hire me for developing technological process of a large scale state -of-the-art foundry facility (yet to be built by our team) without me ever having stepped into a foundry before! I am grateful to him for being my first instructor in the world of practical metal casting, and have much respect for his unlimited enthusiasm for taking on challenges and questioning the unquestionable.” September 12, 2011

Azita Khalili, Ph.D., Environmental Regulatory Manager at BMW of North America, LLC reported to Herbert Smetan at VAW


“During the period of working with Nemak, I was impressed by Herbert's drive to excellence, deep knowledge in the foundry business, capacity to mobilize people in producing business results. It is heart-warming to witness that Herbert was never easily satisfied with what he has achieved, always open and eager to exceed and expand himself, leverage every learning opportunities to more mastery and bigger contribution. In my view, this is the most precious leadership quality!” September 22, 2011

Drs.Tong Schraa-Liu, MBA, Founder & CEO, Tong Schraa-Liu & Partners was a consultant or contractor to Herbert Smetan at Nemak Europe


“Herbert Smetan gilt als einer der erfolgreichsten Giesserei Experten weltweit. Seine größte Erfahrung liegt in der Aluminium Giesserei- Industrie, insbesondere in der Erzeugung von hochkomplexen Automobilkomponenten. Herbert Smetan hat sein Handwerk von der Pike auf gelernt. Beim Umsetzen von technischen Innovationen in neue, eigene Produktionsverfahren, konnte er sich voll auf seine fundierten Fachkenntnisse und auf seine persönliche Erfahrung verlassen. Mehrfach war Herbert Smetan verantwortlich für Giesserei-Neubauten. Große Investitionen tragen seine Handschrift. Immer wieder wurde Neuland betreten. Zukunftsorientierte Verfahren wurden eingeführt. Herbert Smetan hat dank Fachwissen, ausgeprägter Hartnäckigkeit und Ausdauer, seine Ziele nicht nur erreicht, sondern hat oft die Erwartungen übertroffen Seine große Erfahrung in Gießereiplanung, Engineering und in professionellem Management, aber auch seine Zuverlässigkeit, seine Kontaktfreudigkeit und seine guten Sprachkenntnisse haben ihm die Aufgabe erleichtert. Ich kann die Dienste von Herbert Smetan voll und ganz empfehlen und wünsche ihm weiterhin Erfolg.” January 2, 2010

Franz Rüegg, President and CEO, Georg Fischer Foundry System / Georg Fischer Disa


"I have had the pleasure to work for Herbert over ten years in Europe, North America and Asia. Herbert has a depth and breadth of experience in the automotive and foundry industries built from real life practical experience starting on the shop floor which is complemented by his commercial and business sense developed over many years as a senior manager in a global organization. Herbert has an unnerving ability to see the root of issues and present a vision of the future with clarity and enthusiasm. He is a strong motivator and has developed creative and high performance teams on a global scale. I am confident in Herbert’s ability to deliver results and have no reservation in providing a recommendation."

Kevin Still, General Manager, Nemak Nanjing


"Over a several years lasting cooperation between R&D and a large business unit (lead by Herbert Smetan) in an integrated Aluminium company I experienced him as a person of exceptional leadership quality. For the R&D work this included the development of a clear structured strategy and its consequent follow up. Project work was not easy but very successful. Herbert Smetan contributed to this success by keeping the line also in times of adverse economic conditions."

Franz Josef Feikus, Fachreferent Gießereitechnik, Bundesverband der Deutschen Gießerei-Industrie


"I've gotten to know Herbert Smetan as a consummate professional who orchestrates his organizations into high performance teams. He is a proven expert in standard setting high tech aluminum casting. He delivers to his promises. In short, he would be a good addition to any corporation striving for industry leadership and open to synergizing the different genius profiles of diverse cultures."

Martin, Dr. Gillo, Network Partner, Trompenaars Hampden-Turner


"Ich war H. Smetan in seiner Eigenschaft als Spartenleiter von HAL Automotive zwischen November 2000 bis zu meinem Ausscheiden aus dem aktiven Berufsleben im Juli 2007 in verschiedenen Funktionen unterstellt. Ich habe ihn als außerordentlich kompetenten, zielorientierten und dynamischen Vorgesetzten kennengelernt. Die Beziehung zu ihm war stets herausfordernd, fruchtbar und auch in schwierigen Situationen vertrauensvoll und fair."

Ullrich Martin, Managing Director, Hydro Aluminium (HAL) Automotive


"I worked with Herbert when I provided consulting services to him on organization and performance. I found Herbert curious about the field of organization development, always open to new ideas, and most important, he accepted being challenged. Our working relationship was open, honest and direct, and I appreciated that. At that time, there were three parts of an automotive business in our company, and Herbert managed one of them. It was no surprise to me that this was the only profitable one of the three; the more I got to know Herbert, the more I understood his focus and his passion - performance and profit. As the years passed, I noticed Herbert's deepening appreciation for my consulting and facilitation support, and saw that he himself was of the opinion that life is a learning process. I felt that he developed his knowledge and skills in the people and psychology side of work, a field that at that time was relatively new to him. Toward the end of our period of work, Herbert was fully trusting me in workshops, giving me a free hand, as we developed new ways to capture innovations and work with large groups."

Trevor Hall, Vice President - HR & Organization, Hydro Aluminium ASA


"I know Herbert Smetan from the time that he occupied a senior position in Hydro Aluminium. I knew him then and still regard him as an innovative and competent person, above all as thoroughly professional. To me he is a role model and reference."

Hugo Ravesloot, Head of Business Development, Hydro Aluminium Precision Tubing


"I had a chance to work with Herbert Smetan in Nemak. During that period I admired his solid experiences - not only in Managerial area, but also his heavy knowledge about foundry processes. Herbert is heavily customer and result oriented and his sense for technical and commercial expertise always evoked respect by all team around him."

Petr Cmelik, Plant Manager, Nemak Most


I have worked with Mr. Smetan for more than 15 years in Europe, North America and Asia. His unrelenting drive and courage to move forward, combined with broad experience and good judgment in so many diverse situations, have constantly inspired many employees, suppliers and customers around the world."

Ashley Joy, Commercial Director, North America, Castech


"Herbert Smetan ist ein extrem zielortientierter Manager mit hoher Durchsetzungskraft und effektiver Methodik. Ihn zeichnet besonders die Fähigkeit aus, komplexe Vorgänge zu durchdringen und auf Basis vorliegender Fakten richtige Entscheidungen zu treffen."

Dietrich Kahn, Dr.-Ing., Nemak Wernigerode


"To Whom It May Concern: I have known Mr. Herbert Smetan for approximately fifteen years, and during this time I have interfaced with him in a variety of different responsibilities and capacities at companies in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I can strongly state that he is well respected and well known professionally within the casting community. He has been called upon numerous times to draw from his expertise and professional knowledge in dealing with difficult product and facility launch issues. Mr. Smetan is the type of executive that is not only effective in the board room but also thoroughly capable of dealing with issues on the foundry floor. I have personally witnessed him leaving an executive meeting, removing his suit jacket and entering the foundry to deal with a process issue. He is an accomplished engineer/manager with a solid understanding of the financial area of business, as well. His length and breadth of experience and educational background would be an asset to any organization. If you should require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Dean R. McDougal Managing Director Huppert Engineering Phone: 248-593-4700 Cell: 248-703-8501 E-mail: mcdougald@huppeng.com"

Dean McDougal, Managing Director, Huppert Engineering


"Herbert Smetan ist ein Managertyp mit großem Wissen in der Giessereiwelt und versteht es mit seinem Weitblick, Projekte anzukurbeln, neue Technologien umzusetzen und dabei die Wirtschaftlichkeit stets im Auge zu behalten."

Wolfgang Rathner, Geschäftsführer, Fill Gesellschaft m.b.H


"I worked five years with Herbert Smetan. Herbert is an extremely talented expert and manager. His skills in aluminium casting are well known in the industry. His business development skills have enabled many very large global programs worldwide. Herbert encouraged his team and developed strong followership amongst his direct reports. He worked-out both tactical and strategic issues very well. I strongly recommend Herbert as a strong leader who has a keen business sense"

Alain MUTSCHLER, Program Manager, Hydro


"Herbert is one of those rare managers who has an analytical as well as a holistic view on situations. He is not at all a pure technician but always recognizes the importance of communication with and involvement of colleagues and subordinates in order to commonly reach demanding goals. He is creating an innovative atmosphere and encourages others to come up with new approaches, as simple as possible, to solve complex issues. I really enjoyed working with him."

Anita Scheffler-Lipp, Managing Director, CPO Management Consultants


"Herr Smetan habe ich kennen gelernt als jemand der die richtigen Entscheidungen schnell umsetzt und dadurch das Unternehmen rasch voranbringt. Die Standorte, die Herr Smetan intensiv betreut hat zeigen bis heute eine überdurchschnittliche Performance."

Joachim Kiefaber, Inhaber, Kiefaber Management-System


"Ich habe Herrn Smetan als höchst engagierten und fordernden Vorgesetzten mit großem Gespür für technische Innovationen erlebt, der auch die Durchsetzungsfähigkeit besitzt, diese Innovationen Realität werden zu lassen und bestehende Strukturen zu verändern."

Jürgen Trümper, Manager Prozess- u. Produktentwicklung, Hydro Aluminium


"Herbert is an outstanding professional with a rare combination of technical expertise with sound business judgment. He has a keen sense of inquiry and analysis and is a technical expert in the field of the foundry. He is very creative in bringing out simple solutions to complex problems. He has launched a number of new products with me and has been extremely professional in delivering results. He is an excellent team leader and motivates his team to achieve extraordinary results. I wish him the very best in his new pursuits and am extremely confident in his ability to deliver results for his customers"

Venky Srinivasan, Purchasing Manager, General Motors


"I have worked with Herbert Smetan during my time a purchasing director at GM Powertrain. His exceptional technical knowledge, especially in the area of complex castings, has left a deeply positive impression on me as a customer. Herbert Smetan has shown his superior leadership capabilities even in the most difficult and challenging times and he was able to drive his team to come up with solutions that nobody has even thought off. I recommend Herbert Smetan for CEO roles as well as engineering leadership responsibilities in large companies and I am more than happy to provide more feedback if required. Martin Horneck VP Global Purchasing TRW Automotive"

Martin Horneck, Purchasing Director, General Motors


"I had the chance to know and work with Herbert Smetan for many years. His technical background and expertise as a manager are impressive. We had several opportunities discussing projects and negotiating contracts. Herbert worked as a true professional. I would recommend Herbert Smetan to any project/company that requires progressive and cost oriented management. Volker Knobloch"

Volker R Knobloch, VP Sales and Marketing, CEC


"Herbert can be characterised by deep and broad experience as well as a clear strategic orientation. He is target driven and unrelentlessly following the objectives of his task."

Dieter Braun, Executive Vice President Hydro Automotive (until 2006)


"Herbert Smetan ist eine Führungspersönlichkeit mit der natürlichen Fähigkeit, seine Mitarbeiter jederzeit zu motivieren. Gleichzeitig ist er ein Mann aus der Praxis, dem insbesondere im Gießereiwesen aufgrund seiner fundierten, langjährigen Kenntnisse niemand ein X für ein U vormachen kann."

Michael Baumgartner, Managing Director, Nemak Slovakia


"Herbert Smetan’s knowledge and understanding of the aluminium casting business are second to none. Although Herbert and I worked for different companies, which were many times in direct competition. I have always had the upmost respect for his technical and commercial expertise. Herbert Smetan will always be considered by the casting industry a visionary with regard to the production of aluminium powertrain castings."

Bob Bend, TECHNICAL MANAGER, Formed Light Alloys

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