The new board of directors introduces themselves

Simon Gierlings, Holger Fiebiger, Michaela Ravnak-Bürschgens, Manuel Schnepp, Christof Reiners

The year 2022 means a lot of change for sera. After Holger Fiebiger was already appointed as managing director in the previous year, Michaela Ravnak-Bürschgens followed as second managing director in February 2022. In this course, the board of directors was also appointed anew. Besides Mrs. Ravnak-Bürschgens and Mr. Fiebiger it now consists of Simon Gierlings, responsible for marketing and sales, Christof Reiners, in charge for the finance and administration sectors, as well as Manuel Schnepp, director of production and logistics, since April 2022. 

Michaela Ravnak-Bürschgens has sera in her blood. Being the daughter of the company founder couple she closely experienced all milestones in the history of sera herself. She completed her apprenticeship as a wholesale and retail businesswoman outside the enterprise. During her studies she worked as a student assistant at sera again and officially joined the company at the age of 26 after her graduation in 1992. After her start in accountancy she by and by took over several positions in controlling, until she was finally appointed as managing director in February 2022. Together with Mr. Fiebiger she takes care of, among others, (continuous) digitalization, process optimizing as well as modernization at sera. Furthermore she took over the task of ensuring a smooth generation change in the company. 

For Holger Fiebiger, the water element has its own attraction. He had aquariums already as a child and a youngster, and finally intensively was involved in keeping and breeding dwarf cichlids. Some years later he discovered diving for himself and also developed a fascination for sharks during several diving journeys. It is therefore no wonder that a managing director position with the aquarium care specialist sera sounded very attractive for him. He has been working for sera since January 2021 and intensely takes care of, among others, the topics of digitalization, process optimizing and also modernization. He especially cares about expanding and strengthening the cooperation with the specialized pet trade. The continued research and development in the Phyto med product range – ornamental fish treatments based on herbal active substances – are also very important for him. 

His passion for marketing, but also for aquarium care, led Simon Gierlings to sera in 2013. During his activity as marketing director he expedited, among others, digital (customer) communication as well as product range optimization and expansion. The sustainability topic is also – and now more than ever – very important and follows him in his new position as director of marketing and sales. In his view, the sustainability principle – responsible handling – should not only be transferred to the product range but also to the relation with customers and colleagues. A thorough customer orientation with all facets is also in his focus. He is not shy of double checking processes and enter a dialog as to achieve changes useful for all sides and achieve more as partners. 

With his work for sera, also Christof Reiners combines his affinity to the underwater world with his professional career. As an active diver with many years of experience he was able to meet countless fish, invertebrates and other animals in their natural environments. Furthermore, he owns a private garden pond that invites to watching animals and plants. Christof Reiners started with sera already in 2004, at first in controlling. He quickly took over the positions as data protection officer as well as vehicle fleet manager. In 2015 he was appointed commercial director and finally authorized officer in 2022. Digitalization and process optimization are also at the top of his agenda. The topics of environment protection, sustainability and energy efficiency are very important to him. 

Manuel Schnepp works for sera since April 1, 2022, and directs operative fields of production, logistics, technology, quality and supply chain. He worked in the Schwarz Group (production) as operational excellence division manager and was responsible for seven plants in the food segment. His incentive is to continue the success story of sera together with his new management colleagues, to further develop the plant in Heinsberg together with the employees and so continue to be the outstanding brand in the aquarium, terrarium and garden pond care segments for many generations to follow. One of his first projects in this is setup and flow organization combined with the buildup of future oriented structures and processes. In private, he does not (yet) have connection points with aquarium, terrarium or pond care. However, this is about to change soon since identifying with the manufactured products is extremely important for him. So perhaps he will soon set up an AquaTank or Scaper Cube in his home…

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