Press release -
"Entering a new era with humanity!" Jobst-Peter Gerlach-v. Waldthausen was awarded the Prix d'Hon-neur de la Beauté as part of the Beauty Forum Stars Award
His entry into Eduard Gerlach GmbH in 1978 started a new era for professional foot care. With his commitment and imagination, Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen has played a decisive role in shaping the industry. His attention to detail, total focus on quality and, above all, his appreciative respect for people make him a man of renown in the world of foot care. This is why the jury of the Beauty Forum Stars Award saw fit to award him the Prix d'Honneur de la Beauté for his life's work. The Beauty Forum Stars Awards ceremony took place at the end of November during a festive gala at Europapark Rust. "Mr. Gerlach-von Waldthausen has given outstanding service to the industry unlike anyone else," Maxi Goewe, editor-in-chief of the trade magazine Beauty Forum said in justifying the tribute. Due to the coronavirus, Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen conditionally accepted the certificate and trophy in Lübbecke.
Jobst-Peter Gerlach von Waldthausen likes to focus on details. Anyone who likes to discuss topics like micromotors, ergonomic principles of instrument manufacturing or the leather upholstery on a foot care chair can relate. These are just examples. But they show a certain, basic mentality of a down-to-earth entrepreneur. What drives him is the realization that even the smallest changes can lead to innovative improvements. From this viewpoint, none of the many innovations that have left the Gerlach house have ever been too exhaustive. "There are always ways to make something good even better," the Lower Saxony native says. An absolute will to make progress for the well-being of our feet, and for anyone dedicated to foot care! But he doesn't just ask for this from his employees and partners. Or his "Gerlach family", as he likes to call them. With this same aspiration, Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen took over the management of the proud family company from East Westphalia in 1978.
Partnership with specialist retailers
His predecessor, Gerhard Gerlach-Hollmann, had already given new priority to the traditional partnership with specialist retailers. He had introduced the exclusive foot care series GEHWOL FUSSKRAFT for foot care professionals in 1961. Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen consistently expanded this closeness to practical foot care on the basis of a long-time quality standard, leading the company into a new era. He saw great potential in foot care and consistently geared the product range to service needs with divisions such as technology, cosmetics, medical products and pharmaceuticals. Under his guidance, a worldwide leading company in professional foot care and podology was born. He expanded the problem- and prevention-oriented care of feet with innovative preparations while passionately advocating for active substance cosmetics and high quality standards. Active ingredients - such as urea as a granulate component in bath additives or probiotic lactobacillus - owe their first use in a foot care product solely to this enterprising dedication to development. Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen met the varying needs of an increasingly sophisticated target group with galenic diversity. The GEHWOL product range includes practically everything from sprays, creams, foams, salves, balms, pastes and tinctures to polymer gel pressure relief products that are adapted to the shape of the foot. Gels as a wonder weapon against hallux valgus and similar conditions is a standard that was only possible because the honouree had also been seeking solutions internationally. For his pressure relief products, Gerlach-von Waldthausen found the right partner in a small manufactory in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But the GERLACH TECHNIK brand - which focused on practice equipment and mobile foot care - grew steadily as well. The complete product range now comprises 1,800 items. The number of employees increased from 36 at that time to 160 today. The products are available in 59 countries worldwide.
Foresight and courage
Growth at any price, however, was never one of the principles of this renowned foot care king. Rather, it takes foresight and courage to recognize innovations and implement their practical uses in a prudent manner. His drive has always been the unconditional will to do better. Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen walked the fine line between tradition and change with great assurance. And the company's development shows how skillfully and successfully he has accomplished this.
Founder Eduard Gerlach also managed this balancing act. As much as 150 years ago and with the introduction of the first industrially manufactured foot cream - which is now known as GEHWOL FUSSKREM - the company's quality orientation was its absolute standard. "We see our attention to quality as part of our responsibility to our customers, and as an essential component of our partnership with the profession," the award winner stated. Furthermore, only products that provide real benefits are launched onto the market. Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen was instrumental in pushing for introducing a software-supported quality management system in order to validate operating processes. It holistically spans all areas, from the incoming inspection of individual ingredients to their multi-stage processing in the product and even to shipping. This isn't the only reason why Gerlach works according to standards that are comparable to those in pharmaceutical production. Such a focus on quality is not always found in the industry.
Looking to the future
This focus on quality also guided him through a major project that is very close to his heart. Eduard Gerlach GmbH moved into a state-of-the-art building on the edge of the Lübbecke Moor in the summer of 2021. This gives the company a bridge to its closeness to nature. Jobst-Peter Gelach-von Waldthausen also created excellent preconditions for the continued development of innovative products while ensuring a long-term focus on quality. "It was important for me to pass a business that is prepared for the future on to my son Timor. This ensures the continued existence of our traditional company," he says, describing how the business was handed over to the fifth generation. Until 2015, Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen managed the business together with his cousin Klaus Gerlach-Meinders. Timor Gerlach-von Waldthausen joined the company in 2014, and became managing partner alongside his father in 2018. The company celebrated its 150th anniversary in that same year.
Shaped by his childhood
Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen was born in Rotenburg (Wümme) in 1947. He had a happy childhood at his parents' Wührden manor in Lower Saxony, which instilled a sense of trust and loyalty in him. After training as a wholesale and export merchant and studying business management, he married his wife Gisela. Together, they have maintained a respectful and intimate love for over 50 years. This love led to the birth of their son Timor Gerlach-von Waldthausen in 1978.
The current generational change follows the company's tradition and shows the family bond that values like loyalty, practicality and respect are passed on onward. This is why the successful entrepreneur assumes a responsibility that extends from the private environment to the company and the region. "People are my priority." This value also applies worldwide: "His friendly smile immediately promised a good partnership," says Dr. Miroslawa Galecka of Miralex GmbH in Poland, who has called him a friend for more than 20 years. Importer Anders Erichsen, Argo Fodpleje Artikler S/S in Denmark is enthusiastic about him as well: "You describe your employees like one big family. I feel like a member of that family. I'm proud to import and sell GEHWOL products to Denmark."
But Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen's dedication and passion is not just for his 'family'. He shows his solidarity with the region as treasurer at the German Red Cross and a member of the supervisory board and the board of directors of the disabled persons' workshops with Lebenshilfe Lübbecke e.V., as well as through donations from Eduard Gerlach GmbH to institutions and associations.
Networked for every situation
But despite all his success, Gerlach-von Waldthausen has remained a down-to-earth person. Being there for each other characterizes all areas of life, and makes it clear that Jobst-Peter Gerlach-von Waldthausen has excellent connections and knows how to bring together dedicated people. This has been and continues to be a decades-long benefit for professional foot care. Consequently, the award of "Oscar of the beauty industry" for his life's work honours him as a humanist, maker, pioneer, innovator and philanthropist.
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With its two brands, GEHWOL and GERLACH TECHNIK, Eduard Gerlach GmbH is one of the most popular complete providers of foot care products and technology. Its full product range includes products with various pharmaceutical forms, galenics and active substance formulations and for different skin types and skin problems. These products are available exclusively from foot care practices, cosmetics institutes and pharmacies.