“Why Did STOBER choose Maysville, KY”
We stood on a rise, flattened by dozers and precisely graveled in preparation for new construction as a German businessman spoke eloquently of a love affair that began more than eight years ago.
Bernd Stober is a tall and distinguished gentleman, whose English—though heavily accented—is as colorful and clear as a September afternoon. He stood on a parcel in the industrial park for a formal groundbreaking ceremony that officially began construction of a 25,000 square foot manufacturing and assembly plant.
That plant is just the latest in a series of important new facilities in the industrial parks on the AA highway. The company, which has yet to say how many people it will employ in its new plant, manufactures gears and other power drive equipment.
Mr. Stoeber wasn’t ready this week to talk production schedules or financial arrangements. He wanted to talk about how he came to Maysville and was drawn, both by the beauty of the area and by the people he met. He first drove into Maysville late at night about eight years ago and crossed the river on the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge. He talked about settling into a room at the Ramada Inn and eating a late-night fast-food burger before returning to the motel’s lounge to relax and get ready for an early morning meeting.
It was in the lounge that a hostess—in the friendly way endowed by small towns and good upbringing—asked about his background and his reason for visiting. When she found this was Mr. Stoeber’s first visit to Kentucky, she ran to the front desk for tourist brochures, then spent the better part of an hour talking about the people and the places that made this area so special.
Stoeber was enchanted. Follow-up meetings and visits convinced him that what started as an infatuation had blossomed into a full-blown love affair. And if the beauty of our historic bridge and modest skyline were the lures, it was the people Stoeber and his associates met that were the hooks which convinced him that any American operation STOBER developed would be developed right here.
Now when he passes through customs at the Cincinnati airport and is asked where he will be staying, Stoeber proudly states that his destination is Maysville. He sometimes gets an odd look from a clerk more used to destinations like Louisville, Dayton, or northern Kentucky. And if asked why he is going to Maysville, Stoeber mumbles something about business meetings. He knows those clerks don’t have time for a story about a drive across a historic bridge, or a chance meeting in a motel lounge or a long list of unforgettable people.
STOBER Drives will do well in Maysville. The match is right and the people are committed. We wish them well.
Since this article was published almost twenty years ago, STOBER has grown tremendously in North America. Maysville is still the only location. However, the Maysville facility has expanded to 85,000 square feet of sales, service, assembly, manufacturing, and warehouse space and over 110 employees ready to serve all customers. Over twenty five different products are available and sold in the USA.