Gudrun Hess to Retire, New President Announced for Topwerk Services

August 1, 2022

Topwerk America announces that Gudrun Hess, President of Topwerk Services, has decided to retire at the end of 2022.  Scott Russell, North American Sales Director for Prinzing Pfeiffer (a member of the Topwerk Group), has been appointed to the position effective as of July 1st, 2022, with Mrs. Hess assisting in the transition through the remainder of the year. 

Gudrun Hess began her career in North America in 1981, forming Hess Machinery Canada, focusing on the development of the North American market for Hess Maschinenfabrik and the manufacturing of molds.  Since 2013, Gudrun also helped the Topwerk Group develop the North American market for Prinzing Pfeiffer and SR Schindler machinery solutions.  Gudrun closes out a stellar 40+ year career that is defined by the many close customer relationships she has developed and employees she has mentored. 

“Those of us who have had the privilege to work with Gudrun consider her a fantastic teacher, motivator, and inspiring leader.  She sets a high bar with her work ethic, passion, and precision,” says Chad Rathke, President & CEO of Topwerk America.  “We are going to miss Gudrun’s knowledge, experience, and leadership.  At the same time, we are happy she can take more time for herself and her family as she approaches retirement.” 

“Looking back over the many years, I was lucky to have participated in the tremendous growth in the concrete products industry in North America, first with Hess and now Topwerk. I have formed valued relationships with many of our customers, who became an extended family, with memories I will hold dear forever. I want to assure our Canadian customers that I have all the confidence in Scott continuing our commitment for excellent service and support going forward,” says Mrs. Hess.

Mr. Russell began his career in the legal field and the aggregate quarrying industry before joining Topwerk in 2019.  “During his time with the company, Scott has invested his time and passions in developing client relationships, growing his knowledge of the pipe & precast industries, and crafting machinery solutions that fit client needs.  He has shown strong leadership, investing his time towards the well-being of the pipe & precast workforce while volunteering on the NPCA and ACPA safety committees.  He has also displayed strong leadership ability to his co-workers with a ‘no job is too small’ attitude, openness to listening to his co-workers and overall approach to his work.  We are thrilled that Scott has agreed to follow-in the footsteps of an industry legend in Gudrun”, says Rathke. 

In this new role, Mr. Russell takes on the responsibility for the sales, service and after sales support for the entire portfolio of the Topwerk Group-owned companies, including Hess GmbH, Hess AAC, Prinzing Pfeiffer and SR Schindler in Canada. 

“I am excited and honoured to take on this challenge and look forward to meeting all our Canadian clients over the next several months.  I will strive to carry out the vision implemented by Gudrun and look forward to growth, success and new projects in the future.  As the Canadian voice for the Topwerk family of companies, I take my role seriously as an advocate of the Canadian market and a conduit to leadership in both US and Germany. With a customer-centric approach, my focus will be to develop and implement strategies that directly impact our customer’s growth, visions, and goals.”, says Mr. Russell. 

For inquiries, please contact Mr. Rathke at 360-904-0508 or by email at