In 1969 the Warsaw / Winona Lake area was much different than it is today. A small midwestern community with a growing college and seminary. With few food service, retail, and manufacturing jobs in the immediate area, students of Grace College and Seminary along with partners and families had limited employment opportunities.
Dave Leiter, an area business leader, along with a few others decided to incorporate a business in Warsaw, IN to create employment opportunities in the community and specifically for Grace College and Seminary students. A notice placed in the Moody Monthly Magazine advertised for a person interested in heading operations of a startup business. Robert Hoeppner answered that advertisement as a call to ministry.
Robert “Bob” Hoeppner (1930-2014) was an industrious individual from his earliest days in Michigan City, IN. Growing up in the throes of the GreatDepression, he had many jobs starting from the age of seven and onward. After high school he was owner/operator of an auto repair shop and studied TV and radio repair in his spare time. He worked as a crossing signal installer for the New York Central Railroad before and after serving in the army during the Korean War. He received a business degree from the University of Chicago and then worked for a defense contractor, The Hays
Corporation in their Engineering Department, quickly advancing to Vice President. He then moved to Warsaw, IN for the startup of Grace Manufacturing, which at the time had no building, no employees, and just a few prospects for products. Grace Manufacturing grew steadily under his able leadership.
Grace Manufacturing thrives today as a family-owned business. The duo of Dan and David Hoeppner represent a second and third generation stewarding the business; having the experience and skills to take on each new challenge.
The legacy of Grace Manufacturing is much more than producing great parts and our accumulated years in business. While those things are important, our true legacy is the care with which we serve each customer, each prospect, and each coworker.
The words of Scripture quoted below sums up our approach to our life and our work...
“Let not the wise boast in wisdom, let not the mighty boast in might, let not the rich boast in riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9: 23&24