Honorary citizen Eva Mayr-Stihl honored with a place bearing her name
Waiblingen honorary citizen Eva Mayr-Stihl was a successful entrepreneur, responsible donor and dedicated patron. Eva Mayr-Stihl died in April 2022 at the age of 87. The city of Waiblingen has now renamed the square around the Stihl Waiblingen gallery, art school, restaurant pantry and foundation building “Eva Mayr-Stihl Platz” in her honor.
Lord Mayor Sebastian Wolf paid tribute to the city's first and so far only honorary citizen with the words: "As Deputy Chairwoman of the Board of Management, Eva Mayr-Stihl has played a key role in shaping the development of the Stihl company into an internationally successful family company and world market leader for decades. Even as a founder and patron, she had the will to shape and advance things, to create places that bring joy to people. She was someone who gave something to the whole town.”
Andreas Hesky, long-time Lord Mayor of Waiblingen, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation, expressed his thanks to the Foundation and to Robert Mayr and his family. "I'm glad to have met Mrs. Mayr-Stihl in person. I could learn a lot from her. She was a great role model - straightforward, authentic. Everyone who knew her will have their very own memories of her, of a special personality, an entrepreneur who thought of her fellow human beings and gave a lot back to society and continues to do so through her foundation. Thanks go to the city of Waiblingen, which honors its honorary citizen and her commitment as a family entrepreneur and founder in a special way with the naming of the square.”
Dr. Nikolas Stihl, Chairman of the STIHL Advisory Board and Supervisory Board and Eva Mayr-Stihl's nephew, pays tribute to the memory: "As the Stihl family, we are very pleased that the central square around the gallery in Waiblingen now bears her name and her memory is thus being preserved. We would like to thank the Waiblingen municipal council for approving the renaming of the square.” Eva Mayr-Stihl was a passionate entrepreneur and for many decades made a significant contribution to the success of the STIHL family company - as Deputy Chairwoman of the Board of Management with responsibility for the areas of finance and controlling as well as IT. Even after that, as long-time deputy chairwoman of the advisory board and supervisory board, she kept a watchful eye on the strategic fortunes of the company.
She played an important role in the internationalization and global growth of the company. Her creed of wanting to be independent of bank loans stems from this period, to which she always remained true in a Swabian way. While her brother Hans Peter Stihl was politically involved in the employers' association Südwestmetall and the DIHT, she supported him in day-to-day business.
In 1986, together with her husband Robert Mayr, she founded the non-profit Andreas Stihl Foundation, which was renamed Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation in 2004. She financed this with private funds. Her goal has always been to give something back to society. Because in their opinion, the principle applies: property obliges.
The city of Waiblingen was particularly close to her heart. This can be seen in many projects: With a significant donation, the foundation gave the impetus for the city to set up the Stihl Waiblingen Gallery. This funding was the initial spark for an entire cultural district on the banks of the Rems. The works of art by Eliasson, Balkenhol and Rehberger, as well as the support of the Waiblinger International Opera Workshop and the Paper Art Grant are also examples.
The foundation is also active far beyond Waiblingen: The Stuttgart Clinic benefited from their commitment, for example by setting up the Stuttgart Cancer Center – Eva Mayr-Stihl Tumor Center, pneumology or by supporting the liver center. She also campaigned for young academics, be it on various sustainability topics at the University of Freiburg, the Germany scholarships or the Eva Mayr Stihl Young Talent Award. The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation and its work are her legacy.
(c) Alexander Mühlbach