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David Hearn, former STEMMER IMAGING UK managing director, passes away

27 Mar 2020

It is with great sadness that STEMMER IMAGING announces that former UK managing director, David Hearn, passed away on March 21st 2020 after battling a long illness. Since 2004, when Firstsight Vision became the first company to join STEMMER IMAGING, up until his retirement due to ill health last year, David led the STEMMER IMAGING UK business from strength to strength.

Arne Dehn, CEO STEMMER IMAGING AG, said: “David was an amazing person and leader whose extraordinary passion helped create the success of our vision business in the UK and he also greatly influenced our industry in general. Formats that have become highly regarded in our industry and our company such as the STEMMER IMAGING handbook and the Technology Forum were initiated by David and to this day reflect his innovative outlook.”

David’s first involvement with vision was working for Data Translation selling PC based data acquisition and imaging processing hardware and software. He then became director at the Optimas Corporation and later set up Vortex Vision in 1997. Wilhelm Stemmer took a stake in this business and the first products that David sold were very similar to those that Willi was selling in Germany.

In 2001, David and Mark Williamson brought their complementary businesses together and formed Firstsight Vision, who originally acted as UK distributors for STEMMER IMAGING before becoming the first wholly owned subsidiary.

Mark Williamson, corporate marketing director and current managing director at STEMMER IMAGING UK, remembers: “David started Vortex Vision within a month of me starting Pinnacle Vision. We even met to discuss starting up together, but our competitive natures meant we went our own ways. However it wasn’t too long before we both realized that together we could be stronger, and when Imaging Technology was acquired by Coreco (now Teledyne DALSA) we took the step to join our companies. David was a truly inspiring leader whose humour and compassion were second to none.”

David was a hugely popular figure in the office and was a master of the quirky turn of phrase which quickly became known as ‘Hearnisms’. He was also renowned for his fun initiatives for the sales team and his motivating and humorous self-made awards as well as the famous bell ringing ceremony for every order intake, which became a tradition throughout the company.

Arne Dehn concluded: “Today it was the company’s turn to ring the bell in honour of David. He will be sorely missed and we wish to extend our condolences to his wife Penny and the rest of his family.”

If you knew David and would like to share your memories,
please add them to the comments on the LinkedIn post.