MAKING A NEW HOME IN BELOIT
Change is never easy. Uwe Schnell knows this firsthand.
Schnell has been all over the world. A native of Germany, Uwe has also lived and worked in Belgium, India, Hungary and Brazil, before making his way to the United States. It’s been a long and winding road, but Uwe can’t imagine being anywhere else. “I enjoy the spontaneity and the business culture in the United States,” he says. “Germans tend to plan a lot, while Americans tend to be more flexible. There’s nothing wrong with either style, they both get to the finish line at the same time. It’s how they get there that is so different.”
A year ago, Uwe and his wife, Lindsey, moved to Beloit, when he accepted a position as director of strategic marketing for Kerry Group, a world leader in food ingredients and flavors serving the food and beverage industry. “The food and beverage industry is my home – a love which started long before my professional career,” says Uwe, who started as a pastry chef in Germany.
His introduction to the U.S. came when he attended school for two semesters in California. “That’s where I fell in love with this country,” Uwe says. He returned to Germany, where he started his career as a food engineer, and eventually earned his master’s in business administration from Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands. In 2007, he came back to the U.S. to apply the skills that he had learned. He worked for the Doehler Group and then BASF in Minneapolis, where he met Lindsey, a dietitian, who also writes and blogs about nutrition, and health and fitness.
The couple enjoyed living in Minneapolis and found leaving difficult. But Uwe found a career opportunity with Kerry that was too good to pass up. So they packed up their belongings and moved to Beloit in early 2013. Despite arriving in the dead of winter, the Schnells saw potential in their new locale. “We saw the potential for Beloit to be a real nice town to live in,” Uwe says. “There’s a real commitment from the people here to make this a great community.”
The Schnells are slowly getting acquainted with their new home. They bought a cozy two-story brick house in a charming eastside neighborhood. They enjoy working out at the Stateline Family YMCA, visiting the farmer’s market, and utilizing the paths along the Rock River. Uwe entertains work clients at restaurants such as Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint, and has joined the Friends of Riverfront board of directors.
This summer, the couple is expecting their first child, which will give them new opportunities to learn more about their new city. “There are so many places we can walk to – the river, library, downtown,” says Lindsey. “Having a child will help us get out and explore what else Beloit has to offer us as a family.”