Teresa Kemppi-Vasama is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Kemppi Oy, a world-leading manufacturer of arc welding equipment and a provider of solutions for highly productive welding. In addition, Kemppi-Vasama has been on the board of Kemppi Oy’s parent company and worked in operative positions at Kemppi between the years 2009-2014 as a strategy and business development manager.
Growth into leadership
Master of Political Science (M.Pol.Sc., social psychology) and MBA Teresa Kemppi-Vasama has led a long and versatile career in developmental and leadership positions also outside of Kemppi.
She began her career elsewhere. After graduating from the University of Helsinki, she worked at Accenture for about a year. After this, Kemppi-Vasama was at the Finnish Red Cross for eleven years, where after first working with diverse developmental tasks she finally made her way into the executive group of the organization, where she was in charge of development as well as organization, youth and first aid activities for several years. Kemppi-Vasama describes this as a period in her life during which she grew from a professional planner to a leader. A part of her journey towards becoming a leader was an MBA diploma from Henley, which Kemppi-Vasama accomplished in 2010.
Move to the family business
In the year 2009, Kemppi-Vasama felt the time was ripe to fully move on to Kemppi Oy. Behind this decision was a long-awaited transfer to the next generation, as well as a will to continue the business that her grandfather had started. She was well acquainted with the family business through her work at the board, and accrued operational experienc in the world of welding through four years as a developmental manager at the company. During this time she immersed herself in the customers’ world, for instance, by conducting ethnographic client studies for product development purposes, and so was able to approach more social psychological projects in a technological company than ever before in her career.
In March of 2014, Teresa Kemppi-Vasama was elected Chairman of the Board of Kemppi Oy, and Antti Kemppi, her cousin, as Chairman of the Board of Kemppi Group Oy, the parent company of Kemppi Oy. These elections brought to closure the long process of a generational transition. Together, the cousins have reformed the board of Kemppi over the past year, and are currently in the process of developing long-term growth and ownership strategies. In her new role, Kemppi-Vasama has begun to systematize and modernize the work of the board. She often meets with clients, and together with the board and CEO, is developing the welding business of the company as well as its strategy, future, and leadership.
Being part of a family business involves a lot of human values that motivate Kemppi-Vasama. By providing employment and developing operations a lot of good can be done. For example, Kemppi has a wide educational cooperation program, and the company is a founding member of both the Design Foundation Finland and the Lake Vesijärvi Foundation.
Kemppi-Vasama is also Chairman of the Board of Svenska Handelsbanken, Lahti and the Industrial Society of Lahti, a member of the representative assembly of the Lake Vesijärvi Foundation as well as a member of the election committee of the Association of Family Companies. She is also Chairman of the Board of investment companies Kemppi-Yhtiöt Oy and Auro Invest Oy.