Reinhart Weber left Germany to come to Canada in 1954 where he settled in Windsor and worked at three different tool and die companies. He started his own business in Windsor in 1961.
In March 1967, Reinhart started searching for a new location where he could expand his business. On October 25, 1967 Reinhart opened Weber Tool & Mold, a division of Weber Manufacturing Limited. He bought vacant land in August of that year and constructed the factory and moved the equipment in and started production within 2 months!
Life unfolded quickly for Reinhart and his wife Alexandra following their move to Midland. They started their family in 1968 and in 1971, he, Ed Connelly and Bennett Kistler started Techform Products Limited in Penetanguishene. The original plant was 8 thousand square feet. It expanded numerous times and reached an employment of 750 people. He sold his interest in 1989.
In the late 1980s, he and his friend Robbert Hartog conceived a research and development institute to serve the Canadian tool, die, mould and manufacturing industries. The concept resulted in the Industrial Research & Development Institute. Today it is known as The Robbert Hartog Campus of Georgian College.
In the early 1990s Weber Manufacturing and Inco formed a joint venture to develop a technology utilizing nickel vapour to produce nickel shell moulds. In early 1999, Weber Manufacturing Limited started construction of its own nickel vapour deposition plant which opened on May 12, 2000. To this day it remains the only large scale nickel vapour deposition facility, producing tooling for the automotive, aerospace, kitchen and bath and optical industries.
In 2004, at the age of 73, Reinhart decided it was time to turn his attention to other pursuits. By then, Weber Manufacturing had annual sales of 45 million dollars. After an extensive search, Weber Manufacturing was sold to American Capital, a venture capital investment corporation.
Reinhart and his wife Alexandra had created The Weber Foundation on September 29, 1997. Since its early days, the Foundation has supported community organizations and projects such as Community Living Huronia, the Wye Marsh, Wendat, Rosewood, the YMCA, Huronia District Hospital (now Georgian Bay General Hospital), Georgian College, the Salvation Army, and Sick Kid's Hospital. By the end of 2010, the Weber Foundation will have contributed over 10 million dollars to community organizations and projects. One of the highlights was the construction of a transitional housing facility with assisted living in 20 units on Hartman Drive in Midland. The three million, nine hundred thousand dollar construction cost was funded by Robbert Hartog and the Weber Foundation with the Foundation contributing over 2 million dollars.
The single largest undertaking by the Weber Foundation (and, in fact, one of the largest individual donations of its kind in Central Ontario) is the Midland Cultural Centre. The Weber Foundation has committed seven million, five hundred thousand dollars to this significant undertaking which is now under construction in downtown Midland. The Centre will become the new home of the Quest Art School & Gallery and of Huronia Players and will house two art galleries, a theatre, an event centre, a cafe, offices and classrooms.
Today Reinhart and his wife Alexandra live life to the fullest, travelling extensively, enjoying their two children and five grandchildren and settling into their new home on Georgian Bay.
Reinhart has left his mark on many facets of life in Huronia. He has shown that one can succeed at the highest levels of business life and give back to one’s community in significant ways. And today, he continues to work full time as the driving force behind the new Midland Cultural Centre which will serve the Midland and area communities for years to come.
It was with great pleasure and appreciation of these many contributions to the Town of Midland and its residents that Council was proud to present the Award of Merit to Mr. Reinhart Weber.