Torsten Schlegel hails from Hanover, Germany. He and his wife, Irene, met while both were working in her native city of Frankfurt. They got married in 2014 in Central Park. “I love New York City,” explains Irene. They both speak flawless English.
When Torsten’s “mother company” in Germany, OBO Bettermann Group, acquired Chalfant Manufacturing Co. in Cleveland, he was designated to run the business. “This was really interesting,” recalls Torsten. “We came to Cleveland for 4 or 5 days in August of 2016. We googled a lot; we wanted to rent,” he says. “We looked at 10 houses – we liked them very much.” The last one was the townhome at RiverSouth – the development’s model unit. “We knew immediately it was our house!” Andrew Brickman, owner of Brickhaus Partners, agreed to a lease arrangement with the Schlegels, and they are very happy with how everything has worked out!
Torsten says the location of his and Irene’s new home in Fairview Park could not be more convenient. It is midway between Chalfant’s sales and administrative offices in Brunswick, and the manufacturing facility in Elyria. As president of Chalfant, which specializes in cable tray systems, Torsten’s goal is to grow the business. “We have already invested $1.5 million in machinery and hired new people in sales and manufacturing.” Torsten has a temporary work visa and is waiting for an extension. “I feel really comfortable here,” he says. “We hope to stay.”
Irene is currently on a one-and-a-half-year sabbatical from a German bank. “I enjoy the free time I have now.” She is exploring and meeting people. Another German lady recently invited her to join an international women’s group. The Schlegels’ balcony and rooftop terrace look eastward over the Metroparks’ Rocky River Reservation. “I enjoy my home and the nature around us. We ride our bikes and take walks in the park,” says Irene. “It’s fun!” The couple has begun decorating their place for the Holidays. After a year full of change and transition, they are looking forward to spending a peaceful Christmas together.
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