Harald Heimbach was born on the 26th of January in 1966 in Ehingen on the Danube – a Swabian born and bred!
In the years 1970 – 1976 he visited the primary school and finished secondary school in 1981. He continued his education in Ulm by visiting the “Gymnasium” to obtain the admission to study. In the years 1984/85 he fulfilled his military service at the German Air Force. Afterwards H. Heimbach started studying industrial engineering at the Fachhochschule in Esslingen and finished successfully in 1991. After the university he turned his interest in history into profession. He is particularly fascinated in family history. This is why he joined the team of Pro Heraldica in 1990 as a freelancer, so he was able to fund his study by himself. After his graduation he assisted the management as a contract employee in 1992. Since 1996 he is the managing director and became the managing partner a year later. He is the sole shareholder of Pro Heraldica since 2001 and to this day. He finds himself very privileged to pursue a job which gives him so much pleasure. In fact this the main reason why his business enjoys that much success!
In his leisure time, Harald Heimbach is a great sports fan. In earlier times he used to play soccer, tennis and do athletics. Nowadays he prefers training in the gym, runs marathon and prepares himself for his first triathlon. He enjoys the nature and therefore loves running through the forests around Stuttgart with his two Rodesian Ridgebacks, Akili and Abuya.
In 2012 he got married to Petra Heimbach and both are planning to spread the unique service of Pro Heraldica internationally in the next 25 years.
Clemens L. Kech is the Scientific Director at Pro Heraldica since the 1st of January 2017. He was born on March 19, 1985 in Ulm where he also grew up and went to school. After he passed the successfully the Abitur in 2004 he continued his educational life with the studies of history and English/American studies at the Connecticut College in New London, USA and at University Stuttgart. In 2012 he finished with the state examination.
He was already connected with Pro Heraldica during his times as a student (2007). In 2014 he then accepted a permanent position as the assistant of the Scientific Director at Pro Heraldica. So, he had (and still has) an intensive exchange with our long-standing scientific director Dr. Rolf Sutter, whose tasks Clemens Kech assumed gradually. Therefore, in summer 2016 he managed the department of genealogy and from the beginning of 2017 he Mr. Kech was responsible for the fields of heraldry. Now he is the Scientific Director as well.
In his spare times he busies himself besides historical subjects especially with German and American literature. He loves playing the piano and is participated in a football club since his youth.
Petra Heimbach was born in 1963. After her commercial education she started her career in hotel business and continued in the balloon industry. Before her path crossed Pro Heraldica she worked for a CD plant and real estate constructor for some years. During these jobs she gained professional knowledge in business management and was able to even deepen it by working for Pro Heraldica. In 1996 she started in the sales department and is the Head of Administration for 15 years today. Her responsible areas are including Public Relations, the web presence, and sales coaching and networking.
Already as a child in middle school she was very fascinated by history and she is until today. Finding Pro Heraldica was a big luck to her. Now P. Heimbach can combine her profession with real pleasure. It thrills her every day how the big history she learned in school reflects in individual family histories.
Genealogy is still Petra Heimbachs pleasure, heraldry became her passion.It fascinates her how she is still learning new things about the genealogy and heraldry. Especially heraldry, with all its simplicity, is so compact and various. It is just amazing!
For her working with Pro Heraldica is a mission! The whole Pro Heraldica team lives this mission day by day.
In her leisure time she loves doing the yoga. This is the perfect sport for her since it trains muscles and helps to relax at the same time. As her husband Harald Heimbach she enjoys long walks in the forests around Stuttgart with the two Rodesian Ridgebacks, Akili and Abuya.
Petra and Harald Heimbach are planning to spread the unique service of Pro Heraldica internationally in the next 25 years.
Dr. R. Sutter
Dr. Rolf Sutter was born in 1944 and is proudly the father of three children. Back in his youth he studied German philology, political science, art history and psychology. He completed studies successfully with a degree for his thesis on the genealogical structures in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s “Parzival”.
Since 1980 he is the scientific director at PRO HERALDICA and a member of both, the Académie Internationale d’Héraldique and the Académie Internationale de Généalogie. Another membership is the Association of German-speaking Professional Genealogists; not forgetting his position as a chairman of the foundation council of the Gerhard Tietz Stiftung Heraldik Internationale.
Dr. Rolf Sutter first got to know Dr. Ottfried Neubecker whose work and personality had always fascinated him in 1980. This first meeting led to 12 years of close cooperation. For Dr. Sutter these years were an invaluable apprenticeship and for Dr. Neubecker an opportunity to promote a successor to his life’s work. He consequently appointed Dr. Sutter as treasurer in 1980 in the association Wappen HEROLD Deutsche Heraldische Gesellschaft e.V. which he had founded in 1967 and which Dr. Sutter still directs today as its president.
What began then was for both a lucky strike even though the common benefits were at first one-sided. Dr. Sutter learned the tools of his trade which he needed for scientific and creative heraldry from the most important German-speaking herald of the day. Very soon, Dr. Neubecker was able to harvest the fruits of his intellectual investments and the birth and growth of his favorite project the ALLGEMEINE DEUTSCHE WAPPENROLLE (the General German Heraldic Register). The first volume appeared in 1980 under the direction of Dr. Sutter and is still continued by him today.
On Dr. Neubeckers retirement and death in 1992, Dr. Rolf Sutter followed in Neubecker’s international footsteps. He attended international congresses and colloquia and expanded Dr. Neubecker’s numerous national and international contacts. In the aftermath, Dr. Sutter held numerous lectures:
- 1999 International Colloquium St. Pölten: Gampilun and Ecidemon – on the function of heraldry in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s “Parzival”
- 2000 International Congress in Besaucon: Genealogy as a medium of social and individual identity: the “Parzival” novel by Wolfram von Eschenbach.
- 2001 International Colloquium Groningen: Talking elements in communal heraldry and heraldic development in the second half of the 20th century in Baden-Württemberg
- 2002 International Congress Dublin: Logo ad Portas – snapshots of the current relationship between “identity icons/logo” and coats of arms in German State heraldry.
- 2004 International Congress Bruges: Genealogy and heraldry at the beginning of the third millennium
- 2005 24th Austrian Historians’ Day Innsbruck: Back to the future – South Africa’s new heraldic identity
- 2005 International Colloquium St. Petersburg- Emanzipation in heraldry- women’s right to bear a name and a coat of arms
- 2006 International Congress St Andrews: “Trees that grow up into the sky?-genealogy between myths, explanation of the world and transcendency
- 2007 International Colloquium Xanten: The shields of the free cities
- 2008 International Congress Quebec: Quète et Reconquète (quest and re-conquest) – colonial and post-colonial heraldry in Africa
- 2009 International Colloquium Verviers: Heraldry in Germany and German-speaking countries
- 2010 International Congress Stuttgart scheduled : The Heraldic Spring ; heraldry and identity
Dr Sutter worked together with Pro Heraldic as Dr. Neubecker had done and still maintains the heritage and the reference library. In thirty years, Dr. Sutter has directed hundreds of genealogical researches and carried out more than 3,000 researches into Coats of Arms and their design.
One of his international colleagues described Dr. Sutter as follows:”Dr. Sutter is a phenomenon. He is just as happy in the field of genealogy as he is in heraldry. Regarding heraldry, his expertise covers the Middle Ages up to the present day, from public heraldry to family heraldry both in the theoretical and in the creative field.”
What is striking is his commitment to current living heraldry. His lecture in Dublin in 2002 Logo ad Portas led to the spontaneous foundation of the “Ständige Komitee für zeitgenössische Heraldik” (a permanent committee for contemporary heraldry) under the umbrella of the Internationale Akademie der Heraldik. The committee strives to establish generally accepted heraldic principles on a national level.
Whatever he participates in at an international level he follows up on a national level. Explanations on heraldry on a wide basis, struggle against unprofessional handling of the subject, standardization of the rights to bear a Coat of Arms, the establishment and institutionalization of a center of competence for conscientious experts, the creation of generally binding regulations are all matters to which he is openly dedicated.