In memoriam Jaakko Mäkelä

The founder, soul of our company Jaakko Mäkelä passed away on 18th November 2017, at the age of 67 years. Jaakko was born on 14 March 1950 in Kokkola. He completed his engineering degree in Jyväskylä in the 1970s. He started his family as a young man and had a wife and three sons. Jaakko was a dreamer, who determinately fulfilled his dreams bit by bit. He worked as a manager in numerous companies in our industry, still thriving today, before he found his place as an entrepreneur in Saarijärvi. Ever since he was a young man, Jaakko had had a dream of having a family, a house by a lake and his own business. Saarijärvi, a picturesque town in the middle of the Finnish lake district, offered all this.

Over time, the business grew, became international and was established as one of the leading businesses in the field. In 2005, Jaakko temporarily moved to Pärnu, Estonia to start a subsidiary for Finn-Rotor. He ended up staying in Pärnu for nearly ten years. Eventually, in 2013 Jaakko returned to his home in Saarijärvi for good. At that point, a serious illness and limitations of life had already cast a shadow on Jaakko’s life.

Jaakko was always extremely interested in technology. No matter whether it was a new innovative product or extension of the production facilities, Jaakko always gave it a 100 per cent of his time and energy. He also involved himself with the practical matters, never hesitated to speak his mind and was known for his Ostrobothnian frankness. Jaakko was a true visionary and he understood the big picture and cause and effect relationships. He was a true cosmopolite and mastered the international trade and its customs and requirements. This was a major factor that led Jaakko and the company into international success.

Although Jaakko was known for his work and business, family and nature had a very important role in his life. The wellbeing of his children and grandchildren were always his top priority. He felt at home in the woods picking berries and in the deserts of Lapland, where he also took his sons for hiking ever since they were little boys. The wilderness cottage of Salonsaari by the Lake Pyhäjärvi was also an important place for Jaakko. From there, he applied for peace and inspiration as well carry out his passion for log house building. Finishing the cottage was not the main point, but the making of it.

Jaakko had a positive outlook on life and he was very active even despite the illness. He busied himself with hiking, berry picking and building his cabin whenever his health allowed him to do so. He found joy in every day. Things were always “actually quite ok”.

There is a saying ”Eagles don’t fly in flocks”. Jaakko never flew in flocks. He was an independent, strong-willed free spirit. With great respect and humbleness we continue our way to a successful future on the path he paved for us.