The Mast family of entrepreneurs, owners of Mast Jägermeister, has been involved in three foundations for five generations. The threads run together at Manja Puschnerus, the managing director.

“One for all” was Jägermeister’s well-known slogan for a long time. The spirits manufacturer Mast-Jägermeister SE, founded in 1878 as a vinegar factory by Wilhelm Mast, still belongs to the Mast family of entrepreneurs today. As far as their commitment is concerned, the slogan has to be modified somewhat today: “Three for all” is the motto here. Three foundations that cover almost all areas of classic foundation commitment – science, culture, social affairs, education, sports, the environment – have now been established by members of the family. “The three organizations all combine the values of the Mast entrepreneurial family that have led the company to success. These include cosmopolitanism, down-to-earthness and the will to think outside the box,” summarizes Manja Puschnerus.

Puschnerus is an executive board member of the Curt Mast Jägermeister Foundation and a board member of the Klaus Friedrich Foundation. “In the Mast family of entrepreneurs, there were and still are formative personalities who get involved out of their own motivation, and in the area that is particularly close to their hearts in each case.” And that can be a world-famous library in their hometown, but also an SOS village in Africa.

“The three organizations all combine the values of the Mast family of entrepreneurs that have led the company to success. These include cosmopolitanism, down-to-earthness and the will to think outside the box” Manja Puschnerus, Mast-Jägermeister SE

The first foundation within the family to be established was the Dr. Günther Findel Foundation in 1986. The Wolfenbüttel physician was married to Annemarie Findel-Mast, the daughter of Curt Mast, and was very close to the “Herzog August Library” in his hometown. His foundation awards scholarships to young scientists who wish to access the materials in the library for their research work. The “Herzog-August-Bibliothek” has a unique collection of books from the Middle Ages and the early modern period and is therefore one of the world’s leading centers for research into cultural history. The foundation’s work is intended to help preserve the scientific heritage of the library and the city and to bring it to life with young researchers.

Annemarie Findel-Mast saw the 125th anniversary of Mast-Jägermeister SE in 2003 as the optimal time to establish a foundation in the name of her father, who was closely associated with his hometown. “Curt Mast was a local patriot to the core,” recounts Manja Puschnerus. “Even though I never met him, I know from stories that he was very attached to Wolfenbüttel. His saying that he couldn’t live without looking at his church tower is almost legendary.” And so it was logical to establish a foundation whose financial resources benefit the city and district of Wolfenbüttel.

It stays in Wolfenbüttel

The first project to be supported by the organization, which was originally established as a cultural foundation, was the Lessing Theater in Wolfenbüttel. Word quickly spread that the foundation was now committed to the region’s needs – more and more requests for support came in, and not just from the cultural sector, and the foundation wanted to help everyone. The statutes had to be amended to cover all areas of society. Today, the Curt Mast Jägermeister Foundation supports charitable projects in the areas of social welfare, culture, sports, religion and the environment. To date, almost 600 small and large projects have been supported.

Manja Puschnerus

Manja Puschnerus, managing director. Photo: Mast-Jägermeister SE

The third and youngest foundation from the family circle is the Klaus Friedrich Foundation. It was founded in 2007 by Friedrich Klaus Rehm, divorced husband of Claudia-Susan Buschke, granddaughter of Curt Mast, and married to Renate Rehm in his second marriage. Rehm lost his parents as a child and grew up in institutions. Against all odds, he made a career in the course of his life that also set him up well financially. Finally, at the end of his professional life, Friedrich Rehm wanted to support projects that are often not in the public eye. Unlike the Curt Mast Jäger Foundation, the Klaus Friedrich Foundation has no geographical boundaries – it supports funding for assistance dogs in Germany as well as SOS Children’s Villages in Africa. What is special about their approach: The projects are suggested by family members and all have a personal connection. A project suggestion may follow a television report that touched someone deeply, or a conversation at an event that triggers a desire to help an organization financially. “In the course of a lifetime, new topics always open up,” says Puschnerus, who together with Friedrich Rehm forms the board of the Klaus Friedrich Foundation.

Today, the fifth generation of the Mast entrepreneurial family is involved in the goings-on around Jägermeister and the foundations. Florian Rehm, grandson of Annemarie Findel-Mast and spokesman for the family, is an entrepreneur and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Mast-Jägermeister SE and sits as a binding link in the decision-making bodies of the three foundations. “The family’s values have been passed on from each generation to the next and supplemented with new impulses,” says Puschnerus.

A network with short paths

While in the Dr. Günther Findel Foundation experts from science and research make decisions regarding the scholarships, in the Curt Mast Jägermeister Foundation it is personalities from Wolfenbüttel together with Florian Rehm and Manja Puschnerus. The Klaus Friedrich Foundation is run exclusively by family members and by Manja Puschnerus. “The family is very large, and everyone does what they can. I am a link between the organizations and often an impulse generator,” she says of her work. “Sometimes an idea arrives at one foundation and is picked up by the other. The paths are not only short within the organizations, but also between them. This allows us to make decisions flexibly and, above all, quickly, and to move into implementation,” says Puschnerus.

There is no fundraising; the financial resources for project support are generated from the organizations’ assets and from money that flows to the foundations from the Mast family of entrepreneurs and their companies. For even more impact in the community, they enter into collaborations, such as with the Loki Schmidt Foundation. “If we see that we can achieve even more with another organization, we are very happy to join forces,” says Manja Puschnerus. “The Loki Schmidt Foundation, for example, works like us: hands-on, pragmatic and solution-oriented. We’re just a great fit and want to continue implementing more projects together in the future.” And perhaps set up a fourth foundation? “It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen at the moment, because we’ve covered almost everything that’s close to the family’s heart,” she says. “But I wouldn’t rule anything out with these committed people.”

Source:, 14.04.2023, Magdalena Aderhold