Meet Per Stange, HR director and part-time farmer
When he is not traveling to meet Solstad Offshore’s crewing teams all around the world, Per Stange and his wife spend most of their time at their farm in Bømlo.
Per is a 62-year-old active family man who lives at Vormedal, 8 km south of the city center of Haugesund, on the west coast of Norway. He lives together with his wife Elin, to whom he has been married for 30 years.
After finishing military service in 1981, he moved to Stavanger to study engineering but quickly changed course and started studying personnel administration at what is now called the University of Stavanger. After graduating, Per started working as a personnel and salary consultant at the construction company Kruse Smith. After two years at Kruse Smith, he worked within the department for the vocational training board at Rogaland county municipality and stayed there for almost four years.
Per has always shown an interest in the offshore industry and knew early on that this was a career he wanted to pursue. In August 1991, he was hired as a crew coordinator at Knutsen OAS Shipping and after four years became maritime personnel manager. During his 18 years at Knutsen, Per became very familiar with Solstad Offshore.
“One of the unique characteristics of working in the Haugesund region is the cooperation between the shipping companies. We know each other very well, especially those of us who work within personnel and crewing,” Per explains.
In 2009, he got the chance to become the HR director of Solstad Offshore and jumped at the opportunity.
“Courage and professional pride are very prominent in the company, which makes this a very attractive workplace. Solstad Offshore has always had a good reputation in the industry, so to get the opportunity to work in the company was very exciting,” he says.
During his time at Rogaland county municipality, Per took a year off to travel the world together with two of his best friends.
“We traveled to the US, Mexico, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and New Zealand, to mention a few, but the greatest experience was visiting Australia. In Australia, we worked on two sheep farms to earn money for the rest of the trip by building fences, logging, collecting hay, and planting eucalyptus trees. That was an experience I will never forget,” Per tells.
His interest in traveling sparked in his youth, and he still loves to travel both on holidays and through his role at Solstad, especially to visit the countries where Solstad has crewing departments. In December 2022, he traveled to Romania to visit Solstad Offshore’s employees from Ukraine. The team spent a week teambuilding, for the first time after a challenging year with war.
“Luckily, we see that traveling within Solstad has picked up again in the last six months after the pandemic. I really like visiting the offices where we have crewing departments because the visits are very valuable. During the pandemic, we also missed that people visited us in Skudesneshavn. I’m very happy that we are now able to meet each other and be more social. In the last couple of months alone I have been able to visit three of our crewing departments. Traveling to Romania in December to meet up with the employees from our Ukraine office is the trip that has made the strongest impression on me,”
Grandkids, a dog, hunting, fishing, and a farm from 1780
During the pandemic, Per became a grandfather to three grandchildren, which he loves to spend time with. In addition to the grandkids, Per and Elin have a dog called Talent, a Pointer who needs a lot of exercise.
“There have been countless hikes and runs in the forest since we got Talent. Luckily, I’m used to spending time outdoors as I enjoy both hunting and fishing, so I don’t mind being dragged off the couch by our dog,” he tells.
Even though he loves to travel, Per spends most of his time off during the spring, summer, and fall at his family’s farm at Hjertnes, Bømlo, north of Haugesund. The property is 750 acres, with a total of 11 buildings, and 33 sheep.
“We took over the farm in 2010 and have spent a lot of our time at Hjertnes since then. The oldest building at the property was built in 1780, so we spend a lot of time on maintenance. Even though the property by regulation must be operated as a farm, I don’t see myself as a farmer out of respect for the real farmers, ” he says with a smile.
When working in a company for so many years, with a personal relationship with most of his close colleagues, not many know that Per has a scuba diving certificate.
“When I stayed for some months in Australia in 1989, I obtained a scuba diving certificate to be able to dive the Great Barrier Reef. That was an amazing experience, however, I have not been diving much since then. I also tried out bungy jumping in New Zealand in 1988 on the same trip, but I have not pursued a career within that either,” Per concludes.