BIRMINGHAM, Ohio – Larry Bettcher, chairman of Bettcher Industries, has retired from the company effective Oct. 1. He will serve on the company's board of directors.

As part of the transition, the company converted a 100 percent Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) structure, making the company 100 percent employee owned. The transaction was finalized through the sale of the remaining shares of company stock owned by the Bettcher family. Bettcher Industries has been a family owned company since its founding by Louis Bettcher in 1944.

“When I joined the company over 50 years ago, yearly sales were barely $1 million dollars," Larry Bettcher said. "There were just two people in the shop – a secretary/bookkeeper, two salesmen, my father and myself. We were small but we believed in ourselves, always renewing our vision for the future.”

Bettcher's career with the company spans 56 years. He is credited with guiding the company's growth into key categories including meat and food processing, industrial manufacturing and medical instrumentation. Bettcher also advocated important advancements in processing technology and work practices that delivered progressively higher yields while making processing practices safer and more efficient.

“It has been an honor to work alongside Larry for the past 14 years as we’ve strategically positioned the company for long-term growth and success in the worldwide marketplace," said Don Esch, president and CEO. "And now, I look forward to the insights and contributions Larry will bring to the board of directors.”

The company’s Whizard and Quantum Trimmer brands are well established in the meat and poultry processing industry and all over the world. Bettcher products are distributed in more than 64 countries.