ARMSTRONG, Iowa, — Art's Way Manufacturing Co. Inc. announced today that J. Ward McConnell Jr. intends to retire from the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors at the 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. He will stand for re-election as a director and the Board of Directors intends to designate Mr. McConnell as Vice Chairman-Elect. Mr. McConnell has served as Chairman of the Board since 2002 and as a director of the Company since 1996.
As part of the Company's leadership succession plan, the Board of Directors intends to designate Marc McConnell as Chairman-Elect at the 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Marc McConnell has served on the Board of Directors of Art's Way Manufacturing since 2001 and as Vice-Chairman since 2008. In addition to his role at Art's Way, Mr. McConnell currently serves as Chairman of the Board of West Town Bank & Trust of Chicago, IL, President of Bauer Corporation of Wooster, OH, and as Vice-Chairman of McConnell Holdings, Inc. of Kinston, NC among other business interests. He has also served as President of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association from 2013-14 and President of the American Ladder Institute from 2006-2010. Mr. McConnell is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
J. Ward McConnell Jr., commented, "This is an exciting time in our company. We have just concluded our 13th straight profitable year and are poised for growth in the years ahead under Marc's leadership.
"I am proud of the work we've done and successes we've enjoyed since turning this company around in 2002. Art's Way was in dire condition when I assumed the role of Chairman and, with the help of many great people; we quadrupled the size of the Company in 13 years, became financially strong, and truly took this organization to the next level in every way. I am pleased to hand it off to Marc in a position of strength and am excited about where he will take it in the years ahead. An orderly succession plan has been in development for some time and I am pleased to say that the time has come to pass the baton.
"Marc has brought energy and drive as a director and Vice-Chairman for Art's Way. Those traits, as well as his understanding and passion for the business, will continue to benefit the Company when he transitions to the position of Chairman. Our succession plan is moving forward on target and will facilitate a smooth leadership transition at the Board level."
Marc H. McConnell commented, "I am pleased to have had the trust and confidence placed in me to assume the role of Chairman. We are so fortunate to have had the relentless work, vision, and leadership Ward has provided this Company since 2002. Without his efforts, none of this enterprise would exist to serve our customers, create careers for our employees, and deliver the return on investment our shareholder base deserves. All of us involved with Art's Way today owe it all to what he has done.
"This company has endless opportunity to grow and build shareholder value in the years ahead and I look forward to serving our customers, employees, and shareholders alike in my new capacity. Focusing on long-term strategies and reinvestment, we will take this business to the next level."
About Art's Way Manufacturing Inc.
Art's Way manufactures and distributes farm machinery niche products including animal feed processing equipment, sugar beet defoliators and harvesters, land maintenance equipment, crop shredding equipment, round hay balers, plows, hay and forage equipment, manure spreaders, reels for combines and swathers, and top and bottom drive augers, as well as pressurized tanks and vessels, modular animal confinement buildings and laboratories and specialty tools and inserts. After-market service parts are also an important part of the Company's business. The Company has four reporting segments: agricultural products; pressurized tanks and vessels; modular buildings; and tools.