After 41 years of service, Keith Olson has announced his retirement as of Jan. 1, 2021, from his position as CEO of 4Rivers Equipment. John Shearer, current COO, will succeed Keith as CEO. John and Keith have worked very closely for the past 7 years, preparing for this transition. Keith will continue to help guide 4Rivers as a partner and a board member.
“Keith has led 4Rivers Equipment through some of the most evolutionary years as a dealership. He navigated the 80s farming crisis. Keith also started when we were still doing business without computers, and today both our business and equipment have more computers than we ever expected. Keith is known as someone that learns everyone’s names and listens to everyone’s concerns. He is the definition of ‘Your Working Partner,’ “says John Shearer.
In 1996, Shearer joined the Rivers Group at James River Equipment in Fishersville, Va. He moved to Ashland, Va., in 1998 and 2000 became the vice president of Product Support. During the 12 years he was in this position, the product support business increased fivefold.
In 2013, John was given the opportunity to move to Colorado to join 4Rivers Equipment as the general manager of Construction and Forestry. He was responsible for integrating the newly acquired New Mexico and Texas locations with the already well established Colorado locations. In 2019, John was promoted to COO with responsibility for both the Construction and Agricultural divisions.