Bettcher Industries Inc. announces that the company has now completed its transition to a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) structure. The transition was finalized through the sale of the remaining shares of company stock owned by the Bettcher family.

Bettcher Industries had been a family-owned enterprise since the company was founded by Louis Bettcher in 1944.

Commenting on the transition, Don Esch, President and CEO stated, “As an ESOP company, we are relying on our highly capable and experienced staff to maintain our longstanding customer-focused business practices, while also expanding into newer markets.”

In addition to providing for management continuity, the ESOP structure ensures that the employees who have built and sustained the company will be integral to the future success of the business.

As Larry Bettcher stated during remarks to the employees at an all-company meeting held on October 1, 2014, “I’m so very proud of the culture here, and I’m proud to know that our family’s company is now your company.”

Chairman Retires
Concurrent with the 100% ESOP transition, Bettcher Industries reports that Larry Bettcher has retired from the company, effective October 1, 2014. While Bettcher will no longer be active in the day-to-day operations of the business, he will now serve on the company’s board of directors. 

The announcement of Bettcher’s retirement caps a 56-year career at Bettcher Industries, during which time he was an integral part of the company’s growth and expansion in key industry categories including meat and food processing, industrial manufacturing, and medical instrumentation. 

Speaking of his tenure at the firm, Bettcher remarked, “When I joined the company over 50 years ago, yearly sales were barely a million dollars. 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.”

That vision would enable Bettcher Industries to lead the industry in commercializing pacesetting precision-cutting technology and food processing equipment. It developed successive generations of powered trimmers, scissors, saws and portion control equipment that improve product yields, quality and profitability for meat and poultry processors. 

Today, the company’s Whizard and Quantum Trimmer brands are acknowledged as the most advanced innovations in the field. They have established themselves throughout the world and are a common sight in meat and poultry processing plants of all sizes. 

The company’s products are sold through a network of distributors in more than 64 countries, along with several company-owned offices that were opened during Bettcher’s tenure that cover the EU countries, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Far East/Pacific regions.

In addition to his many decades of company leadership, Bettcher has been a strong advocate for the meat industry, promoting important advancements in processing technology and work practices that have delivered progressively higher product yields while making processing practices safer and more efficient. 

Don Esch praised Bettcher’s legacy of leadership, stating, “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. And now, I look forward to the insights and contributions Larry will bring to the board of directors.”

Headquartered in Northeastern Ohio, USA, Bettcher Industries, Inc. is an ISO 9001-certified, vertically integrated manufacturing company with a global customer base and direct distribution and service in 64 countries throughout the world. The company is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative equipment for food processing, foodservice, industrial, medical and other operations. 

Established in 1944, Bettcher Industries brings seven decades of successful innovation to the market, including holding more than 120 active patents. Phone: (440) 965-4422. Website address: