Telegram Staff Writer

LINDSAY — Gary D. Parker will retire as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Lindsay Manufacturing Co. in Lindsay on Aug. 31 or as soon as a new president and CEO can be found.

"At this point in my life, I wanted to spend more time with my family," Parker, 54, of Columbus said. "I want to spoil my grandson and travel for pleasure rather than business."

He said he also plans to enjoy the outdoors.

Parker will continue to serve as chairman of the board until his term expires on Jan. 25. At the January annual meeting, John W. Croghan will assume the role of chairman. Croghan, a director of the company since 1989, will manage the board while Parker, pending his retirement, will manage the company.

Parker will report to Croghan and the board. A search committee, which will be overseen by the board, will head up the search for a successor. Parker will continue to serve as a consultant to the company for two years following his retirement.

"On behalf of the shareholders, the board and the employees, I wish to thank Gary for his years of fine service to Lindsay," Croghan said in a press release. "The company has grown dramatically and Gary has made many contributions in product innovation, factory automation and expanded distribution."

Parker began working at Lindsay in 1971 and became president in 1984. He was named president, CEO and chairman in 1989.

During his 28 years with the company, Parker has seen many changes. When he first started, Lindsay was primarily a Midwest regional company.

Today, Lindsay can be found in more than 85 countries. He said approximately 40 percent of Lindsay's business is done outside the United States.

Parker said he has also seen the number of manufacturers of center-pivot and lateral-move irrigation systems decrease from 35 companies to seven, with Lindsay being one of the major global producers. In addition to center-pivot and lateral-move irrigation systems, Lindsay also produces large-diameter steel tubing and provides outsource manufacturing and production service for others.

Parker said the pivots have also changed to become more of a management tool, and the systems have become more computerized.

"We've also seen more of a need to conserve water," he said.

He said about 63 percent of all water pumped worldwide is by farmers.

Parker said the company is in a good position for him to retire. He said it has a large distribution, nice size market share and good management.

Parker said Lindsay began selling stock on the public market in 1988, and people who invested at that time have seen the price increase tenfold.

"This is a point at Lindsay where our distribution is strong, and it's a good time (to retire)," he said. "It has been rewarding to be associated with the growth and success of Lindsay during the last 28 years."

Lindsay employs more than 500 people. Annual sales during fiscal 1999 were $117 million.

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