Salem Distributing's ESOP to Buy Outstanding Shares; Robert Long to Retire

Participants in the Salem Distributing Company Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) have announced plans to buy the remaining, outstanding shares that are owned directly or indirectly by Robert A. Long, president and chief executive officer. According to the announcement, the purchase will represent approximately 66 percent of the outstanding stock, which will make Salem 100-percent employee owned. The purchase is expected to take place in the next few weeks.

Long has also announced he will retire after 28 years with Salem, and expects to do so sometimes in March once all of the bank work and legal papers for the shares purchase are complete.

Long joined the company in 1977 as vice president, and has since served as president, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer. He will be succeeded by vice president Howard Hanes. Mike Willard, vice president of sales and marketing, will be appointed to the board of directors and replace Long as an ESOP trustee. Two additional outside members of the board of directors will also be added.

In light of assuming the new role as president Hanes will be transferring some of his current responsibilities; the machinery sales division will be under Willard and the warehousing, shipping and receiving functions will be the responsibility of Maurice Fox, vice president and controller.

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