George Risk Industries, Inc. has chosen their replacement for former President and Chairman of the Board Ken Risk, who passed away February 27 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Stephanie Risk-McElroy, Ken Risk’s daughter, was chosen by GRI’s Board of Directors to take over the position on March 5.
“I’ve kind of been trained to do his job for several years, and I just kind of fell into it. It’s stuff I’ve done already. It’s just signing off on some higher level purchases, and making sure things are running smoothly there,” Risk-McElroy said.
Risk-McElroy has served as the Chief Financial Officer of GRI since 1999 and will continue to hold that job as well as take over duties as President until a new CFO can be found.
“There’s some added pressure to my job right now, because I am still doing my job as Chief Financial Officer, but we’ll probably have to hire in that some time soon. It’s been a very quick transition that this has happened,” Risk-McElroy said.
According to Risk-McElroy, she has no plans to change how the company works but rather follow in the footsteps of her father and his example.
“I don’t plan on doing anything real drastic. I just want to continue having jobs here for the people in this community. I just plan to hopefully keep doing what we’re doing. No big changes at this time,” Risk-McElroy said.
For the last 14 years Risk-McElroy has worked closely with Ken and the rest of the GRI management team and is knowledgeable in all aspects of the manufacturing facility, especially the bottom line, according to a statement released by GRI.
Ken Risk served as President and CEO of GRI since 1989 following the death of his father George Risk. Since that time, GRI has gone from having about 75 people employed at the company to today employing more than 150 people at facilities in Kimball and Gering with annual sales in excess of $10,000,000.
One of Ken Risk’s legacies was celebrated the same week as the Risk-McElroy announcement.
Governor Dave Heineman officially opened Nebraska’s first trade office in China. The Nebraska Center China will be a vital element in the continuing development of Nebraska-China relations. Government officials and business leaders on both sides of the world joined together via technology to celebrate the opening of the state’s newest international trade office.
Risk had traveled with the governor and other Nebraska business leaders in an effort to establish the trade office, which is expected to boost the state’s agricultural sales.