Summers Manufacturing Announces Leadership Change
Summers Manufacturing announced that Deb Anderson will be transitioning to Chairman of the Board and retiring from her day to day activities as President. Ryan Gruhn, a longtime board member has accepted the position of CEO and will take on the day-to-day leadership together with the Summers Manufacturing executive leadership team.
Deb Anderson’s retirement from her day to day responsibilities will mark the end of a more than 40-year career at the company her father, Harley Summers, founded in 1965. Anderson entered the Presidents role at a time when the company became 100-percent employee owned and embraced the challenge of taking the family business to an employee owned business. Her contributions over the years included bringing a culture of ownership thinking to the organization as well as lean practices to the production floor. Deb encouraged education & training, visibility and accountability within the company and structured the company around those principles.
Anderson said, “Ryan’s unique set of experience is a great addition to the Summers Manufacturing leadership team to help us navigate the changing market in agricultural equipment and to execute on our growth opportunities.” Ryan Gruhn started his career as a design engineer after graduating from Iowa State University. Over the years, Gruhn has played key leadership roles in manufacturing, engineering and senior leadership with Schafer Systems Inc., Owner Revolution Inc., Paragon International and Des Moines-Winterset Memorials.
“I am very excited to get to work with the team at Summers. The company is built on a solid foundation of values that has stood the test of time and the ups and downs of the agricultural economy over the past 52 years,” said Gruhn. “It’s an exciting time to join Summers as the business is growing again and we have a number of exciting new products.”