Ross Lund, Hughes Equipment Co. – 920-623-2000
John Syburg, Blackthorne Partners – 262-786-5100
Significant Growth Planned for Food Processing Machinery
Hughes Company, a Columbus, Wis.-based manufacturer and international distributor of
stainless steel equipment for the food processing industry, has been acquired by Blackthorne
Partners Ltd., and former Trostel, Ltd., executive Ross Lund, who has become president and
chief executive officer of the company.
“We have aggressive growth goals for the company, which I know we can achieve based on the
company’s existing staff of highly skilled and dedicated employees, our existing manufacturing
technology, and the new resources we will bring to the operation,” Lund said. “We will help our
customers become even more productive through investments in our people and in technology.”
The company is now known as Hughes Equipment Company, LLC.
Since 1961, the company has designed and manufactured standard and customized equipment
for the food industry. Its machinery is used for vegetable, pasta, rice, fruit and root crop
processing and preparation.
John Syburg, a managing director at Blackthorne Partners in Brookfield, Wis., said the company
is well positioned for growth.
“Hughes Equipment Company has an impressive lineup of highly reliable products, unparalleled
customer service, and an incredibly talented staff,” he said. “We are confident we can build on
that great foundation, and meet our customers’ needs to an even greater degree,now and well
into the future.”
Lund called the employees at Hughes “some of the best in the business,” with expertise in
engineering, manufacturing and technology.
“We intend to further develop that talent and to provide them with the best technology,” he said.
“We plan on taking technology to a new level in this industry,” he added.
Lund, a Certified Public Accountant with an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has
held leadership positions at corporations including Trostel, Ltd., Lake Geneva, Wis., where he
was vice president and general manager at the Polymer Compounding Division and previously
director of finance and plant controller. Prior to his work at Trostel, Lund held a variety of
positions at Viasys Healthcare and John Deere.
Lund’s experience in various manufacturing environments, where he engaged lean
manufacturing techniques and technology enhancements, will be invaluable as Hughes Equipment Co. engages its growth plans, said Steve Balistreri, a managing director at
Jeff Powell, the former president who purchased the company in 2008 and who led growth over
the past six years, will retain an interest in the company and serve as a consultant to Lund.
Hughes Equipment Co. will remain in its 60,000-square-foot facility at 1200 W. James St. in
Columbus, Wis., which has the capacity to handle the anticipated business growth, Lund said.
Along with new opportunities for existing employees, Lund anticipates the need for additional
employees as the growth plans unfold.