Last updated on March 25th, 2021 at 07:23 pm
Jimmie Gipson, long-time executive, CEO and chairman of the board at Houchens Industries, shared his retirement plans at the company’s Jan. 24 board meeting. Gipson, who has close to 55 years with the company, will retire March 31 from the Bowling Green, Kentucky-based company.
The board has elected EVP Dion Houchins to succeed Gipson as CEO and chairman of the board.
Gipson started his career at Houchens Industries in 1965, almost immediately after graduating from college at The Bowling Green Business University (now Western Kentucky University). After serving in several positions in the accounting department and performing a leading role in the conversion of Houchens from private ownership to an ESOP in 1988, he was elected CEO in February of 1993, a position he has held for 27 years. During his tenure as CEO, Houchens Industries grew from a regional retail grocery company to a multi-billion dollar conglomerate.
Today, Houchens Industries is one of the largest 100 percent employee held companies in the world with annual revenues in excess of $3 billion and more than 16,000 employees. The company is over 100 years old and does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries worldwide through a portfolio of companies that includes retail grocery, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, insurance, retail hardware, quick serve restaurants, retail optical, tanning supply distribution, retail pharmacies, fencing manufacturing and distributing, construction, recycling, trucking and paving.
Pete Mahurin, longtime Houchens Industries Board member, talked about the evolution the company experienced under Gipson’s leadership. As a lifelong financial leader in the Bowling Green community, he spoke to the legacy that Gipson created as an “Advocate of Philanthropy” in the communities that Houchens Industries has serviced over the years, and Gipson’s “commitment, work ethic, compassion and ability to always think and act at the level of the Houchens Industries organization. I have never met any one person in all my years that has contributed to people and places in a broader, more meaningful way,” Mahurin said.
Houchins joined Houchens Industries in February of 2009 and has served as EVP for 11 years. He has an extensive career in accounting and finance and is a graduate of Western Kentucky University.