Tom Lange Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Phil “Rock” Gumpert Announces Upcoming Retirement; Greg Reinauer and Becky Wilson Share
LOUIS, MO - I have only ever had the pleasure of meeting Phil “Rock” Gumpert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tom Lange Family of Companies, over the phone, yet I guarantee his conversation makes an indelible impression. It is with bitter-sweet feeling that I heard he is announcing his retirement after 57 years in the produce industry, effective December 31.
“One of the first things Mr. Lange told me was that there was a code of ethics in our business: your word is your bond and if you make a commitment, you better damn well do what you said you would do and honor that commitment. Our reputation is paramount to our continued success in this industry and reflects on all facets of what we do not only in business but in our personal lives. I always tried to instill and stress the importance of that trait in all associates,” Gumpert commented in a press release.
Staying on with the Board of Directors even as he retires from his post as CEO, the company will continue to learn from Gumpert and all he has experienced.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and current and former employees, we would like to thank Rock for his unwavering commitment to the Tom Lange Family of Companies and its employees, customers, growers, shippers, and carriers. Rock’s leadership and ethics have defined our company and established a foundation for the future. I am humbled to have worked with Rock and am proud to call him a friend. I look forward to continuing to work with Rock as our Chairman,” said Greg Reinauer, Tom Lange President.
Gumpert remembers humble beginnings in St. Louis when Mr. Tom Lange and Mr. Farrell “Dutch” Gay, and Paul Beisser approached him about joining the company that has since grown into a major player in the world of produce and logistics, both domestically and internationally.
“I was offered less than what I was making at the railroad, but I took a big leap of faith, which would impact and shape the life of me, my family, and so many others to follow. This was some 57 years ago on August 9, 1964,” he shared. You can read a deeper dive into this adventure here.
Becky Wilson, Tom Lange Vice President Operations, has worked with and known Gumpert for 30 years now.
“Rock has been my mentor in not only my professional career at Lange but also in my life. I held myself to a higher standard because I wanted to make him proud. His passion and drive for both the company’s and associate’s success are a source of inspiration and is beyond compare. This family of companies and everyone that has worked for them has been so blessed to be a part of his legacy,” Becky said.
Gumpert’s biggest source of pride is the establishment of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, becoming 100 percent employee-owned in 1985 to give each associate a vested interest in the success of the company.
On this journey, Gumpert said he had the good fortune to meet so many great customers, growers/shippers, and transportation providers throughout his career and made countless friendships, stating, “These relationships helped me and the company become successful. Tom Lange Family of Companies has also been blessed with so many associates who have exhibited loyalty, commitment, and passion, which was instrumental to our early success, as well as the successes of today. I am extremely grateful for all the hard work and dedication that each of them has given to the company every day. As I retire, I feel confident in leaving, knowing that there is a great management team in place.”
Congratulations, Phil “Rock” Gumpert, on a lifetime of achievements in our industry. May this next chapter be a great one!
Companies in this Story
Tom Lange Company
With deep roots and 60+ years of history in the produce industry, Tom Lange Company is poised for growth as we continue...