Winston Industries announces CEO transition

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Current chief sales office Shaun Tanner will take over from Valerie Shelton this year

Winston Industries’ Board of Directors has selected Shaun Tanner as the president and chief executive officer, effective July 1, 2020. Tanner, an 18-year veteran of the company, currently serves as the Chief Sales Officer, overseeing two of Winston’s three divisions; Winston Foodservice and Winston Manufacturing.

He succeeds Valerie Shelton, who has announced her intention to retire in December 2020. Shelton will move to an advisory role in July and will maintain a position on the Board in retirement.  She has served 11 years as Winston’s president and CEO, and 38 total years with the company.

Thinking beyond the company

Shelton diversified the company beyond foodservice equipment. She spearheaded the creation of the Win2uit Electronics Division and the Winston Contract Manufacturing Division. While her efforts increased profitability, her motivation behind the expansion was to create vertical opportunities for Winston’s team members. Committed to thinking beyond the company, she also led aggressive corporate initiatives to give back to the community.

Last year was significant for Winston Industries, marking a half-century since the company’s founding. Anniversary celebrations were made bittersweet with the death of company founder, Winston L. Shelton in April 2019. Winston was recognized within the foodservice industry for developing new technologies, represented by the company’s Collectramatic® and CVap® product lines. Shaun Tanner will be the first non-family member CEO in the company’s history.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the legacy we are leaving behind, and the leaders that will move this company to the next level. We have enjoyed so many challenging, yet fruitful years, and are delighted to leave the company in such capable hands,” said Valerie Shelton.

A Winston veteran

Tanner has performed a myriad of roles at Winston. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University and chef by trade, he held sales positions within domestic and international teams, while overseeing support of one of their largest customers, YUM! Brands. Tanner was elected to Winston’s board of directors in 2015, and soon after was promoted to general manager of the foodservice division.

“Winston is such a unique company, not just by our products, but in our DNA. Our culture is contagious, as we push it beyond just the office professionals, integrating it into every job function throughout the organization. We have an amazing team here at Winston, passionate and willing to help beyond their daily responsibilities,” says Shaun Tanner. “Val has done an amazing job of reshaping our company and preparing it for the next level of steady growth in the future. While there is certainly still work to be done, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to take over from her now, while the company is primed to do great things.”