Hodgdon Powder Company announced today that Steven M. Kehrwald is taking over the firm’s helm as president and CEO. He’s only the third person to assume those roles in Hodgdon’s storied 70-year history.
Kehrwald’s management experience includes stints with some of the firearms industry’s legendary manufacturers, including Beretta USA, Federal Premium, Winchester Ammunition and Vista Outdoor. That background provides him the knowledge needed to assume his new role at Hodgdon Powder Company and further its impressive growth, from a startup in 1947 to the largest supplier of smokeless, blackpowder and blackpowder substitute propellants in the United States today.
“I am extremely excited to join the Hodgdon family and the entire Hodgdon team to create an even more dynamic and customer-centric Hodgdon that supports the handloading community around the world,” Kehrwald said. “As a longtime member of the shooting sports industry, I have developed a deep appreciation for Hodgdon’s people, values and heritage and look forward to working together with the Hodgdon team.”
“We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Hodgdon for the future,” brothers J.B. and Bob Hodgdon said. “Steve Kehrwald is a terrific choice to lead our company during this transformative period for the shooting industry and the reloading space. His track record of building brands, energizing teams, and creating shareholder value makes him an ideal fit for our unique, customer-centered culture. We are thrilled to welcome him to Hodgdon to lead us into the future.”
Former President and CEO Tom Shepherd will be providing his expertise in a consulting role through Dec. 30. At that time, he will retire and transition into the Board of Directors chairman position.
“Tom has been our chief executive officer for nearly 15 years, serving in this role since 2002,” Bob Hodgdon, current chairman of the board, said in December when the pending change was initially announced. “In his tenure, Tom has lead us to record sales growth and positioned Hodgdon for the future. We have been working on this succession plan for some time now, and the entire Hodgdon family, the Hodgdon board and all Hodgdon employees are excited for Tom as he prepares for the next stage of his career with Hodgdon.”