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MANUFACTURING


GREGORY H. TREPP PRESIDENT AND CEO, HAMILTON BEACH BRANDS HOLDING CO., GLEN ALLEN


With more than 20 years in senior management, Trepp oversees Hamilton Beach Brands, which designs and sells kitchen and other small household appliances — more than 34 million a year, it says — as well as commercial products. About half of the company’s 500 U.S. employees


work in Henrico County, where Hamilton Beach bases its product design and runs a test kitchen. Approximately 200 other employees work in Canada, China and Mexico. Brands include Proctor Silex and Wolf Gourmet. Company revenue was down 1.3% in 2020 to $603.7 million. A University of Richmond graduate who earned his MBA from the University of Connecticut, Trepp


joined Hamilton Beach in 1996 and became president and CEO in 2010. When the business was spun off from NACCO Industries Inc. in 2017, Trepp became president and CEO of the holding company, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange. One of Trepp’s strategies for 2021 is expanding into health and wellness. The company cites air purification and water filtration as examples, announcing in June that it was launching a line of air purifiers under a licensing agreement with The Clorox Co.


NEIL D. WILKIN JR. CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, OPTICAL CABLE CORP., ROANOKE


JO VANHOREN PRESIDENT, CEO AND CLUSTER PRESIDENT, NORTH AMERICA, ALFA LAVAL INC., RICHMOND


Vanhoren oversees the North American operations of Alfa Laval, which represents 10% of the Swedish company’s workforce. The compo- nent manufacturer employs about 1,700 people in the United States and operates 34 manufacturing and service locations. Vanhoren has spent his career with the company, joining Alfa Laval aſter studying engineering in Belgium. He spent five years with the company in Italy, then moved to Spain, where he became managing director and cluster president, South Europe. He was named president and CEO of Alfa Laval and cluster president, North America, in March 2018.


The company makes a variety of components that regulate the transfer of heat and fluids, including filters, pumps and exchangers. In 2019, Vanhoren oversaw a $50 million expan- sion that included adding a production line to Alfa Laval’s Henrico County facility, which moved most of the production of a heat exchanger to the United States. A new area of interest will be energy storage solu-


tions, Vanhoren recently told CEO Magazine. He also calls sustainability the “next wave of diversification.”


Wilkin has been with Optical Cable Corp. for 20 years, overseeing the company that makes and sells fiber optic and copper communication cabling and offers other connectivity solutions — including specialty applications that can withstand harsh environments. Wilkin has been on an efficiency mission, working to control costs and counter the pandemic’s effects. Aſter taking a revenue hit in 2019, the company saw a 22.5% decrease in consolidated net sales to $55.3 million for 2020. But Wilkin noted that the company came through for military and front-line workers. A University of Virginia graduate,


Wilkin stayed with the university to earn his law degree from the School of Law and his MBA from the Darden School of Business. Aſter practicing law at McGuireWoods LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, he became chief financial officer for an online-based real estate brokerage. He joined Optical Cable in 2001 as CFO and senior vice president and was named chairman and CEO in 2003. Wilkin serves on the boards of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation and Roanoke- based Carilion Clinic.


JAMES XU CHAIRMAN, AVAIL VAPOR LLC, BLACKBRIAR REGULATORY SERVICES LLC, BLACKSHIP TECHNOLOGIES LLC, CHESTERFIELD COUNTY


Before Virginia legalized recreational marijuana possession this year, the markets for hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol, or CBD, were taking shape. Xu seemed to have known change was on the horizon, founding Avail Vapor in 2013. Based in Chesterfield County, the company makes liquid for e-cigarettes and CBD products to be sold at its 98 retail locations across 12 states. The company employs approximately 200 people. With Virginia’s new laws allowing adults to grow their own marijuana plants, the company also has created “all-in-one seed to harvest” at-home grow kits. Xu is a graduate of Old Dominion University. His sister, Ting Xu, founded the home decor and giſt business Evergreen Enterprises, which he worked on for a time. He is now chairman of Avail and two sister businesses — Blackship, an R&D com- pany, and Blackbriar, which provides contract manufacturing and FDA compliance consulting. During the pandemic, Blackbriar pivoted to manufacture face masks.


136 VIRGINIA 500


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