PIQUA, Ohio —This has already been a golden year for Daniel French.
The French Oil Mill Machinery Company chairman and CEO celebrated his 50th year with the fourth-generation, family owned manufacturing company this month.
French joined the company in 1971 as a machine tool operator, working his way up to become the third generation of the French family to serve as president, a role he held from 1982-2013.
On Feb. 9, U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson surprised French with an on-site visit, presenting him with a framed copy of the remarks made in the Congressional Record honoring his career and service.
On Feb. 11, during an all-company meeting, Tayte French Lutz—the company's director of marketing, corporate secretary and treasurer—presented her father with letters of congratulations from U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Manufacturers Association president Ryan Augsburger and multiple company board members. He also received a proclamation from Piqua mayor Kris Lee, and a certificate of service from the company.
"Under Dan's 50 years of leadership, French Oil Mill Machinery Co. has experienced growth through the emphasized core values of customer-first and continuous innovation, supplying custom equipment built to last for customers around the world," the company said in a statement. "Throughout his career, Dan's business management and efforts have improved the lives of countless employees and colleagues."
French joined the U.S. Air Force in 1966 as a second lieutenant. He served five years active duty, including service in Vietnam, before joining French Oil. He continued his military service in the USAF Reserve until he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1994.
"Southwest Ohio is a better place thanks to people like Dan French," Davidson said.
French Oil Mill Machinery Co. designs and manufactures processing equipment for the oilseed and rubber industries.