Scott Lawhead admits he has some big shoes to fill.
Lawhead, 37, has been named president of The Hite Co. effective Jan. 1, succeeding his father-in-law, R. Lee Hite.
''I am certainly very excited and a bit apprehensive, but we have a talented group of employees I can rely on,'' said Lawhead.
He joined the company in 1998 while completing his master's degree in business administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Hite, who is chief executive officer and president of the company founded by his parents, Robert and Evelyn Hite, as the Penn Central Equipment Co. in 1949, said succession planning and bridging leadership responsibilities were critical components to making the announcement.
''In the spirit of being proactive to make decisions that will best benefit everyone and while looking forward to celebrate our 60th year in business in 2009, I feel this is an opportune time to ensure the continuity of leadership and continue our business with family tradition,'' Hite said.
THE LAWHEAD FILE
Name: Scott Lawhead.
Position: President of The Hite Co., effective Jan. 1.
Education: Graduate of East Pennsboro High School; bachelor's degree from Lehigh University; Master of Science degree from West Virginia University; Masters in Business administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Family: Wife, Laura, and sons: Nathan, 9; Mitchell, 7; and Scott, 5.
Prior to joining The Hite Co., Lawhead worked for two years in the environmental consulting field, holding positions at L. Robert Kimball & Associates and Mountain Research Inc.
A native of Enola and a 1990 graduate of East Pennsboro High School, Lawhead also holds a bachelor's degree from Lehigh University and a master of science degree from West Virginia University. He married Hite's daughter Laura in 1997.
His career at The Hite Co. began with a management trainee position, where he learned all aspects of distributor operations.
''This is a family-run electrical distributor,'' Lawhead said. ''I am not a direct family member but an indirect family member, but I will do my very best to maintain the culture of our organization.''
Lawhead said he does not plan on any strategic changes at the company, which has locations selling lighting and electrical products in 30 counties throughout Pennsylvania, western New York and West Virginia.
''We intend to continue our growth pattern. Over the past 4 1/2 years, we have more than doubled our company. We intend to continue to look at acquisitions and growth opportunities,'' Lawhead said. ''I see our future as strong. We have a reasonably young management team with tremendous experience, some with 20 years and some with 30 years in the industry.''