Apr. 09, 2008 Print This | Email This     

Vowler to Retire From Hershey Trust Next Year

HERSHEY, Pa., Apr. 09 /PRNewswire/ --

HERSHEY, Pa., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert C. Vowler, President and CEO of Hershey Trust Company, and Hershey Trust Chairman LeRoy S. Zimmerman, together announced today that Vowler will retire in April 2009.

"Helping to lead the preservation and advancement of Milton Hershey's ongoing philanthropy has been the privilege of a lifetime," Vowler said. "But after 12 years as President and CEO, and 22 years total service with the Trust, it is time for me to begin moving toward a new chapter of life."

"We are grateful to Rob for his service, and grateful to him for the methodical and prudent manner in which we will implement his retirement," said Zimmerman. "Rob has administered the leadership of the Trust in the same way the Trust seeks to shepherd Mr. Hershey's assets -- with a calm and steady hand, and a determined resolve to achieve positive results regardless of changing circumstances."

Mr. Vowler will retire April 30, 2009. He will serve until that time as an ongoing advisor to the Trust. As Mr. Vowler scales back his duties, two longtime Hershey Trust executives will assume more substantial roles. Vincent B. Rudisill, the Trust's Chief Investment Officer, will serve as executive of the Milton Hershey School Trust. Mr. Rudisill has been with the Trust since 1976. And Andrew G. Keefer, Vice President, Director of Personal Trust Investments and Assistant Secretary, will serve as interim executive of the Trust's services to individual and institutional investors. Mr. Keefer has been with the Trust since 1985.

Mr. Vowler's Hershey career began in 1980 with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trust. He rose steadily, becoming the Trust's President & CEO in 1996. Mr. Vowler also serves as President of the M.S. Hershey Foundation, and as a member of the boards of directors of the Hershey Trust and the Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company. Mr. Vowler is stepping down from those positions now.

"The Trust's success under Rob's watch is well documented," Zimmerman said. "And it extends beyond the Trust's financial success. Rob has given great care to enhancing Mr. Hershey's cherished physical assets -- from the Hershey Theatre, the Hershey Museum and Highpoint, to adding more than 1,000 acres of local land to the Trust's real-estate portfolio. And he has played a key role in attracting talent to help lead the Hershey entities. He will begin his transition to retirement knowing the Trust is stronger than when he assumed the reins."

"Great organizations regard leadership transitions as inevitable companions of long-term success," Zimmerman said. "That is how we are approaching Rob's well-deserved retirement. The Trust's ongoing strength and stability flows from its success and its 100-year mission, which in turn is larger than any one of us. That is why we are all so confident in our continued success."

About Hershey Trust Company

Hershey Trust Company, founded by Milton S. Hershey in 1905, is wholly owned by the Milton Hershey School Trust. In 1909, Milton Hershey created the Milton Hershey School Trust and appointed Hershey Trust Company as its trustee to provide investment management and administration for the School Trust. Mr. Hershey established the Milton Hershey School and School Trust to provide for the health, education and welfare of orphaned boys. The School's original enrollment was ten students. Today, more than 100 years later, the School has an enrollment of approximately 1,700 children in need, with an equal mix of boys and girls. Enrollment is expected to grow to 2,000 students over the next several years.

Because of Hershey Trust Company's consistent, superior investment management of Milton Hershey's original funding of 486 acres of land and $60 million in Hershey Chocolate Company stock, the School Trust's assets have grown to a value of nearly $7 billion today and more than 10,000 acres of land. To help finance its philanthropic operations, the Trust offers its investment expertise to discerning individual and institutional investors, enabling them to participate in the same investment disciplines and strategies that have produced such outstanding results for the Milton Hershey School Trust.

Contact: Tim Reeves Neiman Group (717)-232-5554 treeves@neimangroup.com

Hershey Trust Company

CONTACT: Tim Reeves of Neiman Group, +1-717-232-5554,
treeves@neimangroup.com, for Hershey Trust Company

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