Beard Land & Investment Co. announces John C. Bienvenu as new Board Chair, and Bruce Rueppel, Lon Van Gemert and Ronald Naess as new Board Directors

MODESTO, Calif. (June 3, 2019)—Beard Land & Investment Co. and its subsidiary companies, Modesto & Empire Traction Company and Beard Land Improvement Company, announced today that John C. Bienvenu has been elected as the next chair of the Beard Board of Directors, succeeding previous chair Richard A. Sipos.  Bienvenu is an attorney and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Bienvenu has been a member of Beard’s board since May 2011.
“I am honored to serve as Chair of the Beard companies and continue the work of my immediate predecessor, Richard Sipos,” said Bienvenu.  “My grandfather John Beard was one of ten brothers and sisters that founded these companies nearly one hundred years ago.  Our commitment to our customers, our employees and our family shareholders has not wavered over that time and I look forward to helping Beard and our talented and dedicated management team led by Dillon Olvera continue its mission.”
Dillon Olvera succeeded Ronald S. Jackson as Beard’s President and Chief Executive Officer in 2018.  He previously served as Beard’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Before coming to Beard, Olvera served as Chief Financial Officer for Innov8 Partners and as Vice President, Finance for 5.11.  He lives in Turlock, California.
Olvera added, “Beard is a tremendous business with its solid group of employees, supportive Board of Directors, and strong customer base.  I am really excited about having the opportunity to work with the team and lead Beard into the next stages of strategic development.”
Beard is also pleased to announce that its shareholders have elected three new Directors: Bruce Rueppel, Lon Van Gemert and Ronald Naess.
Bruce Rueppel is a partner with Guard Hill Holdings, a private equity firm focused on middle market industrial businesses in the general industrial and transportation-related industries.  He lives in Granite Bay, California.
Lon Von Gemert has had a long career in the rail industry, most recently serving as CEO of Progressive Rail, Inc., a Class III railroad operating several separate branches in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri.  He lives in Woodbury, Minnesota.
Ronald Naess is a member of the Beard family whose great-grandmother Edna was one of the company’s original founders.  He is retired from a career as a systems and informational technology manager and lives in Logan, Utah.
About Beard
Beard is a family-owned corporation founded in 1926 consisting of two operating companies: Beard Land Improvement Company (“BLIC”) and the Modesto & Empire Traction Company (“MET”).  BLIC owns, develops and manages the Beard Industrial District, a 2,000-acre industrial park in Modesto, CA which consists of over 30 warehouses and 300 acres of open land available for development.  BLIC also owns several industrial and commercial properties elsewhere in California, including properties in Galt, Palm Desert, Roseville, San Diego, and Walnut Creek. MET is a Class III short line railroad with numerous customers in the Beard Industrial District and provides rail shipping to all the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico through daily interchanges with two Class I railroads, BNSF Railway and Union Pacific.   Through the years, steady growth and successful investments have made the Beard companies into a model for a responsible and profitable business.  Beard continues as a family-owned corporation with over 160 shareholders.
For further information, please contact:
Dillon Olvera at or (209) 557-2712
John C. Bienvenu at or (505) 982-3813 

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