Rare chat with The Andersons CEO - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Rare chat with The Andersons CEO

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The Andersons was named to the list of America's 500 biggest companies last year, doing business all over the globe. It's a company that has been firmly rooted in our community for more than 60 years. 13abc's Lissa Guyton had a rare chance to sit down with the Chairman and CEO Mike Anderson after he spoke to the Toledo Rotary Club on Monday.

Most of you have shopped at The Andersons General Stores but that is a tiny part of the massive, multi-billion dollar operation. The company has 90 locations in 19 states as well as Puerto Rico with more than 3,000 employees. The first thing most of you probably think of when it comes to The Andersons is the General Stores, "At its peak, retail was probably about 15% of our business but our agricultural has grown considerably. Grain, ethanol, a rail leasing company, so our retail sales today only make up about 2% of our company sales."

Grain is the bulk of the business. In fact, The Andersons is one of the top ten grain elevator companies in the United States. There are a total of six business units for the company. That includes grain, retail, ethanol, rail, turf and specialty and plant nutrient. The company makes things that might surprise you, "We manufacture cob litter out of corn cobs. It is the fastest growing alternative cat litter to clay. We also make some very interesting industrial products out of fertilizer . Roadway and runway de-icers are examples."

The company was started by Mike Anderson's grandfather in 1947 but it went public nearly two decades ago, "We've been public for 18 years and that was a significant change. There is family involvement with the leadership and obviously at the top spot but we are not a family owned company anymore." Even with that change, many things have stayed the same, including the core values his grandfather built the business on, "Through thick and thin no matter how tough it is there has to be a level of commitment that you will take the high road when it comes to all the stake holders involved in your business."

Last year The Andersons had revenues of 5.6 billion. As many of you know, The Anderson family and the company have been extremely generous to a number of causes in our community. According to Mike Anderson over the last 60 years more than 60 million has been donated to charity.

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