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Published October 29, 2010, 08:49 PM

CEO Of Arctic Cat In TRF Ready To Retire

62-year-old Chris Twomey remembers the beginnings of Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls.

The long-time CEO of a company employing around 13-hundred people, based in Thief River Falls is retiring.

Chris Twomey has been with the company for 27 years.

Despite the recent tough economy, Twomey says Arctic Cat is going strong and it's the right time for him to leave.

"Now's just the time for some new leadership," Twomey said.

62-year-old Chris Twomey remembers the beginnings of Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls.

"August of 1983 we had, that was our first month of production when we reopened this plant which was a tremendously exciting time for Thief River because the prior company Arctic Enterprises had gone bankrupt."

Twomey has been the CEO of Arctic Cat for 27 years and although the company has grown quite a bit over that time, there are still ups and downs.

"We make things that people want, not need and so when the economy goes through the cycle we've seen it through now and when unemployment is as high as it is. It's very tough on the retail sales of snowmobiles and ATV's," Twomey said.

Despite having to make a cuts over the past couple years, Twomey says the company is in good shape.

"The company has grown dramatically. We started out as a snowmobile company, and today we're an ATV company in terms of revenue and a snowmobile company after that."

Starting out with just 99 employees in 1983, the plant now employs around 13-hundred people. A growing company Twomey will be a part of through the end of December.

"If we weren't in as good of a position we are now, if I didn't feel comfortable where we were financially, if I didn't feel comfortable about the leadership succession I wouldn't be in any rush to retire. This is just the right time."

Twomey says he's not sure what he wants to do after he retires, but he will still be involved with Arctic Cat.

54-year-old Claude Jordan, who has been president and chief operating officer for two years, will replace Twomey as CEO.

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