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Kropf Lumber president retires after 44 years

Kerry Krehbiel, who has been an executive at Hesston, Kan.-based Kropf Lumber for 44 years, has retired from his position as president.

Kropf Lumber, a member of the Do it Best co-op, has been in business for 60 years. Krehbiel started as an assistant manager at the 3,200-square-foot store in 1964, and was promoted to president in 1990 -- the same year a tornado tore through Hesston and destroyed the store and warehouse.

Under Krehbiel’s guidance, Kropf built a new store almost three times as large, reopening in January 1992. Kropf now has 36 full-time employees and continues to serve central Kansas with lumber and building materials.

“One of Kerry’s trademarks is being able to take whatever comes his way and make the best of it,” said Mel Diller, Kropf’s vp. “He’s somebody who leads by example. He wouldn’t ask somebody to do something that he wasn’t willing to do.”

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