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As Gary Schiltz Retires After 40 Years, Food Processing Industry Veteran Tom Vipond Takes the Reins as General Manager of PFI

ALGONA, Iowa, Dec. 16, 2021 – Today, Precision Food Innovations (PFI), a manufacturer of sanitary conveying equipment, announced the retirement of Gary Schiltz after serving 40 years with the company, most recently as general manager. PFI has named Tom Vipond as the new general manager, effective Jan. 3, 2022. Vipond brings more than two decades of experience in the food industry to his new role.

Schiltz was instrumental in establishing PFI as a household name in the food processing industry. Vipond spent 20 years in various roles at PFI, recently returning to the company after a brief departure.

“I’ve met and worked with many outstanding individuals during my tenure here. My thanks to all who’ve contributed to PFI’s success over the years,” said Schiltz. “I’m leaving the company in the extremely capable hands of Tom Vipond, whose vast experience in the food industry, much of it with PFI, will be invaluable as the company navigates the future.”

“I’m beyond excited to lead PFI into its next chapter,” said Vipond. “My focus will be on continuing to grow the company while providing outstanding customer service and leading with empathy. Gary leaves some very big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

In other personnel news, Scott Parker joins PFI as engineering manager, effective immediately. Based in San Antonio, Parker manages both the Algona and San Antonio operations.

Earlier this year, PFI was acquired by Grote Company, an industrial food slicing and assembly equipment manufacturer based in Columbus, Ohio.

About Precision Food Innovations (PFI)

Precision Food Innovations (PFI) specializes in bulk material handling and conveying equipment for the food processing and packaging industries. By meeting customers’ expectations of product performance and delivering on time and budget, PFI is known to be the trustworthy company that is easiest to do business with. We’re committed to the highest sanitary design standards, superior quality control, and customer service and satisfaction. Visit us online at

About Grote Company

Grote Company manufactures reliable, top-quality food slicing and assembly equipment. Our trusted equipment is expertly designed and built strong for pizza, sandwich, and food slicing processors. With a personal touch and enduring commitment to our customers and employees, we collaborate as one team to solve tough problems. We proudly serve not only the equipment we build, but also the people who operate and depend on it. Visit Grote Company online at

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