Bill Bastian Sr. to retire after more than 63 years in the material handling industry

Bastian took over operations of what was then called Stark Company before purchasing the business in 1962.

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Bill Bastian Sr., current employee and former owner and board member of Bastian Solutions, is announcing his retirement from the company at the age of 88. His final day with Bastian Solutions will be December 31, 2018.

Bastian joined the material handling industry in 1955 after spending four years in the Coast Guard and serving aboard the USS Cosco. Upon completion of his service, he returned to Indiana to finish a final year at Depauw University before joining what was then called the Stark Company owned by his father-in-law, Elgan Stark. As part of a four-person team, Bastian supported many roles at the Stark Company including accounting and sales.

In 1958, he took over operations of the Stark Company before officially purchasing the business in 1962. During that time, the company began to expand its material handling product offerings to include conveyor, racking systems and ergonomic lifts. Bastian sold the company to his son, Bill Bastian II, in 1992 and has since continued an active role, mentoring new employees and managing several key accounts for the company.

“I have been blessed with a fulfilling career in which I have seen incredible changes in the material handling industry,” Bastian Sr. said. “When I started my career, the industry was primarily focused on conventional products, but over my tenure, I have witnessed the exponential growth of automation, robotics and digital technologies. What once was simple movement of products has turned into an industry that impacts all facets of our daily lives. It will be exciting to see what innovations come next.”

In recent years, Bastian Solutions has focused its efforts on research and development, expanding its Exacta software and ZiPline Conveyor brands as well as adding new products such mobile robotics, autonomous vehicles, internet of things asset trackers and composite pallets. In 2017, the company was acquired by Toyota Advanced Logistics and celebrated a record year of revenues at more than $233 million USD.

“Our company has seen tremendous growth and opportunity through the years,” said Bastian II, CEO of Bastian Solutions. “We owe that success to the foundation my father set and the leadership he provided throughout his career. Early on, he could see the potential of this industry, and he had a passion for the company, its people and what our industry could do to improve the lives of others. We will miss his day-to-day presence in the office but look forward to carrying his legacy and work ethic through many more years of success.”


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