MGP Ingredients with headquarters in Atchison, Kansas and owners of the MGP Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana has announced the passing of their longtime leader and Chairman Emeritus Cloud L. “Bud” Cray, Jr., at the age of 96. Mr. Cray helped guide the transformation of MGP from an industrial alcohol manufacturer to a leading maker of premium distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches.
Mr. Cray’s Career Spanned Nearly 70 Years
Cray joined MGP as a full-time executive in 1947. He succeeded his father, Cloud L. Cray, Sr., as president in 1962 and held that position until being made chief executive officer and beginning his first term as board chairman in 1980. In 1988, he turned over the role of CEO to his son-in-law, Ladd Seaberg, who succeeded him as president eight years earlier.
On January 1, 1995, Cray retired from internal management of the company, choosing to continue his involvement in MGP through his role on the board. He was succeeded as chairman of the board by Ladd Seaberg in 2006. He resumed his role as chairman in May 2014 and was succeeded by his daughter, Karen Seaberg, at the end of that year.
At the time of his retirement in August 2015 Cray said, “It has been my distinct privilege to serve this great company in a variety of leadership capacities over the past many years. My tenure has been a link between my father, Cloud L. Cray, Sr., who founded the company, and my daughter, Karen, who has so ably succeeded me as board chair. Her husband, Ladd Seaberg, was also an important part of carrying on our family legacy until having to step down due to health issues. I know that Karen will provide outstanding leadership while continuing the Cray family legacy of unyielding devotion to this company and its shareholders, employees and the communities it serves…I look forward to continuing my involvement as chairman emeritus and humbly thank the board for this honor.”
Founded in 1941, MGP is a leading supplier of premium distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches. Distilled spirits include bourbon and rye whiskeys, gins and vodkas, which are expertly crafted through a combination of art and science backed by a long history of experience.
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