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SEL head of manufacturing announces retirement

PULLMAN, Wash.—After 15 years at the helm of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories’ manufacturing operations, Kevin Fritch, vice president of Global Factories is retiring.

Fritch contributed greatly to SEL’s growth by automating many of the company’s manufacturing processes, driving efficiency to keep costs low and expanding the company’s capabilities through vertical integration.

“Kevin has helped SEL grow into one of the finest electronics manufacturers in the world,” said CEO Luis D’Acosta. “In my mind, Kevin personifies manufacturing. His passion for quality, efficiency and process improvement has defined his approach to work and leadership.”

Under Fritch’s leadership, SEL more than tripled its manufacturing capacity at its headquarters in Pullman, Washington, and opened the 253,374 square foot manufacturing facility in Lewiston, Idaho. Fritch helped bring to life hundreds of SEL inventions, which have helped SEL fulfill its mission to make electric power safer, more reliable and more economical.

"It's been a pleasure working with Kevin for 15 years, on process, plastics, world-class manufacturing, expansion in Pullman and Lewiston, and in so many ways,” said SEL President and Founder Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III. “I'm very grateful for his many accomplishments, loyalty, fun attitude, and wish my friend the very best in retirement."

Tony Lee, vice president of Quality, will step into the role of VP of Global Factories. Lee joined SEL in 1991 and has worked in product development and held various engineering leadership roles before leading the Quality Division.

“Tony brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job,” said D’Acosta. “He has extensive hands-on experience designing and building products and working directly with customers. His knowledge of the industry and understanding of customer challenges will help us continue to create the best solutions.”

Fritch and Lee will continue to work together over the next few weeks. “Kevin is leaving behind an impressive legacy of efficiency and quality, a powerful combination,” said Lee. “It has been my pleasure to work closely with and learn from Kevin. I am excited to follow in his footsteps and manage this world-class facility.”

About Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
SEL invents, designs and builds digital products and systems that protect power grids around the world. This technology prevents blackouts and enables customers to improve power system reliability, safety and cost. SEL, a 100 percent employee-owned company that is headquartered in Pullman, Washington, has manufactured products in the United States since 1984 and now serves customers in 149 countries. SEL provides unmatched technical support, customer service and a 10-year worldwide warranty.