David Withall, Chief Executive Officer of Miner Enterprises, Inc. for 24 years and a 53-year company veteran, has died after a brief illness. He was 78.
Withall began working at Miner Enterprises in 1970, and in 1979 became President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1999 he became CEO, a position he held until his passing.
“During his tenure as the fourth CEO and Chairman of the privately owned, 129-year-old manufacturing company based in Geneva, Ill., Withall oversaw a dynamic period of innovation, diversification and growth for Miner,” the company said. “A leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of railcar components—including draft gears, brake beams, side bearings, running boards, outlet gates and rapid discharge systems—Miner products are utilized by railroads and freight car builders the world over.”
“Under David’s leadership, Miner has been able to compete, grow and win market share against billion-dollar-backed competitors,” said Ric Biehl, President and General Manager of the W.H. Miner Division. “He empowered all of us to adopt an innovation-driven mindset, and to explore new, inventive ways to collaborate with our customers throughout the product development process.”
The result, according to Miner Executive Director of Global Sales William O’Donnell, “is a company culture hallmarked by deep relationships and a very personal approach to solving customer problems. People have equated the Miner brand experience with engineering leadership, product excellence and trust since the company’s founding by W.H. Miner in 1894. David was an astute believer in the value of that history and in extending that reputation.”
Under Withall’s guidance, the company noted, Miner Enterprises grew and added several subsidiary operations, including railcar brake beams, plastic pellet outlet gates, material handling lifts, swing door securement products, industrial grating and running boards, and a wide range of patented TecsPak elastomer products serving automotive, mining and other energy management applications.