Bill Loeble is a family man, raising one of his own with his wife, Diane, and helping to guide another family’s business to prosperity and global relevance.
Loeble is retiring after a 20-year career at Mansfield-based Beaver Manufacturing, where he helped grow the company as its vice president and chief operating officer.
Beaver officials held a retirement dinner and reception for Loeble Friday evening at Burge Club, telling tales of his personal integrity and professional success and sending him away with gifts, including a plaque, a decorative plate with a beaver painting, a new cellphone and a brand new home computer – with the promise of free setup, courtesy of the company’s IT professionals.
Edward W. Needham, Beaver’s president and son of the company’s founder, the late Edward R. Needham, said Loeble joined a company with a good foundation but a lot of opportunity for growth.
"We were the market leader. We had a lot of growing, we had a lot of maturing to do, but he has built on those fundamentals, and we are so much stronger today than we were 20 years ago," Needham said. "It’s truly a testament to just what a great manager and person that Bill is. Bill, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Loeble is such a valuable part of the company that he was recently named to Beaver’s board of directors, the only non-family member to ever be given that honor.
Among Loeble’s contributions was overseeing significant expansion, including the building of Beaver’s second and third manufacturing plants, said Needham.
He made numerous improvements to company operations, including overseeing the building of the company’s own twisting facility for the varied yarn products it makes – Beaver specializes in treating yarn for use in a variety of hose applications, from simple garden hoses to large industrial uses.
However, Michael Dubin, Beaver’s vice president of operations, and Needham said Loeble is an even more remarkable person.
"Bill is a family man, first and foremost," Dubin said. "You can hear him talk about his kids (son, Dexter and daughter, Janet), now you can hear him talk about his grandkids, and he’s absolutely a family man."
Loeble is or has been involved in dozens of organizations over the years, including trade groups and local business groups, including the local Chamber, as well as numerous nonprofits, including the Arts Association in Newton County, the Covington Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, and Toastmasters International. Loeble serves as a trustee of Presbyterian College in South Carolina and was part of the Georgia Perimeter College steering committee that helped bring a campus to Newton County.
However, the group he might be most passionate about is the Boy Scouts of America. Loeble has been a part of the Boy Scouts for 59 years, including receiving two of its highest honors, the Silver Antelope and, in an interesting coincidence, the Silver Beaver.
For his part, Loeble expressed appreciation and surprise. Used to being in charge, Loeble was left in the dark about what would happen Friday, though he promised the organizers, "I’m going to get you."
"Beaver is more than a business; it’s a family, and it’s been a family long before I got here. I’ll forever be indebted and thankful to Ed and the entire Beaver family. Over 20 years ago, they took a chance and hired some unknown manager and entrusted their company to him, and I’ll never forget that.
"I guess at this point I’ll consider myself a keeper."
However, Loeble was quick to credit his staff for his own success.
"We did it; we did it together," he said.
"I hope I paved the way for others to follow and leave this business better than I found it. I know Beaver is poised and ready to go to heights yet unknown."