Blain's Farm & Fleet President Robert Blain retiring in June

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Andrea Anderson
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

JANESVILLE—The president of Blain's Farm & Fleet and Blain Supply is retiring June 25 after serving the company for 38 years.

Robert Blain, president, CEO and co-owner of the companies, announced his retirement Tuesday in a presentation to Blain Supply employees, according to a company news release.

His sister, Jane Blain Gilbertson, has assumed the role of president, CEO and sole owner of the big box store and Blain Supply.

Robert has been president for 20 years after his father, Bert Blain, died in 1993.

“I leave here firmly believing that these companies are well on their way to a very bright future, and Jane will continue to provide the stewardship for the people who depend on it for their livelihood and the communities that it serves,” Blain said in a statement to employees.

She was previously a co-owner and executive vice president.

While Robert Blain was president, the company opened seven new stores. There are 35 Blain's Farm and Fleet stores in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, the release states.

In 1993, the companies had 2,787 employees. They now have 4,000 employees, according to the release.

"This has always been a family business, and it will continue to be a strong, family-owned business. It was especially important to Robert, me and our respective families that we remain a close family, as well, through this transition, which we have already accomplished,” Blain Gilbertson said at the end of the employee presentation.

She wished her brother a happy retirement.

“My wish for Robert is continued health and happiness in this next chapter of his life,” she said.

Brothers W.C. “Claude” Blain and N.B. “Bert” Blain founded Blain's Farm & Fleet in 1955.

The retail store is a division of the Farm and Fleet Corporations, which also includes Blain Supply.

The Janesville based store sells a variety of items, including clothing, farm and gardening supplies, furniture and automotive items, and offers services such as auto repair.

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