Dan Buescher, longtime board member for Empac Group, passed the torch to Gerald Sill of Sullivan to serve as the organization’s new president.

The changeover occurred at the recent annual meeting of the board of directors.

Buescher joined the board of directors for Sheltered Workshops Inc. in Washington in 1978 and served as the board’s president from 1986 to 2013 when Sheltered Workshops Inc. merged with Sheltered Industries of the Meremac Valley in Sullivan to form Empac Group.

Buescher served as the president of the Empac Group board for one year.

“I am thrilled that Gerry (Sill) is willing to step up in a leadership role,” said Buescher following the elections.

“I have enjoyed working with Gerry on this board and value his abilities, knowledge and passion for our mission,” he said. “The merger was a pretty big deal and it will take continued dedication and innovation for us to grow and change over time.”

Bob Koch, COO and former workshop manager in Washington, said Buescher has served numerous roles in the organization’s history and along with several others has given more than 35 years of his time and talent.

“He has helped us through some difficult times and was a key leader for us in the newly formed organization,” Koch said. “While he steps down from the president position, he will remain a member of the board and provide much needed guidance and support for the next several years.”

Empac Group is the result of the January 2013 merger of the sheltered workshops in Sullivan and Washington. The organization provides facility-based employment and employment services for individuals with disabilities.

Today, Empac employs 240 individuals in the two facilities and has assisted 39 individuals to find success in competitive, community-based employment.

Empac board members are Gerry Sill, president,; Dave Lenau, vice president; Joyce Oberle, secretary, Don Conrad, treasurer, Daniel Buescher, former president; and Jack Blanton, Grace Burnett, Carla Cooper, Louella Emery, Connie Lutz, Bob Rhoads, Elda Seener, Ron Tobben and Laury West, all directors.