French Oil Mill Machinery Co. exec Daniel French dies at age 79

Oct. 19, 2023
His daughter, Tayte French Lutz, was recently named as CEO of the company to succeed him, and now serves as the fourth-generation family leader of the company.
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Daniel Phelps French, who served as the chairman and CEO of French Oil Mill Machinery Co. over a career that spanned half a century, has died, just weeks after the company’s board named his daughter, Tayte French Lutz, CEO.

According to an obituary published by Jamieson & Yannucci Funeral Home in his hometown of Piqua, Ohio, French died Oct. 13 at the age of 79. In addition to working at his family’s business, which makes hydraulic presses, rubber mixers, oilseed and polymer processing equipment, he had served in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. In 1968, he served in Vietnam as a member of a special operations unit.

He was a member of the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, American Oil Chemists Society and Ohio Manufacturers' Association, among other professional organizations.

On Sept. 21, the board of French Oil Mill Machinery named French Lutz, who had served as VP, to CEO. At that time, her father was still serving as chairman of the board, while French Lutz served as vice chairwoman.

French Lutz represents the fourth generation of leadership within the French family since the company’s establishment in 1900. She joined the business in 2010, working in various aspects of the business, from marketing, brand management and community involvement to operations and strategic planning.