• Volume 18 Number 2
    Spring 2009


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20. & 21.
Larry Wettschurack, BS ’86, MS ’92
Kathy Wettschurack, MS ’92
 Warsaw, Ind.  •  Profiled: Spring ’99

Machinery manufacturers

Even in college, Larry Wettschurack and Kathy Peterson knew they would one day own their own business. That they would do it as husband and wife didn’t become evident until Larry proposed in 1986.

“We always anticipated being one of the principals in a business,” Larry says. “In college, we always thought it would be in the agriculture arena. As we became upperclassmen, we understood the agriculture degree was well-suited for many industries.”

Their careers are testimony to that statement. Both worked for Dole at a pineapple plantation in Hawaii. Later, Larry was a manager for a company that sold office furniture electrical systems and Kathy was a design engineer at Tyler Machinery in Warsaw, Ind., where Larry became sales manager in 1994.gear

The Wettschuracks purchased Tyler Machinery in 1996 and renamed it Warsaw Machinery to focus on technology-driven products. Warsaw Machinery designs and manufactures woodworking and metalworking machinery.

They have been working to grow the company and their family (they have two children, Kyle, 14, and Ryan, 11) ever since. Larry is president, handling administrative responsibilities and sales. Kathy is executive vice president with design, research and development, and customer service responsibilities. Annual sales are approaching $5 million.

“We did not think our business would be the manufacture of high-end machine tools, but the business has turned out to be a good fit for our skill set,” Kathy says.

It is a skill set they hone every day, but that first began to develop at Purdue.

“During my Purdue days, I did not understand how privileged my classmates and I were to have the opportunity to further our academic and social education,” Larry says. “The College of Agriculture understands that the maturation process involves more than just academic accomplishments.”

“Success at the university level taught me that working smart and understanding available resources will give you an opportunity to be successful at whatever path you choose,” Kathy adds.

But if you are fortunate enough to own your own business, Larry advises, there will be no traditional climb up the corporate ladder.

“Neither of us has had a promotion in 10 years,” he jokes.