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Hasting will become CEO of Blain's Farm & Fleet as Jane Blain Gilbertson retires to become its board's executive chair.

Blain’s Farm & Fleet announced three major leadership changes, including its CEO role, on June 19. Mark Hasting will become president and chief executive officer for the Janesville, Wisconsin-based company. In addition, the retailer named Kim Treece as its new chief stores officer.

Hasting’s promotion to the role will happen as part of a succession plan that was already in place at Blain’s. The moves pave the way for CEO Jane Blain Gilbertson to continue on as the board’s executive chair.

Blain Supply, Inc., which operates Blain’s Farm & Fleet stores, is No. 164 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of North America’s leading retailers by online sales. Digital Commerce 360 classifies it as a Mass Merchant.

CEO change at Blain’s Farm & Fleet

Jane Blain Gilbertson, Blain's Farm & Fleet CEO, retiring to become executive board chair

Jane Blain Gilbertson (center), Blain’s Farm & Fleet CEO, retiring to become executive board chair | Photo credit: Blain’s Farm & Fleet

“The most important thing a leader must do is to plan for the organization’s next great leader,” said Jane Blain Gilbertson in a released statement. “This succession plan was put into place four years ago when we hired Mark to join our company as our Chief of Stores.”

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Blain Gilbertson is the daughter of the company’s co-founder, Bert Blain, who started Blain’s Farm & Fleet with his brother, Claude Blain, in 1955. Blain’s has remained family-owned since then. Blain Gilbertson has been with the company since 1985, when she arrived following time at Macy’s. She eventually bought out her brother’s share of the business upon his retirement in 2014, at which point she became its sole owner.

Among the milestones the company lists under Blain Gilbertson’s leadership are growth of its ecommerce business and 10 new store openings, which brought its total presence to 45 stores. Also during that time, employee headcount grew from 3,500 to 5,500.

She voiced confidence in Hasting as the transition takes place.

“From the beginning, the entire company and our vendor partners could see Mark’s character, values, intelligence and love for this business,” Blain Gilbertson stated. “He learned our business quickly through his humility and curiosity, and I was especially pleased to observe his strength for developing others!”

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Mark Hasting’s background before becoming CEO

Blain's Farm & Fleet CEO Mark Hasting

Incoming Blain’s Farm & Fleet CEO Mark Hasting | Photo credit: Blain’s Farm & Fleet

“I am humbled and excited to take on this new role,” Hasting said. “It is my desire to continue the family culture to support the growth of Blain’s Farm & Fleet and our associates.”

Hasting came to Blain’s Farm & Fleet in 2020 after having spent more than two decades in a variety of retail roles. Those positions eventually included group vice president and vice president of store operations at Target. His other positions included regional vice president at Starbucks and chief operating officer at Kum & Go.

“With Mark in the CEO role, I am confident we will continue to grow and thrive as a family-owned company delivering on our promise of making Blain’s a place where life is more rewarding,” Blain Gilbertson stated. “Next year, we will celebrate our 70th anniversary, and I know that we are just getting started.”

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Hasting picked Treece, who has been working at Blain’s as senior vice president of stores, to take over as the new chief stores officer as the transition occurs.

“I chose Kim to fill my previous role due to her enthusiasm and positive influence on store associates,” Hasting said. “Kim has a strong background in retail with 33 years in store and merchandising roles at Walgreens, but it is her compassionate leadership that makes her really shine.”

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