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Norman Brennan, who led one of the plastics industry's few companies with a 100 percent employee stock-ownership plan, has retired to become a consultant.

``I'll be doing a lot of consulting in the ESOP community,'' said Brennan, who stepped down as president and chief executive officer of Dimco-Gray Co. in Centerville, Ohio.

Each year, Dimco-Gray injection and compression molds millions of thermoplastic and thermoset knobs and handles for products such as lawn mowers and excercise equipment.

David Scott, the firm's new president and CEO, assumed those responsibilities in January. Brennan and his firm, Brennan Executive Consulting Inc., will continue to be based at Dimco-Gray's Centerville headquarters until Oct. 31. Then he will work out of his home in Kettering, Ohio.

Currently, Brennan serves as a director on three companies' boards, and is senior vice president of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center and an advisory board member of the Northeast Ohio Employee Ownership Center—both located at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Meanwhile, Dimco-Gray is closing a plant in Troy, Ohio, and consolidating that molding operation 35 miles away in Centerville, Scott said. He said employee-owners voted to approve the reorganization, done to improve flexibility, use company resources better and reduce overhead costs.

The Troy plant employed 23. Four transferred to Centerville, and Dimco-Gray will replace some others from the local work force, said Scott. The net loss will be about 10 positions, he added.

Dimco-Gray bought the Troy factory soon after forming its ESOP in 1986. Management and unionized employees formed the ESOP when the company faced a possible breakup as its owner, Dan Gray, planned to retire. Then a few years into the effort, longtime President Jim Rush died. The company was losing money. Morale declined.

Brennan joined as president and CEO in 1989 and helped return the company to profitability.

Brennan has 40-plus years of experience in plastics, including management stints at former Illinois housewares molder Sevko Inc.; Baxter Travenol Laboratories Inc. in Round Lake, Ill.; Detroit Plastic Molding Co. of Roseville, Mich.; Ford Motor Co. in Milan, Mich. and Foster Grant Co. in Leominster, Mass.

Scott had joined the company in September 1996 as chief operating officer. He became president and CEO Jan. 5. He was president of Teledyne Mecca, a unit of Teledyne Inc.