Union Products Inc. has been sold to a group of four employees, including Don Featherstone, who decades ago sculpted the Leominster, Mass., company's best-known product: the pink flamingo. The sale closed in late June, Featherstone revealed in a July 18 telephone interview. The new owners bought the company from James Sullivan and George Progin, two men who founded the lawn-ornament molder shortly after World War II.
``They were like fathers to me,'' Featherstone said of Sullivan and Progin, who have retired.
Employment at the blow molding company varies depending on the season. The company currently has about 160 employees during the slow summer months.
Since Featherstone joined the company in 1957, he has sculpted dozens of lawn figures. The Union Products pink flamingo turns 40 next year.
``The company will stay in Leominster,'' Featherstone said. ``Other buyers wanted to move it. None of us wanted to lose the jobs for the people that work here.''
Terms were not disclosed.
Featherstone becomes president, but he also will continue as sales manager and sculptor. The other new owners are:
*Dennis Plante, an 18-year Union Products employee, who becomes vice president and chief information officer. He will boost information-gathering technology at the plant.
*Edward Boudreau, vice president and manager of operations, a 22-year veteran. He had been fabrication manager, personnel manager and been in charge of plant safety and health insurance.
*Jim Jarosz, vice president and treasurer. He worked at Union Products 25 years ago as floor boy while attending college, then served as an accountant at a number of companies.