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High names Armstrong exec to succeed Cooley as CEO

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Nevin Cooley, left, will retire from High Companies in 2015; Michael Shirk will take his place as CEO-elect in November, then CEO as of Jan. 1, 2015.
Nevin Cooley, left, will retire from High Companies in 2015; Michael Shirk will take his place as CEO-elect in November, then CEO as of Jan. 1, 2015. - (Photo / Submitted)

The High Companies said today that Michael F. Shirk will replace Nevin Cooley as CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Cooley announced in June that he will retire from the East Lampeter Township-based company in 2015. Shirk will begin as CEO-elect on Nov. 3.

Shirk is vice president of architectural specialties worldwide at Armstrong World Industries and responsible for managing sales, engineering and manufacturing in North America, Europe and Asia.

High, which was No. 3 on the Business Journal’s Top 100 Private Companies list in 2013, finished last year with $515.6 million in revenue. That was down from $595.9 million in 2012. High is the largest privately held company in Lancaster County.

Shirk has been a member of the High boards of directors since 2011. He is also on the board of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.

A Lancaster resident, Shirk has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.

Cooley has been with High since 1986. He has served as CEO since 2012.

In April, the company’s construction division lost its president and COO. Jeff Sterner, president and COO of High Industries Inc., is overseeing High Construction Co. in the interim.

High spokesman Dave Nicholas said the company was planning an announcement on the Shirk hire this afternoon. Check back for more information.

John Hilton

John Hilton

John Hilton covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at johnh@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JHilton32. Circle John Hilton on .

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