Baxley Equipment

Your Source for Sawmill Technology

Shareholders - Our Greatest Asset

Baxley Equipment Company was started in 2004 by long-time partners Chris Raybon, Pat Conry and Russell Kennedy. A group was put together early in 2005 to purchase the assets of Hi-Tech Electronics. The group included thirteen shareholder employees and key members of the Hi-Tech team; Paul Caple, Ronnie Clem, Lamar Currington, John Oliver, Joey Rogers, Donna Smith, Jada Smith, Philip Stevens, Darrell Taylor, Chris Taylor and Andy Trantham. One year later, this group purchased the remaining assets of Hi-Tech.

According to President, Russell Kennedy, “The employee ownership of Baxley Equipment makes us unique as an O.E.M. in the forest products equipment business. We have found that this ownership interest gives the customer a big advantage and has stepped up the level of service that we were able to provide in the past.”

Meet our shareholder employees:

Russell Kennedy

Russell Kennedy

| President & CEO

University of Arkansas - BSME - 1979
Registered Professional Engineer - Arkansas

Baxley Equipment Company, Hot Springs, AR (2004-Present)

An Arkansas based, privately held corporation founded in 2004 specializing in the design and manufacturing of computerized sawmill equipment.  Major market areas include the Southeastern U.S.  Manufacturing facilities in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Baxley, Georgia currently employ over 100 people. 

  • Oct, 2004 – Joined Baxley Equipment in an ownership position as President overseeing engineering and operations of sawmill equipment manufacturing facility in Baxley, GA.
  • Feb, 2005 – Baxley Equipment purchased the “electronics” assets of Hi-Tech Engineering, our previous business.
  • Feb, 2006 – Baxley Equipment purchased the remaining assets of Hi-Tech Engineering in Hot Springs, AR.
  • Jan, 2008 – Baxley Equipment formed a subsidiary (Price LogPro, LLC) and purchased the assets of Price Systems, Inc. a manufacturer chipmill and woodyard equipment.
The Church at Crossgate Center, Hot Springs, AR (2001-2004)

Served in a full-time staff position  in a voluntary capacity as Project Director – New Facilities in relocating a 100 year old church (Second Baptist) to a new 133,000 sqft, $16.5MM facility on a 75 acre campus setting.

 

Hi-Tech Engineering, Inc., Hot Springs, AR (1989 - 1999)

An Arkansas based, privately held corporation founded in 1988 by John K. Fletcher and L.C. Gaither with annual sales in excess of $30 million, specializing in the design and manufacturing of computerized sawmill equipment.  Major market areas include the Southeastern U.S. with International Sales in Canada and Australia.  Manufacturing facilities in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Baxley, Georgia employed over 225 people. 

  • 1989 – Joined company as Vice President.
  • 1992 – Became President / CEO of the company.
  • 1999 – Sold  interest in Hi-Tech to GBA Industrial Equipment, Inc. (Comact, Inc.) – Large conglomerate with over 1200 employees.
Harvey Engineering & Manufacturing Corporation (HEMCO), Hot Springs, AR (1979-1989)

A large OEM of  sawmill equipment and controls.  Project Engineer, Chief Engineer of Sawmill Floor and Chief Engineer.

Chris Raybon

Chris Raybon

| Vice President

Lousiana State Universary - BSME - 1975

Registered Professional Engineer

Pat Conry2

Pat Conry

| Vice President

University of Arkansas - 1978 BSEE

Andy Trantham

Andy Trantham

| Vice President

Arkansas Tech University
BS Electro-Mechanical Engineering - 1992

Born in Springfield, OR and grew up in Hot Springs, AR.  Dad was a career Weyerhaeuser employee and Mom owned/operated a sporting goods store.  Have 4 brothers.  While in college, took a semester off and worked on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea, then was an intern at ANO Nuclear Facility.  First job out of college was Hi-Tech Engineering in 1992.  Left in 1999 to pursue own interest and returned in 2004 to Hi-Tech/Comact as Electrical Engineering Manager.  Moved to Baxley Equipment when Hi-Tech Electronics was purchased from Comact in 2005.

I enjoy most sports and outdoor activities.  Spend all free time with my wife following my son and daughter to their various activities and sporting events.  Active in church and local youth sports organization.

Paul Caple

Paul Caple

| PLC Programmer
RonnieCWebPhoto

Ronnie Clem

| Programmer
Lamar Currington

Lamar Currington

| Sevice Manager
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Jim Krauss

| Price-LogPro, LLC - President
Josh Krauss 2

Josh Krauss

| Price LogPro, LLC - Vice President of Sales
John Oliver

John Oliver

| Engineering Manager
Joey Rogers

Joey Rogers

| Senior PLC Programmer

Cleveland Institute of Electronics
Associate in Applied Science, Electronics Engineering Technology - 1983

Grew up on Air Force Strategic Air Command bases, moved every 1 to 3 years.  I was born in Missouri, my sister in Ft. Worth Texas, one brother in Anchorage Alaska and another brother in Panama City Florida. My father Bob Rogers served in Greenland, Viet Nam and Israel in addition to U.S. bases.  My interest in electronics began in Omaha Nebraska when I was 13 and in 9th grade.  I was playing electric guitar and wanted to learn about electronic effects used to modify the sound (distortion, phase shift, etc.). The junior and senior high schools in Omaha were actually technical schools, and I started with basic electricity in 9th grade, basic electronics in 10th grade, and advanced electronics in 11th grade, receiving over 600 hours of study and hands-on experimentation and circuit building.
My father knew a fellow Air Force co-worker who was a radar technician that had his own electronics repair shop. He supplied the parts and schematics and would pay me a few bucks for every TV, stereo or aircraft radio that I repaired.
My father was stationed to Blytheville Air Force base in northeast Arkansas when I was 16, right before my senior year of high school. I wanted to stay in Omaha because we had lived there for 3 years (longest stay) and desired to finish high school there, but our whole family soon began to appreciate the warmer climate of the south after Alaska and Nebraska, and though none of us were from Arkansas, we all ended up here after Dad was stationed several other places before retiring from the USAF.

I still like to play electric guitar, though not as regularly as a kid (13 to 23 years old played 6 hours a day). Now have 2 stepsons that play, and enjoy jamming with them. Enjoy tinkering with cars, but never seem to have enough time to really get into it. Like to listen to good rock-n-roll music, read interesting books and visit art and automobile museums. Hot Springs and Arkansas has many area attractions that we like to go to. Taking vacations to new places is fun too, and I would like to learn about things around the world that I’ve never experienced before.

Work History:

1978-1983 – Northern Indiana Brass Company, NIBCO Cast Iron Foundry and Machine Shop.
Industrial Controls Electrician with 2-year technical training course included.

1983-1989 – Willamette Industries Medium Density Fiberboard plant at Gifford, Arkansas.
Electronics technician and first PLC programming experience. Learned much about sensing technology using radar, sonar, infrared, ultrasonic, lasers and nuclear radiation, and a lot about variable speed AC and DC drives. AB PLC-2 & PLC-3. The job brought me to this area.

1989-1994 – Harvey Engineering and Manufacturing Company, Hot Springs, Arkansas.
PLC programming for Laser Optimized Edgers, Gangs, Sharpchains, Resaws and Log Bucking lines. Over 70 systems completed, primarily using Allen-Bradley PLC-5 programmable controllers.

1994-2013 – Hi-Tech Engineering, later Hi-Tech/Comact and now Baxley Equipment, Inc.
PLC programming for Laser Optimized Edgers, Gangs, Sharpchains, Resaws and Log Bucking lines. Over 70 systems completed, primarily using Allen-Bradley PLC-5 programmable controllers.

Donna Smith

Donna Smith

| Service Coordinator

National Park Community College
Coursework in Accounting

I was a stay at home Mom when my daughter was young, but did accounting out of my home for different companies.  I also had several companies that I filled in for on a temporary basis.  That’s how I started at Hi-Tech.  Regardless of what Chris says – I never sold Tupperware – LOL!  Between Hi-Tech and Baxley, I’ve been with the company for 19 years and I love my co-workers and customers

My hobby is anything involving being with my family.  Believe it or not, I’m a history buff.   Also, I collect “old” Hot Springs postcards.  Most of all, I Love, love, love teaching my 5th-6th grade Sunday school class.

Jada Smith

Jada Smith

| Office Manager
Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor

| Sales Representative
Darrell Taylor

Darrell Taylor

| Operations Manger - Baxley, GA

1995-2004        Hi-Tech Plant Manager, Baxley, GA

2004-Present    Baxley Plant Manager, Baxley, GA

I enjoy spending time with my family, fishing, and attending high school football games.

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Philip Stevens

| Senior PLC Programmer