Abel Womack CEO Announces His Retirement and Successor – PR.com


Lawrence, MA, June 27, 2024 –(PR.com)– John Croce, CEO of Abel Womack, Inc., the 100-year-old premier Northeast US full-service lift truck, automation, and intralogistics company, has announced his plans to retire on June 30, 2024.

Mr. Croce’s remarkable journey with Abel Womack, which began as an intern at Northeastern University in 1974, has left an indelible impression on the company. His rapid ascent through the ranks, culminating in his appointment as President in 1994 and CEO in 2004, is a testament to his exceptional leadership. At the start of his 50-year tenure, the company, then known as Robert Abel & Co. in Woburn, MA, had a modest team of 14 employees primarily focused on selling cranes and hoists. Under his visionary leadership, the company began concentrating on its Raymond forklift line and diversified its portfolio. It then, over time, acquired Womack Material Handling and NECO Systems, constructed larger, modern facilities in Lawrence, MA and Wallingford, CT, and a much larger leased facility in Edgewood, NY; moves to accommodate future growth and facilitate strategic partnerships with customers and suppliers. These and other key moves have been instrumental in the company’s success.

“We had insight into where the industry was headed, so we decided to heavily invest in Raymond narrow aisle trucks, automation, robotics, engineering expertise and service capabilities at the ideal time to support our customers,” said Croce. “Those strategic investments paid off immensely in the long-term success of our organization.” When Croce became CEO, Abel Womack had around 100 employees and $50M in revenue. The company has significantly grown its offerings, revenues, profitability, and team size by fostering a healthy culture and getting the right people on the bus in the right seats, a team that is dedicated to the success of the organization. Abel Womack is now closing in on $200M in revenue and 300 team members.

Looking ahead, Mr. Croce expressed his anticipation of the personal time he will gain in retirement-time to enjoy life plus make a difference in other people’s lives. Reflecting on his journey, he sincerely expressed gratitude for the opportunity he was given and the remarkable team that has fostered our growth and success. “I grew up in humble beginnings and never considered myself an exceptional person,” said Croce. “But this talented, dedicated team has created company success well beyond what I had ever envisioned. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”

After multiyear succession planning, Mr. Croce is confident in the transition of our President, Mike Petinge, into the role of Dealer Principal, effective July 1, 2024. “With Mike’s 36-year tenure with the company, ten years as President, his industry expertise and proven leadership, Abel Womack is not just prepared but positioned for continued growth and even greater success in the years to come. This seamless transition is a testament to our unwavering confidence in the strength of our team and the company’s leadership,” said Croce.

To learn more about Abel Womack and its offerings, please visit www.abelwomack.com or call 800.554.2887.

About Abel Womack
For more than 100 years, Abel Womack, Inc. has specialized in providing superior material handling equipment and solutions, including Raymond forklifts, robotics, conveyors, and Kardex storage, as well as engineering design, implementation, and support services. Today, with a team of over 270 employees across New England and Metro NY, Abel Womack provides complete material handling products and intralogistics solutions across a wide range of industries and clients, including grocery, e-commerce retail, apparel, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, aerospace, and third-party logistics (3PL) firms. For more information, visit www.abelwomack.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Sue Boczenowski
Abel Womack, Inc.