CHESTER, ILL. — Thomas Welge has been named president and chief executive officer of Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. by the company’s board of directors.

Mr. Welge has been with Gilster-Mary Lee since 1995, most recently as vice president of technical sales and general counsel. Mr. Welge is a 1982 gradate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He holds a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Leading the company, Mr. Welge succeeds his father Donald E. Welge, who died April 16 of COVID-19 at the age of 84. Don Welge had been with the company for 63 years.

Michael Welge, Don Welge’s brother, will continue in his role of executive vice president and chief financial officer, a position he has held for more than 50 years. Michael Welge survived a bout of COVID-19. Tom’s brother Robert, who is personnel director at Gilster-Mary Lee is continuing to recover.

COVID-19 outbreaks at Gilster-Mary Lee early in the pandemic sickened numerous members of the company staff and forced the temporary closing of two of Gilster’s nine plants.