2007 Manny Award Winner!

Company name: Hillenbrand Industries
City, State : Headquartered in Batesville, Indiana
Private or public company : Public (NYSE: HB)
Founded: 1906
Local employees : 3,100
CEO /President: Peter H. Soderberg
Web site address : www.hillenbrand.com
What they manufacture: Hospital beds and caskets

Going Global


Hillenbrand Industries "” one of the top five manufacturing companies in the Tristate "” has surpassed many challenges since John A. Hillenbrand rescued a casket company from bankruptcy 100 years ago.

After rising to dominate markets for hospital beds and caskets, Hillenbrand today employs 9,400 workers (about 3,100 working locally). CEO Peter H.

Soderberg was tapped for the top executive job in March 2006, marking the first time Hillenbrand reached beyond its own ranks for a chief executive. Combined, Hillenbrand's two major companies "” Hill-Rom and Batesville Casket "” are huge business. The casket company reported revenue of nearly $670 million in 2005, while Hill- Rom brought in than $1.27 billion.

"We have to get even better connected to customers," Soderberg observes. "I have to lead by example." Batesville Casket has tried to diversify into more of a funeral services company. As for Hill- Rom, Soderberg says the challenge is "morphing the company to be a global competitor in an age of technology.

"If we have to do something to protect a 100-year-old business and its customers, we will. We control our destiny."