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 is struggling to regain momentum after years of sluggish sales and profits, searching for winning strategies against an array of new forces.

That leads to the big question on the minds of 9,400 Hillenbrand employees (about 3,100 working locally), the shareholders, investment analysts and residents of the company hometown of Batesville, Ind. (pop. 5,000): what will this new CEO do?

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