WALLA WALLA, WASH. — Key Technology announced the appointment of Jack Lee to president of its Americas division. Lee will be responsible for leading Key’s strategies in digital sorting, conveying and automation systems throughout North America and Latin America.

“We’re delighted to have Jack at Key,” said Mike Kachmer, president and chief executive officer of Duravant, parent company of Key. “His passion for continuous improvement, experience applying technology to address changing market needs and team-oriented leadership style is driving a growth plan focused on delivering exceptional customer value.”

Lee has more than 20 years of experience in leadership and industrial automation. Prior to joining Key, he served as president at Red Lion Controls, managing director of surface equipment and automation at Dover Artificial Lift, vice president of global marketing and business development at Emerson Electric, and global food and beverage industry director and strategic planning director at Emerson Process Management.

Lee succeeds Carson Brennan, who is expanding his role with Duravant. As well as leading the company’s American business, Lee will also oversee WECO, another Duravant brand, alongside Don Douglas, president of WECO.

“Jack is committed to Key’s ongoing success and aligning WECO together with Key,” Kachmer said. “We’re accelerating on our strategy to pursue more common commercial opportunities and provide Duravant’s customers with a more integrated and comprehensive suite of sorting solutions.”

The company’s business in Europe, India, Asia and the Middle East will continue to be led by Antoine van Bree, president and managing director of EMEIA at Key.

“Key and WECO occupy an exciting space at a dynamic time,” Lee said. “By working with food processors to optimize final product quality, despite extreme weather causing wide fluctuations in the quality of harvested crops, we’re able to act as a buffer to improve things for farmers, food processors and consumers alike.

“We’re also addressing sustainability by reducing food processors’ energy and water use, plus decreasing their reliance on manual labor,” Lee added. “Our purpose is to feed the world.”

Lee has three master’s degrees in chemical/industrial engineering, engineering management and business administration.

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.