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Office of Communications 
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Orientation 2018


More News

Lang family to discuss unprecedented growth of five-generation family business Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

Apr 10, 2018 |

Two generations of the Lang family will discuss the proud family legacy of Ainsworth Pet Nutrition during a program Friday at St. Bonaventure University.

The talk, “The Ainsworth Pet Nutrition Company and the Lang Family: Our Story of Creating, Building and Selling A Fifth-Generation Innovative Enterprise with a Proud Family Legacy,” begins at 12:30 p.m. in Dresser Auditorium of the John J. Murphy Professional Building and will feature Taylor Lang, a member of the SBU Class of 2014, and his father, Doug Lang. 

Doug, a member of the fourth-generation of Langs to hold executive leadership at the Meadville, Pa.-based company, is a shareholder, board member and former vice president of Sales and Marketing. Taylor, who earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from St. Bonaventure, is a key account manager.

Founded in 1933, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition is a primarily family-owned and operated company named after one of the company founders, George Ainsworth Lang. Recently acquired by Smucker’s, Ainsworth has experienced unprecedented growth.  

The company is focused entirely on pets and has a stated goal of changing the way consumers shop for Super Premium pet food. Ainsworth’s mantra is “Pet Store Quality. Supermarket Easy.” The company makes multiple brands and types of dog and cat food, including the Rachael Ray Nutrish line of dog and cat foods and certain Super Premium retailer specific brands.

Friday’s talk, which is sponsored by the campus Family Business Club, will include an overview of the firm, a discussion on family business and how it has experienced significant growth due to product innovation, partnerships and marketing strategies. During his time on campus, Taylor was a leader in the Family Business Club.

The Langs will discuss the recent sale of the company and how the family made the decision to sell.  

The J. M. Smucker Company announced just last week (April 4) the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Ainsworth Pet Nutrition in a transaction valued at approximately $1.7 billion, after an estimated tax benefit of $200 million. Smucker’s is also a fifth-generation family company.

“We are delighted to have Taylor and Doug Lang back on campus to share their exciting family business story with our students,” said Carol Wittmeyer, Ed.D., associate professor of management and adviser of the Family Business Club. “They have been generous and humble partners with us for many years, having hosted dozens of our students and faculty for manufacturing tours, given talks on campus about family business dynamics and the development of the Rachael Ray partnership.”

Now, Wittmeyer said, the Langs will talk about their latest news of how and why they made a decision to sell to Smuckers. 

“Our students will be one of the first groups to be able to talk to them directly about the sale process. This is a wonderful real-world learning opportunity. We are so grateful to the Lang family for all they have done for our Family Business Club,” she said.

The talk is funded by a gift from Betty Ramming.

For more information about Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, visit


About the University:The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. 

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