Photo Release -- Abbott to Head Otter Tail Corporation's Varistar Organization

FERGUS FALLS, Minn., Feb. 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- John Abbott has been selected to serve as president of Varistar, the entity that provides operational and talent support for Otter Tail Corporation's (Nasdaq:OTTR) manufacturing and infrastructure companies. Abbott will report to corporate President and COO Chuck MacFarlane, effective February 11.

John Abbott Selected as President of Varistar

A photo accompanying this release is available at

As Varistar president, Abbott will oversee Otter Tail Corporation's diversified manufacturing and infrastructure portfolio, driving efficiencies and helping to integrate any acquisitions. He will have profit-and-loss accountabilities for the platform, and operating company presidents will report to him, as will Varistar staff. In addition to this role, Abbott will serve as a senior vice president of Otter Tail Corporation.

"I welcome John to Otter Tail Corporation and look forward to working with him," said MacFarlane. "He has more than 30 years of strong sales, marketing, and operating experience and has more than 15 years in president or group president roles in manufacturing-based companies. He also has acquisition and integration experience. I'm confident he's a good choice to lead our manufacturing and infrastructure businesses."

A native of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area, Abbott earned his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and his master's degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. For the past eight years he has been with Standex International (SXI on the NYSE), as an officer and president of a group of restaurant equipment companies. Prior to Standex he was with Pentair for 20 years, starting as a product manager and growing to president and global business unit leader of its water filtration division. While at Pentair, Abbott also served as president of Schroff North America, based in Rhode Island and serving the electronics market, and as president of Pentair Electronic Packaging, serving the telecom, datacom, and medical markets.

Additionally, Abbott is a board member for Lifeworks, a nonprofit organization based in the Minneapolis area that serves people with disabilities.

Otter Tail Corporation (Nasdaq:OTTR) owns diversified operations that include Otter Tail Power Company and manufacturing and infrastructure businesses. Corporate offices are located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and Fargo, North Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation, visit

CONTACT: Media contact: Cris Oehler, Vice President, Corporate Communications, 218-739-8297 (office) or 218-531-0099 (cell) Investor contact: Loren Hanson, Manager, Investor Relations, 218-739-8481 or 800-664-1259

Source:Otter Tail Corporation