New CEO at Park Cattle Co. to oversee strategic moves |

New CEO at Park Cattle Co. to oversee strategic moves

John Seelmeyer

The new chief executive who takes the reins at Park Cattle Co. will oversee a significant strategic shift for the Minden-based company with significant northern Nevada landholdings.

The family-owned company, which may be the oldest in Nevada, holds some 4,500 acres of land in the fast-growing Carson Valley of Douglas County and another 500 acres at Stateline.

Much of the Lake Tahoe property, once summer pasture for the company’s cattle, now is leased for two casinos the Horizon and the Montbleu (formerly Caesars Tahoe), both operated by Columbia Sussex Corp.

The company also owns Edgewood Golf Course at Stateline.

In the Carson Valley, it owns the Park Cattle Ranch and the Tillman Center in Gardnerville.

A new strategic plan developed by descendants of rancher David Park looks to create a diversified real estate company and maximize the value of its real estate assets, said sisters Jeanne Blach of Elko and Kay Seeliger of Reno, granddaughters of Park who serve on the company’s board.

They are reluctant to talk in detail about the strategic plan yet, but they say the company isn’t looking to sell land.

“The business is not for sale,” Blach said in an interview last week. “The assets are not for sale.”

That runs counter to the wishes of Bruce Park, the brother of Blach and Seeliger, who has filed suit in an effort to force liquidation of the company. A judge in Douglas County this month encouraged the family to settle its dispute out of court.

In a prepared release last week, the company’s board left the door open to “future opportunities associated with asset diversification.” It didn’t provide any more details.

Park Cattle Co., which employs 300 full- and part-time workers, has been headed the last two years by Robert Armstrong, a Reno attorney and longtime friend of the Park family.

When he decided he wanted to return to his law practice fulltime, the five-member board of directors one representative from each branch of the Park family launched a nationwide search for a successor.

Seeliger and Blach said the company in recent years has focused on strengthening its corporate governance and building a professional management structure.

That’s become more important, they said, as the family ownership becomes more far-flung with each generation. About three dozen family members share in its ownership.

And professional management is important, too, Seeliger and Blach said, because the company’s landholdings are located in two communities the Carson Valley and the Lake Tahoe basin where development issues are politically supercharged.

“Our challenge is to persevere,” said Blach. “We don’t give up too easily.”

At the same time, the sisters said the company wants to remain sensitive to the needs of the communities where the family has been doing business since 1871.

“We really do care about Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe,” Seeliger said.

And it’s likely that the company will continue to raise its profile after working quietly for more than a century. It’s hired The Ferraro Group of Reno, a firm specializing in media and public affairs.

Bach and Seeliger said publicity surrounding the lawsuit brought by their brother has thrust the low-profile company into the spotlight anyway, and the directors hope to shape the direction of some of the

publicity that’s coming their way.