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updated: 10/11/2012 10:17 AM

MFRI announces changes in top management

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Niles-based MFRI Inc. announced that Bradley E. Mautner will become the company's President and Chief Executive Officer, effective February 1, 2013 as part of the company's management succession plan.

David Unger, the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will continue as Chairman and work with Mr. Mautner on various strategic initiatives. Mautner, 57, is currently President and Chief Operating Officer,

Unger, 77, joined a predecessor to MFRI in 1958 and since that time has led the company's growth from a local Chicago area company into a multinational enterprise with $233 million in sales in the fiscal year ended January 31.

"This transition is the result of a very deliberate multiyear effort to ensure a smooth continuation of leadership for the organization," Unger said. "I am proud of what we have accomplished and believe that Brad and the management team will build on the platform that we have developed together. I look forward to working with our Board and management team on strategic initiatives and ensuring a smooth transition to the new generation."

As part of its succession plan, Michael D. Bennett, 68, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer, will step down as CFO effective Friday, the company said. Bennett will continue as Secretary and Treasurer and an external search has been conducted to appoint a permanent CFO. MFRI said it has retained Gerald O'Connor to serve as Interim CFO. In addition to his recent experience providing CFO-level consulting services, Mr. O'Connor was Senior Vice President -- Finance and Strategic Planning at Nicor Inc. from 2004 through 2011.

"Michael has seen the company through significant change during his tenure as CFO," Mautner said. "He was part of the group that took our first step as a public company in 1989, starting out with a single $19 million revenue company. He further participated as the Company grew to a multiline business with $233 million in sales last year. His loyalty, integrity and focus on doing the best for all constituencies are important values for MFRI. We appreciate his many contributions and are pleased that he will continue to support us to ensure a smooth transition to a new CFO."

MFRI, Inc. is a multiline company especializing in pre-insulated specialty piping systems for oil and gas gathering, district heating and cooling and other applications; custom designed industrial filtration products to remove particulates from dry gas streams; industrial process cooling equipment to remove heat from molding, printing and other industrial processes; and installation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning for large buildings.

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