Wednesday, September 29, 1999
Harold Bost says goodbye to 49-year career

Staff Writer

Harold Bost, Fayette's County Commission chairman, has retired following a working career that spanned almost 50 years.

Family and friends gathered last week to wish Bost well on his retirement as president of Estex Corp., the Fairburn company that he purchased in 1982 and has since expanded from 3,000 to 63,000 square feet (with plans for another expansion in the near future).

Bost's business partner, Brent Wilkes, has taken over as president of the company, which manufactures canvas, leather and vinyl products for a variety of commercial and industrial uses.

“It feels good already to be retired,” Bost said this week. “It's nice to be enjoying some of the fruits of all that labor.”

A native of North Carolina, Bost, 64, started work earlier than most of us. At the age of 8, he began earning money on the family farm so he could buy his own clothes and incidentals.

At 15, with his father's health failing, Bost dropped out of high school and took over full management of the farm, running it until he joined the Air Force at age 19.

Ever since that time, he said, “I've worked early to late.”

Following his stint in the military, Bost worked 21 years for cosmetics manufacturer Revlon, starting as a salesman in Birmingham, Ala., and working his way through 17 positions, the last one as national sales manager.

He left Revlon in 1982 to purchase Estex, and when the company's business quadrupled over the next three years, invited Wilkes, a former colleague at Revlon, to join him as partner.

During the last year and a half, Bost said, his duties on the County Commission have made it necessary that Wilkes handle more and more of the daily operations at Estex. “It was going really smoothly, and I just made the decision that there was no need to interfere with him, so I retired,” he said.

Now he'll be able to devote even more time to county business, Bost said, adding that he anticipates the next few months will require a great deal of effort. Commissioners currently are wrestling with the problems of planning and funding a $60 million jail and court complex construction project.

After that, he said, “I want to back off a bit.”

His family and hobbies will occupy some of his time, he added. He is on the board of directors of the American Bonanza Society, an organization of 10,000 pilots of Beechcraft Bonanza airplanes, and will be spending the next three weeks involved in a convention and annual board meeting.

He also hopes to spend a little more time at the family beach home in Florida, Bost added.

“There will be plenty to do,” he said.

Back to Business Home Page | Back to the top of the page