Lawrence Mills, vice president of the W.S. Hatch Co. and director of marketing and special services for Jack B. Kelley Inc., will retire effective May 31, after 40 years of service.

Mills started at W.S. Hatch Co. in 1947 at age 14 and held many jobs for the company while working his way through the University of Utah, where he received a bachelor's degree and later a law degree. He became general manager in 1963 and when W.S. Hatch died, Mills became vice president when Hatch's widow became president.Hatch Co. was purchased by Jack B. Kelley Inc., Amarillo, Texas, in December 1986. Mills will continue as a part-time consultant to the combined company, which has more than 500 employees.

Mills guided Hatch Co. through a 17-month strike that started in 1964 and ended in eventual decertification of the Teamsters Union. Hatch Co. later won a cash settlement from the Teamsters. Hatch Co. was one of three companies certified to carry nitrogen tetroxide for the U.S. space and missile program. Under Mills' direction, Hatch Co.'s emergency response team was created and is known for its expertise in hazardous materials cleanup.