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Local business owner retiring after 42 years

Office Machines owner Steve Maltzhan will retire this week; Bill Oetken will take over ownership of the business

Published: Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 11:35 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 10:31 a.m. CDT
Steve Maltzhan, left, and Bill Oetken.

It’s been a good run.

Steve Maltzhan, owner of Office Machines Company in Creston, will officially retire from his business Friday after 42 years of service in the Creston community.

“I’m about retirement age and really wanted more than three vacation days per year,” Maltzhan said. “When you’re 65 you start thinking about enjoying life a little more. I think I’ll take a week vacation this coming year.”

Maltzhan started working as a salesman at Office Machines in 1970 under former owner Rod Powe. Maltzhan purchased the business in 1993 and has owned the business ever since.

Maltzhan, an avid outdoorsman, said he’s not fully retiring, though.He does plan to take a little more vacation and spend more time at the Three-Mile shooting range complex, but would also like to get more aggressive in his internet business, which sells shooting glasses (eyewear) specially made for shotgun shooting.

A retirement party for Maltzhan is scheduled 5 p.m. today at The Lobby in Creston.

New owner

Bill Oetken of Creston will purchase the business Friday and, because of the New Year’s holiday, the business will first be open under his ownership on Jan. 2. Oetken has worked for Maltzhan at Office Machines for the past 18 years.

“I’ve never had any reason to leave,” Oetken said. “He’s always treated me right. The business will not go through any changes. It will be status quo.”

Oetken said Office Machines will continue to have “everything from rubber bands to copiers and fax machines.” Oetken said the business also has a wide variety of office furniture.

Oetken said the business has more than 3,000 office-related items on their floor right now. In addition, they have more than 35,000 office-related items in their main catalog and most of those items can be shipped to the store the next day.

Maltzhan said Oetken is well prepared to take over the business.

“It was time to have someone new run the business,” Maltzhan said, “and Bill is the right person for that. He has the sales personality, expertise, experience and has great customer rapport. He’s a well-liked person in Creston and people tend to do business with people they like.”

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