Burton Back at the Helm of CasaBlanca Fan

Burton A. Burton, who founded CasaBlanca Fan Co. in Pasadena in 1974, has regained the helm of the company after a 1 1/2-year hiatus, the company announced Friday.

Burton, 58, was named chief executive of CasaBlanca Industries Inc., the ceiling fan company’s parent, following the departure last Tuesday of Max P. Van Dordrecht. Burton was additionally named chairman and president of the fan company, roles also held by Van Dordrecht.

Reporting to Burton will be Richard Y. Fisher, who was named president of CasaBlanca Industries. He is chairman and president of Milwaukee-based Diana Corp. (formerly Farm House Foods), which three years ago acquired a 47% stake in the company.

Spokesmen for City of Industry-based CasaBlanca declined to comment on Van Dordrecht’s departure, but a source familiar with the company said it stemmed from a clash of management styles.


For the past year and a half, Burton has been a consultant to the company while retaining the title of chairman of the parent firm. He said in a phone interview Friday afternoon that he has been involved primarily in design and promotion.

“I’ve been there every day,” he said. “It’s something I’m very close to.”

To better cope with the seasonal swings of the ceiling fan business, CasaBlanca last year purchased Lavery & Co., a maker of lighting fixtures.

“We have a better balance of product line with Lavery,” he said. “The ceiling fan industry has gotten very mature, and we have a variety of new products to help stabilize” the company’s bottom line.


“I’m excited about getting back involved in the thing,” he said. “It’s kind of going to be the old CasaBlanca.”

Noting that many of the company’s original employees are still working there, he said: “It’s a great team to get back into the marketplace.”