MINNEAPOLIS - The Valspar Corp. named John Ballbach president and chief operating officer and announced the appointment of Steve Erdahl and Bill Mansfield to top executive positions.

Ballbach joined Valspar in 1990 as general manager, Flexible Packaging Coatings and Adhesives, and was most recently senior vice president - EPS, CCA and Operations and headed the company's Engineered Polymer Systems and Color Corporation of America units. He also has held the positions of vice president, Sales and Marketing, Packaging Coatings, and Group vice president, Packaging, and spearheaded Valspar's growth initiatives in Europe from 1996 to 1999. Ballbach assumed his new position in January and reports directly to Valspar Chairman and CEO Richard Rompala.

Commenting on the moves, Rompala said Ballbach's experience with Valspar's packaging and coatings-intermediates businesses and his role in the company's international operations "ideally positions him for his new responsibilities." He said Erdahl and Mansfield have compiled "excellent track records in growing businesses internally and through acquisitions.

"These promotions recognize the strength of our senior management team, which continues to position Valspar positively for future growth," Rompala said.

Erdahl, who led the integration of Lilly Industries Inc. following Lilly's acquisition by Valspar in 2000, has been named executive vice president - Industrial and Automotive Coatings. Mansfield, who played a key role in the expansion of Valspar's packaging-coatings business through a series of acquisitions, has been named executive vice president - Architectural, Packaging and Specialty Coatings.

Erdahl joined Valspar in 1974 and held a number of sales and sales-management positions before being named vice president, Industrial Metals, in 1989 and Group vice president, Industrial, in 1991. He was named senior vice president, Operations, in 1999 and senior vice president, Industrial and Packaging, in 2000.

Mansfield joined Valspar in 1977 and held purchasing and manufacturing positions prior to being named vice president, Packaging, in 1990 and Group vice president, Packaging, in 1991. He was appointed senior vice president, Packaging and Industrial, in 1998 and senior vice president, Architectural, Packaging and Specialty Coatings in 2000.