Philip Lance Van Every

(Dec. 9, 1913 - July 22, 1980)

Philip Lance Van Every with President EisenhowerPhilip Lance Van Every was born on December 9, 1913 to Salem Augustus Van Every and Mary Arnold Lance. He attended public schools in Charlotte and Staunton Military Academy in Virginia. Philip L. Lance died in an auto accident in 1926 and Salem A. Van Every incorporated the firm. At 19, he joined Lance in 1932 when sales were below a million dollars a year.

By 1935, Lance had hit $1 million in annual sales and reached $2 million in 1939, when the company changed its name to Lance, Inc. In 1938, the company had begun baking its own crackers. In the early 1940s, Lance Inc. was a peanut processor and candy manufacturer. But war time restrictions on sugar meant the firm decided to switch its emphasis away from candy toward peanut butter crackers and cookies. The firm produced products for the U.S. military during World War II.

On Easter Sunday 1943, Salem Van Every died. At age 29, Philip became President and Chief Executive Officer. The firm had annual sales of approximately $9 million. He sought management assistance from the Baltimore-based spice company, McCormick & Company, which was using multiple management techniques. Philip instituted his version of multiple management, which encourages key managerial decisions by committees using executive and worker expertise.

By 1950, annual sales for Lance Inc. reached $14 million. In 1953, Lance entered the institutional food segment of the business and in 1954 the company began using vending machines. In the meantime, Philip Lance Van Every also was engaged in public service - as mayor pro tem (1951-1953) on the Charlotte City Council and then as the elected Charlotte mayor for two terms (1953 - 1957). He served on the Board of Directors for the American Trust Company of Charlotte.

By 1960, annual sales had reached $26 million. Philip had become chairman of the board for Lance, Inc. With the original plant on South College in Charlotte running at full capacity, the company broke ground on a new headquarters and plant in 1961. The company made a public offering on stock in December 1961 and opened its new facility in 1962. On March 6, 1970, the last 5-cent Lance product was made.

In 1973, Philip Lance Van Every retired from the company, which was then a national operation reaching $80 million in annual sales. The North Carolina Business Hall of Fame recognized Philip L. Van Every as one of the state's most prominent business and government leaders by inducting him posthumously into the North Carolina Hall of Fame in 1992.

He was married to Carolyn "Pinky" Johnson of Anderson, South Carolina and they had four daughters: Mary Lance Van Every, Carolyn Van Every, Anne Van Every, Diana Van Every, and fourteen grandchildren.