Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech President and Founder, Dies at 73

Dr. Pearse Lyons passed away at the age of 73. ( Alltech )

Alltech announced the passing of its founder and president, Dr. Pearse Lyons. Lyons died on Thursday, March 8, due to an acute lung condition that developed during his recovery from heart surgery, according to a news release from the company. He was 73. He is survived by his wife Deirdre, daughter Aoife, son Mark and Mark’s wife Holly,” said Alric Blake, CEO and treasurer of Alltech.

“Dr. Lyons was a visionary entrepreneur who transformed the agriculture industry beginning with his innovative application of yeast technology in animal nutrition,” said Alric Blake in the release. Blake is CEO and treasurer of Alltech. “From farm to field, from market to family dinner table, our world is immeasurably better because he was a man who never saw problems, only a challenge that had not yet been solved.”

Lyons was a high energy, forward-thinking leader. The annual Alltech conferences held in Lexington, Ken., were - and will continue to be - a showcase of the company. The conference brings together leaders and scientists from throughout the world to share the newest research and innovations. Lyons was an ever-present figure at these events, extending his hospitality to attendees, extolling the virtues of the company's branded Kentucky bourbon and beer, and sharing his long-view vision of the future.

“He inspired everyone he met with his energy, enthusiasm and passionate belief in possibilities,” Blake said in the release. “He instilled that positivity in his people, more than 5,000 Alltech team members around the world. I am confident I speak on behalf of all of them when I say that we are deeply honored to have known and worked for such a great man. We will resolve to honor his legacy by deepening our commitment to his customers and all the innovative ideas he believed in so strongly.”

Lyons established a clear leadership structure, which includes: Dr. Mark Pearse Lyons, Chairman and President; Alric A. Blake, Chief Executive Officer and Treasurer; and E. Michael Castle II, Vice President and Secretary.

“We are all deeply saddened by my father’s passing,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, Pearse’s son and chairman and president of Alltech, in the release. “He always focused on developing people, and he built an extraordinary team over the years…He planted seeds that will produce a bountiful harvest for the world in the years to come.”

Funeral masses will be in Lexington, Ken., on March 17 and in Dublin, Ireland in April, the release said. In lieu of flowers, the family is encouraging donations to the Alltech ACE Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that funds a variety of philanthropic endeavours around the world, from disaster relief to primary schools in Haiti. Donations may be made at alltech.com/pearselyons.

A special celebration of life will be held on May 20 at the beginning of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington.

Dr. Lyons will be missed by those who had the honor of knowing him and working with him.