Lawrence Companies celebrated its 85th anniversary Friday afternoon, March 24, the same date the company was formed in 1932. CEO Peer Segelke (left) and President Barry Holland hold the anniversary cakes to mark the celebration with employees and vendor representatives. Segelke told the employees that 95 percent of businesses don’t make it 10 years. “It’s a testament to the Lawrence family that the company is kicking off its 85th year,” he said. “The fact we have so many committed employees means we could hit 100 years.” Lawrence Companies is now fully owned by its employees, which number close to 350 with about 500 including owner-operators for the transportation business. Lawrence Transfer and Storage was founded in Roanoke by Weldon T. Lawrence Sr. Weldon T. Lawrence Jr. succeeded his father as president in 1950. Weldon S. “Chip” Lawrence took over for his father in September 1992 as president. In 1996, Lawrence Transportation built it a new facility on Lee Highway in Cloverdale In 1998, the company became one of the first employee stock ownership companies in Virginia and in 2004, it became 100 percent employee owned. It is now have one of the largest regional truckload freight carriers on the East Coast.