LLS, Wis. - Jerry D. Maahs, founder of Alto-Shaam here, died recently after a battle with cancer. He was 74. After gaining experience in the food-service industry as a franchisee of the Chicken Delight chain, Maahs in the late 1960s began experimenting with equipment manufacturing. In 1968, he introduced a new line of holding equipment that used a thermal heating cable, which could replace the steam table. In 1971, he expanded the original concept into cook-and-hold equipment, and he eventually expanded internationally and into related product lines in both food service and medical equipment. His daughter, Karen Hansen, and son, Steve Maahs, continue to run the business.