Human Resources and Manufacturing

Kawasaki Engines names executive director

July 11, 2016
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Nelson Wilner
Nelson Wilner. Courtesy Kawasaki Engines

A man with experience in marketing and sales is the new executive director at Grand Rapids-based Kawasaki Engines.

The division, which is part of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. of Maryville, Missouri, said last week that it has appointed Nelson Wilner to the role, effective immediately.

Wilner will report to Rodger Howe, Kawasaki vice president.

Several key functions within the Kawasaki Engines division will report to Wilner, including dealer sales, marketing, order service, logistics and information technology.

Howe said Nelson’s background reflects an ability to “quickly adapt” to differing business situations.

He highlighted Nelson’s experience in marketing, distribution and sales chain management, saying those skills will “complement our overall direction.”

Wilner’s background

Wilner comes to the division after more than 20 years in the marine and recreational vehicle industries, serving with makers of hydraulic and diesel-powered generators and harsh-environment electrical products.

He’s also worked in executive capacities in the building products industry and has experience in both consumer and business-to-business activities.

Wilner was instrumental in establishing a European distribution center for Bennett Marine, and he set up the U.S. division of Italian generator maker Mase Generators.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Nova Southeastern University and an M.B.A. with a specialty in international business from Nova Southeastern University.

Engine division

Kawasaki Engines distributes gasoline engines for the landscape, industrial and consumer markets.

The division sells to and services customers through a network of more than 40 OEMs, 15 distributors and more than 7,500 independent dealers throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, countries in Central America and South America and the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific, including Guam. 

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