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Wisconsin 275
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Aaron Jagdfeld

Manufacturing
President and CEO
Generac  |  town of Genesee

Aaron Jagdfeld was named president and chief executive officer of Generac in 2008 and has since led it to become one of the fastest-growing manufacturers in the state. The Town of Genesee-based maker of generators has roughly 9,600 employees company-wide, a little over a third of whom are based locally. Thanks to strong demand for its residential home standby generators in recent years, Generac is on target to do more than $5 billion in net sales this year.

Education: Bachelor’s, University of Wiconsin-Whitewater

Hobby/passion: “I’m a nerdy ‘AFOL,’ which stands for Adult Fan of Lego. I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s putting together Lego sets and building just about anything I could think of. I spent an enormous amount of time as a kid building and the creativity that it sparked was amazing. Today I still enjoy building.”

First car: “A 1981 Mercury Capri with T-tops. I bought it used when I turned 16 and drove it all the way through college putting more than 200,000 miles on it.”

Toughest business challenge you’ve ever faced: “The transition from a founder-owned and -led company to a private equity owned and operated company. Our founder, (the late) Bob Kern, sold the company to a New York private equity firm in late 2006, and it took our team and me personally some time to adapt to a completely different approach to business.”

As you enter your office, what would you choose to be your walk-up or theme song: “AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck.’ I can’t think of a better song to help get me energized about the day ahead!”

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