The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) board of directors elected Dan Ariens, president and CEO of Ariens Company in Brillion, to serve as chairman of the 3,500-member state chamber of commerce.
Ariens pledged to focus on workforce development and continuing to improve the state’s business climate. He stressed that the WMC will continue to advocate pro-growth policies and educate the public about issues important to businesses.
“The fact that jobs in Wisconsin go unfilled while we have an unemployed population is a very real structural skills mismatch that must be on the agenda,” Ariens said. “When you factor in the aging demographic in the state, this has the potential for long-term implications for the state’s economy.”
Ariens, who also serves as the vice chairman of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), said that our state’s business climate is improving but WMC will work with elected officials and other stakeholders to improve our business climate even more.
“I know that Governor Walker and pro-growth lawmakers are committed to improving our business climate and WMC will play a leading role in developing and advocating polices that create jobs,” Ariens said. “WMC members can provide the day-to-day economic reality of what’s happening in the towns and cities and workplace across Wisconsin, one job at a time.”
Ariens is a fourth-generation manufacturer. His great-grandfather, Henry Ariens, founded the company as a rotary tiller innovator and the manufacturing company has flourished over the past 80 years and now produces a wide array of consumer products including snow blowers, lawn mowers and other products.
“It’s a tremendous honor to serve as the chairman of WMC.” Ariens said. “We each have our own agendas for our businesses and Wisconsin businesses certainly span a wide range of interests. But that is exactly where the strength of an organization like WMC exists – bringing a consensus view to policy makers on our behalf.”
Ariens succeeds outgoing WMC chairman Todd Teske of Briggs & Stratton Corp. Robert Kamphuis – chairman, president and CEO of Mayville Engineering Company Inc., was elected to serve as WMC vice chairman. He succeeds Ariens.
The WMC Board of Directors elected Ariens and Kamphuis during the chamber’s annual meeting at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.