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Wisconsin 275
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Christopher Drees

Mercury Marine  |  Fond du Lac

Chris Drees joined Mercury Marine in 1998 and went on to hold various positions with the company before being named president in 2019. The Fond du Lac-based marine engine division of Illinois-based Brunswick Corp. has more than 7,000 employees globally. A 2017 report by the Fond du Lac Economic Development Corp. found Mercury has an annual impact of more than $4 billion on the Fond du Lac economy, with more than 80% of contracted work at its facility awarded to Wisconsin-based companies.

The company’s main consumer brands include Mercury Marine outboard engines, Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages, and Mercury global parts and accessories including propellers and SmartCraft electronics.

Prior to becoming president of the company, Drees was president of marine parts and accessories.

Mercury Marine has been awarded three times the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award in its largest category. It has invested more than $1 billion in expansion and research and development over the past decade.

The company recently opened a new distribution center near Indianapolis for its parts and accessories business. With the transition, it is repurposing and expanding its Fond du Lac plant for manufacturing. The company is adding 100,000 square feet to support production of its propulsion systems.

Education: Bachelor’s, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; MBA, Marquette University

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