Chairman and CEO
AriensCo | Brillion
Dan Ariens represents the fourth generation of family leadership for AriensCo, a Brillion-based outdoor power equipment manufacturer. He joined the company in 1983 and became president and chief executive officer in 1998. With more than 2,200 employees across its operations in the U.S., Norway, the U.K. and Germany, the company manufactures equipment used for lawn, garden and snow removal.
AriensCo has made several acquisitions under Dan Ariens’ leadership, including of Germany-based AS-Motor in 2021 and Thomas Equipment in 2022. In recent years, the company has spearheaded the $50 million redevelopment of the 140-acre former Brillion Iron Works foundry site with plans to turn it into a mixed-use development with a hotel, shops, a clinic, apartments and a park. Ariens has said a goal of the project is to drive population growth in its hometown and make AriensCo more attractive as an employer.
Looking to draw more visitors to Calumet County, the company also established a hospitality division in 2020, opening two event venues, Stone Prairie and Round Lake Farms. It plans to open Ariens Nordic Center, a skiing venue, this year.
The company, through its foundation, has donated millions toward STEM education and the public school system in Brillion.
A proponent of lean manufacturing principles, Ariens has been recognized with the Eli Whitney Productivity Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and mentors other organizations on lean leadership. He was inducted in 2012 to the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Hall of Fame.
Ariens is past chair of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and past vice chair the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. He sits on the executive committee of the Green Bay Packers’ board.