Stacey Walthers Naffah will take over as president of Wm. K. Walthers Inc. on Sept. 4, the Milwaukee-based distributor of model trains and accessories announced Thursday.
“I am excited, and humbled to take the helm and to pursue the opportunities presented by this great family business,” Walthers Naffah said. “I’m honored to carry on the legacy of the hard work of those before me. Model railroading is truly one of the classic and timeless hobbies. It transcends ages from the young child with his or her first train set to the adult hobbyist creating highly detailed worlds in miniature.”
Walthers Naffah replaces her father, Phil Walthers, in the role. He will remain as board chairman and will be available to work on special projects.
“I couldn’t be more proud and excited to turn over the leadership of Walthers to Stacey,” Walthers said. “She brings an enthusiasm and vision to the company that will continue to support our dedicated customers while helping to bring new people into the hobby.”
Walthers Naffah is the fourth generation in her family to run the company. Founder Wm. K. was followed by his son Bruce who was followed by Phil as president in 1984.
She joined the company in 2009 after working in advertising at People magazine for seven years. Most recently she was the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. She is also a graduate of Boston College and has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
“I am profoundly grateful for the time I’ve been able to work with my father preparing me for this role, and for his example, his guidance and his stewardship. The impact he has made on our business and on our industry cannot be overstated; the model railroading hobby is better for his thoughtful leadership over the course of his career.”