Manufacturing People in the News

Apfelbach is new CEO of ZBB Energy Corp.; Struthers is new president of Kohler Power Systems

Apfelbach is new CEO of ZBB Energy Corp.

Milwaukee-based ZBB Energy Corp. has appointed Eric Apfelbach as its president and chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors.

ZBB Energy Corp. provides clean energy storage solutions based on proprietary zinc rechargeable energy storage technology that addresses requirements in multiple markets such as alternative energy applications, large electrical utilities and green residential and commercial architecture.

Apfelbach said, "I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead ZBB and to help the company achieve its plans for growth. The distributed renewable energy industry cannot scale without cost effective energy storage and power management solutions. I believe ZBB’s products will address these needs."

Paul Koeppe, interim CEO of ZBB and chairman of the search committee of the company’s board of directors, said, "I believe that Eric’s background is a perfect fit for ZBB. His past leadership of high tech companies has been a great proving ground for stepping into the CEO role at ZBB. I am delighted with his decision to join us."

Most recently, Apfelbach founded Virent Energy Systems Inc., a catalytic biofuels company. Before Virent, Apfelbach co-founded Alfalight Inc.

Struthers is new president of Kohler Power Systems

Kohler Co.’s Global Power Group, a manufacturer of engines and power generation systems, has named Jason Struthers as the new president of its Kohler Power Systems business.

Struthers has assumed leadership and management responsibilities for Kohler Power Systems, which includes operations in North America and Asia. KPS Sales & Service, which does business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, also falls under the administration of Struthers. With an emphasis on growing sales, profitability and market share, Struthers will focus on enterprise-wide strategic business and process improvement initiatives, the company said.

Prior to joining Kohler, Struthers served as the president of Viking Pump for three years and in early 2009 added IDEX AODD to his responsibility. Both entities are business units of IDEX Corp., a global company known for highly engineered fluidics systems and components.

In a related announcement, Kohler has appointed outgoing Kohler Power Systems president Otto Kopietzki as president emeritus of the business. A 40-year veteran of the power generation industry, Kopietzki will remain in his new position throughout 2010 in support of the leadership transition.

“Jason brings to Kohler Power Systems a proven track record of driving efficiencies, growth and profitability from the global businesses that were under his supervision,” said Dick Fotsch, Kohler Global Power Group president. “By combining Jason’s progressive approach to management with Otto Kopietzki’s extraordinary power systems experience and deep relationships with Kohler’s customers and suppliers, this transition should be seamless for Kohler Power Systems and the many markets it serves.”


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